The Autobiography of Malcolm X Historical Context

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Until a number of court cases struck down segregation of the races in the United States, blacks were barred or restricted—sometimes by law— from a variety of public venues, such as restaurants, neighborhoods, golf courses, schools, and movie theaters. The 1954 U.S. Supreme Court decision Brown vs. the Board of Education ofTopeka made separate schools for blacks illegal. Over the next couple years, the Supreme Court handed down a series of decisions invalidating segregation of golf courses, swimming pools, and beaches.

Some historians see Rosa Parks's spontaneous 1955 refusal to give up her seat in the front of a Montgomery, Alabama, bus to a white man as the first step in the American civil rights movement. Parks, an African-American woman, was arrested and fined for violating the city's segregationist laws about where she was allowed to sit. Four days...

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This section contains 1,092 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Autobiography of Malcolm X Study Guide
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The Autobiography of Malcolm X from Nonfiction Classics for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.