The American civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s

The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee was one of the most important organizations of the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s

1954: Brown v Board of Education

The US Supreme Court rules an end to segregation in schools. It overturns the earlier Plessy v Ferguson (1896) decision that permitted “separate 
but equal” facilities for blacks and whites. In reality, of course, “separate” facilities were hardly ever “equal”.


Portrait of the children involved in the landmark Civil Rights lawsuit ‘Brown V. Board of Education,’ which challenged the legality of American public school segregation, Topeka, Kansas, 1953. From front, Vicki Henderson, Donald Henderson, Linda Brown (the ‘Brown’ of the case’s name), James Emanuel, Nancy Todd, and Katherine Carper. (Photo by Carl Iwasaki/Time Life Pictures/Getty Images)


1955: The Emmett Till murder

Fourteen-year-old Emmett Till from Chicago is brutally murdered by whites while visiting relatives in Mississippi. His alleged crime is saying “Bye, baby” to a white woman in a store for a dare. The case causes outrage among America’s black population.

ca. 1955, Chicago, Illinois, USA — Young Emmett Till wears a hat. Chicago native Emmett Till was brutally murdered in Mississippi after flirting with a white woman. — Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS


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