Black Americans, like oppressed groups elsewhere, have rarely accepted the subordinate position forced upon them by the larger white society. American racism and exploitation have generated black protest. Social scientists have documented the rebellious spirit and acts of protest by blacks as they lay shackled in the holds of slave ships, labored in the fields of southern landowners, and settled into the urban ghettos. At times, the protest was expressed subtly in a black spiritual or a defiant glance. At other times protest burst forth in such organized and collective forms such as the slave revolts, the Garvey movement, and riots. The term "modern civil rights movement" refers to the black movement that emerged in the South during the 1950s, when large masses of black people became directly involved in economic boycotts, street marches, mass meetings, going to jail by the thousands, and a whole range of disruptive tactics commonly referred to as nonviolent direct action. In the month of June 1953, the first major battle of modern civil rights movement took place in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where blacks successfully carried out a mass boycotts against that city's segregated bus system. The authorities were forced to make concessions to the demands of the black masses. There is a possibility that the Baton Rouge protest represented a turning point in that the famous 1955 Montgomery bus boycott and similar protests were partly inspired by the Baton Rouge effort.
Organized protest against white domination has always been one of the cornerstones of the black experience. Most Americans have some knowledge of certain dramatic confrontations between blacks and whites. Yet the larger significances of black protest lie in the fact that it is forever present in some form. This persistent struggle has given rise to a protest tradition, which includes hundreds of slave revolts, the Underground Railroad, numerous protest organization, A.