Ryan Brooke Taylor, New York City, NY. Collected from: WITNESS: Art and Civil Rights in the Sixties at The Brooklyn Museum My experience as a black male artist is directly related to the sacrifices and gains made by those who participated, in any and every way in the civil rights movement. They have made me […]
Douglas Moore, Sharon, VT. Raised white, male, Midwestern and Republican the movement broke open so many of the absolutes in my life.
Vicotor J. Boney, Acworth, GA. Any legitimate discussion about race in America must include this question. Fifty plus years removed from the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Fair Housing Act of 1968, we remain segregated and unequal.
Elaine Gastelum, Calexico, CA. My name is Elaine Gastelum and I’ve been raised in a small town called Calexico. Calexico is right next to the border going to Mexico in a city called Mexicali. My town is full of Mexican-Americans that have been raised by Mexican and/or Mexican-American parents. We’ve been taught about our famous […]
G. Arunima New Dehli, India I am visiting from India, and for many of us the civil rights movement, and the debates and politics of race have been deeply formative in our political growth.
Angela Crites, Riverside, CA. It is ridiculous that in today’s society, white people are automatically deemed as “racists” with “privilege,” and are incapable of really being good, decent human beings and American citizens. I thought the goal of Civil Rights and everything that people like MLK Jr. fought for was EQUALITY, not a spreading of […]
Brandon M. VerBurg, 8th Grade Holland New Tech High School, Holland, MI. I love to study the past, and history is filled with turning points. Points that change the world. One that is being missed often is Civil Rights. Back in 1964 the movement was passed. It was passed so that race wouldn’t be an […]
Amber Nicole Gutierrez, Hemet, CA. Everyone grew up with a different life-style, just because I look of Mexican decent does not mean I am the same as every Mexican stereotype. I am an American and have grew up in the middle of both worlds of “American” and “Mexican”. I understand Spanish and speak some. I […]
Karen Randolph Rogers, Kansas City, MO. I’m a civil rights attorney who grew up in a predominantly white rural area and left for the city. I see the pain that racism causes in my work and my personal life and try to convey that to white friends and family who deny their privilege. #SafetyPin
CP, Garland, TX. I’m frustrated. Very much so. There is a lot of hypocrisy and cognitive dissonance, especially within my race – Caucasian. I wish so much for everyone to open their eyes, minds, and hearts to the plight of others. To recognize that the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s didn’t eradicate the inherent […]
Alyssa Cartee New York City, NY Queens Every word and every action in life has such extreme consequences. The Civil Rights movement reminds me that the choice to make your words and actions negative or positive prove who you are as a person
Eli Russell, Austin, TX. As a writer, these six words are something I’ve said before. I lend it here to hopefully add to the growing conversation, to close the divide in the races, to open racist minds and to unite all Americans, all people across the world in peace. It is up to each generation […]
Amy New York City, NY Brooklyn The power of everyday people to stand up and not take racism, sexism, anti-semetism, homophobia as okay. We must fight and always speak out. We cannot be silent, even when it seems like the hatred is focussed on “others” because we are all humans and one person being put […]
Gay White, W. Bloomfield, MI. I am a product of the civil rights movement and I watched racism go underground until we had a Black President then it all started to rise to the surface we are only seeing what had always happened the difference is that we are going to have to teach then […]
LaPortia Barrows, Daytona Beach, FL. My parents fought for not just my equality but my children’s children’s equality. Why is that I still have to explain to my children that some people are not going to like them just because of the color of their skin? Why do I have to shield my children from […]
Ellison Weist Portland, OR I grew up in the Deep South, the white child of parents who championed Civil Rights in the 1960s. Yet it’s this story from my elderly Portland, OR neighbor that speaks volumes to me about race and forgiveness.
Abby London-Crawford New York City, NY The Bronx I still teach the songs of the Civil Rights Movement to pass on its legacy to young children.
Doug, Brooklyn, NY Racism prior to the Civil Rights Era stemmed from Whites thinking Blacks should be different. Today, it stems from Whites thinking Blacks should be the same.
