the civil rights movement
[Name of the Writer]
[Name of Instructor]
Civil Rights Movement – A Historical Pinnacle
The civil rights movement is considered one of the most popular events in the course of the United States history. The core aim of propulsion of such massive movement is to grant equal rights to the very African American community living within the United States. Nevertheless, the community has faced tremendous discrimination on the basis of race and hence, it has created a massive impact on the social and cultural history of the United States as early as in the early 19th Century. However, most of the core events have occurred during the 1950s and 1960s decades thereby creating a great deal of unrest in American society. The versatility of civil rights movement has not only provided international audience rather it has put forward a number of legal, negotiation dialogues, non-violent protests and different petitions that were put forward because of this great historical milestone. The boom of civil rights movement has been felt in the early 20th century thereby leading towards strong propulsion of women’s right movement during 1960-1969.
The very nucleus of change was the American Southern states possessing a strong concentration of African American community living for more than five decades. They have faced different issues ranging from economic disparity to educational and political prejudice in different grounds. Nonetheless, the core area of concerns that were highlighted as part of this movement was discrimination together with educational, social and voting rights segregation. The paper would shed light on different events that have created a remarkable difference in the course of American history.
Educational Disparity and The Brown’s Case (1954)
The first even struggle that has been recorded in the course of American history was the Brown v. Board of Education Decision (1954) that has outlawed the racial segregation within different public schools all around the United States. Nonetheless, the decision was quite severely debunked by different supremacist organizations including the Citizens’ Council and the KKK (Ku Klux Klan). These groups have done more harm than good for the civil rights movement and have tried to shift the balance towards violence thereby targeting National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). The core reason behind the very hostility of these groups lies within different initiatives put forward by NAACP thereby creating a non-violent pathway for attaining justice. The very same case of Brown was also excelled by NAACP and has quite deeply rooted on the scale as well. The aftermath of Brown’s court ruling was felt at the Little Rock which was the Arkansas capital city in the late 1950s. The situation has become much more intense with President Dwight Eisenhower’s ordering federal troops for protection of black students. Afterwards, futile attempts were made to reverse the educational milestone by different political personalities including Alabama’s George Wallace (Klarman 44-60).
Breaking Social Barriers
Soon after the Little Rock’s event in 1957 has accelerated the concerns of African American citizens thereby making them enhance their struggles. As a result of it, in 1955, the Afro-American community has recorded a widely known boycott of the Montgomery bus services because of segregated seating for the colored race. Rosa Parks has initiated the spark leading to nationwide protest covering more than 381 days. The protests were ended with the successful ban on segregated buses as per Supreme Court’s ruling. The propulsion has brought about the inception of Montgomery Improvement Association (MIA). Afterwards, SCLC (Southern Christian Leadership Conference) was chaired by the revolutionary American civil rights leader, Martin Luther King Jr. in Atlanta, GA in 1957. Another social event occurred in North Carolina’s Agricultural and Technical College involving four students who have started their sit-ins as part of the protest. The protest was mainly because of the very same issue faced by Ross thereby involving segregated lunch counters for African American students. These protests have escalated to different Southern states’ colleges leading to massive sit-ins with a formation of SNCC (Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee).
However, these protests have mainlined with another prominent firm called CORE (Congress of Racial Equality). The organization was incepted in the early 1960s with the inclusion of Freedom Rides. The freedom rides have included rides of both black and white freedom riders who quite commonly board different commercial busses from the Washington DC and make it travelled towards Southern states. It was a rather much more strong initiative put forward after Boynton v. Virginia (1960) ruling that has nullified the segregations on different bus terminals. During these acts, the freedom riders have been beaten and sometimes arrested. The silver lining behind the freedom rides comes out in the form of enforcing the Boynton v. Virginia’s ruling by the United States Interstate Commerce Commission.
