Many courageous individuals spoke out against racial inequality. Of these individuals included Martin Luther King Jr. and Jackie Robinson. Martin Luther was the backbone for the movement and became the voice for the suppressed African Americans. He held events and gave spirit lifting speeches including "I Have a Dream" in which 250,000 people attended.
MLK speaking at the Lincoln Memorial
Jackie Robinson was also an activist that spoke through his athletic abilities. Robinson played for the Dodgers in 1947 and became the first African American to not only play but win a World Series title in 1955. He voiced his opinion by labeling the Yankee organization as "racist". Robinson marched with King on Washington and soon became the figure head for African American abilities.
The social norms during this time were being tested. Education was a controversial topic due to the south wanting segregated schools and the typical integrated north disagreeing. Discrimination in public accommodations was also an issue. The known "Whites Only" or "Blacks Only" signs posted on water fountains, bathrooms, and restaurants were being questioned.
Above is the Supreme Court where significant Decisions were made.
Since these topics brought about such heated debates, it was only logical to take it to the supreme court. The court case "Brown v BOE" dealt with the integration of schools while overturning the ruling of "Plessy v Ferguson" which established "Separate but equal". This was the catalyst for all public accommodations to be integrated in which case white and blacks would no longer be treated differently.
Thurgood Marshall was one of the most powerful individuals when making Supreme Court decisions. He ruled in favor of Brown in "Brown v BOE" and also stood up for racial equality in many more Supreme Court decisions. He molded many of the laws related to race we live by in our social society today.
While many individuals and monumental court cases advanced the stand on racism, it was not done without opposition. The typical south gave any fight they had to stop integration and racial equality. The terrorist organization known as the KKK committed mass murders, terrorized citizens from acting on what little rights they had, and brought African Americans to low spirits.
The KKK killed 3960 blacks alone. Many times members would threaten to kill or injure ones family who tried to carry out the right to vote (as seen in the picture above).
Though hate organizations slowed civil rights progression, the persistence and ability of the american people to see a future with equal treatment and protection allowed our society to look past skin color and see within.