The saying goes, “stand for something or you’ll fall for anything.” Here’s a look a few powerful images from people who risked their safety and image to stand for civil rights during some of the most controversial times in American history.
1. Nation Gathers for March on Washington for Jobs and FreedomSource:Getty
A young paperboy during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom political rally in Washington, DC on August 28, 1963.
2. Daughter of Eric Garner Leads Protest March In Staten IslandSource:Getty
Erica Garner, the deceased daughter of the late Eric Garner, leads a march of people protesting the Staten Island, New York grand jury’s decision not to indict a police officer involved in the chokehold death of Eric Garner in July, on December 11, 2014 in the Staten Island Neighborhood of New York City.
3. Martin Luther King Leading March to MontgomerySource:Getty
Dr. Martin Luther King (center) leads an estimated 10,00 or more civil rights marchers out on the last leg of their Selma-to-Montgomery march. Others identifiable in front row include: John Lewis, (2d from left) of SNCC; King’s aide, Reverend Ralph Abernathy (3rd from left); Dr. Ralph Bunche (5th from left, looking to side); Mrs. King (next to King); and Rev. Hosea Williams (carrying little girl, right).
4. Protesting Rodney King VerdictSource:Getty
Outside the Los Angeles Police Department Headquarters at Parker Center (at 150 N Los Angeles Street), demonstrators protest in the wake of the verdict in the Rodney King case was announced, Los Angeles, California, April 30, 1992. One man wears a shirt that reads ‘Gates Must Go’ (referencing Police Chief Daryl Gates). The verdict, where three of four police officers were acquitted (the jury was deadlocked in the case of the fourth officer) on charges including excessive force in the beating of Rodney King, was a major contributing factor to the subsequent LA Riots, which resulted in 55 deaths, thousands of injuries, and more than 10,000 arrests.
5. Civil Rights Marchers on Bridge in SelmaSource:Getty
State troopers watch as marchers cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge over the Alabama River in Selma, Alabama as part of a civil rights march on March 9. Two days before troopers used excessive force driving marchers back across the bridge, killing one protester.
6. Anti-Trump RallySource:Getty
Charles Watkins 34 of Denver makes his voice heard with Padres & Jóvenes Unidos as they held a Trump protest rally along Federal Blvd and 5th at East Barnum Park in Denver, CO November 09, 2016.
7. Black Students Sit-In at Woolworth’sSource:Getty
African-American students at North Carolina A&T College participate in a sit-in at a F. W. Woolworth’s lunch counter reserved for white customers in Greensboro, North Carolina.
8. The NYC Shut It Down The Grand Central Crew GrowsSource:Getty
The NYC Shut It Down The Grand Central Crew #BlackLivesMatter reaches the 2nd year in a row of weekly #PeoplesMonday actions.
9. Protesters Demonstrate Against Police Shooting During Panthers Football Game In CharlotteSource:Getty
A young boy eats a donut as he walks with demonstrators down a street outside of Bank of America Stadium before an NFL football game between the Charlotte Panthers and the Minnesota Vikings September 25, 2016 in Charlotte, NC. Protests have disrupted the city since Tuesday night following the shooting of 43-year-old Keith Lamont Scott at an apartment complex near UNC Charlotte.
10. Protests Unfold In Charlotte After Police Shooting Death Of Keith ScottSource:Getty
Demonstrators march through the streets following a rally at Marshall Park September 24, 2016 in uptown Charlotte, North Carolina. Protests have disrupted the city since Tuesday night following the fatal shooting of 43-year-old Keith Lamont Scott at an apartment complex near UNC Charlotte.
11. Activists Hold March Protesting Police Shooting Of Philando CastileSource:Getty
Protestors raise their hands as police attempt to move them off highway I-94 which they shut down on July 9, 2016 in St. Paul, Minnesota. Protests and marches have occurred every day since the police killing of Philando Castile on June 6, 2016 in Falcon Heights, Minnesota.
12. Activists At The White House Protest Shooting Deaths Of Two Black Men By PoliceSource:Getty
Demonstrators hold hands as they march from The White House to Capitol Hill on July 7, 2016 in Washington, DC. Protestors gathered in Washington to protest the fatal police shootings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile.
13. Activists At The White House Protest Shooting Deaths Of Two Black Men By PoliceSource:Getty
Demonstrators lock arms as they march from The White House to Capitol Hill on July 7, 2016 in Washington, DC. Protestors gathered in Washington to protest the fatal police shootings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile.
