Summer is here at last! It’s 1961, and your big brother is home from college. But now he’s going to Mississippi. He’s planning to meet up with a group called the Freedom Riders.
He explains that black and white people have been riding buses together to fight discrimination against African Americans. What’s discrimination? It’s unfair treatment of people because of their race, gender, religion, or nationality.
In the 1950s, more and more African Americans had stood up for their rights. They tried to end segregation. Segregation is the separation of blacks and whites in public places like restaurants. The Freedom Riders and other groups fought segregation laws. But they did it by using nonviolence, or peaceful protests. They were still attacked sometimes by people who disagreed with them. Martin Luther King Jr. became a leader of the civil rights movement. He gave speeches and led peaceful marches. In 1963, about 250,000 people came to the nation’s capital for the March on Washington. There, King spoke about his dream of the future. He saw a world where people wouldn’t be judged by their skin color.