The 1954 to 1968
Civil Rights Movement contributed strong cultural threads to American and international theater, song, film, television, and folk art. These depictions in the arts keep alive the ideals and deeds of the people who organized, supported, and participated in this nonviolent movement.
Dramatizations [ edit ]
(1988), about the 1964 Mississippi Burning murders of three civil rights workers in Mississippi.
(1988, Hairspray 2007 remake), features a major subplot about demonstrations against racial segregation in Baltimore, Maryland.
(1990), portrays a woman who is boycotting city buses during the 1955-1956 The Long Walk Home Montgomery Bus Boycott.
(1992), a biopic focused on the life and assassination of Malcolm X Malcolm X.
(1996), an account of the murder of Mississippi activist Ghosts of Mississippi Medgar Evers and the subsequent investigation.
(1999), follows the life of 11-year-old Selma, Lord, Selma Sheyann Webb during the events leading up to the 1965 Selma to Montgomery march and its "Bloody Sunday".
(1999 animated) Our Friend, Martin
(2001), depicts some of the events of the 1955-56 Boycott Montgomery Bus Boycott.
(2002), the life of the key figure in the Montgomery Bus Boycott. The Rosa Parks Story
(2013), depicts a Civil Rights Movement training session conducted during the The Butler Nashville Student Movement by James Lawson and other Civil Rights Movement events.
(2014), focusing on the events leading up to, during, and after the 1965 Selma Selma to Montgomery marches, including the 1965 Voting Rights Act.
(2016), focusing on All the Way Lyndon B. Johnson's successful attempt to pass the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
Documentaries [ edit ]
(1963), first-hand as-it-happened account of the Crisis: Behind a Presidential Commitment University of Alabama " Stand in the Schoolhouse Door" integration crisis of June 1963.
(1964), about the Nine from Little Rock Little Rock Nine who enrolled in an all-white Arkansas high school in 1957.
(1964), about the 1963 The March March on Washington, was made for the United States Information Agency.
(1964) follows the Louisiana Diary Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) from July to August 1963, as they undertake an African American voter registration drive in Plaquemine, Louisiana.
(1966), details a civil rights march held by the Cicero March Congress of Racial Equality on September 4, 1966 in Cicero, Illinois, soon after the 1966 Chicago open housing movement ended.
(1970) King: A Filmed Record... Montgomery to Memphis
(1972), based on Malcolm X . The Autobiography of Malcolm X
(1994), documents efforts to register Freedom on My Mind African-American voters in Mississippi, Freedom Summer, and the formation of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party.
(1994), a short history of the Civil Rights Movement narrated by A Time for Justice Julian Bond.
(1997), focusing on the 1963 events surrounding 4 Little Girls the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church just after the Birmingham Movement.
(2002), created with archival footage Mighty Times: The Legacy of Rosa Parks
(2003), documents the 1960 February One: The Story of the Greensboro Four Greensboro lunch counter sit-ins and the four college students involved.
(2003) about the murder and the impact of The Murder of Emmett Till Emmett Till's open-casket funeral.
(2003), about the life of civil rights organizer Brother Outsider Bayard Rustin. 
(2004), documents the life and murder of Home of the Brave Viola Liuzzo.
(2004) about the 1963 Mighty Times: The Children's March Birmingham campaign and its marches by schoolchildren.
(2006) focuses on the 1964 Dare Not Walk Alone St. Augustine movement.
(2007), chronicles the Mississippi Cold Case Ku Klux Klan murders of two young black men in Mississippi in 1964 during Freedom Summer, and the 21st-century quest for justice by the brother of one of those murdered.
(2008), details the events surrounding the The Witness: From the Balcony of Room 306 assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee.
(2008), chronicles the events and attitudes in Neshoba Neshoba County, Mississippi, 40 years after the 1964 Mississippi civil rights workers murders.
(2009), focuses on some of the songs sung during the Civil Rights Movement. Soundtrack for a Revolution
(2011), about James Armstrong, a voting rights activist and an original flag bearer for the 1965 The Barber of Birmingham Selma to Montgomery marches.
(2011), about Alpha Man: The Brotherhood of MLK King's fraternity.
(2012), on the life and thoughts of activist Julian Bond: Reflections from the Frontlines of the Civil Rights Movement Julian Bond.
(2013), documents the 1963 The March March on Washington and the " I Have a Dream" speech by King.
(2014), documents the events of the 1964 Freedom Summer Mississippi Freedom Summer movement.
Television [ edit ]
(1975) two-part Attack on Terror: The FBI vs. the Ku Klux Klan television movie dramatizing the events following the 1964 disappearance and murder of three civil rights workers in Mississippi.
(1978 miniseries) about King Southern Christian Leadership Conference chairman and movement spokesman, Martin Luther King Jr.
(1981), Crisis at Central High made-for-television movie about the Little Rock Integration Crisis of 1957.
(1983), For Us the Living: The Medgar Evers Story PBS biopic about assassinated Mississippi civil rights activist Medgar Evers, his work, and his family.
