What was the civil rights movement and How did the American Civil Rights Movement originate?

Civil rights are the rights each citizen has to equal protection under the law and equal opportunity to participate completely in national life, regardless of race, religion, or sex.

But during the first half of the twentieth century, especially in the South, segregation was practiced in most areas of American life.

Blacks and whites could not attend the same school, or eat at the same table in a restaurant, or marry someone not of their race. Because of poll taxes and unfair literacy tests, most African Americans were prevented from voting.

During the 1950s and 1960s, black leaders used the courts, mass marches and demonstrations, nonviolent resistance, and the press to get racist laws erased. These efforts have come to be known as the civil rights movement.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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