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Is the “Civil Rights Movement” Capitalized In Writing?

Is the “Civil Rights Movement” Capitalized In Writing?

The 1950s “civil rights movement” was among the most significant times for the Civil Rights Movement American Community. The movement spanned for two decades, making it one of the richest stories in the Civil Rights Movement history. But is the “civil rights movement” capitalized? Does history and politics behind the “civil rights movement” play a role in capitalization?

Despite the civil rights movement’s impact on society, most English language rules require you not to capitalize it. The phrase is not a proper noun, and according to the English writing language, only proper nouns are capitalized. However, some instances will require capitalization.

Capitalization rules keep changing depending on the situation. With that in mind, it is vital to realize that you’ll always have to correctly use the phrase “civil rights movement” in your writing. You might be getting confused due to many contradicting statements you’ve come across. Read on to understand better when the “civil rights movement” should be capitalized and the exceptions.

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Rules for Capitalizing the “Civil Rights Movement” 

The term “civil rights movement” is capitalized when used at the beginning of a sentence, if it is the first word after a quote, when used in a title, or when used as a proper noun.

Learning proper capitalization of the phrase “civil rights movement” will see people give your work credit. It also enables you to avoid making embarrassing mistakes. Let’s dive into capitalization scenarios.

In the First Word of a Sentence

Capitalizing the first word in a sentence is one stable rule in the English language. Each time you start a sentence, capitalize the first letter of the word. This rule does not change irrespective of the type of writing style you are using.

More so, when writing the phrase “civil rights movement” at the beginning of a sentence, note that only the first letter in the word is capitalized. In this case, you only capitalize the letter “c.”

Example sentences:

  • Civil rights movement is highly dependent on the political system in place.
  • Civil rights movements have helped to end multiple discriminations in various offices.
  • Civil rights movement should be taken seriously.

The First Word after a Quote

Are you writing about the “civil rights movement,” and you need to write a quote? You might be wondering if you should capitalize the phrase. According to the language rules, when you use a direct quote as a complete sentence, capitalize the word. In this case, the only letter to capitalize when writing a phrase is “c.”

Example sentences:

  • John said, “Civil rights movements are a strong pillar of black history.”
  • “Civil rights movements were already established in 1969,” that is what Stephen told the class.
  • Sandy said, “Civil rights movement can have a huge impact if properly planned.”

When In Titles 

You will need to capitalize on the phrase “civil rights movement” when talking about a title. Note that proper capitalization when writing a title is essential, especially if it is a research essay. Capitalization shows the reader that you understand grammar. If the word civil rights movement is part of the title or topic, capitalize all the first letters of each word.

Example sentences:

  • I have decided that my thesis topic will be “The Pros of The Black American Civil Rights Movement.”
  • Each time I read “The 1950s Civil Rights Movement,” I learn something new.
  • I like her essay titled “The Silent Voices of Modern Civil Right Movements.”

When Used As a Proper Noun

Generally, the phrase “civil rights movement” is not capitalized unless you refer to the words African Americans struggle as they fought to get full constitutional rights. This took place between 1950 and the 1960s.

If this is what you are talking about, write the phrase in capital letters. Since you are referring to a specific movement, then the term becomes a noun, and in that case, you capitalize it; you need to capitalize all the words.

Example sentences:

  • My research paper was about the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s; I believe I did a great job.
  • This semester, the history lesson was about the Civil Rights Movement and its impact on society.
  • Most people fail to understand that the Civil Rights Movement in the 20th century did not appear anywhere.

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More Alternative Rules When Capitalizing “Civil Rights Movement”

“Civil rights movement” is a common phrase, and so when writing it, you do not need to capitalize each word. The same case applies when writing other phrases that aren’t proper nouns.

Simply put, the “civil rights movement” because it doesn’t refer to a specific group. It’s not a proper noun. However, when you’re mentioning the term but in a particular group or organization context, embrace capitalization.

A political or social right can be limited to a group in history. When this happens, the oppressed group can lobby, have demonstrations, or civil disobedience to ensure their rights are met. This is known as a “civil rights movement.”

Example sentences:

  • When Joel discovered that some accused criminals were not getting a fair trial, he started a civil rights movement.
  • The company did not allow the women to get into the premises, yet it was a public facility; she started a civil rights movement.
  • To avoid a civil rights movement, the government had to ensure that the kids from the slums got quality education.

The “civil rights movement” is one of the most uncomplicated phrases to understand regarding capitalization. Unless it is linked to a specific movement like the 1950s and 1960s like the Black Americans, then the phrase is not a proper noun and should not be capitalized. For instance, it’s correct to say: “The 1950 Civil Rights Movement took a long time before the protesters achieved the intended results.”

Example Sentences with Correct Capitalization of “Civil Rights Movement” 

With the rules mentioned earlier, it’s easy to use the phrase “civil rights movement.” Let’s help you understand how to capitalize this word with these ten example sentences.

  1. The civil rights movement was once a non-sectarian movement that was honorable and only done by pacific people to seek justice.
  2. It was clear that Soul was the one who planned the civil rights movement, and that is why the management framed him so that he could get fired.
  3. Not until the 1960s did they plan a civil rights movement that fought for everyone to have equal rights.
  4. “Civil rights movement demands and complaints have been taken up,” Peter shouted out.
  5. James supplied all the people protesting during the civil rights movements with food and water.
  6. Even though the civil rights movement was to help them improve how they were treated in the office, no one seemed to care.
  7. If you do not participate in the civil rights movement, you will betray your co-workers.
  8. The management heard about the possibility of a civil rights movement in the office; they now have a meeting with the representatives.
  9. Have you watched the movie Civil Rights Movement Facts?
  10. The civil rights movement might not seem significant, but the changes it brings will help ensure everyone working for the company is happy.


You no longer have to be stranded when writing the “civil rights movement” in your research or when you are chatting with your friends. Proper capitalization is essential, especially when writing something official like a letter to the management, thesis, research question, or other data. If the capitalization is incorrect, what you write might not get the attention you need.

In the case of the “civil rights movement,” the last thing you want is to make mistakes in this phrase’s usage. Learning the importance of capitalizing on this phrase is a game-changer.