20 striking photos show the civil rights movement then ... and now.
The more things change, the more the fight remains.
The U.S. civil rights movement was a transformative, violent, lurching upheaval filled with blood, beauty, anger, love, and, finally, justice.
In 1865, the United States government abolished slavery. It gave black men the right to vote in 1870. The Civil Rights Act, signed by President Lyndon Johnson in 1964, redefined America — outlawing discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin — ending segregation and other unfair practices that targeted black Americans.
But the movement isn't over.
Institutionalized racism is an awful and ingrained part of American life. Black people make up 13% of the population but are incarcerated at nearly six times the rate of white Americans. Black schoolchildren are three times more likely to be suspended. Black college graduates are twice as likely to be unemployed. U.S. law may promise equality, but reality, it seems, has not caught up.
So the fight continues.
And in many ways, it's not all that different from the one that's already in our history books:
1. Marchers filled the streets of Montgomery, Alabama, in 1965...
And in Washington, D.C., in December 2014.
2. These are the signs black protestors carried in 1963 when they marched for jobs and freedom...
And these are the signs they carry today...
3. Civil rights leader John Lewis stood up for black rights in 1963...
...and still fights for them today as a member of Congress representing Georgia.
4. Police were a formidable and regular presence at rallies throughout the 1960s...
...and continue to be so today.
5. Police violence at civil rights demonstrations was common.
50+ years later, not a lot has changed.
6. Cops and soldiers used tear gas to disperse crowds...
...just as they do now.
7. In 1965, civil rights leaders marched from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, to demand equality...
On last year's 50th anniversary, they marched again.
8. Civil rights supporters marked the deaths of victims of violence with memorials then...
...just as we do now.
9. In 1964, President Lyndon Johnson signed the Equal Rights Amendment.
In January 2017, Barack Obama, the first black president of the United States, will finish his second term.
10. In the 1960s, civil rights protestors brought their children to march alongside them...
...and they do the same at marches today.
Martin Luther King Jr. famously said: "I have decided to stick with love. ... Hate is too great a burden to bear."
And what's fighting for equality if not an act of love?