14. Policemen Arrest a Protester atan Anti-Trump Rally.Source:Getty
Policemen arrest a protester at the Anti-Trump rally. Thousands marched during the Anti-Trump Rally through the streets in Manhattan and were met with pepper spray and there were also three photographers arrested.
15. Police Officers Face Off with Protestors on I-85 in CharlotteSource:Getty
Police officers face off with protestors on the I-85 (Interstate 85) during protests following the death of a man shot by a police officer on September 21, 2016 in Charlotte, NC. The protests began the previous night following the fatal shooting of 43-year-old Keith Lamont Scott at an apartment complex near UNC Charlotte.
16. Protesters React To Death Of Keith Lamont Before State Of Emergency in Charlotte is DeclaredSource:Getty
CHARLOTTE, NC – SEPTEMBER 22: A demonstrator shouts during protests September 22, 2016 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Protests began on Tuesday night following the fatal shooting of 43-year-old Keith Lamont Scott at an apartment complex near UNC Charlotte. A state of emergency was declared overnight in Charlotte and a midnight curfew was imposed by mayor Jennifer Roberts.
17. Activists Hold March Protesting Police Shooting Of Philando CastileSource:Getty
Activists protest the death of Philando Castile on July 8, 2016 in downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota. Castile was shot and killed by police on July 6, 2016 in Falcon Heights, Minnesota.
18. Protests Continue In Baton Rouge After Police Shooting Death Of Alton SterlingSource:Getty
Demonstrators gather after marching at the Louisiana Capitol to protest the shooting of Alton Sterling on July 9, 2016 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Alton Sterling was shot by a police officer in front of the Triple S Food Mart in Baton Rouge on July 5th, leading the Department of Justice to open a civil rights investigation.
19. Black Lives Matter Protest at White HouseSource:Getty
Protestors march in front of the White House for Police Reform in Washington, USA on July 8, 2016. Tensions have been renewed after two black men, Philando Castile in Minnesota and Alton Sterling in Louisiana, were killed by Police.
20. Finding Beauty In TragedySource:Getty
A man holds a rose in front of a human wall of heavily armed police in riot gear in downtown Ferguson following the killing of unarmed Michael Brown (18). The Ferguson Police and forces from neighboring counties were accused of heavy handed tactics as they tried to control the angry crowds.
21. State Of Emergency Declared In Charlotte After Police Shooting Sparks Violent ProtestsSource:Getty
Activists attempt to make their way onto Interstate 277 to block traffic as they march in the streets amid a heavy police and National Guard presence as they protest the death of Keith Scott September 22, 2016 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Scott, 43, was shot and killed by police officers at an apartment complex near UNC Charlotte.
22. Pastors Gather For Prayer After Charleston Church MassacreSource:Getty
Local pastors hold hands outside the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina on June 20, 2015. Residents of South Carolina, still shaken by the unthinkable murder of nine African Americans, planned protests across the state Saturday, giving voice to their grief, anger and demands for change. Protesters were to gather in the capital city of Columbia for a rally against the Confederate battle flag, a potent symbol of racism for many there.
23. Protest over the killing of unarmed teen in FergusonSource:Getty
Demonstrators wearing Guy Fawkes masks, raise their hands during a rally on West Florissant Avenue to protest the shooting death of an unarmed teen by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, on August 15, 2014. Eighteen-year-old Michael Brown was shot dead by police in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri on August 09, 2014.
24. Olympic Medalists Give Black Power SignSource:Getty
Tommie Smith and John Carlos, gold and bronze medalists in the 200-meter run at the 1968 Olympic Games, engage in a victory stand protest against unfair treatment of blacks in the United States. With heads lowered and black-gloved fists raised in the black power salute, they refuse to recognize the American flag and national anthem. Australian Peter Norman is the silver medalist.
25. Baltimore Protests Death of Freddie GraySource:@ArtuGraphiq
Baltimore residents protests death of Freddie Gray, who suffered spinal injuries while in police custody.
26. New York Police Rape AcquittalSource:Getty
Angry citizens stage a quickly organized demonstration outside the courthouse the day after two New York City police officers had been acquitted of charges of raping an intoxicated women after helping her to her apartment from a taxicab. Officer Mata was charged with rape, while his partner, Officer Moreno kept look out. Even though the two officers were videotaped visiting the women’s apartment three times in one evening, and lied to their superiors about where they were, the jury said that the lack of physical evidence in the case required a not guilty verdict. Both police officers were fired from the police department.