The winning combination of SNCC and NAACP has propelled a strong campaign for equal voting rights for the Southern States thereby enhancing the political prospects of the black community in participating in law and legislatures development. During the verge of 1962, Martin Luther King Jr. and the SCLC has become associated with the Albany struggle and has also provided substation support for the greater cause of equal civil rights for African American community (Library of Congress). On religious grounds, Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth from the Alabama’s Christian Movement for Human Rights has also raised his voice against the very injustice and discrimination against the black community at large. Before these greater advents in history, the African American community was at the mercy of Eugene “Bull” Conner, who was a nominated public safety city commissioner. During the alliance of Martin Luther King with Alabama’s Fred Shuttlesworth, the commissioner has made used of severe brutal force to counteract the rising movement with police dogs and fire hoses against non-violent protestors. However, it has allowed President John Kennedy’s political workforce to look for different civil rights amendments in the United States Constitution. Due to the unfortunate assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the mission is continued by President Lyndon Johnson who has paved pathways for Civil Rights Act (1964) thereby prohibiting racial malice and discrimination in public as well as on employment grounds.
Right to Vote
During the midst of the 1960s, a vast majority of African Americans do not enjoy the right to vote in the Southern states and were largely neglected and ignored. However, by the end of World War II, the African-American community has put forward their strong struggle on local grounds for enhancing the rights of participation in political process. However, the rights to vote were attained after substantial hardships and violent resistance from the supremacists. The planned initiatives including the Summer Project (1964) had propped up with the support of SNCC, SCLC, CORE, NAACP and most importantly, Council of Federated Organizations (COFO). The organization has limited its support for Mississippi in the very initial stage because of the very reason that no black American was registered there. After that COFO has shifted its focus towards a rather unsuccessful complaint that was considered part and parcel of voter-registration drive. The very same has set into motion different chaotic events including the abduction and subsequent killing of four civil rights workers. Nonetheless, the federal court has convicted a total of seven offenders that are linked to the 1967 murders. The state of Mississippi was reluctant enough to prosecute the convicts after the charges of manslaughter were developed. The voters’ registration campaign has also attained substantial scrutiny near different lawmakers and hence, facilitated formulation of better voting rights for federal legislation. The legislature came into existence after dreadful Selma, Alabama incident. Martin Luther King Jr. and the SCLC arrived in 1965 for propping up voter’s rights drive. Similar attempts were also made with the help of Martin Luther King’s march that was from Selma towards Montgomery. The overall March was 87 km long; however, the struggle was struck with a deadly blow when three of those activists have lost their lives. It was not in vain. Soon afterwards, President Johnson has approved the Voting Rights Act.
Southern Protests and Black Power
From 1966 to 1967, numerous civil rights activisms has spanned out in almost every part of the United States. The shifting of the nucleus of activism from the Southern States has become a working reality at that moment. The slow paced development has also forced the activists to take a more aggressive stance as part of the transformation. This was reflected by changing SNCC head John Lewis with Stokely Carmichael in the year 1966.
Carmichael has proved himself as an asset and has expanded the very operational span of SNCC from the Southern States thereby propagation the idea of black power. Different advocates of the black power have showed favor for African Americans taking control of entire civil rights movement together with exercising full autonomy in practicing their culture and traditions.
Nonetheless, there were some grey areas in black power protests. One of it includes the self-defense training against the whites and it has clearly depicted racial prejudice from their end as well. These ideals were quite opposed with the initial non-violent movement having racial harmony (Chong 183). Among those racial groups was Black Panthers that had stationed in Oakland California and led by Bobby Seale and Huey P. Newton. Among the famous figures includes Eldridge Cleaver and Malcolm X. However, the black power movement has lost its grip after the 1970s and has not regained public support after that very moment.
During late 1969, more than ten years after Brown’s court case, the black student’s intake was less than 1% in the Deep South. However, the civil rights movement has kept on going on legal and legislative grounds leading to school district rezoning (CNN).
All in all, civil rights movement has proved itself a historical benchmark and a beacon of the endless struggle for the rest of the world. The unfortunate assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. in the year 1968 has open gateway towards black militancy. Nevertheless, it has also achieved the pinnacle of civil rights movement at the very same time. Afterwards, different judicial and social reforms allowed the United States to be much economically, socially and the politically stable nation for races from all around the world; more specifically colored races.
Chong, Dennis. Collective action and the civil rights movement. University of Chicago Press, (1991):183
CNN, “CNN -The Civil Rights Movement” (2015). <http://edition.cnn.com/EVENTS/1997/mlk/links.html>
Klarman, Michael J. “Brown, racial change, and the civil rights movement.”Virginia Law Review (1994): 7-150.
Library of Congress, ‘African American Odyssey: The Civil Rights Era (Part 1)’. (2015). <http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/aaohtml/exhibit/aopart9.html>