The 1960s Civil Rights Movement was a social movement in the United States to end racial segregation and discrimination against African Americans. The roots of the movement were in the centuries-long struggle of African slaves and their descendants to resist racial oppression. Whilst slavery had been abolished as a result of the American Civil War (1861-1865) there were enduring economic, political, and cultural consequences of past racial oppression. The movement was characterised by major campaigns of civil resistance including boycotts, “sit-ins” and marches.

Some events:
  • 1954: The Supreme Court rules that segregation in public schools is unconstitutional
  • 1955: Rosa Parks refuses to give up her seat at the front of the “coloured section” of a bus to a white passenger
  • 1955-1956: Montgomery Bus Boycott in Alabama
  • 1960: Greensboro sit-ins in North Carolina
  • 1961: Students known as “freedom riders,” begin taking bus trips through the South to test out new laws that prohibit segregation on interstate travel facilities
  • 1965: Selma to Montgomery marches in Alabama
  • 1963: Martin Luther King delivers his “I Have a Dream” speech
  • 1964: President Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act of 1964
  • 1965: Malcolm X is shot to death
  • 1968: Martin Luther King is shot as he stands on the balcony outside his hotel room.

Some resources held by Tauranga City Libraries:

Books: Adult Reference (non-lending):
323 SMI The Essentials of Human Rights
323.03 ROB Dictionary of Human Rights by David Robertson
323.09 HUM The Human Rights Reader by Micheline Ishay
323.092 CIV The Civil Rights Movement and the Legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.
323.1196073 GEN Generation of Change: The Civil Rights Movement in America
808.85 SPEE Speeches that Changed the World
909.WOR African American Civil Rights Movement (World Book)
973.9 EVA The American Century by Harold Evans
973.92 LIF LIFE The '60s edited by Doris C. O’Neil

Books: Adult Non-Fiction (lending):
920.9305 MARG Elizabeth and Hazel: Two Women of Little Rock by David Margolick
323.173 WIL My soul looks back in wonder: voices of the civil rights experience by Juan Williams

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