(1987-1990), a 14-hour documentary series chronicling the Eyes on the Prize Civil Rights Movement.
(1989), a portrayal of students organizing an early 1960s Civil Rights Movement My Past Is My Own sit-in.
(1990) movie following the last weeks of three civil rights workers, Murder in Mississippi Michael "Mickey" Schwerner, Andrew Goodman and James Chaney, and the events leading up to their disappearance and subsequent murder during the Mississippi Freedom Summer campaign.
(1991), depicts the landmark Separate But Equal Supreme Court desegregation case , based on the phrase " Brown v. Board of Education Separate but equal".
(1993), film chronicling the true story of The Ernest Green Story Ernest Green ( Morris Chestnut) and eight other high-school students (dubbed the " Little Rock Nine") and the 1957 integration of Little Rock Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas.
(1997), a film about George Wallace George Wallace, the Alabama governor, and his involvement in many of the events of the era including the " Stand in the Schoolhouse Door".
(1998), the true story of six-year-old Ruby Bridges Ruby Bridges who, in 1960, became the first black student to integrate an elementary school in the South.
(1998-2002), series with a major subplot involving the 1963 Any Day Now Birmingham Movement.
(2000), a film based on true stories of the Freedom Song Civil Rights Movement in Mississippi, involving voting rights, Freedom Summer, and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC).
(2002) chronicles the 1963 Sins of the Father 16th Street Baptist Church bombing in Birmingham, Alabama in which four young African American girls were killed while attending Sunday school.
(2011), a Freedom Riders PBS film marking the 50th anniversary of the first Freedom Ride in May, 1961.
(2016), a presentation of the Hairspray Live! John Waters musical about a fictional Baltimore desegregation of a television dance program.
We Shall Overcome", gospel-based song that became an anthem for the Civil Rights Movement. "
We Shall Not Be Moved", spiritual-based song often sung during the Civil Rights Movement. "
Keep Your Eyes on the Prize", sung during the Movement actions, based on the traditional folk song " Gospel Plow". "
This Little Light of Mine", originally a hymn, the lyrics were modified as it became a Movement anthem. "
Fables of Faubus" (1957), Charles Mingus's jazz composition written and performed in response to the Little Rock Nine incident "
Oxford Town" (1962), written and sung by Bob Dylan, pertains to James Meredith's enrollment at the University of Mississippi. "
Alabama" (1963), John Coltrane's jazz composition response to a 1963 church bombing that killed four young girls. "
Birmingham Sunday" (1964), Richard Fariña's response to the Birmingham church bombing recorded by Joan Baez, Fariña's sister-in-law, on her 1964 album . Joan Baez/5 "
Mississippi Goddamn" (1964), Nina Simone's response to the murder of Medgar Evers. "
Only a Pawn in Their Game" (1964), Bob Dylan's response to the murder of Medgar Evers. "
Keep on Pushing" (1964), rhythm and blues hit single by The Impressions.
"Eve of Destruction" (1965) references the Selma to Montgomery marches. "
Abraham, Martin and John" (1968), a tribute to Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King Jr, John F. Kennedy, and Robert Kennedy written by Dick Holler and first recorded by Dion. "
If I Can Dream" (1968), recorded by Elvis Presley in honor of King soon after King's death.
(1981), a 16-part Scenes from the Life of a Martyr oratorio composed by Undine Smith Moore in memory of King. "
MLK" (1984) by U2, a lullaby to honor Martin Luther King, Jr. "
Pride (In the Name of Love)" (1984) a song about King by U2
(1995), an album of classical music by the Joseph Schwantner: New Morning for the World; Nicolas Flagello: The Passion of Martin Luther King Oregon Symphony in honor of King. "
Up to the Mountain (MLK Song)" (2006), Patty Griffin's song about the emotions surrounding King's 1968 I've Been to the Mountaintop speech.
"A Dream" (2006), by Common for the film , uses King's " Freedom Writers I Have a Dream" speech "
Glory" (2014), from the film , won both the Selma Golden Globe and Academy Award for Best Original Song.
Theater [ edit ]
Graphic non-fiction [ edit ]
(1964), painting by The Problem We All Live With Norman Rockwell depicting Ruby Bridges, the six-year-old African-American girl who, in 1960, was the first to desegregate an elementary school in the South, as she walks into the all-white public school in New Orleans.
Civil Rights Memorial (1989), a memorial fountain in Montgomery, Alabama designed by Maya Lin dedicated to 41 people who died in the Civil Rights Movement.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial (2011), showcases the statue of Martin Luther King Jr. by Lei Yixin and several surrounding art pieces and quotations on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.
U.S. Capitol Rotunda sculpture of Martin Luther King Jr, a bust by John Wilson dedicated in 1986.
Bust of Martin Luther King Jr. (1970), by Charles Alston, has been featured in the Oval Office of the White House by the Obama and Trump presidential administrations.
See also [ edit ]
References [ edit ]
External links [ edit ]