Civil Rights

  • Creation of the NAACP

    Creation of the NAACP
    The NAACP was created in 1909 by an interracial group consisting of W.E.B. Du Bois, Ida Bell Wells-Barnett, Mary White Ovington, and others concerned with the challenges facing African Americans, especially in the wake of the 1908 Springfield (Illinois) Race Riot.
  • Scottsboro Boys

    Scottsboro Boys
    The Scottsboro Boys were nine black teenagers accused in Alabama of raping two White American women on a train in 1931. The landmark set of legal cases from this incident dealt with racism and the right to a fair trial.
  • Jackie Robinson Breaks the Color Barrier

    Jackie Robinson Breaks the Color Barrier
    Jackie Robinson Breaks the Color Barrier As with many aspects of life in late-19th century America, baseball was segregated. There were separate teams for black players because they were not allowed to play on white professional teams. In the late 1800s, professional African American players played on all-black teams such as the Cuban Giants. But some baseball managers and owners of Major League teams wanted to hire African Americans. In order to get around the rules, they listed some black pl
  • The Little Rock 9

    The Little Rock 9
    The Little Rock Nine was a group of nine African American students enrolled in Little Rock Central High School in 1957. Their enrollment was followed by the Little Rock Crisis, in which the students were initially prevented from entering the racially segregated school by Orval Faubus, the Governor of Arkansas. They then attended after the intervention of President Dwight D. Eisenhower.
  • Brown vs. Board of Education

    Brown vs. Board of Education
    Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, 347 U.S. 483, was a landmark United States Supreme Court case in which the Court declared state laws establishing separate public schools for black and white students to be unconstitutional.
  • Ruby Bridges Desegregated Elementary School

    Ruby Bridges Desegregated Elementary School
    Ruby Nell Bridges Hall (born September 8, 1954) is an American activist known for being the first black child to desegregate the all-white William Frantz Elementary School in Louisiana during the New Orleans school desegregation crisis in 1960.
  • The Murder of Emmett Till

    The Murder of Emmett Till
    While visiting family in Money, Mississippi, 14-year-old Emmett Till, an African American from Chicago, is brutally murdered for flirting with a white woman four days earlier. His assailants–the white woman’s husband and her brother–made Emmett carry a 75-pound cotton-gin fan to the bank of the Tallahatchie River and ordered him to take off his clothes. The two men then beat him nearly to death, gouged out his eye, shot him in the head, and then threw his body, tied to the cotton-gin fan with ba
  • Montgomery Bus Boycott

    Montgomery Bus Boycott
    On December 1, 1955, four days before the boycott began, Rosa Parks, an African-American woman, refused to yield her seat to a white man on a Montgomery bus. She was arrested and fined. The boycott of public buses by blacks in Montgomery began on the day of Parks' court hearing and lasted 381 days.
  • Letter from a Birmingham Jail

    Letter from a Birmingham Jail
    The Letter from Birmingham Jail, also known as the Letter from Birmingham City Jail and The Negro Is Your Brother, is an open letter written on April 16, 1963, by Martin Luther King, Jr. The letter defends the strategy of nonviolent resistance to racism. It says that people have a moral responsibility to break unjust laws and to take direct action rather than waiting potentially forever for justice to come through the courts. Responding to being referred to as an "outsider," King writes, "Injust
  • Civil Rights Act of 1964

    Civil Rights Act of 1964
    In 1964 Congress passed Public Law 88-352 (78 Stat. 241). The provisions of this civil rights act forbade discrimination on the basis of sex as well as race in hiring, promoting, and firing. The word "sex" was added at the last moment. According to the West Encyclopedia of American Law, Representative Howard W. Smith (D-VA) added the word.
  • Assassination of Malcolm X

    Assassination of Malcolm X
    On February 21, 1965, Malcolm X was shot before he was about to deliver a speech about his new organization called the Organization of Afro-American Unity. Reporters inspect the scene of the assassination, inside the Audobon Ballroom in New York.
  • Creation of the Black Panthers

    Creation of the Black Panthers
    Black Panther Party founded. On this date in 1966, the Black Panther Party (BPP) was founded. It was a Black political organization; originally known as the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense. The BPP originated in Oakland, California, by founders Huey Newton and Bobby Seale.
  • Thurgood Marshall Named Supreme Court Justice

    Thurgood Marshall Named Supreme Court Justice
    Have you ever been treated unfairly because of your age, the color of your skin, or where you live? Thurgood Marshall worked all of his life to make sure all people were treated fairly, especially under the law.
    Thurgood Marshall had a noteworthy first name, but it fit him well because he was a noteworthy person. On October 2, 1967, he became the first African-American Supreme Court justice. Of course, Marshall had accomplished plenty of other things before then.
  • Assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.

    Assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.
    Shortly after 6 p.m. on April 4, 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was shot and mortally wounded as he stood on the second-floor balcony outside his room at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tenn. He was pronounced dead at 7:05 p.m. at St. Joseph Hospital.
  • Election of Barak Obama

    Election of Barak Obama
    Obama was the first black president to ever be in the white house.