The Civil Rights Movement Prior to 1954

Prior to 1954

Preceded by the Civil War, abolitionism, etc...

Plessy vs. Ferguson

May 18, 1896 - May 17, 1954

"Legalized racism" through segregation

NAACP Formed

February 12, 1909

W.E.B. Du Bois had significant role as founder

The Great Depression

October 29, 1929 - 1939

The New Deal

1933 - 1939

The New Deal, from FDR's presidency didn't favor blacks as much due to FDR's concern of angering Southern whites

CORE (Congress of Racial Equality) founded


Leads to non-violent protests

President Truman desegregates armed forces


Brown vs. Board of Education

12/9/1952 - 5/17/1954

NAACP fights for desegregation in schools via the Supreme Court, eventually overturning Plessy vs. Ferguson

The Montgomery Bus Boycott

December 1, 1955 - December 20, 1956

Initiated by Rosa Parks after refusing to move to the back of the bus and lead by MLK, Jr. This caused a decline in profit for the bus companies.

Browder v. Gayle

12/17/1956 - 12/20/1956

Bus segregation was deemed unconstitutional under the Fourteenth Amendment protections for equal treatment. This ends The Montgomery Bus Boycott.

The Little Rock Nine


The Little Rock Nine were a group of African American students enrolled in Little Rock Central High School in 1957. The ensuing Little Rock Crisis, in which the students were initially prevented from entering the racially segregated school by Arkansas Governor Orval Faubus, and then attended after the intervention of President Eisenhower.

The Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC)


An African-American civil rights organization founded after the bus boycott. SCLC was closely associated with its first president, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and had a heavy role in the Civil Rights Movement. (Non-violent)