TeacherServe Essays

The Civil Rights Movement: 1919–1960s

Author: Janken, Kenneth Robert (NHC Fellow, 2000–01)

The American Civil Rights Movement cohered around the aim of eliminating the system of Jim Crow segregation and the reform of some of the worst aspects of racism in American institutions and life. When most Americans think of the Civil Rights Movement, they have in mind a span of time beginning with the 1954 Supreme Court’s decision in Brown v. Board of Education, which outlawed segregated education, or the Montgomery Bus Boycott and culminated in the late 1960s or early 1970s. However, the drama of the mid-twentieth century emerged on a foundation of earlier struggles. Two are particularly notable: the NAACP’s 1930s campaign against lynching, and the NAACP’s legal campaign against segregated education, which culminated in the Supreme Court’s 1954 Brown decision.

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Subjects: History; Education Studies; American Civil Rights Movement; African American History; American History; Racial Discrimination; Racial Segregation; National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)