Segments in this Video

1954: Overview by Bill Moyers (02:13)


The year 1954 marks the beginning of the American black revolution. The Supreme Court's decision on Brown v Board of Education changed the course of American history.

African Americans vs. the U.S. Constitution: Separate but Equal (03:19)

The second American revolution is the struggle by American black people to secure for themselves the rights proclaimed for all in the Declaration of Independence. Between 1896 and 1954, those rights were denied by the U.S. Constitution.

WWII and Racism (05:50)

The Supreme Court strikes down "separate but equal" in a 1954 decision. A Ku Klux Klan member justifies segregation by citing Genesis 11. At the heart of WWII is "naked racism". Black soldiers are segregated from whites during WWII.

Harry Truman and Civil Rights (04:35)

After WWII, Nazi war criminals ride in white soldiers' quarters while returning black soldiers ride "Jim Crow". President Truman listens to black veterans' tales of violence and racism and vows to end it.

Howard University Law School (04:36)

It was at Howard University where civil rights law is said to have been invented. A growing strategy was mapped, research done, and the ground rules laid to launch the final campaign to overcome "separate but equal" rhetoric.

NAACP and Segregation (06:40)

The NAACP takes the case of Linda Brown, a black elementary school student forced to attend a school out of her locale. The case is made for the psychological damage done by segregating children by race.

Martin Luther King, Jr. and Non-Violence (03:33)

The Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education struck the south like a bomb. Martin Luther King, Jr. takes center stage to buoy the spirits of black Americans.

Rosa Parks (04:00)

Rosa Parks sparks a boycott of the Montgomery public transit system. What the black vote could not accomplish, the black dollar did. No one could legally tell a black person to go to the black of the bus.

Black Protesters (05:20)

Black people march nonviolently to demand equality. The President is forced to send in federal troops to protect black children in white schools. Black teens stage sit-ins at all-white lunch counters. James Meredith enters the University of Mississippi.

1963: Malcolm X (04:18)

Black protesters face water hoses, snarling dogs, and police violence in Birmingham. In 1963, Civil rights leaders gather in what was to be the biggest march in black history. Malcolm X speaks out in favor of meeting violence with violence.

March on Washington (03:32)

At the Lincoln Memorial, 250,000 Americans march peacefully. It is apparent that the Civil Rights Movement is not a black movement but an American movement. Rev. King delivers his "I Have a Dream" speech.

Black Struggle vs. Reality (03:20)

Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis discuss the long-term effects of racism. Blacks continue to struggle for definition of themselves and their struggle. Is there reason for hope? Are the words of equality only words?

Inequality and Racism for Blacks (01:01)

Film host Bill Moyers talks about the necessity for struggle and sacrifice in order to achieve the gains African Americans have made. The struggle, however, has not resulted in racial equality. There is a need for economic justice.

Credits: The Second American Revolution, Part 2 (01:25)

Credits: The Second American Revolution, Part 2

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The Second American Revolution, Part 2

Part of the Series : A Walk Through the 20th Century with Bill Moyers
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The year 1954 can now be seen as a clarifying point of convergence in American history. Among other things, it was the year that brought the Supreme Court’s decision to outlaw racial segregation in the schools of the United States. In this program, Bill Moyers, Ossie Davis, and Ruby Dee tell the story of how the New Deal, World War II, and postwar social changes set the stage for a long-awaited and hard-fought legal assault on the fortresses of segregation. The video also shows how the victory of 1954 sparked a decade of continuing nonviolent revolution that culminated in the Voting Rights Act of 1965. (55 minutes)

Length: 55 minutes

Item#: BVL42062

ISBN: 978-1-62102-056-1

Copyright date: ©1984

Closed Captioned

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