January 13, 2023

Going to the Mountaintop: King & the Civil Rights Movement

The Office of Spiritual Life and Inclusion & Multicultural Engagement are pleased to present an exhibit covering key moments in Civil Rights history, Going to the Mountaintop: King & the Civil Rights Movement. The exhibit is on display in the Watzek Library atrium through the end of January.

Learn or revisit some key moments from the Civil Rights Movement:

Montgomery Bus Boycott 1955
The Montgomery bus boycott began after Rosa Parks was arrested on December 1st for refusing to give up her seat to a white passenger. Dr. King was the president of the Montgomery Improvement Association that coordinated the boycott.

Little Rock High School Integration 1957
Arkansas Governor Orval Faubus called the National Guard on September 4th to prevent entry of nine African-American students who had sued for the right to attend an integrated school, Central High School. The “Little Rock Nine” as they were known had to be escorted by military personnel and faced harassment from jeering whites for the rest of the year.

Greensboro Lunch Counter Sit-in 1960
On February 1st four African-American college students from the North Carolina A&T sat down at the lunch counter inside a local store and ordered coffee. They were refused service at the “whites only” counter and the store’s manager asked them to leave. They stayed until closing, and within days hundreds of fellow students joined them in their sit-in.

Mississippi Delta Freedom Summer 1964
Freedom Summer was a campaign launched in June 1964 to attempt to register as many African-American voters as possible in Mississippi, which up to that time had almost totally excluded black voters. Organizers chose to focus their efforts on Mississippi because of the state’s particularly dismal voting-rights record: in 1962 only 6.7 percent of African-Americans in the state were registered to vote, the lowest percentage in the country.

Selma to Montgomery Marches 1965
The three Selma to Montgomery marches marked the political and emotional peak of the American civil rights movement. The first march took place on March 7, 1965 — “Bloody Sunday” — when 600 civil rights marchers were attacked by state and local police with night sticks and tear gas. Only the third march finally made it to Montgomery, 51 miles away.