It’s the summer of 1961, and your big brother is home from college. But he’s heading for Mississippi to join a group called the Freedom Riders.
He says black and white people have been riding buses together to fight discrimination against African Americans. Discrimination is unfair treatment of people because of their race, gender, religion, or nationality.
In the 1950s, a growing number of African Americans resisted this unfair treatment and worked to end segregation, the separation of blacks and whites in public places like restaurants. The Freedom Riders and other groups challenged segregation laws with nonviolence, or peaceful protests. But sometimes they were attacked 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 a future where people wouldn’t be judged by their skin color.