The Civil Rights Movement had a profound affect on the United States. It brought about a change concerning minorities, primarily African-Americans. The Civil Rights Movement was a battle of ideals of what was right and wrong. The Movement was at its acme from 1954-1965. Steps toward equality began with legislation relating to public schools in 1954, and basic civil rights for all Americans were guaranteed in 1964 and 1965 with the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. These two legislative reforms were brought on by a series of nonviolent protests and Marches some being: the Montgomery bus boycott, student-led sit-ins and the March on Washington.
In 1954, the Supreme Court's decision in the Brown v. Board of Education case was a step forward in promoting justice in America. The Supreme Court Justices anonymously voted nine to zero ruling that segregation of public schools was a violation of the U.S. Constitution. The court decided that separate but equal was constitutional. The constitutional issue in this case was the 14th amendment, which guarantees equal protection under the law. Public schools could no longer be separated by race. African American children received the right to attend public schools and receive equal educational opportunities as any other American child.1 The decision of this case would soon overturn the decision of the Plessy v. Ferguson case, which the Supreme Court approved segregated facilities that were "separate but equal." This would be a step forward in the right direction for blacks but segregation and discrimination still continued. New schools were built to separate the races and to prevent white children from attending the same school as the black children attended. Then came the rise of the Ku Klux Klan, a group of white Christians who believed in the idea of white supremacy. Klan members traveled the countryside flogging, maiming, and sometimes killing blacks that tried to be the white man's equal.