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The Black Civil Rights Movement Essay, Research Paper

The Black Civil Rights movement in the 1950’s and 60’s was a political, legal and social struggle of the black americans to gain full citizenship rights and to achieve racial equality. The black struggle for Civil Rights was very hard. No group in America has or has had more difficulty assimmilating into the American Culture. Sergregation was started by white american southerners to separate everything between the blacks and the whites. It was also knows as the Jim Crow system and became common to the southerns. Everything possible was separated between the blacks and the whites ; schools,toilet,transportation,restaurants were all separated, the blacks were poorly funded compared to the whites. The black people tried to fight discrimination agaisnt them whenever possible. The most signifact one during the early 50’s was the Montgomery Bus Boycott in Alabama led by Martin Luther King. On December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks was told to give up her seat on a city bus to a white person. When she refuses, she was arrested which caused protest by the black community. Martin Luther King at that time was president of the Montgomery Improvement Association which organized the protest. These activities included marches, demonstrations, and boycotts. The violent white response to black direct action eventually forced the federal government to confront the issues of injustice and racism in the South. It made him a national figure for fighting the rights of the Black Americans. Civil rights proved to be the crucial test of the l960s. Leadership came from black political and religious organizations such as the Congress on Racial Equality, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, and Martin Luther King’s Southern Christian Leadership Council Sit-ins, Freedom Rides, and other forms of nonviolent protest became the weapons to fight segregation. A freedom march was joined by over 200,000 men and women all over America to Washingto D.C on August 28th, 1963. It was to show their support for a Civil Rights Bill. Martin Luther King, Jr., delivered his speech to the civil rights supporters. The “I Have a Dream” speech was deliverd in front of the giant sculpture of the Great Emancipator, Abraham Lincoln, who became famous for how it expressed the ideals of the civil rights movement.

President Kennedy proposed a new civil rights law after the big march. President Kennedy committed himself to a civil rights bill, but was assassinated in Dallas. Lyndon Johnson, the president after JFK and a Southerner, honored Kennedy’s commitment by passing a broad Civil Rights Act in l964 and a Voting Rights Act in l965. It prohibited segregation in public accommodations and discrimination in education and employment. It also gave the executive branch of government the power to enforce the act’s provisions. The civil rights movement ended in 1968 with the death of Martin Luther King ,Jr to some activists Others have said it was over after the Selma march, because after Selma the movement ceased to achieve significant change. Some blacks, argue that the movement is not over yet because the goal of full equality has not been achieved. Racial problems clearly still existed in the United States after King’s assassination in 1968. Urban poverty represented a continuing and worsening problem and remained disproportionately high among blacks. Another issue was whether equal opportunity for blacks is possible, an issue which affirmative-action programs attempted to address. Although full equality has not yet been reached, the civil rights movement did put fundamental reforms in place. Legal segregation as a system of racial control was dismantled, and blacks were no longer subject to the humiliation of Jim Crow laws. Public institutions were opened to all. Blacks achieved the right to vote and the influence that went with that right in a democracy. All which were worth it to fight towards racial equality.


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