The Civil Rights Movement

Featured Essay

The legal historian Paul Finkelman looks back at the kinds of segregation and discrimination faced by African Americans more than fifty years ago when the modern movement was launched.

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Photo Essay

photo of a woman

The Civil Rights Movement that began in the mid-1950s was a reaction to the decades of racial discrimination against, hatred for, and abuse suffered by African Americans since gaining their freedom during the Civil War. Though the struggle for civil rights had existed since the first African slaves reached American shores more than two hundred years before Emancipation, another hundred years would pass before a concerted national movement rose up to demand the rights guaranteed to all Americans by the Constitution. Combining images with text, Hilary Mac Austin provides a view of the movement from its birth in events such as Emmett Till's lynching in 1955 through the early 1970s—nearly twenty years of political and social activism to secure and enforce the equality of all Americans. It is a battle that continues into the present.

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Featured Articles

The following articles have been selected to help guide readers who want to learn about the history, significance, and lasting impact of the Civil Rights Movement. (Access to the following articles is available only to subscribers.)

Subject Entries

Primary Source Documents and Commentary