DHS Library

Human and Civil Rights

Civil Rights | Human Rights

Civil Rights

In addition to the links to specific sites, below, use the following civil rights metasites: American Civil Liberties Union, Civilrights.org, and the United States Department of Justice.

Bill of Rights Defense Committee
"We support repeal of parts of the USA PATRIOT Act and Executive Orders that infringe on Constitutional rights. This web site documents and supports local efforts to restore civil liberties guaranteed by the Bill of Rights of the U.S. Constitution, which have been threatened by the Act and Orders."

The Diverse Quest for Civil Rights
This is a general article on civil rights emphasizing the African American movement. It includes hyperlinks to age and gender discrimination, as well as other unlegislated unique groups.

Civil Rights Timeline
A brief look at the events in the American Civil Rights Movement, beginning in 1619. From CNN.

Hate Crime Laws
From the Anti-Defamation League, this model for legislation includes racial and ethnic minorities and their property; as well as other groups needing protected status.

Gender | Age | Ethnicity | Creed | Disability | Sexual Orientation


Equal Rights Amendment
The text of the ERA is barely 50 words. Learn the history of the proposed ammendment, and what's being done to encourage it's passage.

NOW -- Who We Are
The National Organization for Women provides this succinct history of their organization, begun in 1966, with many intertextual hyperlinks. Go to the NOW homepage for links to current articles relevent to women's right in the U.S. and the world.

Title IX
An overview of the 1972 Educational Ammendments legislation. Title IX bans gender discrimination in schools, in academics or athletics. Read a history of Title IX here.

Women's Rights Are Human Rights
Amnesty International has long crusaded against the oppression of women around the world. Sub-topics include reproductive rights, violence against women, and gender discrimination.


Earnings by Gender and Age
From the Department of Labor, this chart shows how weekly earnings have changed since 1979.

Act of 1967
Full text of the "Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967." (The Civil Rights Act of 1991 reaffirms the ideas set down here.)

Employment Discrimination
The Legal Information Institute provides and overview of employment law, and give links to source material.

National Youth Rights Association
Each day the NYRA presents news associated with age discrimination against youth.


African Americans

Civil Rights in Mississippi
Includes oral histories, photographs, and original manuscripts.

Lynchings in America
In 1916 Jesse Washington confessed to killing a white woman and was sentenced to death. But an angry mob circumvented the justice system and burned him to death. This page covers the history of lynchings in further chapters.

This online exhibit from Cornell University, provides an excellent overview of the treatment of slaves in early America and those who sought to emancipate their fellow humans.

The Atlantic Slave Trade and Slave Life in the Americas
For images of slavery, this is a most comprehensive site. The webmasters do not, however, make grand claims to authenticity or accuracy. As this is largely a site for visuals, don't expect much in the way of text.

The Negro Holocaust
The most useful portions of this page, for students, are the narratives on lynching, race riots, and the "black response." Because the page is from the New Haven Teachers Institute, you will also find curriculum and lesson suggestions.

Civil Rights Movement
A brief timeline of both the modern and early struggles for Civil Rights. From CNN.

The Civil Rights Era
From the Library of Congress African-American Odyssey. Includes images and brief summaries in two parts. Topics covered include: the Little Rock Nine, the Montgomery bus boycott, the Greensboro lunch counter sit-in and the SNCC, freedom riders, and the march on Washington, among others.

Two Scholars Discuss Afrocentrism
"Afrocentrism is an intellectual and ideological movement largely among African-Americans whose central proposition is that all blacks are syncretic Africans who exist in a cultural and political diaspora, and that their worldview must be African-centred and must positively express African values."

Plessy v. Ferguson
A brief and understandable explanation of the case that established the doctrine of "separate but equal." for a more thorough investigation read the full text of the Supreme Court's decision.

Brown v. Board of Education
A brief and understandable explanation of the case that overturned the doctrine of "separate but equal." for a more thorough investigation read the full text of the Supreme Court's decision.

Brown at 50
"Howard University and its School of Law celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education through striving to fulfill the promise of Brown through recommitting the University and its School of Law to using law to work toward social justice."

Civil Rights Laws
This site gives summaries of civil rights laws for Americans from 1776 to 1991.

Freedom Struggle
This page from the Smithsonian's Museum of American History, provides a brief description and many images of the struggle for civil rights and the African American.

