US civil rights leaders have said they are fearful President Donald Trump could reverse progress made on civil rights in the United States since Martin Luther King Jr's assassination 50 years ago.

Picture illustrates a segregated water fountain that forced black Americans to drink from a different fountain from those used by US public officers.
Picture illustrates a segregated water fountain that forced black Americans to drink from a different fountain from those used by US public officers. (Getty Images)

Relatives of Martin Luther King Jr lead a march through downtown Atlanta on Monday, marking the 50th anniversary of their father's hometown funeral procession.

More than 1,000 people joined the Reverend Bernice King and her brother, Martin Luther King III, as they locked arms on Monday for a march from Ebenezer Baptist Church to the grounds of the Georgia state Capitol.

But US civil rights leaders say they are fearful President Donald Trump could reverse progress made on civil rights in the United States since King's death.

The racism that King's leadership helped subdue has returned, said E Lynn Brown, a former associate of King's who is bishop of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church near Memphis, Tennessee, pointing to a resurgence of white supremacists since Trump launched his campaign for president.

Here is a look at the journey of the civil rights movement in the United States over the course of more than half a century.

Rosa Parks (R) was arrested for refusing to give her seat to a white man on the Montgomery Area Transit System bus on December 1, 1955. Her arrest sparked massive protests that led to a federal court ruling against segregation in public transportation in Montgomery, where African Americans constitute about 70 percent of the ridership. Parks was named ‘’mother of the civil rights movement’’ for her role in igniting a successful campaign.
Rosa Parks (R) was arrested for refusing to give her seat to a white man on the Montgomery Area Transit System bus on December 1, 1955. Her arrest sparked massive protests that led to a federal court ruling against segregation in public transportation in Montgomery, where African Americans constitute about 70 percent of the ridership. Parks was named ‘’mother of the civil rights movement’’ for her role in igniting a successful campaign. (AP)
Nine African American students, knowns as the Little Rock Nine, were enrolled at Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, in September, 1957. On the first day of classes, Orval Faubus, governor of Arkansas, prevented black students’ entry into high school by bringing in the Arkansas National Guard. After that President Dwight D Eisenhower sent federal troops to escort students into the school. Here eight of nine black students who attended the school can be seen.
Nine African American students, knowns as the Little Rock Nine, were enrolled at Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, in September, 1957. On the first day of classes, Orval Faubus, governor of Arkansas, prevented black students’ entry into high school by bringing in the Arkansas National Guard. After that President Dwight D Eisenhower sent federal troops to escort students into the school. Here eight of nine black students who attended the school can be seen. (AP)
Students hold signs critical of filibuster stalling civil rights legislation in Congress and protest against racial segregation in front of Dillard University in New Orleans in March 1960. Many students held non-violent sit-ins against racial discrimination between 1958-1960. The Youth Council the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) sponsored these protests.
Students hold signs critical of filibuster stalling civil rights legislation in Congress and protest against racial segregation in front of Dillard University in New Orleans in March 1960. Many students held non-violent sit-ins against racial discrimination between 1958-1960. The Youth Council the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) sponsored these protests. (AP)
Dr Martin Luther King Jr,  leader of the civil rights movement from 1954 to his death in 1969, addressed the crowd at the Lincoln Memorial, giving his famous ‘’I Have a Dream’’ speech during the March on Washington on August 28, 1963. Tens of thousands of people attended the march regarded as a milestone of the civil rights movement and crucial for the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Dr Martin Luther King Jr, leader of the civil rights movement from 1954 to his death in 1969, addressed the crowd at the Lincoln Memorial, giving his famous ‘’I Have a Dream’’ speech during the March on Washington on August 28, 1963. Tens of thousands of people attended the march regarded as a milestone of the civil rights movement and crucial for the Civil Rights Act of 1964. (AP)
Malcolm X was a black Muslim leader of the Nation of Islam during the 1960s. In his ‘’The Ballot or the Bullet’’ speech in April 1964, Malcolm gave an ultimatum to white people who were attacking blacks:
