an era of change, an era of cataclysm

Civil Rights Movement Timeline


The Brown v. Board of Education trial takes place. The court ruled unanimously against segregation of schools, therefore going against the Plessy v. Ferguson case that had established the idea of "separate but equal" segregation that obviously was not happening.

Rosa Parks refuses to give up her seat in Montgomery, Alabama and is jailed. Her jailing moves the black community to organize a boycott against the Montgomery transportation system that was successful in desegregating public transportation.


Martin Luther King Jr. founds the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. This organization eventually helps to organize the Civil Rights movement and sets a precedence for civil disobedience and peaceful demonstration.

The federal government desegregates a high school called Central High in Little Rock, Arkansas. The desegregation was important because this was the first time since reconstruction that the government has to use military force to uphold African Americans rights.


The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee is founded in order to provide young blacks a place in the movement. The SNCC eventually grows to be more radical under Stokely Carmichael.


More than 200,000 march in protest in Washington, D.C. during 1963. This demonstration is the largest in civil rights history, and participators were able to hear Martin Luther King Jr.'s famous "I Have a Dream" speech.

In the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, four girls fall victim to a bombing. The church was known for being the center of the planning of demonstrations and so those that opposed resorted to bombing the place.

Martin Luther King Jr. writes his letter from Birmingham jail in response to a statement made by religious authorities saying that the time for the civil rights movement was not at hand, and that participators have been violent. King's rhetoric used in the letter displays the reasoning and ideals of the movement, making the authorities look like fools.


The poll tax is removed with the 24th amendment, causing the stumbling block put in front of African Americans in some states to be removed for them to be able to vote. The amendment put an end to the sneaky legislation that inadvertently took away the rights of blacks.

Lyndon Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act that gave the government the power to interfere and prosecute discrimination against a person for their race, religion, or origin.