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The Transforming Moment

With the Freedom Rides of 1961, young people took the reins of the civil rights movement

The civil rights movement was a largely peaceful revolution, but a revolution nonetheless. This was nothing less than a great citizen's movement, harnessing the energies of blacks and whites alike. The first stage of the movement was led by well-educated, middle-class black ministers, skilled at taking the white man's Christianity — which had become their Christianity as well — and using it against him. The movement forced ordinary white citizens to examine their consciences, even as it summoned black people to reject the condition of their lives. … Back to Article

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