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1963 - Civil Rights Movement

History0x_1963_Civil Rights_min.JPG

Title: 1963 - Civil Rights Movement


About: A pivotal year in the campaign for black rights, which saw hundreds of thousands take part in the March on Washington led by Martin Luther King, as well as acts of violence, political theater and direct action across the USA.

Following events in May in Birmingham, Alabama, where policemen turned dogs and high-pressure water hoses on protesters, the number of people who were prepared to commit various acts of protest and resistance reached a critical mass.  In the south particularly, the struggle for civil rights had grown from a modest group of black students demonstrating at one lunch-counter to the largest mass movement for racial reform in the 20th century.

The march for jobs and freedom in Washington, which had aroused precious little interest just months before, now became a national focal point, and drew 250,000 people onto the streets of the capital (a quarter of whom were white). On 28 August, in the shadow of Lincoln's monument, Martin Luther King announced to the March on Washington during his famous "I have a dream" speech that "1963 is not an end, but a beginning". 

It did not take long for the realities of southern bigotry to deflate the mood. The hope and optimism contained in King's words would dwindle in the coming years. Every small victory in the campaign for civil rights was paid for in blood and tears, which demanded constant acts of protest in the coming decades in order to pursue the dream of true equality.

Decade: 1960s

Year: 1963

Region: North America

Country: USA

Society: Race Relations

Politics: Protest

Type: Historical Event

Impact: 10

Artist: Fernando Nunez


Group: Genesis

Number: 63/100

Price: 1 ETH


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