On this page, you can find words and phrases that are particularly useful to know when studying the civil rights movement. Click each word for a full definition in English, including information about the way the word is specifically relevant in the context of civil rights.


The act of ending a practice, system or institution. The word is often used specifically in connection with ending slavery in countries like the US, but it also has a more general meaning.


Refusal to buy a product or use a service. During the civil rights movement, activists boycotted buses (which had segregated seating) and discriminatory businesses to advance their cause.

Black Codes 

A series of state laws implemented after the American Civil War which restricted African Americans’ rights to vote, to own property, to gain employment, or to improve their economic status.

Black Nationalism 

An ideology advocating a separate national status for black people in the US. Black nationalists encouraged African Americans to take pride in their cultural heritage and refuse to integrate into mainstream white American society.

Black Power 

A US movement which developed in the 1960s and 1970s, advocating for rights and political power for African Americans. The Black Power movement often disagreed with the civil rights movement on the proper methods of protesting, as many of its members advocated using militant methods in the struggle against discrimination. 

Black Panther Party

A political or…

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