race relations
How people of different races get along. The concept may be extended to people of different nationalities or ethnic backgrounds.

racial segregation
Forced separation of members of one race from another, or others. Members of the isolated race are deemed inferior solely on the basis of their race. They may be denied access to jobs, housing, government services, and the right to vote. Segregation is the opposite of racial integration, where race is considered unimportant and people of different races mix freely.

U.S. Supreme Court
The highest court in the land. It has the final say on all laws, whether they originated at the federal or state level. Its pronouncements serve as guides for every court in the nation.

Jim Crow laws
Late 19th-century statutes passed by the legislatures of the Southern states that created a racial caste system in the American South.

separate but equal
The legal doctrine of segregation in public places. In Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) the U.S. Supreme Court established the doctrine of separate but equal in American constitutional law. It stood until Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas (1954).

Someone who supports a cause.

An effort to isolate socially or economically an individual, group, or nation to express disapproval or force a change in behavior.

Alabama and Civil Rights in the 1960s

Race relations were explosive in Alabama in the 1950s and '60s. Just decades after the passage of Jim Crow laws that reinforced "separate but equal" treatment, civil rights advocates worked to end racial segregation. Rosa Parks refused to sit in the back of the bus, and Martin Luther King, Jr., led a boycott that ended separate seating in Montgomery, the city considered the cradle of the Confederacy.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled racial segregation in public schools unconstitutional in 1954, but Alabama avoided implementing the decision until 1963. In that year, four black children were killed by a bomb that destroyed part of their Birmingham church. Widespread outrage over the incident helped create the climate that led to the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

In 1965, Dr. King led a march from Selma to Montgomery to protest discrimination in voter registration. Congress responded with the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which helped blacks get onto the voting rolls in Alabama. This led white politicians to moderate their views to attract black votes.

Here are some topics to explore that relate to Alabama and Civil Rights in the 1960s. Looking at the articles, images, and other materials in this Research Starter may give you more ideas. Each topic has one or more articles to start you on your research, but remember that it takes more than one article to make a research paper. Continue your research with our list of articles below.
Jim Crow laws

Why had blacks been deprived of the right to vote? Once they did have the right, what measures were taken to discourage them from exercising it? How effective was the Voting Rights Act?
African American history

What did it take to change the system and the society? What were some of the tactics used by civil rights activists to bring about these changes?
Civil Rights Acts
King, Martin Luther, Jr.

How have race relations improved since the period under study? What were the main factors that led to these improvements? What improvements do you think are still needed?
United States, history of the (19602001)

Compare the Supreme Court decision in Plessy v. Ferguson with Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas. What are the similarities and differences?
Supreme Court of the United States
Plessy v. Ferguson (document)

Alabama (fact sheet)
King, Martin Luther, Jr.
Wallace, George
Johnson, Lyndon B.
Johnson, Lyndon B. (factsheet)
Jim Crow laws
Plessy v. Ferguson (document)
Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas (document)
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
Civil Rights Acts
African American history
United States, history of the (19602001)
Supreme Court of the United States
Supreme Court of the United States, List of Justices

Alabama Bureau of Tourism and Travel

Official Web site of the Alabama Bureau of Tourism and Travel offers information on historic sites, accommodations, and outdoor attractions in various regions of the state.

Alabama.com Home Page
Official Web site of the state of Alabama offers general information about the state as well as information about state and local government, statistical data, a tourist guide, and an extensive set of links.

NAA: Hotlinks to Newspapers Online
Newspaper Association of America offers a gateway to news media Web sites, including U.S. dailies (searchable by state), Canadian newspapers, selected international press, weeklies, agencies and associations, business papers, and alternative press.

State and Local Government on the Net: Alabama
The state and local government for Alabama.

Martin Luther King, Jr. World Wide Web Site
An extremely informative and interesting site with extensive information about Dr. King, his accomplishments, and his legacy. Also provides very good direction for further study.

The Lyndon B. Johnson Library and Museum
The Lyndon B. Johnson Library and Museum at the University of Texas provides extensive information about Johnson and his long and important public career. An excellent site.

Claudia Taylor (Lady Bird) Johnson
The White House Web site provides a short biography and portrait of first lady Lady Bird Johnson. The site has many links and several worthwhile surrounding pages.

Welcome to the White House
One of the most popular sites on the Internet. Take a tour of the president's residence, meet the first family, read presidential press releases. Biographical data on all past presidents can be found under "White House History."

Presidential Campaign Memorabilia from the Duke University Special Collections Library
U.S. presidential campaign memorabilia drawn from the holdings of the Duke Univ. Libraries. Presidential and vice presidential candidates and parties (1796 to the present) are represented in documents, leaflets, campaign buttons, and bumper stickers.

Inaugural Addresses of the Presidents of the United States
Site provides the full text of a selection of presidential inaugural addresses from George Washington's first term to the present.

Historical Text Archive
Primary source material plus a lively collection of links for the study of American history, organized topically and by historical period.

Welcome to the NAACP Home Page
Web site of the NAACP provides a good history of the organization, national news, current issues, and related information.

United States Code Chapter 21
Site provides a hypertext version of the complete US Code, Chapter 21 (Civil Rights).

Civil Rights and Discrimination
Cornell Law School's Legal Information Institute provides primary and secondary materials relating to civil rights and constitutional law.

Equal Protection Law Materials
Cornell Law School's Legal Information Institute provides primary and secondary material on equal protection law and court cases.

The African-American Mosaic
The African-American Mosaic: A Library of Congress Resource Guide for the Study of Black History and Culture provides an excellent source for accurate and important information covering nearly 500 years of the black experience in the Western Hemisphere.

African American Web Connection
The African American Web Connection provides a good categorical directory and guide to many information resources related to African American life.