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Civil Rights

The civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s was a struggle for social justice for Black Americans to gain equal rights under the law in the United States and redress longstanding economic and social inequities.

In 1960 the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) was founded by Ella Baker a seasoned organizer and mentor to the youth-run civil rights organization. SNCC focused on voter registration and on mounting a systemic challenge to the white supremacy that governed the country’s entrenched political, economic and social structures.  

The Black Panther Party was founded by college students Huey Newton and Bobby Seale in Oakland, California and was active from 1966  to 1982. At its height, it had 2,000 members in chapters across the United States. It was a revolutionary organization with an ideology of Black nationalism, socialism, and armed self-defense, particularly against police brutality. The party also offered social programs were also developed and included Free Breakfast for Children, education programs, and community health clinics. The organization grew out of the Black Power movement, which broke from the integrationist goals and nonviolent protest tactics of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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