7. Federal Courts and Civil Rights

The Civil Rights Movement to guarantee African Americans their rights under the Constitution had no one beginning. Its origin was in countless acts of protest throughout the country. The battlefields were not only Birmingham, Selma, Charlotte, and Little Rock, but also Boston, Topeka, and Los Angeles.

The courtrooms of the United States District Courts were a major battlefield of the civil rights movement, and it was the federal courts that defined these issues into law. The march to equality was slow, but those fighting for justice held firm in their belief that the law of the land was on their side. One case at a time, the courts agreed—in ruling after ruling. Their decisions strengthened the foundation for an America where we celebrate the contributions of every person.

Because the National Archives at Atlanta is the official depository for Federal court records from the Southern states, it is a treasure trove for civil rights records. A listing of U.S. District Court cases from the Southeast Region pertaining to Civil Liberties can be downloaded in Adobe PDF Format which can be viewed and printed with the free Adobe Reader.

University of Georgia Integration