Between the Supreme Court's 1954 Brown decision and the summer of 1964, advocates of black equality intensified their activities. The 1955 Montgomery, Alabama bus boycott, the 1957 desegregation of Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, the student sit-ins at a Woolworth's lunch counter in Greensboro, North Carolina in 1960, the 1963 Birmingham boycott, and in the same year, the March on Washington signaled the increased commitment of Americans to civil rights reform. In the same period, the Federal government passed legislation to end Jim Crow. The Civil Rights Act of 1957, the first civil rights law passed since Reconstruction, established a Civil Rights Division in the Justice Department, the purpose of which was to prevent interference with citizens's efforts to vote. The Civil Rights Act of 1960 allowed federal court referees to register black voters when a pattern of discrimination was discerned. Yet, the efforts of the Federal government to secure equal rights for African-Americans was notoriously ineffective.
During the period 1954 to 1963 , black Mississippians concentrated their efforts to end racial discrimination by calling for equal access to education, public accommodations, and economic opportunity. Jackson police officers arrested freedom riders—black activists who attempted to force southern officials to recognize federally-mandated integration of interstate transportation. In 1960, African Americans in McComb requested that the Congress of Racial Equality organize and operate a voter registration campaign in their