Songs during/about the Civil Rights era

1960s dance styles from Hairspray website
Use during Vietnam segment

Hairspray song soundtrack
Use during the Vietnam segment


Oh, Freedom: Songs of the Civil Rights movement

10 Essential Civil Rights Songs - Music of the Movement

Top Tracks - The Freedom Singers playlist

The Freedom Singers - Woke Up This Morning

Eyes on the Prize playlist on YouTube
Get my tape counter outlines

Freedom Riders documentary

Freedom Summer documentary

Playlist: Civil Rights songs
This Little Light of Mine

Birmingham Sunday

Hallelujah, I'm a travelin

Morehouse College - We Shall Overcome

We shall not be moved

If You Miss Me From the Back of the Bus

Woke up this morning

Ain't Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around

Videos from Eyes on the Prize

Video: Eyes On The Prize - (Part 3) Ain't Scared of Your Jails 1960–1961 ( )

Video: Eyes On The Prize - (Part 4) No Easy Walk 1961–1963 ( )

Video: Eyes On The Prize - (Part 5) Mississippi Is This America 1962–1964 ( )

Video: Eyes On The Prize - (Part 6) Bridge to Freedom 1965 ( )

The following extensive chronology will help us tie together the events of the civil rights movement:

Follow with me by using Google Images on your laptop for each person and event.

Jim Crow laws (Segregation)

Video: What were the Jim Crow laws? Video

Rise and Fall of Jim Crow (PBS)

The forgotten way African Americans stayed safe in a racist America

Plessy versus Ferguson (1896) (Supreme Court decision)

Plessy v. Ferguson (Drake's "One Dance" Parody) Mr. Betts

Plessy versus Ferguson (Today in History, Library of Congress)

Separate but equal is ok.


Post World War II. Returning black veterans unwilling to accept second–class status back home.

Racial desegregation of the armed forces (1948) by executive order of President Truman.

July 26, 1948 - President Harry S. Truman orders the integration of U.S. armed forces.


Brown v. Board of Education (Supreme Court decision)

Overturned the decision in Plessy v. Ferguson (1896).
"Separate facilities are inherently unequal" and therefore unconstitutional.

Argued by Thurgood Marshall on behalf of the NAACP.

Brown v. Board of Education (PBS' The Supreme Court)

Supreme Court Ends School Segregation

How an experiment with dolls helped lead to school integration

Kenneth Clark "Doll" test

Kenneth Clark doll test
Simple Justice: The Social Science Evidence of Racism

A Girl Like Me


Emmett Till's Murder (28 August 1955)

Murder in Mississippi of a young black teenager from Chicago for having insulted a white women.

August 28, 1955 - 14-year-old Emmett Till Abducted and Murdered in Mississippi Delta

American Freedom Stories: Emmett Till

Eyes on the Prize: Emmett Till

Who was Emmett Till? (BBC News)

Woman Linked to 1955 Emmett Till Murder Tells Historian Her Claims Were False


Montgomery, Alabama, Bus Boycott (Rosa Parks)

Rosa Parks arrested on 1 December 1955

Remembering Rosa Parks | Today in History

American Freedom Stories: MLK as the new pastor

American Freedom Stories: Rosa Parks

Dec. 1, 1955 - Rosa Parks Arrested for Violating Segregation Laws

American Freedom Stories: Montgomery Bus Boycott

The Montgomery Bus Boycott Ends

Rosa Parks (Today in History, Library of Congress)

Eyes on the Prize: Montgomery Bus Boycott

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Citizen Martin Luther King (American Experience)

Martin Luther King’s Christian America


Southern Manifesto

Document signed by 100 Southern members of Congress saying they would not obey the Brown versus Board of Education decision.

White Citizens' Councils

Class and White Citizen's Councils

Brought economic power to bear.

White Citizens' Councils
Martin Luther King, Jr., Research and Education Institute (Stanford University)


Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC)

Grouping of African-American pastors.

Southern Christian Leadership Conference (Encyclopedia of Alabama)

Little Rock Central High School

Central High School desegregated.
Governor Faubus.
Nine black students.
President Eisenhower sent 101st Airborne.

