The American Civil Rights Movement - Essay Example

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The author of the essay "The American Civil Rights Movement" casts light on the movement in the USA. According to the text, American Civil Rights Movement refers to the African Americans’ rights movements in the United States of America during 1955 and 1968…
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Sayah A. AlMansoori The American Civil Rights Movement American Civil Rights Movement refers to the African Americans’ rights movements in United States of America during 1955 and 1968.Principally aimed at eliminating cultural discrimination against African Americans, the movements also demanded the restoration of voting rights in Southern states. In this paper, my goal is to discuss The American Civil Rights Movement in a brief manner. The movement’s main form of resistance was civil disobedience which was supported by acts of non-violent protest including sit-ins in Greensboro (1960), and marches, such as, those from Selma to Montgomery in 1965. This scenario induced a situation of crisis between the authorities and the Civil Rights activists. The authorities did not have the resources to contain the protests and acts of disobedience, therefore, the movement gathered pace in very short time. The discrimination in American society was deep-rooted, in addition to several others, African Americans had separate bathrooms, separate schools, they were restricted to sit only at the front of buses, and they could not legally marry white people. In many respects, they were treated as second class citizens of America.   Martin Luther King Junior is one of the most famous African Americans who led the peaceful movement, advocated non-violence, and differentiated his cause and African Americans identity from the fierce tactics of the white aggressors. During his famous march to the Lincoln memorial in Washington DC with over 200,000 followers, he delivered an inspiring speech that conquered thousands of hearts. King stated that “I have a dream” (qtd. in Hansen 117). Martin Luther King was a devout Christian who believed that integrating whites into the civil rights movement would make a statement. Throughout his life, he believed and advocated that people of all creeds and colors should work together to shape a balanced and just society. After the unfortunate murder of King, Black leaders, such as, Stokely Carmichael joined the Black Panther movement, and coined the phrase ‘black power’. He advocated Black liberation from oppression and discrimination by any means possible. Therefore, it proved to be a radical movement which utilized violence. The movements’ violent message permeated into most parts of black society. Consequently, blacks treated whites as their enemies and old gang rivalries based on cultural divides where galvanized. Nevertheless the movement as a whole was nonviolent and very successful. Congress passed the Voting Rights Act of 1965 which made it possible for southern African Americans to cast vote. Prior to this Act, discriminatory literacy tests and poll taxes had restricted black from voting.  Furthermore, in 1968, President Johnson signed the Rights Act which banned discrimination on sale, rental, and finance of housing. In 1967, the Supreme Court ruled that prohibiting interracial marriage was unconstitutional. Consequently, sixteen states that still banned interracial marriage were forced to revise their laws. In my opinion, the Civil Rights movement transformed United States completely.   Without these brave and audacious African leaders and free thinkers, battling against an unjust society was nearly impossible. Many of the protestors and leaders of the different movements were either targeted by the authorities or tortured by the police. Individual leaders, such as, Martin Luther King were even murdered while trying to battle against injustice and inequality. The aggressive Black power movement can be disappointing of many civil rights protestors after the murder; however, it personifies the anger in the black community. It takes considerable time for a society to transform itself; however, a law of policy change requires less time and more thought and sensitivity. Despite all the efforts of Black people, it is very unfortunate that numerous racial inequalities still exist in American society in different forms. Work Cited Hansen, D.Drew. The Dream: Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Speech that Inspired a Nation. New York: Harper Collins, 2003.Print. Read More
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