Education from Civil Rights through Black Power: 1945–1975

Joy Ann Williamson-Lott, Linda Darling-Hammond and Maria E. Hyler

in The Oxford Handbook of African American Citizenship, 1865-Present

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780195188059
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Politics & International Relations

Education from Civil Rights through Black Power: 1945–1975


Black veterans returning from World War II with a renewed democratic spirit invigorated the black freedom struggle. Many used the G.I. Bill to attend college, and the number of blacks in higher education jumped threefold. Veterans like Medgar Evers, who attended Alcorn A&M College, joined with other African American activists in a more aggressive attack on white supremacy in the 1940s. This took the form of organized protests, as well as litigation for access and equity, including but not limited to the ground-breaking rejection of segregation in Brown v. Board of Education. On the heels of black demands, the United States Congress enacted both the Voting Rights Act and the Elementary and Secondary Education Acts in 1965, providing much stronger foundations for political and educational progress in the years to come.

Keywords: civil rights; black power; freedom struggle; higher education; white supremacy; educational progress

Article.  8291 words. 

Subjects: Politics ; US Politics ; Political Behaviour

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