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What would the Civil Rights Movement be without the brave men and women who fought for equal rights? These leaders dedicated their lives to ending slavery, segregation, and unfair treatment. We want to thank these great people and help you learn more about them. Find the leaders you would like to learn more about in the alphabetical list below, and click on their names for amazing stories you will never forget!
Mary McLeod Bethune created schools for black students and worked with several US presidents to make sure all children received a good education. Read about her accomplishments and the teacher who inspired her.
John Brown didn't know who to trust. He planned to break into the army's weapons store house at Harper's Ferry and use the weapons he stole to help slaves escape to freedom. Learn more about John Brown's exciting raid on Harper's Ferry.
Linda Brown was a little girl when she became famous for fighting the Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas in the Supreme Court. Her case, Brown v. Board of Education, helped all black children get a better education.
Ruby Bridges also helped end segregation in schools. She was the first black student at her elementary school, and Ruby had to be very brave to stand up to all the people who didn't want her there.
Frederick Douglass was once a slave. He became a poet and an abolitionist, and he worked hard to help end slavery and teach others about how evil slavery was.
Medgar Evers fought for black students to be able to go to the same colleges as white students. He was killed just for helping black people to get an equal education.
Marcus Garvey started the Back to Africa Movement to help Blacks be treated more equally. He thought moving to Africa would allow Black Americans to stop being treated unfairly in the United States.
Jesse Jackson worked with Martin Luther King, Jr. to get equal jobs for Blacks. He later ran for President of the United States.
John F. Kennedy was president during the 1960's Civil Rights Movement. He helped pass laws to make sure all Blacks could vote and get a good education. These laws ended segregation in schools, jobs, restaurants, theaters, and much, much more.
Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his famous "I Have a Dream" speech and led the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Read more about the many other things he did to help all people work peacefully to win equal rights. See and hear his most famous speeches for yourself!
Abraham Lincoln was President of the United States when the Southern states broke away from the country. He worked hard to keep the country together and ended up ending slavery after the Civil War.
Rosa Parks was arrested for sitting in the wrong part of the bus! Learn how she worked with civil rights organizations to start the Montgomery Bus Boycott and help end segregation on buses in the South.
Like Rosa Parks, Homer Plessy was arrested for being in the wrong part of the train. He fought against discrimination on trains in his famous Supreme Court case, Plessy v. Ferguson.
Dred Scott also went to court to fight for his rights. He was a slave who sued for his freedom. He lost his battle in lower courts, so he took his case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. You will be surprised to find out what happened next!
Sojourner Truth was also a slave, but she won her freedom by running away. After she was free, she preached to others about ending slavery and fought for free Blacks and women to be treated as equals with Whites and men.
Nat Turner was a slave with a different way of working to end slavery. He believed that a vision of a bluish-green sun told him to kill all slave owners and free all slaves. Read his exciting story!
Harriet Tubman was another slave who worked to free slaves. She ran away because she was afraid of being shipped further south where slaves were treated very badly. Learn more about her escape and how she went on to help many others escape to freedom.
Malcolm X worked to end segregation in the 1960's. He preached to others that they should do whatever they needed to do to fight for their rights. See and hear some of his most famous speeches for yourself!
Every one of these Civil Rights Movement leaders has an exciting story. We hope you will read every one to remember what they did to make the world a better place!
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