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.

A Look Through History: 50 Powerful Protest Photos was originally published on www.92q.com

1. Nation Gathers for March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom

Nation Gathers for March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom

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 Island

Daughter of Eric Garner Leads Protest March In Staten Island

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 Montgomery

Martin Luther King Leading March to Montgomery

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 […]

4. Protesting Rodney King Verdict

Protesting Rodney King Verdict

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 […]

5. Civil Rights Marchers on Bridge in Selma

Civil Rights Marchers on Bridge in Selma

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 Rally

Anti-Trump Rally

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’s

Black Students Sit-In at Woolworth’s

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 Grows

The NYC Shut It Down The Grand Central Crew Grows

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 Charlotte

Protesters Demonstrate Against Police Shooting During Panthers Football Game In Charlotte

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 […]

10. Protests Unfold In Charlotte After Police Shooting Death Of Keith Scott

Protests Unfold In Charlotte After Police Shooting Death Of Keith Scott

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 Castile

Activists Hold March Protesting Police Shooting Of Philando Castile

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 Police

Activists At The White House Protest Shooting Deaths Of Two Black Men By Police

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 Police

Activists At The White House Protest Shooting Deaths Of Two Black Men By Police

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.

Policemen Arrest a Protester atan Anti-Trump Rally.

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 Charlotte

Police Officers Face Off with Protestors on I-85 in Charlotte

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 Declared

Protesters React To Death Of Keith Lamont Before State Of Emergency in Charlotte is Declared

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 […]

17. Activists Hold March Protesting Police Shooting Of Philando Castile

Activists Hold March Protesting Police Shooting Of Philando Castile

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 Sterling

Protests Continue In Baton Rouge After Police Shooting Death Of Alton Sterling

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 […]

19. Black Lives Matter Protest at White House

Black Lives Matter Protest at White House

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 Tragedy

Finding Beauty In Tragedy

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 Protests

State Of Emergency Declared In Charlotte After Police Shooting Sparks Violent Protests

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 […]

22. Pastors Gather For Prayer After Charleston Church Massacre

Pastors Gather For Prayer After Charleston Church Massacre

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 […]

23. Protest over the killing of unarmed teen in Ferguson

Protest over the killing of unarmed teen in Ferguson

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 Sign

Olympic Medalists Give Black Power Sign

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. […]

25. Baltimore Protests Death of Freddie Gray

Baltimore Protests Death of Freddie Gray

Baltimore residents protests death of Freddie Gray, who suffered spinal injuries while in police custody.

26. New York Police Rape Acquittal

New York Police Rape Acquittal

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 […]

27. NFL Player Colin Kaepernick Kicks Off Silent Protests

NFL Player Colin Kaepernick Kicks Off Silent Protests

(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 Brown

Ferguson, Missouri Residents Gather One Year After The Death Of Michael Brown

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 […]

29. Los Angeles Residents Protests In Memory of Trayvon Martin

Los Angeles Residents Protests In Memory of Trayvon Martin

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 Custody

Protests Erupt in Baltimore After Funeral For Freddie Gray Who Died While In Police Custody

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, […]

31. The Day After Violence and Riots in Baltimore

The Day After Violence and Riots in Baltimore

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 […]

32. Million Man March Participants

Million Man March Participants

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 Racism

Protesters Kneel For Civil Rights Against Racism

Black Protesters Kneeling Before City Hall, Birmingham, Alabama, USA, Minutes Before Being Arrested for Parading Without a Permit, April 6, 1963.

34. Protesters Holding Signs

Protesters Holding Signs

Protesters at the landmark civil rights demonstration, the March on Washington.

35. Selma Marches

Selma Marches

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 March

White Man Carrying Black Girl at March

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 Courthouse

Black Panthers Protest At NYC Courthouse

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 Man

Outrage In Missouri Town After Police Shooting Of 18-Year-Old Man

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 […]

39. US Civil Rights Leader Martin Luther King, Jr. Delivers “I Have A Dream” Speech

US Civil Rights Leader Martin Luther King, Jr. Delivers “I Have A Dream” Speech

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 […]

40. Chicago Protesters Attempt To Disrupt Last Minute Holiday Shopping

Chicago Protesters Attempt To Disrupt Last Minute Holiday Shopping

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 […]

41. Protesting Against Hate in Portland

Protesting Against Hate in Portland

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 Panthers

Demonstration by The Black Panthers

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’

‘One Man, One Vote’

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 […]

44. The March On Washington

The March On Washington

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 […]

45. Ferguson’s Fragile Recovery Shaken After Police Casualties

Ferguson’s Fragile Recovery Shaken After Police Casualties

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 […]

46. Anti-Anti Beyonce Protest Rally At NFL Headquarters In NYC

Anti-Anti Beyonce Protest Rally At NFL Headquarters In NYC

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, […]

47. Selma Marches

Selma Marches

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 Chicago

‘Dreamers’ Protest in Chicago

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 […]

49. Activists Hold Rally Protesting Proposed Trump Administration HUD Cuts

Activists Hold Rally Protesting Proposed Trump Administration HUD Cuts

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 […]

50. Bronx Residents Protest Lack of Heat and Water

Bronx Residents Protest Lack of Heat and Water

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.

×