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The Civil Rights Movement. Vocabulary Terms. Racism

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Vocabulary terms
Vocabulary Terms


Deeply rooted prejudice which may be expressed in the idea that one race is superior to another.  Racism can take the form of private acts of racial discrimination or repression; or laws which segregate or in other ways deprive members of a race of civil and political rights and privileges.  In varying degrees American Indians, persons of African descent, Chinese, and Japanese have been objects of racism in the United States.

Civil Rights

The rights each person has as a citizen.  The government can’t take them away.  Most of our civil rights are in the Bill of Rights.


Separating one group of people from another group of people

registering to vote.  These were often unfair to Blacks

Vocabulary terms1
Vocabulary Terms


Removing all barriers and placing all groups of people together.

Jim Crow Laws

Thousands of state and local laws which were passed by southern states to keep Blacks separated and in an inferior position.

Poll Tax

A fee charged to voters.  A method used to keep poor Blacks from voting.

Literacy Tests

Tests were given to people who were registering to vote.


NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People)

Their philosophy is that social change can be brought about by educating the public and by taking action through the courts. 

SCLC (Southern Christian Leadership Conference)

formed in 1957 to promote nonviolent direct action anyway it could. 

SNCC (Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee)

organized in 1960 to coordinate protest sit-ins, it consisted of a hard core of militant students. 



started on February 1, 1960 when four college students walked into a Woolworth’s in Greensboro, North Carolina and were refused service, they sat down and refused to move.

Freedom Rides

in 1961, CORE organized a “Freedom Ride”—a bus trip to New Orleans—to test the recent Virginia court ruling that discrimination against interstate travelers in bus terminals was illegal.


many cities across the country became battlefields for frustrated blacks



The protestors carried placards, sang hymns, chanted protests and listened to speeches while walking.


  • After Rosa Parks was arrested blacks of Montgomery, AL under the leadership of Martin Luther King, Jr., boycotted Montgomery busses for 381 days until their demands were met.

    Video Introduction