- from Civil Rights
Slavery in the United States officially ended in 1865 with the end of the Civil War. But that was not the end of the mistreatment of African Black people.
By the turn of the century, a system had been made up to keep Black people “in their place.” This place was lower socially, economically, and politically to that of White people. The system was called segregation, or the separation of the races.
In the South, laws kept Black people in segregated schools, restaurants, and restrooms. They had to use separate drinking fountains and sit in the backs of buses. In the North, there were unwritten rules about where Black people could live, work, and play. Two things kept segregation in place. One was the constant threat of violence against Black people. The other was the southern states’ organized denial of Black peoples' right to vote.
From the start of segregation, Black people fought hard for their rights as U.S. citizens. But until the 1950s, they didn’t get very far. That was when a series of nonviolent protests began. Black people started to undo some of the wrongs done to them, starting with the enslavement of their ancestors. These protests came to be known as the civil rights movement.