27. NFL Player Colin Kaepernick Kicks Off Silent ProtestsSource:Getty
(L-R) Eli Harold #58, Colin Kaepernick #7, and Eric Reid #35 of the San Francisco 49ers kneel in protest during the national anthem prior to their NFL game against the Arizona Cardinals at Levi’s Stadium on October 6, 2016 in Santa Clara, California.
28. Ferguson, Missouri Residents Gather One Year After The Death Of Michael BrownSource:Getty
Michael Brown Sr. (C-front) leads a march from the location where his son Michael Brown Jr. was shot and killed following a memorial service marking the anniversary of his death on August 9, 2015 in Ferguson, Missouri. Brown Jr, was shot and killed by a Ferguson police officer on August 9, 2014. His death sparked months of sometimes violent protests in Ferguson and drew nationwide focus on police treatment of black suspects.
29. Los Angeles Residents Protests In Memory of Trayvon MartinSource:Getty
Protesters march through out South Los Angeles in response to the not guilty verdicts in the Trayvon Martin verdict in Florida.
30. Protests Erupt in Baltimore After Funeral For Freddie Gray Who Died While In Police CustodySource:Getty
A woman faces down a line of Baltimore Police officers in riot gear during violent protests following the funeral of Freddie Gray April 27, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. Gray, 25, who was arrested for possessing a switch blade knife April 12 outside the Gilmor Homes housing project on Baltimore’s west side. According to his attorney, Gray died a week later in the hospital from a severe spinal cord injury he received while in police custody.
31. The Day After Violence and Riots in BaltimoreSource:Getty
Jerome Scott wanted to teach his 3-year-old son Romello Scott an interesting lesson. He brought little Romello to an area of heavy police presence (intersection of N. Carey St. and W. North Ave.) specifically to teach him to not instantly be afraid of law enforcement personnel. He wants to help end the cycle of African American men and police being in a constant state of mistrust. Little Romello was a bit nervous but Scott was glad he did it.
32. Million Man March ParticipantsSource:Getty
Participants gather in Washington, DC for the Million Man March, an event organized by Minister Louis Farrakhan as a day of atonement and empowerment for African American men.
33. Protesters Kneel For Civil Rights Against RacismSource:Getty
Black Protesters Kneeling Before City Hall, Birmingham, Alabama, USA, Minutes Before Being Arrested for Parading Without a Permit, April 6, 1963.
34. Protesters Holding SignsSource:Getty
Protesters at the landmark civil rights demonstration, the March on Washington.
35. Selma MarchesSource:Getty Images
Protesters stood their ground in a series of three marches in 1965 that spanned along the 54-mile highway from Selma, Alabama to the state capital of Montgomery.
36. White Man Carrying Black Girl at MarchSource:Getty
A white man carries a black girl on his shoulders during a march with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Alabama, ca. 1965.
37. Black Panthers Protest At NYC CourthouseSource:Getty
View of a line of Black Panther Party members as they demonstrate, fists raised outside the New York City courthouse, New York, New York, April 11, 1969.
38. Outrage In Missouri Town After Police Shooting Of 18-Year-Old ManSource:Getty
Tear gas reigns down on a woman kneeling in the street with her hands in the air after a demonstration over the killing of teenager Michael Brown by a Ferguson police officer on August 17, 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri. Despite the Brown family’s continued call for peaceful demonstrations, violent protests have erupted nearly every night in Ferguson since his August 9, death.
39. US Civil Rights Leader Martin Luther King, Jr. Delivers “I Have A Dream” SpeechSource:Getty
Martin Luther King, Jr., waves to supporters from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial 28 August, 1963, on The Mall in Washington, DC, during the ‘March on Washington’ where King delivered his famous ‘I Have a Dream’ speech. 04 April, 2005 marks the 37th anniversary of the assassination of King, who was shot 04 April 1968 in Memphis, Tennessee. James Earl Ray confessed to shooting King and was sentenced to 99 years in prison. King’s killing sent shock waves through American society at the time, and is still regarded as a landmark event in recent US history. AFP PHOTO/FILES (Photo credit should read -/AFP/Getty Images) usa,anniversary,civil rights,leadership,wave,politics,washington dc,black and white,pastor,crowd,steps,martin luther king jr.,speech,protest,lincoln memorial,king,fan – enthusiast,memphis – tennessee,delivered,famous,lectern,1963 march on washington,”i have a dream”,mag01,assassination
40. Chicago Protesters Attempt To Disrupt Last Minute Holiday ShoppingSource:Getty
A demonstrator protesting the fatal police shooting of Laquan McDonald holds up a sign during an attempt to disrupt holiday shoppers along Michigan Avenue December 24, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. Former Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke, who was charged with murder last month in the shooting death of 17-year-old McDonald last year, was indicted on six counts of first-degree murder and one count of official misconduct last week.
