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Rise of the Civil Rights Movement - Essay Example

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This essay focuses on the analysis of the modern civil rights movement, that was placed in the middle of the twentieth century from the mid-1950s to the late 1960s, and was a coalition of organizations and leaders with the primary goal of eradicating racial injustice from American society…
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Rise of the Civil Rights Movement
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Download file to see previous pages Tindall and Shi (pp. 45-69) mention that this modern movement also had significant twentieth-century roots with the pre-World War I founding of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and The National Urban League; the Marcus Garvey "Back to Africa Movement" in the 1920s; President Franklin Roosevelt's 1941 executive order to prohibit discrimination in federal employment (as a result of pressure by A. Philip Randolph of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters—the largest black labor union); the formation of CORE (Congress of Racial Equality) by James Farmer in 1943; President Harry Truman's executive order to desegregate the armed services in 1948; and Thurgood Marshall's successful argument of the Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas case (1954) before the U.S. Supreme Court to incorporate public schools. This landmark case overturned Plessy v. Ferguson (1896), which had declared that separate facilities were equal, a judicial endorsement of Jim Crow laws. In reversing Plessy, Brown stated that "separate was not equal" and made a full circle back to the 14th Amendment on which Marshall's argument heavily depended.Combine this rich historical context with the immediate sense of horror in the black community over the murder of teenager Emmett Till in the summer of 1955 in Mississippi and one can see how Rosa Parks, often called the Mother of the Civil Rights Movement, was ready and willing to deny her seat to a white man on December 1, 1955, in Montgomery, Alabama. The courageous act of this black seamstress from Montgomery gave birth to the Montgomery Improvement Association that, in turn, sponsored the year-long Montgomery Bus Boycott (December 1955 to December 1956), which saw, as well, the emergence of a new black leader, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. For all intents and purposes, that year ignited the new civil rights movement and became a turning point in American history (Garrow, pp. 78-89).

Who were the Major Leaders and What Strategies did they employ
Soon after the success of this boycott, in 1957, several civil rights leaders including King, Ralph Abernathy, Bayard Rustin, Ella Baker, Harris and Clare Wofford, and Stanley Levison formed the Southern Negro Conference on Transportation and Nonviolent Integration with the primary purpose of integrating buses. The name was soon changed to Southern Negro Leaders Conference and, to be as clear as possible about its source and expanding mission, it received its final designation as Southern Christian Leadership Conference-the SCLC became the virtual center of the movement, and its first president, Dr. King, was the heart of that center. Upon King's death, the mantle of leadership was passed to Abernathy, King's close friend and associate. After a decade with Abernathy at the head, SCLC became a weaker organization and lost its effective voice. In 1977 Joseph Lowery, a Methodist, took the reins and for the next twenty years returned the SCLC to it original vibrant witness for civil rights. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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