Kennedy's 1963 Civil Rights Announcement
Governor George Wallace attempted to stop the court-ordered desegregation of the University of Alabama. The National Guard was called in to mitigate the situation, and President Kennedy was inspired to speak to the nation. It was after this announcement that Medgar Evars, head of the Mississippi NAACP, was murdered.

Civil Rights during the Johnson Administration
Many of the major civil rights events occured during LBJ's presidency. This chronology focuses on the governmental responses to racial strife. Read Johnson's statement on the Watts Riots.

"Six years of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee." Choose from People, Events, Issues and Timeline, for hyperlinked documents. Topics covered include: Black Power, Sit-ins, Freedom Rides, the March on Washington, and Stokely Carmichael.

Atlanta Race Riot, 1906
After the Civil War, Atlanta rebuilt itself into a gracious Southern city. However, there was still a sharp distinction between the races.

Tulsa Race Riot of 1921
Begin with this brief overview of the 1921 riots, including images.

Race Riots Chart
This chart compares the numbers of participants, dead, and wounded from the Wilmington riot in 1898 to the Los Angeles riots in 1992. Included are the Watts and Detroit riots.

1943 Detroit Race Riots
Overcrowding and competition for war-time jobs led to this 36 hour melee, leaving 34 people dead. From the Detroit News.

Little Rock Central High
The Little Rock Central High 1957-58 school year was crucial for the civil rights movement. This site is devoted to commemorating the historic desegregation process.

Montgomery Bus Boycott
A brief article describing the circumstances surrounding the boycott, with a great list of hyperlinked resources.

The Murder of Emmett Till
An easy-to-understand explanation of the Till lynching. Also exemplary in its use of documentation.

March on Washington, 1963 (Video)
A. Philip Randolph, labor unionist and civil rights leader, organized the march "for jobs and freedom" for the African-Americans. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gave his "I have a dream" speech on this occasion.

Selma to Montgomery March
In 1965, Martin Luther King, jr. led a 54 mile march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama in support of black voter rights.

Black Muslims
A hyperlinked page from the UK, on The Nation of Islam, including information about Elijah Muhammad and Louis Farrakhan.

Black Panthers
This is the 1966 text of the platform of the Black Panther Party.

Malcolm X Project
Columbia University's web site includes biographies, a multimedia version of his "Autobiography," information on his assassination, and much more.

White Citizen's Councils
After the Brown v. Board of Education decision, whites in the south formed citizen's councils aimed at preserving the "Southern way of life." The Ku Klux Klan also became more active at this time, concerning itself with civil rights issues. This page gives testimonials from actual members of this short-lived group.

Asian Americans

Asians in the United States (pdf)
This 24 page document is a state of the group report on various Asian ethnic groups (including Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, Korean, and others), and how they are faring in the U.S.


Hispanics in the United States (pdf)
A special report by the U.S. Census bureau.

Cesar Chavez and the UFW
The movement for unionizing the latino farm workers led by Cesar Chavez was a major milestone in the civil rights agenda. This is a brief history of his life and work. Also available via hyperlink are excerpts from his speeches, and a timeline of his work with the union.

Testimony on Racial Profiling (pdf)
This testimony was given before the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Federalism and Property Rights, and is reported by the National Council of La Raza.



Anti-Semitism in the United States
This "Backgrounder" from the Anti-Defamation League chronicles the current state of Anti-Semitism in the U.S., including statistics if anti-semitic incidents, and the results of an attitude survey. Click to the home page of the ADL to find much more.

Brief analysis of anti-semitism. From the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.


Topics of Interest to Muslim Women
The Muslim Women's League tackles a variety of issues important to them, including terrorisim, violence, dress, rights, and September 11.


ADA Home Page
From the Department of Justice.

Americans with Disabilities Act
Full Text of the 1990 Legislation.

Disability Rights Laws
The U.S. Department of Justice reports on the ADA as well as other Acts of Congress designed to aid the disabled, including housing, voting and education issues.

Sexual Orientation

Civil Union Links
Links on this website that support and oppose the idea of civil unions for gays.

Position Paper: Same Sex Marriage
From the Center for Inquirey Office of Public Policy. A well-referenced examination of the topic.

Gay Rights
This page of issues and controversies surrounding gay rights in America is provided by Public Agenda, a nonpartisan organization devoted to informing citizens and politicians about all sides of the important issues of the day.

Hate Crime Statistics
Check out the tables.

