civil rights

Ida B. Wells-Barnett

Ida B. Wells-Barnett connects to a lot of episodes in our archive. She fought against lynching for decades, at a time when it wasn’t common at all for a woman, especially a woman of color, to become such a prominent journalist and a speaker.

The Bisbee Deportation

The 1917 Bisbee Deportation has elements of a labor strike, a wartime hysteria, a vigilante mob, and a mass propaganda effort, all rolled into one. It took place in Bisbee, Arizona, southeast of Tucson and close to the U.S. border with Mexico.

The Memphis Sanitation Workers Strike

Memphis sanitation workers stayed off the job starting January 12, 1968 in a strike that lasted for nine weeks. This was the strike that brought Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to Memphis, Tennessee, where he was assassinated on April 4 of that year.

The Motherhood of Mamie Till-Mobley

The reason Emmett Till's murder played such a consequential role in the Civil Rights movement is because of choices of his mother, Mamie Till-Mobley. For more than 45 years after his murder, she continually worked to make sure he did not die in vain.

The Kallikaks and the Eugenicists

Spurred by the same fears, prejudices and societal issues that were driving the progressive movement in general, the eugenics movement in the U.S. focused on identifying, sequestering and even sterilizing people who were deemed to be "unfit."

Bombing of the Hebrew Benevolent Congregation Temple

Rabbi Jacob Rothschild was a vocal activist who spoke out for civil rights despite the danger in doing so. White supremacists bombed The Temple in Atlanta in a direct reaction to Rothschild's work for equality.

An Interview With Sears Historian Jerry Hancock

Jerry, a Sears scholar and history teacher, joins Holly in the studio to talk about the historical significance of the building where HowStuffWorks is headquartered, as well as the company that built it.

Alabama Governor George Wallace

Wallace was one of the most prominent voices against the Civil Rights Movement and its objectives. He spent multiple campaigns for both governor and president on an explicitly pro-segregation platform.

Bayard Rustin and the Civil Rights Movement (Part 2)

Because of his previous ties to the Communist Party, his race, and his sexual orientation, the McCarthy era was extremely dangerous for Rustin. This was one of many reasons why his activism focused on other countries in the 1950s.

Bayard Rustin, 'Angelic Troublemaker' (Part 1)

Bayard Rustin was an openly gay black man born in 1912. He spent his life working tirelessly for equal rights, peace, democracy, and economic equality, including being one of the primary planners of the 1963 March on Washington.