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Why did civil rights leaders have to work so hard to end discrimination and segregation? Because there were always racists trying to stop the Civil Rights Movement! The people who tried to stop the Civil Rights Movement were often violent, and sometimes even murdered people. Click on one of the topics below to learn about the many ways people fought to keep Blacks and Whites separate.
The Ku Klux Klan was very violent towards Blacks. They wouldn't stand for Blacks being treated as equals and did everything they could to keep Blacks from voting - even murdering them.
When Ruby Bridges became the first black student to go to an all-white school, white parents who were against the Civil Rights Movement refused to send their children to the same school with Ruby. Ruby was forced to be taught on a separate floor of the school and be in a classroom with no classmates - just her and a teacher.
Imagine that you are riding a bus and as soon as you get off, people attack you. You're being beaten with pipes and fists and even being lit on fire. These are things that people who were against the Civil Rights Movement did to Blacks and Whites who participated in the Freedom Rides to help desegregate buses.
In Little Rock, Arkansas, nine black students walk into Central High School. They must be protected by armed guards because the white students, white parents, and even the Governor of Arkansas don't want Blacks and Whites to attend the same school. Whites try to attack the nine students to keep Blacks out of their school.
It's 100 years after the Civil War and you simply want to sit down on on the bus you paid to ride on. A white man forces you to move to the back of the bus. You stop to eat at a restaurant, but a sign in the window says "Whites Only." You have to go to a run-down school while white kids go to a brand-new building with more teachers. Weren't Blacks supposed to be equal citizens at the end of the Civil War? Learn how racists kept Blacks and Whites separated until the 1960's.
Some white people hated Blacks so much that they refused to let them vote. They would force Blacks who wanted to register to vote to take tests before they could vote. Then they would use any excuse, even one misspelled word, to say they had failed the test. Although the Constitution said they could vote, many Blacks couldn't because people who fought against the Civil Rights Movement kept them from voting.
You will be shocked to learn how far people would go to stop the Civil Rights Movement! After you have read their surprising stories, click on the magnifying glass to do our Resistance to the Movement Wordsearch.
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