If someone were to ask you to list the most prominent people associated with the Civil Rights Movement, how many names could you come up with? Now, take that list and narrow it down…how many of those names that you have were under the age of 25 at the time of the Civil Rights Movement?? Ahhhh, but now think to the most iconic images of The Civil Rights Movement. The sit-ins at the Greensboro lunch counter, The Freedom Riders, the Little Rock 9, hoses being turned on the marchers in Birmingham, Freedom Summer, and the list goes on…Most of the people we see in those pictures were young.
You see, much of the Civil Rights Movement was, in effect, a youth movement. Remember – the S in SNCC stands for Student. As a panel of distinguished historians notes, the youth were a powerful voice, and force, behind the Civil Rights Movement.