10 most significant events in civil rightsWhat do you believe are the ten most significant events that helped bring more civil rights for African Americans during the years of 1948-1971?

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litteacher8's profile pic

litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The above is an excellent answer. The most significant events generally focus on specific people who took a stand. The Civil Rights Movement was about iconic moments as well as slow progress. This also includes court dates and important speeches. The list above represents these.
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lynnebh | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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There are a lot of things that happened in this time frame, but some of the more notable are:

  1. In 1948, Harry Truman issued two executive decrees that were important events in the Civil Rights Movement. One established a Fair Employment Board to promote nondiscriminatory employment practices in the federal civil service, and the other began desegregation of the armed services. This finally happened in 1954.
  2. 1954 -Brown vs Board of Education. Supreme Court declares that public school segregation violates the 14th Amendment’s equal rights protection.
  3. 1957 – The Little Rock Nine – nine black students are allowed to enroll in a public high school in Little Rock, Arkansas. The National Guard is sent to Little Rock to protect them.
  4. The Civil Rights Act of 1960 is passed, establishing federal inspection of local voter registration polls and introducing penalties for anyone who obstructed a person's attempt to register to vote or actually vote. This ended 100 years of the Jim Crow laws that prevented Blacks from voting because they could not afford poll fees, etc.
  5. 1961, President Kennedy establishes the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Council).
  6. 1963 – Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. begins his protest movement, holding sit-ins, etc. He writes "Letter from Birmingham Jail" justifying his support of civil disobedience to foster civil rights. The March on Washington took place this year as part of this movement.
  7. 1964 – The Civil Rights Act was enacted, a landmark law that outlawed unequal application of voter registration requirements and segregation in schools, at the workplace and by facilities that served the general public.
  8. 1965 - The Selma to Montgomery marches were three marches that marked the political and emotional peak of the Civil Rights Movement.
  9. 1967 – Thurgood Marshall is appointed to the Supreme Court, first Black.
  10. 1968 – Martin Luther King is assassinated, but this rallies the Civil Rights movement. Robert Kennedy, a great supporter of Civil Rights, is also assassinated. People grow fed up with discrimination.

Also occurring during this time frame were events like the murder of Emmet Till, the formation of the Black Panthers, the Kennedy administration's push for civil rights, other protests, sit-ins and demonstrations. I picked 10 that I thought were significant having lifed through the 60s myself.

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