Arkansas National Guard Prevent School Desegregation - 1957 | Today in History | 4 Sept

Colonel (Ret.) Heath Twichell on securing Little Rock Central High School

Book Trailer: Elizabeth and Hazel: Two Women of Little Rock, by David Margolick

September 27, 1958: Little Rock Schools Close Rather Than Integrate

Arkansas National Guard Bars “Little Rock Nine” From School

Eyes on the Prize: Little Rock High School
Work through each tab: "Introduction"; "Context"; "Press"; "Music"; "Video"; and "Gallery"



MLK and his wife spent a month in India studying Gandhi's non–violence.

MLK and Gandhi

MLK explanation of his philosophy of non-violence

King's Trip to India
Martin Luther King, Jr., Research and Education Institute (Stanford University)



Eyes on the Prize: Nonviolent Protests
Work through each tab: "Introduction"; "Context"; "Press"; "Music"; "Video"; and "Gallery"

Greensboro Lunch Counter Sit-in

Details of what happened:

Greensboro Four: Civil Rights Sit-in

Student NonViolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC)

SNCC's legacy: A civil rights history

(SNCC—pronounced "snick).
Established to coordinate sit–ins across the south.

Nashville sit-ins

American Freedom Stories: John Lewis

John Lewis
Martin Luther King, Jr., Research and Education Institute (Stanford University)

Diane Nash

The question Diane Nash Asked the Memphis Mayor To End Desegreation

"Who the hell is Diane Nash?" From Freedom Riders

Feb. 29, 1960 - Student Sit-in Organizers Expelled

Singing in the Civil Rights Movement

MLK jailed (October).

October 19, 1960 - Martin Luther King Arrested in Atlanta Sit-In Protest
[right before 1960 Presidential election]

During the 1960 presidential election campaign, concern expressed by both JFK and Robert Kennedy for the arrest and prison sentence of Martin Luther King, Jr., earned Kennedy the black vote.


Freedom Rides

A group of black and white persons set out by bus from Washington, D.C. to New Orleans to test the "whites only" facilities of southern interstate bus terminals.

Freedom Riders: The Young Witness (Anniston)

Letter from a Freedom Rider's father

Interview with white Freedom Rider Jim Zwerg

Dec. 5, 1960 - Public Bus Segregation Ruled Unconstitutional, Freedom Rides Continue

Route taken by Freedom Riders

In Birmingham, riders attacked by Ku Klux Klan while police and FBI looked the other way.
Google Images

Freedom Ride Protests Provoke Violent Backlash Across American South (Finding Dulcinea: On This Day)

Eyes on the Prize: Freedom Rides
Work through each tab: "Introduction"; "Context"; "Press"; "Music"; "Video"; and "Gallery"

The 50th Anniversary of the Freedom Riders
Denver Post Plog (75 incredible photos)


University of Mississippi Desegregated

James Meredith desegregated the University of Mississippi.

October 1, 1962 - James Meredith Integrates Ole Miss

James Meredith Graduates From Ole Miss

[Put in the actual day/month for this year]

Project "C" [Confrontation] in Birmingham

Birmingham, Alabama (called "Bombingham" by civil rights workers, due to so many unsolved bombings).

Eyes on the Prize: Birmingham
Work through each tab: "Introduction"; "Context"; "Press"; "Music"; "Video"; and "Gallery"

1. "Letter from a Birmingham Jail"

Written by MLK while in jail. Response to an ad from white pastors telling him that he was stirring up too much trouble.

Letter from Birmingham Jail (Encyclopedia of Alabama)

2. Birmingham Children's march.
Police dogs and fire hoses. TV coverage shocked America.

American Freedom Stories: Children's Crusade of 1963

American Freedom Stories: Civil Rights Foot Soldiers

1963 Protesting Black Children Assaulted and Arrested in Birmingham, AL

Childrens' Crusade
Martin Luther King, Jr., Research and Education Institute (Stanford University)

3. Sheriff "Bull Connor.

Bull Connor
Martin Luther King, Jr., Research and Education Institute (Stanford University)

4. JFK TV speech.

He was afraid of losing votes of white southern Democrats. He finally spoke out: "Civil rights is a moral issue."

Kennedy's finest moment

Medgar Evers murdered

American Freedom Stories: Medgar Evers Assassination

American Freedom Stories: Medgar Evers Legacy

Evers was the Mississippi head of NAACP.

