Americans expresses themselves freely by nature and by law… but not too long ago, those freedoms did not apply to everyone. African-Americans were severely discriminated against, which led to the Civil Right’s Movement. In celebration of Martin Luther King Day, here are 9 pictures of African-Americas that were courageous enough to stand up for what was right.
1. Rosa Parks’ Bus Incident
Rosa Parks sits inside a bus on December 21, 1956, the same day Montgomery’s public transportation system was legally integrated. Behind Parks is Nicholas C. Chriss, a UPI reporter covering the event.
2. Dorothy Counts Experiences Harassment from an All-White School
Dorothy Counts was greeted with spitting, trashing and yelling on the morning of September 4, 1957 as she walked along Harry Harding High School in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Dorothy Counts was one of the four black students enrolled in all-white schools in North Carolina. She was harassed by students and their parents, including receiving threatening calls which made her family decide to move for fear of their safety.
3. Police Using Dogs to Attack Protesters
It was April 3, 1963 when the youth activists in Birmingham, Alabama started to gather along the streets to protest against segregation. During the protest, Parker High School student Walter Gadsden was attacked by the police’s K-9 dog.
4. Police Firehose Student Activists
At least 1,000 youth gathered and marched to face the police outside the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama on May 2, 1963. The police tried to intimidate them and eventually used firehoses to chase the protestors away.
5. Linda Brown After the Unanimous Ruling That School Segregation is Unequal
Linda Brown, a fifth grade, 5 year old girl, had to go to a school 5 miles away even though there was a public school just 4 blocks away from her house. She was denied admission to this elementary school because of her race.
This photo was taken in a school in Fort Myer, Virginia on September 8, 1954, months after the the U.S. Supreme Court issued a unanimous ruling that “separate educational facilities are inherently unequal” (May 17, 1954).
6. An African-American Woman Being Carried by the Police During a Civil Rights Protest
In 1964, during a Civil Rights Demonstration in Brooklyn, New York, this African-American woman had to be carried by the police to the police patrol wagon.
7. African-American Students at Florida A&M Boycott the Buses
On June 1, 1956, students at the Florida A&M College gathered and boycotted the buses in their protest against racial segregation.
8. Black Americans Standing Up to Police During a Civil Rights Protest in the 1960s
African Americans standing up to the police during a Civil Rights protest in the 1960s.
9. Police Arresting Martin Luther King Jr. in Birmingham, Alabama in 1962
In 1958, policemen arrested Martin Luther King Jr. in Montgomery, Alabama. There he penned Letter from Birmingham Jail.