What was segregated?
Almost all public places in
the South were segregated
Kids went to different schools.
More money was spent for white schools.
Black schools were run-down buildings.
Few black schools had running water.
Most had no electricity.
=>It was hard for colored children to get a good
• sat at separate lunch counters
• went to separate restrooms
• drank at separate water fountains
• went to black hospitals
=> If you walked out of your house,
any place you could think of was
The civil rights movement:
In the 1950s and 1960s colored people
throughout the South began to get together
to fight for their rights as free people.
Thousands and thousands of people, including
their white supporters, worked together to
change the laws and customs that said white
people were superior to colored people.
Montgomery, Alabama 1955:
One of the first protests began in 1955 in
Thousands of African Americans refused to
ride the city buses for more than a year. They
stayed off the buses because the bus company
didn’t treat colored people and whites equally.
The bus company lost a lot of money.
Most people walked, some as many as fourteen
miles a day. Others hitchhiked, rode bicycles, or
shared car rides with friends.
How did the Montgomery bus boycott
On December 1st, 1955 Rosa Parks left her job
to go home. She was happy she found a seat
on the bus as she was tired. The bus began to
fill up. The driver ordered the African
Americans to stand up for the whites to sit.
Three African Americans gave up their seats.
Rosa Parks didn’t. The police arrested her
because she had broken the segregation law.
She had to pay a fine.
What did they achieve?
The boycott was a success.
The African Americans formed a group with
Martin Luther King as their president and
went to court. The Court said that
segregation on the buses was against the
Bus drivers could no longer force blacks to sit
in the back or give up their seats to the
Were there other protests?
• Sit-ins at segregated places, like libraries that
wouldn’t lend books to African Americans.
• Freedom Rides
People protested non-violently against every kind
of segregation and many whites joined their
What were the sit-ins?
• On February 1, 1960 four black students from
a college in South Carolina went to the
Woolworth’s store in town. They bought a few
school supplies and then went to the lunch
counter. “I’m sorry, we don’t serve here”, they
were told. They answered that the clerk
hadn’t put their money in a box marked “black
only”, so why should there be a “white only’
counter? They sat on the stools until the store
What were the sit-ins?
• Overnight the word spread to other schools.
• Within days, students in different cities were
sitting-in . Some white students joined the blacks.
So many students wanted to sit-in that they
worked in shifts.
• Some whites segregationists ignored them,
others yelled at them, pushed them, hit them or
even poured ketchup on them.
• By the spring of 1961 segregation laws had been
changed in 140 cities because of the sit-ins.
Covered with sugar, salt, mustard, and other
slop and beaten during a sit-in in 1963.
What were the Freedom Rides?
• The Supreme Court had ruled that long-
distance buses could not be segregated, but it
was ignored in the South.
• The Freedom Riders challenged this status quo
by riding interstate buses in the South in
mixed racial groups to challenge local laws or
customs that enforced segregation in seating.
As a result, they were met with violence
reactions by mobs of whites.
Martin Luther King
One of the most famous leaders of the civil rights
“I have a dream that my four little children will
one day live in a nation where they will not be
judged by the color of their skin but by the
content of their character.”
Was the civil rights movement
Americans got many things from the civil rights
• Laws were passed to end discrimination.
• Black people throughout the South could now vote.
• African-Americans became congressional
representatives, state government officials, city
mayors, police chiefs etc.
• Martin Luther King’s birthday is a national holiday.
• Schools teach about the history of black people in
What’s left to be done?
• Most whites in America have better jobs and
earn more money than blacks.
• They live in better neighborhoods and go to
• More young white people go to college than
• And there are still white people prejudiced
against blacks, who need to learn that all
people are equal.
People should be color-blind in the
way they treat others.