Young and Queer in America
From Human Rights Watch, this well-researched document examines the social and legal issues of gay, lesbian, bi-sexual youth. Most researchers believe this is about 5-6 percent of the population.

Hatred in the Hallways
This report is a well-documented examination of the the anti-gay harrassment that is common in schools today.

Lesbian and Gay Rights Fact Sheets
The Body is a website devoted to HIV/AIDS issues. This page includes statistics on safety and abuse among this group, and also sexual orientation facts in general.

Human Rights

Womens' Issues | Children's Issues | Slavery
Prisoners | Immunity | Religion

In addition to the links to specific topics, below, the following organizations are actively involved in promoting and monitoring human rights, world-wide: Human Rights Watch, and Amnesty International.

Universal Declaration of Human Rights
The General Assembly of the United Nations adopted this declaration in 1948. Click on "Declaration" to read the text of the preamble and each article.

US Human Rights Record
This report is issued by the United Nations, who has a different take on how the United States treats its indigenous citizens.

Women's Issues

Female Genital Mutilation
An excellent explanation of the different types of FGM, as well as the cultural reasons for the practice. Also included is an examination of the adverse health effects and reasons to eradicate the practice. From World Health Organization.

Fighting Female Genital Mutilation in Africa
A valuable part of this page is the table delineating the types of FGM practiced, by country. A map is also provided, indicating the prevalence of the practice in Africa.

Female Genital Mutilation
Brief overview of the world-wide extent of FGM, including immigrants who continue the practice after moving to Europe and North America.

Female Genital Mutilation
For a list of authoritative links to a variety of female circumcision topics, go to this list of links provided by the Circumcision Resource and Resource Pages. Links include scholarly articles, articles from the medical and law professions, and some articles on the practice in the United States.

Stop Rape in War
Physicians for Human Rights is using science and medicine to prevent human rights violations. Also helpful is the background infomation on sexual violence as a weapon of war.

"Honor" Killings
Women are being put to death as a result of actual or perceived immoral behavior, primarily in Muslim countries.

One Thousand Years of Chinese Footbinding
This paper is offered as an example of excellence in research paper writing. The content includes a well-researched account of the practice of footbinding in ancient China.

A Torturing Custom
This site is provided by the Third World Studies program at Marianapolis College. Topics covered include: the origins and symbolism of footbinding, the social and health implications, and the eventual abolition of the custom.

Children's Issues

West Africa: Stop Trafficking in Child Labor
Small farmers in West Africa are using children to assist in reducing farm costs. This keeps children under-educated and less likely to enter any other economics forces.

Children of Conflict

After war and strife, children are often left to head household and to provide for themselves. This BBC report covers child soldier, child workers, and lost and wounded children.

Female Infanticide
Case studies of female gendercide in India and China. References are cited intertextually.

Protecting and Realizing Rights for Children
This is just one page out of many under the topic "Convention on the Rights of the Child." Another page of interest is Addressing the Needs of Children.

Rights of Girls (pdf)
A Fact Sheet from the United Nations, explaining the goals of world-wide children's rights, and why it is important to ensure equal rights for girls.

Child Soldiers
A brief summary about forcing children and young adults to become involved in military actions they are too young to understand.

Children's Rights: Child Soldiers
From Human Rights Watch. A brief summary, with hyperlinks, of situations using child soldiers, and what the United Nations and other groups are doing to stop it.


Contemporary Forms of Slavery (pdf)
The United Nations explains a wide range of behaviors and attitudes regarding the state of human slavery.


Police Brutality Law
An overview from policebrutalitylaw.com.

Testimony of Police Brutality
Click on a city or state to read account of brutality.

Religious Persecution

Center for Reduction of Religious Based Conflict
This non profit organization keeps up-to-date with religious conflict all over the world. Select a country from the navigation bar at the left to find out what's going on in over eighteen countries.

Religious Persecution of Muslims in Europe
The Muslim Women's League created this page in 1996, just after the atrocities in the former Yugoslavia occured. They are righteously indignant about a number of issues, including police brutality, rape and torture, among others.

Amina Lawal
Amina Lawal, a Nigerian woman was sentenced to death by stoning for her "crime" of adultery. Her lawyer, however, proved the charge was not valid, and Amina escaped death.

China: Religious Persecution Persists
The Chinese government's position is to repress Catholics and Protestants, but there is even some suppression of the five sanctioned religions.

Top Links accurate as of 10-11-12