African-American Civil Rights Movement redirects here. For the movement in the early 20th century, see African-American Civil Rights Movement (1896–1954). For the movement in the 19th century, see African-American Civil Rights Movement (1865–1896).
Civil Rights Movement redirects here. For a worldwide series of political movements, see Civil rights movements. For a list of other uses, see Civil Rights Movement (disambiguation).
The Civil Rights Movement, also known as the American Civil Rights Movement and other names,[b] is a term that encompasses the strategies, groups, and social movements in the United States whose goals were to end racial segregation and discrimination against African Americans and to secure legal recognition and federal protection of the citizenship rights enumerated in the Constitution and federal law. This article covers the phase of the movement between 1954 and 1968, particularly in the South.
The movement was characterized by major campaigns of civil resistance. Between 1955 and 1968, acts of nonviolent protest and civil disobedience produced crisis situations and productive dialogues between activists and government authorities. Federal, state, and local governments, businesses, and communities often had to respond immediately to these situations, which highlighted the inequities faced by African Americans. The lynching of Emmett Till and the visceral response to his mothers decision to have an open-casket funeral mobilized the African-American community nationwide. Forms of protest and/or civil disobedience included boycotts such as the successful Montgomery Bus Boycott (1955–56) in Alabama; sit-ins such as the influential Greensboro sit-ins (1960) in North Carolina and successful Nashville sit-ins in Tennessee; marches, such as the Birmingham Childrens Crusade and Selma to Montgomery marches (1965) in Alabama; and a wide range of other nonviolent activities.
The 1960s Civil Rights Movement both lobbied and worked with Congress to achieve the passage of several