Medgar Evers
Martin Luther King, Jr., Research and Education Institute (Stanford University)

March on Washington

Eyes on the Prize: March on Washington
Work through each tab: "Introduction"; "Context"; "Press"; "Music"; "Video"; and "Gallery"

March on Washington - 1963 | Today in History | 28 Aug

MLK "I Have a Dream Speech"

One of the great speeches in U.S. history.
Delivered as part of the program during a March on Washington (60,000 whites and 190,00 blacks).

Martin Luther King Jr. Delivers “I Have a Dream” Speech

Sixteenth Street Baptist Church bombing

Bomb exploded during Sunday School, killing four teenage black girls.
The Sunday school lesson for that morning was "A Love that Forgives."

American Freedom Stories: Bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church

September 15, 1963: Four Black Girls Killed in Bombing of Birmingham, Alabama, Church

Four Girls Killed in Birmingham Church Bombing

John F. Kennedy assassinated

President Lyndon B. Johnson


Freedom Summer

Local black leaders aided by white students from elite colleges .
Whites in the South saw this activity as "invasion" by outside agitators.

Mississippi in Black and White: Freedom Summer 50 Years Later

Eyes on the Prize: Freedom Summer
Work through each tab: "Introduction"; "Context"; "Press"; "Music"; "Video"; and "Gallery"

One Volunteer's Freedom Summer

Voter registration

No real power for blacks until they could vote. But risked their lives if they went through with the process.

Alabama Voter Registration form [See if you can fill this out!! I can't.]

1965 Alabama literacy test

Murder in Mississippi (21 June 1964)

Two white and one black civil rights workers were murdered in Mississippi.

Names of the three workers:

August 4, 1964: Bodies of Murdered Civil Rights Workers Found in Mississippi

Three Civil Rights Workers in Mississippi Go Missing

Civil Rights Act (1 July 1964)

Johnson signs Civil Rights Act ( This Day in History | 7/2/1964)

Civil Rights Act Passed - 1964 | Today in History | 19 June


MLK won the Nobel Peace Prize.

This Day in History - Martin Luther King Wins the Nobel Peace Prize

Martin Luther King: The Nobel Prize for Peace (Museum of the Bible)

MLK Wins Nobel Peace Prize 1964 (New York Times)


Selma to Montgomery march. Alabama. "Bloody Sunday".

March 7, 1965 - Bloody Sunday

American Freedom Stories: Bloody Sunday

American Freedom Stories: March from Selma to Montgomery

Selma-to-Montgomery March Begins

Eyes on the Prize: Selma to Montgomery
Work through each tab: "Introduction"; "Context"; "Press"; "Music"; and "Gallery"

LBJ speech

Asks Joint Session of Congress for sweeping civil rights legislation.
Ends speech with "we shall overcome."
His southern friends appalled at his sellout.

LBJ -- We Shall Overcome

Voting Rights Act of 1965

Voting Rights Act of 1965

Watts Riots

Watts Riots - 1965 | Today in History | 11 Aug

August 17, 1965: Days of Riots End in Watts

Watts Riots 1965 (New York Times)


Black power

Militant black leaders gained prominence in SNCC, questioned Martin Luther King's philosophy of nonviolence, and forced white members to leave the organization.

Black Power
Martin Luther King, Jr., Research and Education Institute (Stanford University)

Black Panther Party

Founded in California. Major figures: Eldridge Cleaver, Huey Newton, and Bobby Seale. Advocated violent confrontation with whites.


Tet Offensive in Vietnam (February)

Assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. (April: in Memphis)

1968 King Assassination Report (CBS News

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Assassinated

Assassination of MLK
Martin Luther King, Jr., Research and Education Institute (Stanford University)

Assassination of Robert F. Kennedy (June: in Los Angeles)

Senator Robert F. Kennedy Assassinated

Black Power Salute at Mexico City Olympics

U.S. Athletes Give Black Power Salute on Olympic Podium

October 16, 1968 - U.S. Olympic Sprinters Protest Racial Inequality

Hispanic School Protests in Los Angeles

East LA Walkouts

Sal Castro and the 1968 East LA Walkouts

Walkout: The True Story of the Historic 1968 Chicano Student Walkout in East L.A.