Reflect: Key People, Connections and Discussion Questions

This page is about reflection. You’ll find a list of some of the key people and organizations relevant to this section. You’ll also find a section called intersectionality to encourage thinking about how different issues are connected, and discussion questions to encourage deeper thinking. Take some time to answer the questions, look these people up and learn more about their stories.

The content on this site is not complete: there are countless numbers of people and so many stories — from small acts of defiance to major leadership positions — that didn’t get recorded or that don’t often make it into textbooks.

This website is meant to be grown and improved upon. We’ve included some of the heroes, but if you know people we are missing, let us know so we can include their stories too.


Key People & Groups

  • Amelia Boynton
  • Andrew Goodman
  • Bayard Rustin
  • David Richmond
  • Diane Nash
  • Dorothy Height
  • Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Dwight Eisenhower
  • Ella Baker
  • Ezell Blair Jr.
  • Fannie Lou Hamer
  • Franklin McCain
  • Gwendolyn Zoharah Simmons
  • Hosea Williams
  • James Chaney
  • John Lewis
  • Joseph McNeil
  • Lyndon B. Johnson
  • Malcolm X
  • Michael Schwerner
  • Prathia Hall
  • Richard Nixon
  • Rosa Parks
  • Septima Clark
  • Thurgood Marshall
  • Commission on Civil Rights (CCR)
  • Congress of Racial Equality (CORE)
  • Council of Federated Organizations (COFO)
  • National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)
  • Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC)
  • Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC)


Imagine what life would be like if you could not safely use facilities such as bathrooms, water fountains, parks, pools, restaurants, schools, buses, or stores based on one of your identities, especially ones that you cannot change. Imagine being told that you had to enter buildings from side or back doors and only at certain inconvenient times to avoid being seen or disturbing guests who are deemed more important than you. Furthermore, think about how life would be different for you if you were told you could only go to certain public spaces designated for “your kind” and those spaces were systematically of less quality than those of privilege (in this era, those who were white). This impacts how you view yourself and others and what kinds of opportunities you have in life. This is intersectionality and positionality. Unfortunately, these practices still exist today--while segregation is illegal, we still see our communities separated by race and class. We also see microaggressions happening daily on the bases of sexual orientation, race, class, ability, gender, and more.

Discussion Questions: 
During the Civil Rights movement a lot of leaders were young people, especially students. Do you think there are movements today being led by younger generations? What are some of them?
One of the major themes of the movement was non-violent protest and agitation. What is an example of “agitation” as a strategy? Do you think it’s a good strategy?
What were some of the responses Black activists and their allies got from their protests? What about criticisms from potential allies?
Compare and contrast the actions and the responses from the Civil Rights Movement to movements today.