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Civil Rights Essay, Research Paper

If it weren t for the past, where would we be today? If it wasn t for the trials and tribulations of are ancestors would we have our freedom? These questions could be answered with a simple yes or no, but the eyes of most people it means hope, hope for a life of equal opportunities as any other race. Through the course of time African Americans have made positive changes for a better world today. Take the bus boycott of Montgomery, Alabama for instance, a group of African Americans united together for their right not to sit on the back of the bus and now we can sit where we want. Also the situation at Central High school in Little Rock, Arkansas when nine African Americans students attempted and succeeded in attending an all white school to get a better education and now we can go to school where we want. Or the Voting Rights Movement in Selma, Alabama and the march over the Edmund Pettis Bridge now we can vote and the age of 18 and it doesn t matter what race you are. Throughout the years the ways of the human race have made a dramatic changed in to the world we all know today.

The past has accumulated many positive changes, and if it wasn t for the negatives their would be no room the positive aspects. Now, African Americans can sit wherever they want on a bus. It is based on first-come first-serve seating, but it wasn t always this simple. For example Rosa Parks, a local leader of the NAACP and now known as the woman who changed a nation was arrested for refusing to give up her seat on a city bus. After her arrest a flyer was sent out to all of the blacks who lived in Montgomery, Alabama stating that on December 5,1955 there will be a bus boycott. The flyer told them about Rosa Parks and in order to make a change they need to pull together and get their voices heard. So for 381 days the blacks of Montgomery did not ride the bus instead they walked or they took a cab wherever they had to go. There demands were met, and they were allowed to sit wherever the want. Today any and everyone who decides to take public transportation are allowed to sit where they want. Although most African Americans tend to sit on the back of the bus, but that is their choice.

The famous Little Rock nine changed the school system forever on September 23, 1957 when they step through the doors of an all white school. The nine consisted of Minnijean Brown, Elizabeth Eckford, Ernest Green, Thelma Mothershed, Melba Patillo, Gloria Ray, Terrence Roberts, Jefferson Thomas, and Corlotta Walls. These group of students had a great sense of ambition even though on their way to school many whites harassed them. In the past your were not allowed to go to certain schools because of your skin color. But these nine kids proved that this statement is untrue. Charles Kettering once said The only time you can t afford to fail is it last time you try and these kids did not fail, because of them people of color have the choice to go to whatever school the choose. Ernest Green was the first black student to graduate from Central High School and from his small seed that he planted in the soil of society grew into a historical tree that can never be destroyed. Instead of the Little Rock nine going and following the path of quitting, and went where there was no path and left a trail. A train that others may now take to get to a better education. And now Central High School is 90% African American.

Bloody Sunday a time a grief and pain, but also a time showing courage and strength. Taking a stand for what they knew was right. African American wanted to vote so they could have a say in what the government would be like, But every time they would go register to vote and the registrar would put up a sign that says Out to Lunch and they would not come back until the next day. And when a African American would get to the front desk they were given a literacy test and they would fail. Protesting and marching over the Edmund Pettus Bridge many men, women, and children were arrested. In March of 1965 after church people went in paired lines and begun to march for the right to vote. Alabama State troopers began beating on the marchers because they would not turn around. This was how Bloody Sunday got its name. But now after that historical event African American was given the right to vote.

The question is, were the dramatic changes in the country a result of the Civil Rights Movement? Surely they were. Everything must start from somewhere then escalate on. It s like the saying goes People forget how fast you did a job- but they remember how well you did it . It doesn t matter how long it took us to get our freedom, but it is how we did it that makes it stands out like a red apple sitting on a pile of yellow lemons. African Americans have much to be grateful for. More than half of the things that we do today were never imagined 60 years ago.


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