Learning about the struggle for civil rights is no longer restricted to history books and
once-a-year displays in libraries. There are so many Internet sites related to the cause that
it's hard to know where you can learn the basics. Begin with the people.
Penny Weaver, communications coordinator at the Southern Poverty Law Center,
listed the names of nine people who were the backbone the movement. Researching the lives of these
people will help us understand the struggle for civil rights. If we take the time to learn about
their lives, they can enrich our own.
They are, in no specific order:
Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Many people think about this man when they hear the words "civil rights." Read more about
King's life and work at the
National Park Service's Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site
and the Nobel Prize Internet Archive.
Time named Parks one of
the Heroes & Icons of the 20th Century and extols the courage of this pioneer of the civil
rights movement. RosaParks.org offers a detailed biography and works by the Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute. Rosa Parks Portal is also a rich source
for online links about her life.
Medgar Evers fought, and eventually died for, desegregation and voting rights for
African-Americans. The Evers biography page maintained by the
University of Mississippi
offers links to his speeches, bibliographical sources and movies about his life.
Harry T. Moore
Moore was the first NAACP official to die as part of the struggle for civil rights.
This PBS special, entitled "Freedom Never Dies:
The Story of Harry T. Moore," explores the life and violent death of this civil rights crusader.
Fannie Lou Hamer
The National Women's Hall of Fame has a compelling biography of
Fannie Lou Hamer, a political activist who fought for the
rights of minorities, women and the poor. Her tombstone bears the phrase, "I am sick and tired
of being sick and tired."
While an Atlanta college student, Bond helped found a student sit-in and anti-segregation
organization and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. Read a biography of this
professor and former member of the Georgia General Assembly from the
Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth
A colleague of Martin Luther King Jr., Shuttlesworth survived a dynamite blast to his
home and beatings by white supremacists in his struggle for desegregation in Birmingham, Ala.
Read a profile of the reverend in the Cincinnati Museum Center.
Henry participated in the Freedom Riders Movement and served as the president of the
NAACP from 1960 to 1993. In March 2000, the
House of Representatives
proposed that the federal building in Clarksdale, Mississippi, be designated the Aaron Henry
Federal Building and United States Post Office.
An advocate for voting rights, Moses also participated in the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party,
according to this biography from Wikipedia.
The Mississippi State Senate commended the life of this
civil rights activist by declaring Bob Moses Day. Moses founded the
which helps students of color master math skills.