Category Archives: Civil Rights Era

Black Panthers Party Platform (1964)

The Black Panther Party was the most well-known militant black political organization to emerge from the increasingly politicized Black Power movement of the 1960s. Aiming to elevate conditions for black Americans, the Black Panthers engaged in both community-building enterprises and … Continue reading

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Lyndon B. Johnson’s Great Society Speech – May 22, 1964

Upon becoming President, Johnson pushed forward sweeping social legislation to achieve his goal of creating the “Great Society.” Many of the proposals had been initiated by Kennedy. Sentiment after the assassination helped propel Congressional approval of the measures. But the … Continue reading

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” Segregation Now ” Inauguration Speech – Alabama Governor George Wallace, January 14, 1963 (video)

Alabama Governor George Wallace was one of several white Southern Democratic politicians who bitterly fought against the federal government’s attempts to integrate the South. In 1962, after being sworn in as governor of Alabama. Wallace openly defied the Supreme Court’s … Continue reading

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Executive Order 9981 – Truman Ends Segregation in the U.S. Military – July 26, 1948 (primary source activity)

Executive Order 9981: The End of U.S. Military Segregation After former slaves fought on the Union side in the Civil War, the government abolished slavery and enfranchised black men to vote. When black regiments fought heroically in World War II, … Continue reading

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Chief Justice Earl Warren – Supreme Court Opinion on Brown v. Board of Education (1954), primary source documents with reading questions

    The U.S. Supreme Court Strikes Down School Segregation (1954) Speaking of America: Volume II Since 1865 In the 1930s, lawyers at the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People outlined a long-term strategy for challenging segregation. Charles Houston … Continue reading

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Malcolm X, “The Ballot or the Bullet,” April 3, 1964 (primary source speech)

Civil Rights speech by Malcolm X, discussing the plight of the black man in American society. malcolm x ballot or the bullet

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Marian Anderson performs at the Lincoln Memorial (1939)

Marian Anderson, contralto, was denied the right to perform at Constitution Hall by the DAR because of her color. Instead, and at the urging of Eleanor Roosevelt, Harold Ickes permitted her to perform at the Lincoln Memorial on April 9, … Continue reading

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