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Although it is difficult to assign a precise time to the beginning of the modern Civil Rights movement, the 1950’s can be identified as the decade when efforts to achieve equal rights for minorities in the United States became a mass movement. Read more.
Sample of Library Books Available
Civil Rights in America, 1865-1980
This book examines the theme of Civil Rights in America between 1865 and 1980. The long struggle for black equality and full citizenship is traced from the period of reconstruction after the Civil War to the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. The rights of other minority groups such as Native Americans, Chicanos and Asian Americans are also given full consideration, as is the 'rights revolution' of the Cold War period, which involved the campaign for women's rights and the development of Gay rights. Drawing on a wide range of primary and secondary sources.
She just wouldn't get up--and with that simple, courageous act Rosa Parks struck a blow against injustice. Parks showed what one person, without guns or violence, could do to change the course of history forever. Nelson Mandela claimed "she is who inspired us...to be fearless when facing our oppressors." As a volunteer secretary for the NAACP, Parks chronicled racial injustices and fought for desegregation.
Senior School Database Search
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Database Search Tips
"civil rights movement" [use the inverted commas, this is an exact phrase search]
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Civil Rights Movement
"The civil rights movement was a struggle for social justice that took place mainly during the 1950s and 1960s for blacks to gain equal rights under the law in the United States ... "
We cannot lose hope
"CONGRESSMAN JOHN LEWIS' WASHINGTON, D.C., office is filled from floor to ceiling with photographs and souvenirs from a lifetime of activism: the Freedom Rides he risked his life for from the age of 21; the March on Washington, where Lewis wrote a speech so fiery that Martin Luther King Jr. advised him to tone it down; the voting-rights work in Selma, Alabama, where, as head of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, Lewis was beaten by state troopers during the march to Montgomery ... "
Means and ends in the 1960s
"This article discusses the formation of the civil rights movement in the U.S. during the 1960s. Civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. understood that disobedience, if it was to be translated into freedom and equality, must remain non-violent. Non-violent action, King conceded, seeks to create such a crisis and foster such a tension that a community which has constantly refused to negotiate is forced to confront the issue ... "
The Use of Disruptive Tactics in Protest as a Trade-Off: The Role of Social Movement Claims
"In protest, activists sometimes turn to disruptive and violent tactics to meet their goals. Doing so, however, can also undermine support for their claims. We argue that how protestors weigh this trade-off depends on their targets and the extent to which their claims appeal to diverse constituencies, which then factors greatly into their choice of protest tactics ... "
Life Photo Archive
Search millions of photographs from the LIFE photo archive, stretching from the 1750s to today. Most were never published and are now available for the first time through the joint work of LIFE and Google.
Search the Life archives using the following suggestion ... civil rights movement:life [be sure to add the : directly after your final search work and leave no space before the word life.
Library of Congress
The Library of Congress: American Memory
This link will direct you to the Library's holdings of primary source material on America's Civil Rights Movement. "American Memory provides free and open access through to written and spoken words, sound recordings, still and moving images, prints, maps, and sheet music that document the American experience."
This link will take you to an interactive version of the President's desk. Click on the diary on his desk and navigate a date relevant to your chosen topic. You may find relevant source documents. Click on the Secret Recording Button on the front of his desk and select Civil Rights to load conversations the President had about the civil rights movement. "President John F. Kennedy's Oval Office is an interactive site which provides primary source documents relevant to Kennedy's presidency: 1961-1963."
The Gilder Lehman Institute
Click on Our Collection as well as History Now to search this collection of primary sources and commentary. "Search American history from the early Americas to the present. Source documents and multimedia resources are included."