Civil Rights Timeline
Thurgood Marshall was the legal counsel for the NAACP in dozens of cases, including the significant Brown v. Board of Education, and the first African-American Supreme court justice. He won equal pay for black teachers, desegregated juries, integrated exclusive neighborhoods, and won 29/32 cases before the Supreme Court.
Linda Brown was a black student who had to walk an extra half mile through a dangerous area to get to an inconvenient black school, rather than attend a white school nearby. Because of her inconvenience and the inherent inequality of segregated education, her family and the NAACP sued for integration in 1951. In the precedent-setting Brown v. Board of Education case, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of integration, with "all deliberative speed." The case led to a slow integration process that eventually ended segregation in schools.
Earl Warren was appointed chief justice of the Supreme Court as the Brown case was taking place, replacing a more conservative justice. His appointment and actions led to a unanimous decision in favor of integration.
In 1955 Rosa Parks, a seamstress and NAACP volunteer secretary, refused to give up her seat on a bus to a white man, sparking the Montgomery bus boycott, and the eventual integration of the bus service.
In this photo, the Little Rock Nine are shown with Daisy Bates, their NAACP mentor. The Nine were the first black students who enrolled at Central High in Little Rock, in 1957. They were met with much resistance from the white students and families, and even the governor, causing President Eisenhower to intervene with the National Guard. In the end, only one of the Nine graduates. However, their courage led others to integrate Central and other schools later on.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was one of the most significant Civil Rights leaders. He led the 1955 Montgomery bus boycott, organized the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, gave the famous "I have a dream" speech during the March on Washington, in 1963, and led the nonviolent Civil Rights movement, focusing on Christian values, equality and togetherness, and nonviolence. He was assassinated in 1968 while planning a second March on Washington, focusing on the issue of poverty.
At this store, in 1960 in Greensboro, North Carolina, four black North Carolina Agriculture and Technical State University students sat down at a lunch counter and were refused sit-down service by a black waitress. They remained seated, and returned every day, creating the first "sit-in," the first of many to protest the Jim Crow laws and racial discrimination. Sit-ins in 1960 included 70 thousand protestors, 100 cities, 3,600 people jailed, and 108 victories over racial discrimination, all starting in Greensboro.
In 1961, the Freedom Riders, thirteen integrated bus riders, sponsored by CORE, drove south from Washington, DC, in buses to highlight the contrast of federal law integrating interstate travel, and the Jim Crow state laws segregating it. In the deep South, they met angry mobs, and had to be protected by JFK's federal marshals. In the end, they got the ICC to desegregate.
In 1963, in Birmingham, Alabama, white supremacists bombed a church, killing four black girls. As a result, blacks and sympathetic whites rioted in the streets. It involved around a thousand rioters, and the local police. It resulted in attacks by police with dogs and fire-hoses, and in deaths.
President Lyndon Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act of 1964 into law. It outlawed discrimination by race, religion, and sex, for public facilities, voting, employment, and more. It also created the Equal Employment Opportunity Campaign. It was first proposed by JFK, and LBJ was the one who pushed it through Congress. Behind LBJ is MLK.
Malcolm X was one of the most significant Civil Rights leaders. He was a speaker for the Black Muslims, a black nationalist group, and founded the Organization of Afro-Americans, after leaving the Black Muslims. He focused on separatism, black power, moral wholesomeness, and strict adherence to religion. He was assassinated in 1965 by Black Muslims because he had left their group.
In 1974, in an attempt to reduce de facto segregation, the Boston public school system ordered students to be bused, mainly between South Boston and Roxbury, but also in other neighborhoods, to different schools to create a racial balance. The result was riots and violence towards blacks and whites. The busing was based on Judge Garrity's plan, and he eventually increased the number of students bused hoping that there would be a better result. However, many white parents and students were not welcoming, particularly in South Boston High School, where there were riots and 500 police officers had to protect the students being bused.
This photo depicts a protest against the decision of Bakke v. Regents of the University of California, (1978) which was that affirmative action in the sense of quotas and double standards was discriminatory and unconstitutional, but race could be an advantage on an application, as long as the application was not judged specially.