Terms Civil Rights
Laws developed after the Civil War (1861-1865) that denied black Americans the right to vote, the right to own property and the right to pursue employment or otherwise advance their economic status.
Refusal to purchase a product or use a service; a boycott gives an oppressed group economic leverage in their struggle for social change. During the civil rights movement, bus boycotts and business boycotts were used.
Nonviolent action in which participants refuse to obey certain laws, with the purpose of challenging the fairness of those laws.
Elimination of laws and social customs that call for the separation of the races.
Journeys made throughout the South in the 1960s by integrated groups of people to test the enforcement of a pair of Supreme Court rulings striking down the constitutionality of segregated seating on interstate transit, that is buses and trains that cross state lines.
A network of legislation and customs that dictated the separation of the races and enforced discrimination on every level of society, especially in the South, from the late 19th century to the 1960s. Jim Crow was the name of a character in minstrel shows in which white performers in blackface used stereotypes in their songs and dances. It is not clear how the term came to describe American segregation and discrimination.
Execution-style murder of a person, often by hanging. There were lynchings across the South in the 1800s and 1900s, usually by white mobs who killed black men, some of whom were accused of crimes. One lynching that occurred in Jackson killed a black woman who was accused of poisoning a white woman. The white woman’s husband was later suspected of the poisoning.
Rejection of all forms of violence, even in response to the use of violence by one’s adversaries. Many civil rights demonstrators pledged to respond nonviolently, and many were trained in nonviolence principles.
Quiet but firm refusal to comply with unjust laws; passive resistance involves putting one’s body on the line, risking arrest and attempting to win over one’s foes with morally persuasive arguments.
Black student protest movement that gained a widespread following in 1960. Black students, sometimes accompanied by white students, occupied “white-only” lunch counters and other segregated public institutions throughout the South to protest segregated seating.
The movement began on Feb. 1, 1960, when four black college students sat down at a lunch counter at a Woolworth’s in Greensboro, N.C.