Bitesize has changed! We're updating subjects as fast as we can. Visit our new site to find Bitesize guides and clips - and tell us what you think!
Print

History

The change in attitudes towards the racial question in the USA

Page:

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  1. Back
  2. Next

Why was it difficult for black Americans to gain equal rights in the USA in the 1950s and 1960s?

Key figures in the campaign for equal rights

The role and significance of Malcolm X and the Black Power movement

Malcolm X's views and ideas became the foundation of more radical civil rights groups such as the Black Panthers, one of the movement's most violent groups. Malcolm X didn't think peaceful methods did enough to help black people.

Malcolm X called on people to use violence to demand more rights. He appealed to young people and those who lived in towns and cities.

Black Power – the use of violence to demand equal rights.

1950s – The ‘Nation of Islam’ movement grows bigger: encourages hatred towards white people and calls for a racial war. Wants a separate country for black people. Advocates violent action.

During the 1960s riots happened in a number of cities in the USA.

  • 1964: The Harlem Riot and the New York Race Riot take place.
  • August 1965: A total of 34 people are killed in the Watts area of Los Angeles, and another 1,072 are injured during a riot lasting six days.
  • 1965: Malcolm X is shot dead.
  • 1968: Martin Luther King is killed by a white extremist.

Document

Campaigners for racial equality (PDF file 309 kb)

Page:

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  1. Back
  2. Next

Back to The development of the USA, 1929-2000 index

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.