Malcolm X was a black Muslim leader of the Nation of Islam during the 1960s. In his ‘’The Ballot or the Bullet’’ speech in April 1964, Malcolm gave an ultimatum to white people who were attacking blacks: "There's new strategy coming in. It'll be Molotov cocktails this month, hand grenades next month, and something else next month. It'll be ballots, or it'll be bullets." (AP)
President Lyndon B Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act in the White House in Washington in July of 1964. The Civil Rights Act is considered one of the most celebrated legislative achievements in US history. This law made it illegal to discriminate on the basis of race, colour, religion, sex or nation of origin and barred unequal application of voter registration requirements.
President Lyndon B Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act in the White House in Washington in July of 1964. The Civil Rights Act is considered one of the most celebrated legislative achievements in US history. This law made it illegal to discriminate on the basis of race, colour, religion, sex or nation of origin and barred unequal application of voter registration requirements. (AP)
The march from Selma to Montgomery was an important part of the civil rights movement in an effort to register black voters. The protesters were confronted with deadly violence from police officers and white racist groups on March 7, 1965, which became known as ‘’Bloody Sunday’’.  Amelia Boynton was carried and another injured man was tended to after they were injured when state police broke up a demonstration march in Selma, Alabama.
The march from Selma to Montgomery was an important part of the civil rights movement in an effort to register black voters. The protesters were confronted with deadly violence from police officers and white racist groups on March 7, 1965, which became known as ‘’Bloody Sunday’’. Amelia Boynton was carried and another injured man was tended to after they were injured when state police broke up a demonstration march in Selma, Alabama. (AP)
The Watts riot, August 1965, was one of the deadliest black protests in US history spurred by poverty and police brutality. Thirty-four people were killed and there was massive destruction of property in the Watts Riot.
The Watts riot, August 1965, was one of the deadliest black protests in US history spurred by poverty and police brutality. Thirty-four people were killed and there was massive destruction of property in the Watts Riot. (AP)
Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated with a sniper shot at the age of 39 in Memphis, Tennessee, on April 4 1968. It made shock waves around the world. His assassination created an anger among African Americans against segregationists hence mourning for him accelerated last significant legislative achievement of the Fair Housing Right.
Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated with a sniper shot at the age of 39 in Memphis, Tennessee, on April 4 1968. It made shock waves around the world. His assassination created an anger among African Americans against segregationists hence mourning for him accelerated last significant legislative achievement of the Fair Housing Right. (AP)
US gold and bronze medallists Tommie Smith and John Carlos raised their hands in black glove, that known as black power salute, during the US national anthem after 200 metres run at the Summer Olympic Games in Mexico on October 16, 1986. The salute is considered one of the most influential protests in the Olympics history.
US gold and bronze medallists Tommie Smith and John Carlos raised their hands in black glove, that known as black power salute, during the US national anthem after 200 metres run at the Summer Olympic Games in Mexico on October 16, 1986. The salute is considered one of the most influential protests in the Olympics history. (AP)
Barack Obama is 44th President of the United States from 2009 to 2017. He is the first African American president in the US. Nearly half of a century after Martin Luther King’s famous speech of ‘’I have a dream’’, Obama’s presidency is considered ultimate point of progression of the civil rights movement.
Barack Obama is 44th President of the United States from 2009 to 2017. He is the first African American president in the US. Nearly half of a century after Martin Luther King’s famous speech of ‘’I have a dream’’, Obama’s presidency is considered ultimate point of progression of the civil rights movement. (AP)
The Ferguson unrest broke out after unarmed 18 years old Michael Brown killed by police officer Darren Wilson in Missouri on August 9, 2014. This case inflamed racial tension in the US caused a running battle. Here is, a protester is arrested outside of the St. Louis city hall Wednesday on November 26, 2014.
The Ferguson unrest broke out after unarmed 18 years old Michael Brown killed by police officer Darren Wilson in Missouri on August 9, 2014. This case inflamed racial tension in the US caused a running battle. Here is, a protester is arrested outside of the St. Louis city hall Wednesday on November 26, 2014. (AP)
Source: TRTWorld and agencies