This text covers the history of the civil rights movement beginning in the crucial years of WWII. The author focuses on the development of black electoral politics from southern disfranchisement to the election of big city mayors. He ties together the broader effort to achieve the legal right to equality with his specific aims of achieving actual political equality. He has successfully linked the national struggle for civil and political rights with grassroots efforts where much of the inspiration and resources for the movement were derived. It provides an opportunity to explain the powerful institutions of government - presidents, Congress, the Supreme Court, and the actions of ordinary citizens in the local communities.