- from Civil Rights
Slavery in the United States officially ended in 1865 when the Civil War ended. But African Americans were still treated badly.
By the start of the 1900s, a system had been made up to keep them “in their place.” This place was lower in society than whites in all ways. The system was called segregation. That means keeping the two races apart, or separated.
In the South, laws kept African Americans apart from whites. They had segregated schools, restaurants, and restrooms. They used separate drinking fountains and sat in the backs of buses. The North had unwritten rules about where African Americans could live, work, and play. Two things kept segregation going. One was the threat of violence to African Americans. The other was how the southern states kept African Americans from voting.
From the start of segregation, African Americans fought hard for their rights as U.S. citizens. But they didn’t get very far until the 1950s. Then, a series of peaceful protests began. African Americans started to undo some of the wrongs that came out of slavery. These protests came to be known as the civil rights movement.