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Charles Kenzie “C.K.” STEELE
When white supremacists left a cross burning in the front yard of the Rev. Charles Kenzie “C.K.” Steele, he refused to be intimidated. He had moved to Tallahassee, Florida, to become the pastor of the Bethel Baptist Church in 1952. And he was determi
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Did You Know ?
Linda Brown’s family name is connected with a famous U.S. Supreme Court case. When Linda was in third grade, the Browns’ sued their school board in Topeka, Kansas. They argued that separate but equal public schools deprived Black children of fair opp
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Freeze Frame
In 1965, civil rights protesters hoping to register Black voters in Alabama made a decision. They were going to walk the 54 miles from Selma to the state capital in Montgomery. On their initial attempt, local law enforcement violently attacked the wa
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Bayard RUSTIN
Bayard Rustin was an activist who just made things happen. His charisma and organizational skills were almost unmatched. He devoted much of his life to working for the causes of civil rights, human rights, and other social issues. He participated in
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Fannie Lou HAMER
As the daughter of Mississippi sharecroppers, Fannie Lou Hamer worked hard for more than 40 years just to get by. But in 1962, Hamer experienced a life-changing event: She attended a protest meeting. There, she learned that Black people had the right
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Your Letters
Sara Graham, age 8 Parker, Texas Clare Graham, age 10 Parker, Texas Celebrating Earth Day Harry S. Truman Questionable Characters Draw a picture or write a poem or short essay that connects to one of the above COBBLESTONE themes on which we cu
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James FARMER
I was meant to die that night,” James Farmer once said of the night in 1963 when Louisiana state troopers hunted him from door to door. “They were kicking open doors, beating up Blacks in the street, interrogating them with electric cattle prods.” Fa
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Victoria Gray ADAMS
Victoria Gray Adams believed that there were two kinds of people in grassroots organizations: “Those who are in the movement and those who have the movement in them. The movement is in me,” she said, “and I know it always will be.” Adams was one of t
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Building a Better Future
During the civil rights movement, Birmingham, Alabama’s Black citizens lived under a government that supported white supremacy. The city was referred to as “Bombingham” for the many bombings of Black homes that went unsolved and unprosecuted. Birming
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Wyatt Tee WALKER
Like many Black ministers of the era, the Rev. Wyatt Tee Walker was involved in major civil rights organizations. Those included the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE). Along
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James Morris LAWSON
The Rev. James Morris Lawson’s mother believed that force was never the way to solve a problem. Lawson inherited that point of view. He participated in his first sit-in in high school by ordering a meal with a classmate at an all-white restaurant. In
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Taking A Stand
This month’s mystery hero was a white woman who supported civil rights for African Americans at a time when it was dangerous to do so. Especially in segregated Alabama, where our hero lived. Our young hero was born in Montgomery in 1914. She was th
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Charles Hamilton HOUSTON
Charles Hamilton Houston firmly believed in the law as the way to achieve justice. In the 1930s and 1940s, he mentored some of the greatest African American legal minds. He also crafted a strategy for using the nation’s legal system to gradually defe
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Diane NASH
Born in Chicago, Diane Nash was shocked by the racist practices that she encountered as a student at Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee. She decided to do something about it. She became coordinator of student activities for the Nashville Christi
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Hey, Kids!
We’re looking for a funny caption for this photo. Send your idea, name, and address to: Just for Fun, COBBLESTONE, Cricket Media, 70 East Lake Street, Suite 800, Chicago, IL 60601, or email it to cobblestone@cricketmedia.com. Include a note from a pa
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Anna Pauline “Pauli” MURRAY
In 1940, 30-year-old Anna Pauline “Pauli” Murray refused to move from the all-white section of a bus in segregated Virginia. Her arrest for that action motivated her to study law at Howard University. She graduated at the top of her class. During her
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Ralph ABERNATHY
The Rev. Ralph Abernathy filled the role of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “spiritual right-hand man.” As King’s chief aide, he also shared in the risks (imprisonment) and dangers (house bombs) that came with that position. When King was assas
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Flocking Together
Nonviolent protesters recognized that joining together in the fight for civil rights added strength to their message and energy to their movement. Creatures have found similar benefits to working as a group. Take, for example, a large group of birds
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Oliver L. BROWN
We conclude that in the field of public education the doctrine of ‘separate but equal’ has no place. Separate educational facilities are inherently unequal. . . .” With those words, Chief Justice Earl Warren announced the U.S. Supreme Court’s unanimo
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Fred L. SHUTTLESWORTH
In the early 1960s, Birmingham, Alabama, was considered the South’s most segregated city. One Black newspaper observed that its white population displayed “resistance to any form of desegregation.” Civil rights leaders decided to make Birmingham the
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Kenneth CLARK
Kenneth Clark and his wife, Mamie Phipps Clark, were experts in their field. They were the first African Americans to earn advanced degrees in psychology from Columbia University. When they claimed that segregation was harmful to the way Black childr
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Whitney M. YOUNG JR.
Whitney M. Young Jr. knew how to work with established political leaders and organizations. As he said, “You can holler, protest, march, picket, and demonstrate, but somebody must be able to sit in on the strategy conference and plot a course. There
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Edgar Daniel “E.D.” NIXON
Word spread quickly in the Black community of Montgomery, Alabama. On December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to give up her seat to a white passenger on a city bus. Her actions sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott. The man who worked to
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Stokely CARMICHAEL
Born in Portof-Spain, Trinidad, Stokely Carmichael played a key role in the 1960s civil rights conflicts in America. He attended Howard University in Washington, D.C., from which he earned a degree in philosophy. He participated in demonstrations org
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Theodore Judson “T.J.” JEMISON
In 1953, the Rev. Theodore Judson “T.J.” Jemison led a bus boycott in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. A fare increase on the city’s white-owned buses directly impacted the African American community. Black residents made up the majority of the riders. Jemiso
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Roy WILKINS
Roy Wilkins began his long association with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in 1931. At first, he served as the editor of the NAACP’s magazine, Crisis. Then he became the executive secretary in 1955. By 1964, he
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Little Rock NINE
Elizabeth Eckford thought the soldiers at Central High School would protect her. But on September 4, 1957, the soldiers raised their guns and pointed them at her. They refused to let Elizabeth enter the school. Like many places in the South, Little R
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Julian BOND
Julian Bond was a dues-paying member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) as a child. His parents were members, and they made sure their children were supporters, too. Bond grew up to become an active civil righ
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Daisy BATES
Daisy Bates and her husband owned and published a civil rights newspaper in Little Rock, Arkansas, in the 1940s. The paper, the Arkansas State Press, became a voice for civil rights in the decade before the modern civil rights movement began. It shin
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John LEWIS
While growing up in Alabama in the 1940s, John Lewis saw the negative effects of segregation. As a teenager in the 1950s, he was inspired by listening to radio recordings of sermons by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. For a while, he also wanted t
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