Throughout the 1950s African Americans in northern cities grew increasingly active in opposing discrimination and in protesting white resistance to black progress in housing, education, and employment.

Throughout the 1950s African Americans in northern cities grew increasingly active in opposing discrimination and in protesting white resistance to black progress in housing, education, and employment. Martin Luther King and others embarked on a campaign of nonviolent resistance and demonstrations, which spread to the south. Some of the leadership in the Deep South responded with brutal force, taking a militant stand against change, and in defiance of federal legislation to grant African Americans their civil rights.