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The birth of the civil rights movement is often attributed to Rosa Parks, who in 1955 refused to give up her seat on a bus to a white passenger in Montgomery, Alabama and sparked the 381-day Montgomery Bus Boycott – leading the Supreme Court to declare in 1956 that segregated buses were unconstitutional. One wing of the movement was led by the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr., who advocated for change through nonviolent protest and helped found the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) to organize the movement across the South. Not all civil rights activists agreed with King’s non-violent tactics and integrationist goals. The influential leader Malcolm X was a proponent of Black Nationalism – the belief that blacks constituted a nation which should seek independence and resist assimilation to white culture.

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