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Topic Choices


Jackie Robinson - First African-American to play Major League baseball.

Malcolm X - Key Nation of Islam leader.

Rosa Parks - Congress has come to refer to her as the "First Lady of Civil Rights".

Medgar Evars - NAACP leader assassinated by Byron De La Beckwith.

Charles Houston - Dean of Howard Law School and educator of Thurgood Marshall.

Thurgood Marshall - Attorney in Brown v. Board of Education and first African-American Supreme Court Justice.

James Meredith - WWII veteran and first African-American student to attend the University of Mississippi.

Wilma Rudolph - African-American track and field champion who struggled with sickness as a child.

Stokely Carmichael - Leader of Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC).

Black Panther Party (Huey Newton / Bobby Seale) - Black nationalist group formed to combat police brutality.

Jesse Jackson - Baptist minister and founder of Rainbow/PUSH.

Cesar Chavez - Mexican-American leader and co-founder of National Farm Workers Association.

Dolores Huerta - Mexican-American leader and co-founder of National Farm Workers Association.

Dwight D. Eisenhower - 34th President.

John F. Kennedy - 35th President.

Robert F. Kennedy - Attorney General for his brother, JFK, and Presidential candidate.

Lyndon B. Johnson - 37th President.

Richard Nixon - 38th President.

Betty Friedan - Writer of The Feminine Mystique.

Gloria Steinem - Undercover reporter and co-founder of Ms. Magazine.

Bayard Rustin - Chief organizer of the 1963 March on Washington.

Ben Nighthorse Campbell - Native American Congressman.

Matthew Shepard - University of Wyoming student killed because of his sexual orientation.

Billie Jean King - Winner of Battle of the Sexes and Title IX advocate.

James Farmer Jr. - Organizer of the 1961 Freedom Rides.

A. Philip Randolph - Founder of the Brotherhood of the Sleeping Car Porters.

Events & Organizations

Brown v. Board of Education - Supreme Court case that overturned Plessy v. Ferguson.

Montgomery Bus Boycott - Protest launched after the arrest of Rosa Parks in an attempt to desegregate buses.

Freedom Riders - People who publically challenged the Supreme Court's decision to desegregate buses in Boynton v. Virginia, in hopes that the law would be upheld and enforced.  

Bloody Sunday - Alabama state and local police attack civil rights protesters. 

Alcatraz Island takeover - Native American awareness campaign organized by Indians of All Tribes (IAT).

16th Street Baptist Church bombing - Murder of four African American girls in response to the Birmingham protests.

Mississippi Burning - Murder of three Civil Rights workers by KKK in Mississippi.

Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) - Civil rights organization associated with the Christian Church and MLK.

Civil Rights Act of 1964 - Signed by President Johnson, this law outlawed discrimination against African-Americans and women.

Voting Rights Act of 1965 - A follow-up to the Civil Rights Act, this law intended to protect the voting rights of African-Americans.

Nation of Islam - Civil Rights movement and religious movement combined.

Watts Riots - Six day race riot in Los Angeles.

1968 Olympics - Black Power demonstration by Tommie Smith and John Carlos in Mexico City, Mexico.

National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) - Civil rights group that used the court system to gain rights.

Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) - Key organizing group for boycotts, sit-ins, and the 1963 March on Washington.

Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) - Key organizing group for Freedom Rides, Freedom Summer, and the 1963 March on Washington.

Sit-ins - Nonviolent protests, such as at Woolworth's Lunch Counter in North Carolina.

Boycotts - A refusal to buy goods or services in protest of injustice, such as the 1965 Delano Grape Strike.

Kerner Commission Report - Investigation into the causes of the 1967 race riots.

Civil Rights Act of 1968 - Also known as the Fair Housing Act.

UFWOC - United Farm Workers Organizing Committee.

Roe v. Wade - Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion throughout the United States.

American Indian Movement (AIM) - Organization designed to address concerns of Native Americans - poverty, housing, and treaty issues.

Affirmative Action - Program designed to counter a history of discrimination.

Title IX - Granted equal access to education and athletics regardless of gender.

Stonewall Riots - Violent demonstrations in response to police brutality at gay night clubs.

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) - Prohibits discrimination based on disability.