Civil Rights Movement (USA)

Where can I find information about the Civil Rights Movement in the United States?

Entry last updated: 06/09/21

Introduction

The American Civil Rights Movement was a movement in the 1950s and 1960s for racial equality, especially in the Southern States of America where there was segregation between black and white people. This meant that black people were not allowed to use the same things as white people, like schools, churches, restaurants and public transport. The people involved in the Civil Rights Movement were fighting for equal rights, which includes an end to segregation and racial discrimination. The fight for equal rights is not over and continues in different ways today, like the Black Lives Matter movement.

General websites

Have a look at these websites to find out more about the Civil Rights Movement, how it began, and the social change it had in America.

Britannica School - Middle

Britannica School is part of EPIC, a collection of reliable databases covering lots of different topics. It is put together especially for New Zealand school students and helps to answer questions like this.

  • Log in, and then enter the keywords 'civil rights movement' into the search box at the top of the page.
  • Choose the page 'civil rights movement (United States)'
  • If you would like more information, change the 'reading level' near the top of the page to 3.
  • Select the 'Related' tab along the top of the page for links to more information, including biographies of many of the leaders of the Civil Rights Movement.
Tips: To get to the EPIC resources you will need a password from your school librarian first. Or you can chat with one of our AnyQuestions librarians between 1 and 6pm Monday to Friday and they will help you online. Some EPIC databases may also be available through your public library.

Khan Academy

This is a free website filled with educational articles and videos on lots of different topics.

Tips: Websites that have .org or .net in the address can have good information, but you need to assess how reliable it is. Check the About link on the website, if you can find one. That can tell you what the organisation’s mission and values are.

BBC Bitesize - History

This part of the BBCs website is aimed at school students in the UK. The videos will not work in New Zealand, but you can still use the articles and information.

  • Use the search bar at the top of the page to type in the keywords 'civil rights'.
  • Scroll down the page to The Civil Rights Movement in America (USA).
  • You will find here a summary of important events and dates of the movement.
Tips: Websites that have .com or .co in the address can have good information, but you need to assess how reliable it is. Check the About us link on the website, if you can find one. That can tell you what the company’s mission and values are. The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is the world's oldest public broadcasting organisation and we like it because it is reliable.

DK Find Out

This is the website of the Dorling Kindersley online encyclopedia, which has information on all sorts of topics, including the Civil Rights Movement.

  • Choose Subjects at the top of the page.
  • Then History.
  • Then look down the page for the link to US Civil Rights.
  • This page has links to information on leaders like Dr Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X , and Rosa Parks.
Tips: Many web pages have links to further information or to other recommended sites. Following these links is a great way to find out more. This searching method is called “pearl growing” because you are picking up pieces of sand to make a beautiful pearl!

Books

Here are a few books about the Civil Rights Movement. Ask at your school or local library for more.

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