The Civil Rights Movement - Essay Example

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Civil Rights Movement Name: Institution: CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT In my opinion, the civil rights movement refers to mass popular movements that were meant to secure equal access to basic rights and privileges for African Americans as American citizens. The movement had its roots in the 19th century, but peaked in the 50s and 60s…
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Download file to see previous pages Through reading the available resources, it is clear that the movement was mainly centered in the South in regions that had a heavy population of African Americans and where there was blatant racial inequality in legal, political, economic, and education opportunities. Local and state governments had passed the Jim Crow laws in the 19th century that had restricted qualifications to vote for African Americans, which ensured they were politically and economically powerless1. In my view, therefore, I will argue that the civil rights movement addressed the primary areas of voting rights, social segregation, and education discrimination. The Brown Decision A new era in the civil rights movement was ushered in by the Supreme Court decision in Brown vs. Education Board of Topeka in Kansas2. This decision outlawed segregation based on race. The decision outlawed this in public schools, which was condemned by whites and supremacist groups in the South such as the Citizen’s Council and the Ku Klux Klan for the resistance of desegregation, which resorted to violence at times. From the readings, I deciphered that one of the targets fro this groups was the NAACP. I also believe that the NAACP had taken a leading role in the US national struggle for desegregation of education, as it had done at the local level. Here, evidence shows that African Americans had organized branches to fight societal discrimination. The first attempt to comply with this decision was in Little Rock, in 19573. A local school admitted nine African American students to a school that was all white, which I can see propelled the escalation of violence from whites and led to President Eisenhower sending federal troops to protect African American students. Social Segregation From my reading, an organized boycott, led by Rosa Parks and lasting 381 days, was a turning point against segregated seating. I believe this sitting was an important occurrence in the civil rights movement because it led to the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in 1957 to be presided over by Martin Luther King Jr., who was to become a central figure in the movement4. The movement’s participants were also expanded with the inclusion of the college-age blacks who initiated sit-ins at segregated lunch counters in Greensboro. Most SNCC members joined up with the CORE that had organized the 1961 Freedom Rides in Chicago. I find that white and black Freedom Riders began the ride in Washington D.C., and rode south to test the Boynton v. Virginian Supreme Court ruling that had outlawed segregation at transport terminals5. While they were arrested, beaten and even had their bus burnt, I find that, ultimately, they succeeded in enforcing the Boynton ruling. I think that Albany in Georgia was one of the significant towns in this movement as MLK and the SCLC joined in their struggle, although they were unable to get any significant victories and I find this to have been one of MLK’s most humiliating defeats6. This turned the spotlight to Birmingham where I found that the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights, through Rev. Shuttlesworth had led the struggle against social discrimination. The local African Americans had come up against segregationist policies. In my view, Eugene Connor, Birmingham’s public safety commissioner, was responsible for the town’s reputation as thoroughly segregated. MLK got there in 1963 and, together with ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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