February is Black History Month. Learn more about the civil rights movement through the eyes of American Girl character, Melody Ellison in American Girl: The Story of America.
Melody is nine years old and growing up in Detroit in the mid-1960s, a time of great change for the African American community. Get to know more about Melody and her family as they join the civil rights movement, a campaign for African Americans to have equal rights as white Americans. Here are some facts about that time to share with the whole family.
Some African American singers used music to be heard. Many new songs, such as Gladys Knight and the Pips’ “Friendship Train,” called for justice and equality. In 1959, African American Berry Gordy started his own record label in Detroit. It became one of the most successful African American owned businesses in the world.
In 1955 African American Rosa Parks was arrested when she refused to obey segregation laws and give her seat on a bus to a white person.
In 1960, most schools in the south were segregated. Black and white students did not attend the same schools.
On June 23, 1963, 125,000 people gathered in Detroit to support African Americans in the south and ease discrimination in the north.
A new law made it illegal to discriminate against anyone based on their religion, race, or gender in places open to the public, such as schools and workplaces.
Whether it’s attending a march, standing up to injustice, or simply wearing a button to show support for equal rights, everyone can make a difference.