Nathaniel Hunt Glen Burnie, MD My parents are an interracial couple. I am a homosexual young man. And today is my 23rd birthday. Without the Civil Rights Movement, my parents would not have had the courage or approval to find, love, and marry each other. Without it, I may never have been born and if […]
M. M. S., Morris, MN. Growing up white means that you never have to notice that you are represented in the media more than any other race is, even in situations where that should not be the case (-Exodus: Gods and Kings- I’m looking at you). It means that it’s so easy to turn away […]
Samantha Zrada, Plymouth Meeting, PA Does my voice really count on this topic? I am a white female who grew up in the suburbs of Philadelphia, went to school with mainly white children, and never experienced any racism directed toward me or my family. I am thankful to say that I am fortunate. And yet, […]
Bob Thomas, Rabun Gap, GA. I have been working on a web site for the Lillian E. Smith Foundation located in Rabun County, Georgia. In doing research for the project I’m learning more and more about a remarkable woman who as a Southerner spoke out frankly and with unflinching certainty against segregation. As an author […]
Dana Tuohey, Syracuse, NY. Community Member I believe that racism is more harmful now to society than ever. I believe this is so because we have convinced ourselves that slavery and the civil rights movements were “victories” for the minorities of our society and we no longer owe it to the other races to continue […]
Phyll, Fort Worth, TX. At 62 years old, I am a child of thw Civil Rights struggles. When my son was born in 1971, I was committed to raising him without the excess baggage of race. It didn’t take but one sleepover for his Pee Wee Football team that the White boys weren’t allow to […]
Jake, USA. Empowerment and civil rights for African Americans has not always translated into equality for those with Asian backgrounds. We may be viewed as model minorities but often we face discrimination and racism, especially from the African American community. One would think given the civil right movement, they would have understood what it meant […]
Kalie Marsicsno, Hanover, NH. I grew up with the misinformation that the civil rights movement had ended successfully, rather than learning that racism and systematic oppression still dominates our daily life.
Jeff Howard Washington DC It took me 50 years and working in depth on civil rights movement history to suddenly realize that an incident in my early childhood revolved entirely around race. My family’s Black nanny, born and raised in Culpeper VA was so intent on seeing West Side Story when it hit the local […]
Stacey Seattle, WA The Civil Rights movement was hijacked by progressives. Since that time, they have destroyed Dr. King’s “Dream”. The virtual enslavement of the near-entirety of America’s black populace to the statist ideological plantation is destroying any hope of reconciling the differences between majority & minority. No longer is a man encouraged to exhibit […]
Ben Colafrancesco Casper, WY At 51, I’ve been engaged in civil rights my entire life.I’m tired now. Give me your gifts. I have Cerebral Palsy. I will never catch a football in a game, college or the pros. I’ll never be an athlethe. People will just feel sorry for me.I’m no less a man than […]
Mickey Lambert New York City, NY Brooklyn In a time that most people think of as a “post-civil-rights” era, in many ways, we are more tied up in injustice and inequality than ever. These images and sounds are a reminder that social justice looks like something more encompassing.
Lorraine LaPrade New York City, NY Brooklyn Learning about the Civil Rights movement gave me confidence as a young woman.
OTI OBOH New York City, NY Brooklyn I’m Nigerian born raised in the US and find my fluidity in my identity as Nigerian, as American and as Nigerian-American flow in the different spaces I occupy. The Civil Rights allowed for more expansion of African people to occupy different parts in the world.
Nick Rabkin Chicago, IL So much of who I am is comes from my sense that the fight for civil rights is really the fight for the real American dream. I was active in the campaign to elect Harold Washington mayor of Chicago, and I worked in his administration. Harold!
David J. Shapiro New York City, NY Manhattan After so much sacrifice, blood, time and heartache by whites who supported the Civil Rights Movements, to watch and hear the jubilation of a “not guilty” verdict from a community who benefited from that work, for a man who brutally murdered two whites, I was heart-struck.
