Begin with a single step

u201cThe journey of a thousandnmiles begins with a single step.u201dn- Lao Tzu

1955 u2014 Montgomery Bus Boycott

This boycott was born after Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to give up her seat on a bus in Montgomery, Ala., to a white male passenger.

The next day, Dec. 1, 1955, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. proposed a citywide boycott against racial segregation on the public transportation system. African Americans stopped using the system and would walk or get rides instead. The boycott continued for 381 days and was very effective.

In June 1956, a federal court ruled that the laws in place to keep buses segregated were unconstitutional, and the U.S. Supreme Court eventually agreed. The Montgomery bus boycott was one of the first major movements that initiated social change during the civil rights movement.
1955 u2014 Emmett Till's Funeral

Emmett Tillu2019s mother declined an offer from the mortician to u201ctouch upu201d her sonu2019s body, and she made the decision to have an open casket funeral.

u201cI think everybody needed to know what had happened to Emmett Till,u201d she said. Mamie's decision would make her son's death a touchstone for a generation. At a church on the South Side of Chicago, Emmett Till's mutilated body would be on display for all to see. Fifty thousand people in Chicago saw Emmett Till's corpse with their own eyes. When the magazine Jet ran photos of the body, black Americans across the country shuddered.
1961 u2014 Albany Movement

This movement protested the segregation policies in Albany, Ga. Many groups took part in the Albany movement, including the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), local activists and King's Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC).

Dr. Martin Luther Kingu2019s goal was to offer counsel rather than become a participant, but he was jailed during a demonstration and was given a sentence of 45 days or a fine. He chose jail to push for change but was released three days later. Some concessions were made to the coalition, but the movement eventually disbanded after nearly a year of protests without accomplishing its goals.
1963 u2014 Birmingham Campaign

The goal of the Birmingham campaign was to end discriminatory economic policies in the Alabama city against African American residents.

They faced deep financial disparities and violent reprisal when addressing racial issues. The campaign included a boycott of certain businesses that hired only white people or maintained segregated restrooms. Protesters used nonviolent tactics such as marches and sit-ins with the goal of getting arrested so that the city jail would become crowded. Police used dogs and high-pressure water hoses against protesters.

This campaign came to a successful end when many signs of segregation at Birmingham businesses came down and public places became accessible to people of all races.
1963 u2014 March on Washington

This was the largest political rally for human rights ever in the United States. An estimated 200,000 to 300,000 participants converged on the Mall in Washington, D.C., on Aug. 28, 1963, to protest for jobs and freedom for African Americans.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr delivered his iconic u201cI Have a Dreamu201d speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. The March on Washington is credited with helping pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
1964 u2014 Goodman Chaney Schwerner

The KKK was in a murderous mood. It was June 1964u2014the start of u201cFreedom Summer,u201d a massive three-month initiative to register southern blacks to vote and a direct response to the Klanu2019s own campaign of fear and intimidation.

nThe Klan in Mississippi, in particular, was after a 24-year-old New Yorker named Michael Schwerner. Heu2019d been especially active in organizing local boycotts of biased businesses and helping with voter registration. On June 16, acting on a tip, a mob of armed KKK members descended on a local church meeting looking for him. Schwerner wasnu2019t there, so they torched the church and beat the churchgoers.

nThe Klan missed its target, but the trap was set: on June 20, Schwerner and two fellow volunteersu2014James Chaney and Andrew Goodmanu2014headed south to investigate the fire. The next afternoon, they interviewed several witnesses and went to meet with fellow activists. The events that followed, outlined here, would stun the nation.
1965 u2014 Bloody Sunday

This march went down in history as Bloody Sunday for the violent beatings state troopers inflicted on protesters as they attempted to march peacefully from Selma, Ala., to the state capital, Montgomery.

The march was aimed at fighting the lack of voting rights for African Americans. Approximately 600 protesters were to travel from Selma on U.S. Highway 80 to the state capital on March 7, 1965, led by John Lewis, then chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, and the Rev. Hosea Williams of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

Police violence against protesters brought the march to a shocking end. Footage of the brutality broadcast across the nation sparked public outrage and boosted support for the civil rights movement.
1965 u2014 Chicago Freedom Movement
The Chicago Open Housing Movement, also called the Chicago Freedom Movement, was formed to protest segregated housing, educational deficiencies, and employment and health disparities based on racism.

The movement included multiple rallies, marches and boycotts to address the variety of issues facing black Chicago residents. By Jan. 7, 1966, King announced plans to get involved in the Chicago Freedom Movement, and on Aug. 5, 1966, King led a march near Marquette Park in a white neighborhood. The marchers were met with rocks, bottles and firecrackers. Approximately 30 people were injured, including King, who was hit in the head with a brick.

After negotiations with Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, an agreement was announced on Aug. 26, 1966, to build public housing in predominately white areas and to make mortgages available regardless of race or neighborhood. The Chicago Freedom Movement continued through 1967 and was credited with inspiring the Fair Housing Act, passed by Congress in 1969.nn

1967 u2014 Vietnam War Opposition

Many groups and individuals vehemently opposed the Vietnam War in the massive peace movement of the 1960s and '70s.

King compared the antiwar movement to the civil rights movement and denounced U.S. involvement in a series of speeches, rallies and demonstrations. His first public speech against the war, called u201cBeyond Vietnam,u201d was delivered in April 1967 in front of 3,000 people at Riverside Church in New York.

He called for a stop to all bombing in North and South Vietnam, as well as a declaration of a unilateral truce and a move toward peace talks. His stance cost him many allies, including President Lyndon Johnson, but King maintained his antiwar position until his assassination exactly one year to the day after he delivered his u201cBeyond Vietnamu201d speech.
2020 u2014 George Perry Floyd, Jr.

Died after being arrested in Minneapolis and held down by police officers, one of whom had his knee on Mr. Floyd's neck for 9 minutes and 29 seconds.nn

He pleaded that he couldn't breathe, and after his death, protests broke out across the US, and there were demonstrations in other parts of the world.nn

Former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin was convicted Tuesday on all counts in the death of George Floyd, whose killing sparked worldwide protests and a reckoning on race in the U.S. After about a day of deliberations, the jury found Chauvin guilty of unintentional second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

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