Web Links: Civil Rights & the Black Freedom Struggle


Laying the Seeds for Change: 1900-1945

Eleanor Roosevelt's 1936 speech, "The Negro and Social Change"



On the Eve of the Movement: 1945-1955

President Truman's 1948 Executive Order on civil rights estabilishing President's Committee on Equality of Treatment and Opportunity in the Armed Services

President Truman's Executive Order 9981, which desegregated the U.S Armed Forces, 1948

Example of “The Negro Travelers’ Green Book,” designed to direct African Americans to institutions which would accept their patronage while they were travelling during the age of Jim Crow segregation

1954 Brown v. Board of Education U.S. Supreme Court decision,  (which          desegregated the public school system, and overturned the 1896 Plessy        decision)

    -- the written decision for Brown v. Board of Education

    -- Library Congress on the 50th anniversary of the  Brown decison

    -- Profile of African American scholar Kenneth Clark, whose research paved the way for the Supreme Court's favorable decision in the Brown decision

Links on Jackie Robinson, 1947 integrator of Major League Baseball-- see links on Consensus America, 1945-1960

The shocking confession of the white murderers of Emmett Till (his 1955 murder by whites set off a national firestorm over the lingering abuses of the Jim Crow South-- and thus helped pave the way for early civil rights movement), as published in Look magazine, January 1956

Extensive site on the Montgomery Bus Boycott of 1955-56 (including original news articles, biographies of boycott figures, timelines, and video clips)



Early Period of the Civil Rights Movement: 1954-1959

1957 Little Rock school desegregation crisis:

    --Documents relating to the 1957 Little Rock School desegregation crisis  (including correspondence between Pres. Eisenhower & Arkansas Gov.        Faubus)

    --40th Anniversary site on the 1957 integration of Little Rock, Arkansas'  Central High School

Virginia's campaign of "Massive Resistance" against the Brown vs. Board  decision 

Citizens Council newspaper website


Civil Rights Movement

An overview of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC)-- including a timeline, profile of people, issues and events, and audio of songs and interviews

The famous 2/1//60 Greensboro Woolworth's sit-in which inspired the sit-in movement and later launched the pivotal civil rights organization Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC)  (includes many interview audio clips with the 4 participants).

1964 SNCC position paper on sexism within the movement

Pres. John F. Kennedy's 6/11/63 speech to the nation introducing a civil rights bill (following the tumultuous integration of the University of Alabama) (includes written transcript and audio clip)

Letters written during SNCC's 1964 Freedom Summer project in Mississippi

Civil Rights Movement Veterans website with many links


Alabama Gov. George Wallace, renowned segregationist, who later ran for president


White Counter-Reaction Against the Movement

Alabama Gov.George Wallace's famous 1963 confrontational, segregationist speech which heightened racial tensions in the deep South

--Wallace's June 1963 "Speech at the Schoolhouse Door," temporaily blocking the University of Alabama's door to integration

PBS website on George Wallace

Alabama Dept of Archives and History site profile on George Wallace

Account of George Wallace's 1968 presidential campaign

Profile on Arthur Bremer (attempted assassin of Gov. George Wallace in 1972)

An interview with Wallace biographer Dan Carter on Wallace's legacy

1968 Wallace for President brochure


Black Power

PBS website on Huey Newton (co-founder of the Black Panther Party)

1998 Obituary on the life and legacy of Stokely Carmichael

2012 article on John Carlos, who gave a controversial clenched fist Black Power salute when receiving his 1968  Olympic medal



Contemporary Outcomes of Civil Rights Activists

SNCC's Bob Moses' Algebra Project, training inner-city kids in math literacy

Congressman John Lewis (former chair of SNCC) webpage

The "Little Rock Nine" (who integrated that Arkansas school system in 1957) today.

Cleveland Sellers (former SNCC organizer and author of The River of No Return)

Julian Bond (former SNCC organizer and politician) as current chair of the NAACP Board of Directors

Julian Bond, in his other capacity of professor of history at University of Virginia

Chuck McDew (former chairman of SNCC)

Bob Zellner (first white field secretary for SNCC)

profile of SNCC leader Jim Forman.

(and a brief profile of Jim Forman's son, who has carried on his father's legacy as a lawyer)

Personal website of SNCC activist Joan Browning