Saundra Thomas New York City, NY My life began at the start of the civil rights movement. 1962. the music of the civil rights movement is the soundtrack of my childhood. I grew up black in a mixed community, too black to befriend the whites and too “white” to befriend the blacks….and lesbian. my legacy […]
Jeff, Arvada, CO. I was raised in a military town with such overwhelming diversity that I didn’t realize race was an issue until I was 12 and went into foster care. Suddenly I was surrounded by a predominantly African-American group that hated me because I was white. Now let me be clear I didn’t assume […]
Ricki Fowler Bedford, VA While growing up, I spent 5 years in a town hostile to outsiders. I’d always been unlike other children, but there, I was bullied by the kids at school and punished by the adults for being bullied. I’d been reading about the trials of African-Americans during the civil rights movement (then […]
Renee Risher New York City, NY Brooklyn
Cynthia Farrell Johnson Silver Spring, MD First, the Civil Rights Movement opened doors, allowing me to train as a visual artist, and also study art history. The Movement forced changes in hiring practices which enabled me to have a rewarding career as a diplomat, traveling the globe conducting cultural diplomacy programs. I thank God every […]
Shoshana Hoose Portland, OR I grew up in an all-white neighborhood in Newington, Ct. My mother’s best friend, a Quaker, and her husband sold their home to an African-American family in 1966 as part of an organized effort to integrate the Hartford suburbs. My Dad, a lawyer and state legislator, handled the legal work. When […]
Tiana Icesis Bryant New York City, NY Brooklyn My six words are like the Civil Rights Movement is different from any other subject, more independent, it’s a Lone Ranger. All the other things people say that’s important are not really because they are backed up with some things. People back everything up that’s important to […]
Stanley Umeweni Philadelphia, PA I am Stanley Umeweni, and I am a high school student from Central High School in Philadelphia, PA. I chose these six words because after a little over 50 years after the Civil-Rights Movement, not all races have equal opportunity. Even with laws and policies, such as Affirmative Action, the color […]
Rachel K. McCain New York City, NY Brooklyn Hello, I’m Rachel. I’m eleven years old. Thanks for sharing this wonderful art and information with everyone. I know my story was more than six words, but it was important to use all the words.I was taught about the civil rights movement in school, but the teachers […]
Isabelle Keefe Marrero Tuscaloosa, AL I am 76 years old, grew up in New Orleans in ingrown bigotry, discovered that black people had a last name in college, lived among them in the Army, joined a black mission church in Huntsville,AL, enrolled our children in that school(first school to integrate in the state of Alabama), […]
Deria Matthews Germantown, MD The work of civil rights activists and social justice workers alike is exhausting, emotionally taxing and just takes a lot out of you. People have given their entire lives to this fight against racial oppression in America and I want to know how much longer until the country takes accountability and […]
Lisa Lee San Francisco, CA Asian Americans are constantly reminded that they don’t “belong” in America, despite their contributions of building up this great nation. We are reminded in ways big and small, such as the seemingly harmless remark of “but you speak English so well!” The Civil Rights Movement paved the way for all […]
Diatra W Stearn Pacoima, CA I do things to show that I am free such as traveling, going to civil rights museums to learn the true history and economically support causes to help us maintain civil rights gains.
Brian Lounsbury Alexandria, VA The Civil Rights movement was powerful, and such a struggle to overcome the injustices of one group toward another in a fight for justice. The music that brings all together and honors the civil rights all deserve!
Patricia Wilson Laurel, MD I am a baby boomer and I grew up in the era of segregation, lynching, blatant discrimination, marches, race riots, sit ins, boycotts, fighting for the rights to be treated as human beings, fighting for the right to vote; as well as the right to be recognized as a female with […]
Carol Carrow Bodofsky Edison, NJ Born in 1950, I have lived through changes that were long overdue. In the sixties, as much as my friends and I worked to eliminate prejudice and discrimination, we had no idea how bad it actually was in our country. Only looking back through photo and video journalism of the […]
Anne Elizabeth Wolfe San Rafael, CA My mother grew up in the South . She worked for Civil Rights in the 1950’s and was called a Communist. The label was erroneous as her ancestors fought in the Revolutionary War and Civil War (relatives fought on both sides). My mother was not a Communist, but the […]
Ann Karson Asheville, NC In 1963, I was an active member of the Liberal Party of South Africa, a small, multi-racial group, a political party made up of people opposed to apartheid who wanted that opposition to be fully non-racial. We were liberal in that sense, not economically: some of us were capitalists, some socialists. […]
Rhonda Fink Reno, NV When I was 12 I got arrested in a Civil Rights march. I always felt so guilty that my mom was such a racist. Still do and I’m in my late 50’s.
Artie Dee Franklin, IN My first real contact with black people was living with some black guys in college. There were restaurants, in the mid 50’s where we were refused service if our black friends were with us.