History of the Civil Rights Movement

It was a chilly autumn's eve on December 1, 1955 when Rose Parks boarded a bus in Montgomery, Alabama. That day the Civil Rights Movement was born.

After a long and hectic work day as a department store seamstress Rosa Parks took a seat in the back section reserved for colored people. As the bus travelled along its route the rows began to fill up until there were no more seats available. At this point a white man got on board and was left standing on the crowded bus.

The bus driver stood up and ordered the people in the first colored rows to release their seats.

All did except Rosa Parks who did not move. The driver asked if she was going to stand or be arrested. Rose felt determination cover her body like a quilt on a winter night.

She looked out the window and quietly said, "You may do that." The bus remained still as the police were summoned. The sound of people's complaints began to fill the air and several blacks left the bus. The police arrived and asked why she did not stand up. She responded, "Why are you always pushing us around." With those defiant words the Civil Rights Movement was born.

History of the Civil Rights Movement

The Civil Rights Movement gathered momentum in 1955 when Rosa Parks, a black woman, was arrested for refusing to give up her seat to a white man on a public bus in Montgomery, Alabama.  The incident galvanized the black community and led to a successful year long boycott of the Montgomery bus system. 

It also raised public awareness of the plight of African Americans.  In 1957 President Eisenhower ordered in the army to ensure that black students would be safe when they enrolled in a previously segregated high school in Little Rock, Arkansas.  Protests by blacks in combination with increasing white support followed.  An eminent leader with a great vision emerged in Martin Luther King Jr.  Kings policy of non-violent resistance gained sympathy for the Civil Rights Movement and his impassioned speeches influenced millions of Americans.  In 1963 over 200,000 people participated in a march on Washington to hear Dr. King and demonstrate their support for the Civil Rights Bill.  To 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.  I have a dream today.  In 1964 President Lyndon Johnson signed into law the strongest civil rights bill in the history of the country.



Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness. ~ ~ Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.