Civil Rights Movement Facts for kids: The Greensboro sit-ins (1960)
Summary and Definition: The Greensboro Sit-ins began in 1960 when four students from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical College in Greensboro, North Carolina walked into the F. W. Woolworth store and sat down at the segregated lunch counter. They were refused service but they kept their seats. Their Lunch counter protest spread throughout the South resulting in a massive boycott of stores with segregated lunch counters.
Civil Rights Movement Facts for kids: Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) formed 1960
Summary and Definition: The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) was founded by Ella Baker, a Civil rights activist who had worked for the NAACP, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). The SNCC assisted student activists and organized 'Sit-ins' throughout the Deep South. Ella Baker also helped organize the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party (MFDP) and her name became synonymous with the Black Freedom Movement.
Civil Rights Movement Facts for kids: Freedom Riders (1961)
Summary and Definition: The original Freedom Riders made their first journey from May 4, 1961 - May 17, 1961 when six whites and twelve blacks left Washington, D.C., on two buses bound for the New Orleans. The purpose of the Freedom Riders was to test new regulations and court orders banning segregation in interstate transportation and facilities. The first Freedom Riders were violently attacked in Alabama but extensive media coverage encouraged hundreds more Freedom Riders to follow their example.
Civil Rights Movement Facts for kids: Fannie Lou Hamer (1962)
Summary and Definition: Fannie Lou Hamer was a civil rights activist who was evicted from her home on a plantation in Ruleville, Mississippi when the owner, W.D. Marlow, became aware that she had registered to vote. In June 1964 Fannie Lou Hamer went on to become one of the leaders of the Freedom Summer Campaign in an attempt to register as many African-American voters as possible in Mississippi, which had historically excluded most blacks from voting.
Civil Rights Movement Facts for kids: James Meredith and the riot at "Ole Miss" (1962)
Summary and Definition: In 1962 there were Mississippi race riots on the "Ole Miss" campus and the town of Oxford over the first black student. The riots began when the registration of Civil Rights activist James Meredith was refused at the segregated University of Mississippi, known as "Ole Miss". Rioting followed at the campus resulting in the deaths of two people with at least 75 others injured and spread to the town of Oxford. On June 5, 1966, James Meredith was wounded in an ambush as he attempted to complete a peaceful march from Memphis, Tennessee, to Jackson, Mississippi but recovered from his wounds and continued to fight for the Civil Rights Movement.
Civil Rights Movement Facts for kids: MLK Birmingham Campaign and letter from Birmingham Jail (1963)
Summary and Definition: Dr. Martin Luther King organized a massive peace protest in 1963, referred to as the Birmingham Campaign, in the heavily segregated city of Birmingham, Alabama. Birmingham was notorious as a Ku Klux Klan (KKK) stronghold which Martin Luther King described as the worst city for racism in America. The Birmingham Peace Protest resulted in violence and. Dr. Martin Luther King was arrested together with hundreds of other protestors. Whilst imprisoned MLK wrote his famous Letter from Birmingham Jail that advocated civil disobedience against unjust laws.
Civil Rights Movement Facts for kids: The March on Washington (1963)
Summary and Definition: The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom took place on August 28, 1963 in Washington, D.C. It was the largest demonstration ever seen in the nation's capital with the participation of over 250,000 people. The purpose of the March on Washington was to make demands for civil rights legislation and the elimination of racial segregation in public schools and jobs. It was on this occasion that Dr. Martin Luther King made the "I have a dream" speech, which remains one of the most famous speeches in American history.
Civil Rights Movement Facts for kids: President Kennedy and the Civil Rights bill (1963)
Summary and Definition: Dr. Martin Luther King meets with President Kennedy who gives his full support to the civil rights movement and subsequently sent a comprehensive civil rights bill to Congress on June 19, 1963 banning segregation and discrimination based on race, nationality, or gender.
Civil Rights Movement Facts for kids: The Civil Rights Act of 1964
Summary and Definition: President Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas, on November 22, 1963 and the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was one of the most important civil rights laws in the history of the United States, banning discrimination, ending racial segregation, and protecting the voting rights of women and minority groups.
Civil Rights Movement Facts for kids: The Assassination of Malcolm X (1965)
Summary and Definition: Malcolm X began speaking for the Nation of Islam in 1952. In 1963 Elijah Muhammad suspended Malcolm X from the Nation of Islam because he believed that Malcolm X did not sufficiently support the civil rights movement of the Black Muslims. In 1964 Malcolm X went on to found the Organization of Afro-American Unity, which advocated black identity and held that racism, not the white race, was the greatest enemy of African Americans. Malcolm X was assassinated on February 21, 1965 by Nation of Islam members.
Civil Rights Movement Facts for kids: The Selma March (1965)
Summary and Definition of the Selma March: The First March from Selma to Montgomery in Alabama, was organized by John Lewis to highlight the voting issue and took place on March 7, 1965. The demonstrators were met with violence from state troopers. There was extensive media coverage of the event, which became known as "Bloody Sunday". Protests and demonstrations in support of the marchers were held in eighty towns and cities across the US and on 25 March 1965, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. led another march from Selma.
Civil Rights Movement Facts for kids: The Voting Rights Act of 1965
Summary and Definition: Immediately following the Selma Freedom March, President Lyndon B. Johnson sent a voting rights bill to Congress. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 was signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson on August 6, 1965 to safeguard the right to vote of Black Americans and ban the use of literacy tests. The law had an immediate impact. By the end of 1965 250,000 new black voters had been registered
Civil Rights Movement Facts for kids: The Watts Riots (1965)
Summary and Definition: The Watts Riots occured between August 11, 1965 - August 17, 1965 in Los Angeles and resulted in 34 deaths, over 1,000 injuries, nearly 4,000 arrests, and the destruction of property valued at $40 million. Other race riots followed including the Newark Riots (1967) and the Detroit Riots (1967).
Civil Rights Movement Facts for kids: Black Power (1966)
Summary and Definition: "Black Power" was the black nationalism rallying slogan. The term was coined by Stokely Carmichael at a rally at Greenwood, Mississippi, when he launched an attack on the Mississippi justice system and stated "What we need is black power". The Black Power movement emphasized racial pride and social equality with whites through the creation of black political and cultural institutions.
Civil Rights Movement Facts for kids: The Black Panthers (1966)
Summary and Definition: The Black Power movement included organizations such as the Black Panthers. The Black Panthers were founded by Huey Newton and Bobby Seale in 1966 who maintained that little had been achieved by the reformers in the Civil Rights Movement and that revolution would be the only means to achieve results in the liberation of African Americans.
Civil Rights Movement Facts for kids: The Assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King (1968)
On April 4, 1968 Dr. Martin Luther King was killed by white supremacist James Earl Ray as he stood on the balcony outside his room at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee. Refer to the MLK Assassination.
The End of the Civil Rights Movement (1968)
The feuds and rifts among the SNCC, NAACP, SCLC and CORE contributed to the collapse of the Civil Rights movement. The death of Dr. Martin Luther King, the violence and destruction of the race riots and the rise of Black revolutionaries such as the Black Panthers, effectively ended the Civil Rights Movement.
The Legacy of the Civil Rights Movement
The Civil Rights movement gave rise to many achievements including the passing of Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Although many issues and problems were not resolved, the Civil Rights movement changed American society and improved the lives of African Americans providing new hope and opportunities. Just forty years after the turmoil of the Civil Rights era, on January 20, 2009, Barack Obama became the first black President of the United States.