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The African American Civil Rights Movement (1954-1968)

This is a guide to resources on the topic of the American Civil Rights Movement of 1954-1968.


Selma March

Selma, Alabama (1965)

Image credit: Louisiana Weekly Feb. 27, 2012

This research guide will introduce you to sources at the Lehman College Lief Library that will help you research topics related to the American Civil Rights Movement from 1954-1968.

Where to begin?

Secondary materials, such as reference books and articles are a good place to begin your research process. Gaining a general understanding of a topic will be helpful before moving on to more specialized  research. 

A Timeline of Major Events

1954 - The Supreme Court rules against the "Separate but Equal" doctrine in Brown v. Board of Education.

1955 - President Eisenhower signs Executive Order 10590, creating a committee to enforce nondiscrimination in Federal Employment.

1955 - Rosa Parks refuses to give up her seat on a Montgomery, Alabama bus, sparking the Montgomery Bus Boycott.

1957 - President Eisenhower federalizes the National Guard and orders US Army troops to escort the Little Rock Nine to school.

1963 - 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama is bombed, killing four girls.

1963 - The March on Washington.

1964 - Mississippi Freedom Summer, college students from across the country register African American voters.

1965 - March from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama results in attacks on peaceful marchers by State Troopers.

1965 - Voting Rights Act of 1965 signed into law.

1968 - Civil Rights Act of 1968 is signed into law.