Civil Rights Movement

Through marches, sit-ins, boycotts, songs, and speeches, the civil rights movement (1954–1972) challenged America's hypocrisy between its founding ideals of freedom and quality and its systemic disenfranchisement of African Americans. Two factors contributed to the movement's success: Gandhian nonviolent direct action, which shifted arguments over equality from legal abstractions to the individual protestors themselves; and its ability to capitalize upon media coverage to publicize the struggle for civil rights. Ruptures in three cities highlight this relationship between political and moral argument, nonviolence, and how the media framed civil rights.

Following the U.S. Supreme Court's Brown v. Board of Education, Topeka, KS (1954) decision, which stipulated that public schools should integrate with “all deliberate speed,” movement leaders realized they could not wait for politicians to fulfill this ...

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