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The Civil Rights Movement

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Civil Rights Essay Examples

Jim Crow Violence
Davarian L. Baldwin – Trinity College
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They sang these songs for multiple purposes: Nonviolent Philosophy and Self Defense The success of the movement for African American civil rights across the South in the s has largely been credited to activists who adopted the strategy of nonviolent protest. Leaders such as Martin Luther King, Jr. School Segregation and Integration The massive effort to desegregate public schools across the United States was a major goal of the Civil Rights Movement.

Since the s, lawyers from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People NAACP had strategized to bring local lawsuits to court, arguing that separate was not equal and that every child, regardless of race, deserved a first-class education.

These lawsuits were combined The Murder of Emmett Till The murder of year-old Emmett Till in brought nationwide attention to the racial violence and injustice prevalent in Mississippi. While visiting his relatives in Mississippi, Till went to the Bryant store with his cousins, and may have whistled at Carolyn Bryant. Her husband, Roy Bryant, and brother-in-law, J.

During the Cold War the federal government funded both white prosperity and black containment. Yet African Americans kept on pushing with organized political strategies and social protest movements. At least since Plessy v Ferguson , public transportation was a vital site of struggle over racial justice. Black paying customers were relegated to the back of city buses, and black women in particular endured assault, humiliation, and even gunplay at the hands of white bus drivers and customers.

But blacks found ways to respond to the shoving and pushing of white passengers: These subversive acts provided the infrastructure for more formal kinds of political action. As early as , black church and social organizations had organized a bus boycott in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Students at the all-black Alabama State University briefly organized a boycott in the spring of Then in December , the Women's Political Council in Montgomery, