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Beyond Voting Rights: Voices of Power

Voting rights and integration were important goals of the civil rights movement in the 1950s and 1960s. After the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the 1965 Voting Rights Act, emphasis within the movement began to shift to issues of economic inequality, police brutality, educational inequality, and other issues not easily solved with legislation.
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Nonviolence

Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., one of the leaders of the Southern Christian Leadership Council, urged the use of nonviolent means of protest in the fight for recognition of the civil rights of African Americans. In these excerpts from his April 16, 1963 “Letter from a Birmingham Jail,” he defends nonviolent direct action such as marches and sit-ins as the surest means to “open the door to negotiation.”
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