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Research Guides

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Edith Lee-Payne at the March on Washington, 1963. 

The civil rights movement to to end discrimination and gain complete rights of citizenship and began in the African American community in the early 20th century with the founding of the National Association of the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) under the leadership of W.E.B. Du Bois and Ida B. Wells-Barnett. The movement gained momentum in the 1950s with events such as the murder of Emmett Till, the Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka Supreme Court decision and the Montgomery bus boycott. The civil rights movement reached its peak during mass non-violent protests of the early1960s under the leadership of Martin Luther King, Jr. and creation of new organizations such as the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). The passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 during the Lyndon B. Johnson administration marked the culmination of the movement. 

For more background information on the civil rights movement see:

Recommended Websites

Recommended Books @ UW Libraries

The UW Libraries has hundreds of books dealing with the civil rights movement.  See this list of books that provide overviews. 

Additional books can be found by searching for the terms "african americans civil rights history 20th century" as well as "civil rights movements united states history 20th century" in UW Libraries Search.

Recommended Films @ UW Libraries

Request DVDs at the Central Circulation desk on the first floor of Suzzallo Library. You can view DVDs in the Government Publications, Maps, Microforms & Newspapers (GMM) area on the ground floor of Suzzallo. Streaming films can be viewed while in the Libraries on your own devices. Ask for a guest UW NetID at a information desk to access streaming films.

Recommended Manuscript Collections @ UW Libraries

The following manuscript collections are just a small selection of those available in Special Collections (located in the basement of Allen Library South) that document local history. Manuscript collections contain unique documents (handwritten or typed letters, diaries, meeting minutes, photographs, news clippings, etc.) produced by people and organizations.