For generations, African American orators have been demanding justice and equality, reminding America to make good on its founding principles of democracy. From Booker T. Washington and Marcus Garvey, to Fannie Lou Hamer and Malcolm X, to Shirley Chisholm and Julian Bond, hear the stirring words of African American figures as they call for action on civil rights and the unmet promise of democracy.
For much of the 20th Century, African Americans in the South were barred from the voting booth, sent to the back of the bus, and walled off from many of the rights they deserved as American citizens. Until well into the 1960s, segregation was legal. The system was called Jim Crow.