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Title: Why the Civil Rights Movement was a struggle (1865-1965 & beyond) - Essay Example

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In many instances, it took the shape of civil resistance with an aim of imposing changes through nonviolent resistance to racist victimization. In other cases, it…
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Title: Why the Civil Rights Movement was a struggle (1865-1965 & beyond)
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Why the Civil Rights Movement was a struggle: 1865-1965 and beyond The civil rights movement was a political movement that agitated for the equality of different races before the law. In many instances, it took the shape of civil resistance with an aim of imposing changes through nonviolent resistance to racist victimization. In other cases, it was characterized by civil unrest and armed conflict (Foweraker and Landman 57). This paper explores the origin and the difficult journey of the civil rights movement. The paper also elucidates different events that marked the movement in a chronological order while identifying key individuals involved in the movement (Foweraker and Landman 124).
The civil rights movement originated from the struggle of different groups in America, which were fighting for the rights accorded to them by the American Constitution. The civil rights movement was characterized by the struggle of African-Americans to achieve equality from the oppression they faced, which was due to their skin color. African-Americans were not allowed the same rights as white Americans, which culminated in the social uprisings of 1950 and 60s after black Americans sought to challenge the public authorities and the social system that denied them their rights to equal treatment (Lawson 140). Importantly, the civil rights movement received support from sections of the majority whites who identified the importance of equality in the society. The civil rights movement started after the civil war of 1861-1865, which culminated to the end of slavery with African-Americans recognized as American citizens besides attaining the right to vote. However, the social systems and the white community viewed blacks as inferior people and they failed to uphold the laws giving blacks equal rights as white citizens. To the South, much legislation was passed, allowing the discrimination of blacks at public places and public service centers. The struggle for equal rights between black and other Americans was the root cause of the civil rights movement (Lawson 76).
During the years between 1861 and 1865, the slavery of African Americans was ended, leading to the recognition of blacks as American citizens – which allowed them the right to vote. Even after the end of slavery, the blacks were exposed to the prejudice of white Americans, disregarding the equal rights accorded to them by the American constitution. In South America, the case was worse as many laws were instituted to legalize the separation of black and white people at different social utilities and public places. The modern civil rights movement started in the 1950s. It started after Rosa Parks, a black woman from Alabama declined to offer her seat to a white man while aboard a public transport bus. Due to the revolt of the directives of white superiority, she was arrested. After Rosa’s arrest, the blacks revolted the social system, refusing to seat at the back of the bus, which marked the boycott of the bus system with Dr. Martin Luther emerging as the face and leader behind the civil rights movement (Lawson 145).
The Montgomery boycott was a very important event for the blacks, as it encouraged the revolt of the oppressing social system – demanding the rights of black people. Dr. King spoke on television and radio, urging black people to participate in sit-ins and freedom rides. The campaigns led to the imprisonment of many black people. On August 1963, many American citizens from the varied races assembled at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. The gathering sought government action against racial segregation and discrimination (Foweraker and Landman 125). In July 1964, President Johnson appended his signature on the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that prohibited prejudice on the basis of color, race, religion, nationality or sex. The Act safeguarded the rights of all citizens, to access public utilities and to participate in democratic elections.
The key persons involved in the civil rights movement include Rosa Parks, who challenged the rights of the whites, during 1955 – after refusing to give a seat to a white man. The second key participant in the civil rights movement was Dr. King, who made the speech, “I have a dream,” during the 1963 march, urging the government to take action. The other key person was President Johnson, who signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, marking the end of discrimination (Foweraker and Landman 134).
The civil rights movement was a social strife in pursuit of the rights of black Americans, which took place after the end of the civil war of between 1861 and 1865. It resulted to the end of slavery. The major events in the movement include the civil war of 1861 to 1865, the bus boycott of 1955, the Lincoln memorial march of 1963 and the signing of the civil rights act of 1964 by President Johnson. The key persons in the struggle include Rosa parks, Dr. King, and President Johnson.
Works Cited
Foweraker, Joe, and Todd Landman. Citizenship Rights and Social Movements: A Comparative and Statistical Analysis. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997. Print.
Lawson, Steven. Civil Rights Crossroads: Nation, Community, and the Black Freedom Struggle. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2003. Print. Read More
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