41. Protesting Against Hate in PortlandSource:Getty
Four-year-old Olivia Eaton takes part in a rally against President Trump’s immigration ban in Portland, United States on January 30, 2017. Protests have erupted around the world after President Trump signed an executive order which suspends all refugee admissions for 120 days, and blocks entry for citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries for 90 days.
42. Demonstration by The Black PanthersSource:Getty
Members of the Black Panther party demonstrate outside the Criminal Courts Building one month after 21 Panthers were charged with plotting to dynamite city stores, a police station and a railroad right-of-way, New York City in 1969.
43. ‘One Man, One Vote’Source:Getty
A young Civil Rights activist holds a flag (‘One Man, One Vote’) on the steps of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church on the day before the Selma to Montogmery March arrived at the Alabama State Capitol (one block away), Montgomery, Alabama, March 24, 1965. The church basement had served as the headquarters for Martin Luther King Jr during the Montgomery Bus Boycott (1955 – 1956); King had been Pastor of the church between 1954 to 1960. The photographer’s son, Kip Shaw, is sitting in the foreground.
44. The March On WashingtonSource:Getty
Civil Rights leaders holds hands as they march along the National Mall during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, Washington DC, August 28, 1963. The march and rally provided the setting for the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr’s iconic ‘I Have a Dream’ speech. Among those pictured are, front row from left, National Urban League executive director Whitney Young (1921 – 1971), National Association for the Advancement of Colored People leader Roy Wilkins (1901 – 1981), labor union and Civil Rights leader A Philip Randolph (1889 – 1979), labor union leader Walter Reuther (1907 – 1970), and civil rights leader Arnold Aronson (1911 – 1998).
45. Ferguson’s Fragile Recovery Shaken After Police CasualtiesSource:Getty
Ferguson activists march through downtown during a protest on March 14, 2015 in St. Louis, Missouri. St. Louis and the nearby town of Ferguson have experienced many protests, which have often been violent, since the death of Michael Brown who was shot and killed by a Ferguson police officer in August. On Wednesday evening two police officers were shot while they were securing the Ferguson police station during a protest.
46. Anti-Anti Beyonce Protest Rally At NFL Headquarters In NYCSource:Getty
A protestor and Beyonce supporter takes part in the Anti-Anti Beyonce Protest Rally in front of NFL Headquarters on February 16, 2016 in New York City. The protest was held in response to the widespread outrage and protest over the Super Bowl Half Time performance by singer Beyonce at SuperBowl 50 held in San Francisco, California on February 7, 2016.
47. Selma MarchesSource:Getty Images
Protesters stood their ground in a series of three marches in 1965 that spanned along the 54-mile highway from Selma, Alabama to the state capital of Montgomery.
48. ‘Dreamers’ Protest in ChicagoSource:Getty
People, mostly ‘Dreamers’, which is a group of illegal refugees’ children those who live in United States, hold placards during a protest, demanding arrangements about the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) programme, which regulates the protection of illegal refugees’ children, before end of the year at Federal Plaza Square in Chicago, United States on December 19, 2017.
49. Activists Hold Rally Protesting Proposed Trump Administration HUD CutsSource:Getty
Activists attend a rally demandingÊthat the Trump administration abandon proposals to cut the Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) budget on April 20, 2017 in New York City. Members of the #NoCuts Coalition, includingÊan alliance of dozens of grassroots groups, civic organizations, faith leaders, and labor unionsÊgathered at Federal Plaza to protest the proposed cuts. Around a dozen protesters briefly blocked traffic in an act of civil disobedience before being arrested.
50. Bronx Residents Protest Lack of Heat and WaterSource:Getty
Residents on E. 153rd Street in the Bronx protest the lack of heat and water in their homes by setting bonfires and blocking traffic last night. February 13, 1974.