Civil Rights History
Historical events, political acts and policy decisions provide the context for the contemporary civil rights debate.
February 17, 2009 - Posted by The Leadership Conference
Movies and music can be powerful reflections of our times, past and present, and tell stories that inform and empower millions of people in ways other media cannot. This week, we highlight four Oscar-nominated films that have found compelling ways to tell stories about civil and human rights. The Oscars will be shown on TV this Sunday, February 22.
A film about a man who witnessed the assassination of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King has been nominated for Best Documentary Short Subject at this year's Oscars.
"The Witness from the Balcony of Room 306," directed by Adam Pertofsky, tells the story of the final days of King's life through the eyes of Rev. Samuel "Billy" Kyles, a close friend who was with King when he was assassinated in Memphis, Tenn., on April 4, 1968. Kyles reflects on King's life, the legacy of the civil rights movement, and what led King to work in Memphis.
February 16, 2009 - Posted by Tyler Lewis
Check out this CNN piece about the unique relationship between President Abraham Lincoln and Black abolitionist Frederick Douglass.
February 12, 2009 - Posted by Tyler Lewis
In this 1956 photo, four leaders of the NAACP are holding a poster against racial bias in Mississippi - (from left to right) Henry L. Moon, Roy Wilkins, Herbert Hill, and Thurgood Marshall
Today is the 100th anniversary of the founding of the NAACP.
At the time of the NAACP's formation, lynching of Black people in the United States was common and a number of race riots where White people attacked Black people and burned their homes had broken out around the country. A race riot in Springfield, Ill., in the summer of 1908, that resulted in the death of seven people highlighted the growing need for a civil rights organization.
February 10, 2009 - Posted by The Leadership Conference
UAW workers guarding a window entrance of the GM plant during the 1937 Flint Sit-Down Strike.
Tomorrow, February 11, is White Shirt Day, a day to honor workers who participated in a 1937 strike that led to the unionization of the entire U.S. auto industry.
In 1948, Bert Christenson, a member of the United Auto Workers (UAW) union, started the tradition of wearing white shirts every February 11 as a way to commemorate the end of the Flint Sit-Down Strike. White shirts are worn to show that "blue-collar" workers deserve the same respect and recognition as their "white-collar," management counterparts.
February 5, 2009 - Posted by The Leadership Conference
Today is the 16th anniversary of the signing of the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA).
February 2, 2009 - Posted by The Leadership Conference
LCCR/EF interns Marcus-Alexander Neil and Katie Kohn in front of the Greensboro Woolworth's lunch counter at the National Museum of American History.
On February 1, 1960, four African American students made history when they sat down at a "whites-only" lunch counter in Greensboro, N.C.
January 23, 2009 - Posted by Tyler Lewis
Forty-five years ago today, the 24th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified by the states. The amendment forbids Congress and states from requiring poll taxes in order to vote in federal elections.
January 19, 2009 - Posted by The Leadership Conference
Wade Henderson, president of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, speaking in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
On Saturday morning, several hundred parishioners and guests gathered at Shiloh Baptist Church in Washington, D.C., for bacon, eggs, and celebration.
The prayer breakfast, organized by the Brotherhood of Shiloh Men, is an annual event held in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. This year, the cause for celebration was extended to the imminent inauguration of President-elect Barack Obama.
January 18, 2009 - Posted by Tyler Lewis
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. speaking at 1963 March on Washington.
The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was as committed to economic justice as he was to ending segregation.
And yet, Dr. King's speeches on economic justice and eradicating poverty are still not as well known as his speeches on racial discrimination. These speeches, about helping the poorest Americans, regardless of race, speak to problems that the nation is still struggling with 40 years later.
As the nation deals with rising unemployment and an ongoing debate about the need for an economic recovery plan, we have an opportunity to take second look at some of these lesser-known speeches:
January 15, 2009 - Posted by Cathy Montoya
LCCR/LCCREF staff members painting a classroom at Anacostia High School in Washington, D.C.
As Inauguration Day approaches, we are reminded that social justice activism has been integral in helping us reach this historical moment. But our work is not done; we urge you to renew your commitment to social justice by working in your own community to address inequity.
Civil Rights 101
Civil Rights 101 addresses the history of many civil rights issues that we face today.
Voices of Civil Rights
The exhibition Voices of Civil Rights documents events during the Civil Rights Movement in the United States. This exhibition draws from the thousands of personal stories, oral histories, and photographs collected by the "Voices of Civil Rights" project, a collaborative effort of AARP, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, and the Library of Congress, and marks the arrival of these materials in the Library's collection
Civil Rights Book Club
Each month, we will feature five books representing the diversity of the contemporary social justice landscape.
In The News
Recent news clips on this issue.