The Civil Rights Movement Blacks were largely denied opportunities for education and personal advancement until the early 1950s and 1960s. It was only then that the National Urban League and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) began to have an effect on black civil rights. Even before World War II, social advocates began challenging segregation in the military, as well as on buses and in schools, restaurants, swimming pools, and other public places. In 1954, in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas, the Supreme Court declared that “separate educational facilities are inherently unequal”—a decision that formed the basis of the civil rights movement of the 1950s to the 1970s. The decision was strongly opposed in some states, and groups like the Ku Klux Klan (KKK), which had formed during reconstruction, organized to intimidate and persecute blacks.
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