Civil Rights on TV

Fifty years ago, the civil rights movement in all its glory and brutality was brought to American living rooms through television. Reading about Jim Crow had been one thing. Seeing it in action was quite another. Leaders of the civil rights movement recognized the power of television to get their message across and successfully used the medium to show the world racial injustice in the South.  People were appalled at the images they saw and began to support the movement, which ultimately led to the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the end of discrimination in the United States.

In an “Inside Media” program held Jan. 17, 2015, in the Newseum’s Knight TV Studio, D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton and CBS White House correspondent Bill Plante shared their personal experiences in the movement — she as a student protester; he as a TV network reporter.

The in-depth story of the civil rights movement is featured in two Newseum exhibits: “Make Some Noise: Students in the Civil Rights Movement” and “1965: Civil Rights at 50.”



Contributing sponsorship support for “Civil Rights at 50” has been provided by Walmart and Altria Group.

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