Civil Rights Memorial & Visitors Center Maya Linn Designer of Memorial & the Vietnam Veterans Memorial “ I realized I wanted to create a time line: a chronological listing of the Movement’s major events and its individual deaths, which together would show how people’s lives influenced history and how their deaths made things better (Maya Linn).”
15-yr-old Claudette Colvin was arrested for her refusal to give up a bus seat in 1955. 9 months later the arrest of Rosa Parks resulted in the yr-long boycott & the eventual Supreme Court ruling ending bus segregation.
Reflections on the Montgomery Bus Boycott: A Conversation with Mrs. Johnnie Carr Now 94 years old, Mrs. Carr still vividly remembers the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott. “When you know that you’re doing something that means something, you don’t get tired of” telling about it. A friend of Rosa Parks, she remembers when everything was segregated, when they felt the sting of discrimination. She scoffs at the idea of “separate but equal.” “ You tried to be a law-abiding citizen because you didn’t want to be put in jail.” When Rosa Parks was arrested, E.D. Nixon, often called the father of the civil rights movement, called Mrs. Carr & said, “… they have arrested the wrong woman now.”
Birmingham, Alabama Chris McNair Studio Mr. & Mrs. McNair, parents of Denise McNair, killed in church bombing. Chris McNair, photographer, in his studio On Sunday morning, September 15, 1963 the Ku Klux Klan bombed the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, AL killing four girls. This murderous act shocked the nation & galvanized the civil rights movement.
Sixteenth Street Baptist Church Addie Mae Collins, Denise McNair, Carole Robertson, & Cynthia Wesley were dressed in their “Youth Sunday” best. Only a few minutes before the explosion, they had been together in the basement women’s room, excitedly talking about their first days at school. The bombing came without warning.
Kelly Ingram Park Across the Street from the 16 th Street Baptist Church By the hundreds, black children began to gather in the church and park, only to be arrested for unlawful congregating – until there was no room in the jail.
Birmingham Civil Rights Institute “ Nonviolence of the tongue, the fist, and the heart.” Martin Luther King, Jr.
Birmingham Civil Rights Institute The Civil Rights Movement was embraced by hundreds of youth, black & white, from across the U.S. The leaders themselves were all under 40 years old.
Little Rock, Arkansas Little Rock Central High School site of one of the most important Civil Rights Events
In the summer of 1957, the city of Little Rock made plans to desegregate its public schools. Within a week of the 1954 landmark Supreme Court decision striking down racial segregation in public schools, Arkansas was one of two southern states to announce it would begin immediately to take steps to comply. There would be no smooth transition. On the night before school was to start, Gov. Orval Faubus called out the National Guard to prevent any black students from entering.
A federal judge granted an injunction against the governor’s use of national guard troops to prevent integration & they were withdrawn on September 20 th . When school resumed on Monday, September 22 nd , Central High was surrounded by Little Rock policemen. About 1,000 people gathered in front of the school. The police escorted nine black students to a side door where they quietly entered the building. The mob began to surge the school & challenge the police. Fearful the crowd would become uncontrollable, the school administration moved the black students out a side door before noon.
U.S. Congressman Brooks Hays and Little Rock Mayor Woodrow Mann asked the federal government for help, first in the form of U.S. Marshals. Mann finally sent a telegram to President Eisenhower requesting troops. They were dispatched that day and the President also federalized the entire Arkansas National Guard.
On September 25, 1957, the nine black students entered the school under the protection of 1,000 members of the 101 st Airborne Division of the United States Army.
Memphis, Tennessee Site of the Assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. Martin Luther King, Jr. January 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968 Founding President, Southern Christian Leadership Conference “ They said one to another, Behold, Here cometh the dreamer…. Let us slay him…. So we shall see what will become of his dreams (Gen. 37:19-20).” Quoted by Ralph David Abernathy