Black History Month: Battle for civil rights in Queens

Black History Month: Battle for civil rights in Queens
In 1963, the building of Rochdale Village in St. Albans sparks months of daily protests because contractors refuse to add minority workers to their crews. A favorite tactic is to sit in the street to block heavy equipment from driving onto the site.
By TimesLedger Staff

Selma, Birmingham, and Little Rock — names of the most famous battlegrounds of the civil rights movement.

But not every fight for equality in the U.S. took place in the old Confederacy. Scores of people from Queens went south to support the fight for equal rights during the 1960s, but our borough had its fair share of battles, too.

Here in Queens, the fight centered around equal access to jobs and better schools. But in the years before the Civil Rights Act was passed in 1964, Queens saw some angry and prolonged battles — as these pictures show.

Little is said today about a one-day boycott on Feb. 3, 1964, when more than 450,000 students — nearly half of the student population — skipped school to protest the segregation of the city’s education system. Or the wide-spread — and sometimes violent — protests that led to President Lyndon B. Johnson’s appearance at the opening day of the 1964 World’s Fair.

From the archives, here is glimpse of what the civil right movement looked like in Queens.

More from Around New York