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Civil Rights Activist - Essay Example

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Oppression begets revolution. The historical period of 1954 - 1968 in American History is widely termed as the Civil Rights Movement. Often cast in a Montgomery to Memphis frame and synonymous to the lifetime of Martin Luther King JR, the Civil Rights Movement gains an air of inevitability in popular American imagination (Armstrong, 2002)…
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Civil Rights Activist
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"Civil Rights Activist"

Download file to see previous pages The Civil Rights Movement is often compared to the "David against the Goliath" fable because it was a tough battle against overwhelming odds. On one hand were the oppressors who were extremely powerful in terms of strength, numbers and political power, while on the other hand were the oppressed, and all they had was a dream, and an undying tenacity to achieve that dream. What makes it one of the most important events in the annals of world history is that this movement was largely successful. This is bolstered by acts such as The Brown decision in 1954, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Voting Rights Act in 1965 all of which helped bring about the demise of the entangling web of legislation that bound blacks to second class citizenship (loc.gov, nd).
During these turbulent times, there were several visionaries who surfaced to make a change. These were great men who saw and understood that what was happening around them and to them was unfair. The Civil Rights Movement is largely associated with the life and struggle of Martin Luther King JR, however, it would be unfair not to identify the work done by several other men and women of that time in this regard. One such person who is unfortunately barely ever mentioned or completely ignored in the pages of history was Medgar Evers. It was in an oppressive world of White domination that Medgar Evers was born, on July 2 1925 to James and Jesse Evers in Decatur, Mississippi (Evers & Marable, 2005). Having taken birth in a devout Christian family, Medgar was instilled with virtues such as self-reliance, pride and self-respect right from a very young age. This made him an assertive boy. He was seen as mean by the local neighborhood. In the autobiography it has been documented that a lynching of a neighbor that he eye-witnessed, had a profound impact on Medgar's feelings about the racist conditions that surrounded him (Evers & Marable, 2005). In 1943 Medgar left high school and joined the Army. He served the Army in World War II and was stationed in England and France. When he came back home, he joined Alcorn College in Mississippi majoring in Business. Medgar was a very popular student and also received the recognition by being named in the Who's Who in American Colleges. In 1951, Medgar married Myrlie, a freshman girl from his college.

By 1952, Medgar had started in his own ways, several attempts to improve the lives of the black American people. In 1952, he became the founding member of Regional Council of Negro Leadership (RCNL) and in that capacity, started assisting the rural blacks to register to vote and promoting memberships in NAACP. Unlike Martin Luther King JR, Medgar was not a supporter of non-violence. He believed that oppressed blacks must fight back, and if necessary also cross the line. In 1954 he was appointed Mississippi's first field secretary for the NAACP. In this role he actively worked for the betterment of the lives of black Americans. He ran several boycott campaigns against racism and institutions that supported it. He also worked towards integrating schools instead of racial segregation. He took up cases where black Americans were not granted their rights in form of denied admissions or rejected loans, and fought for them to obtain justice. Increasingly, Medgar was asked to give public speeches to inspire ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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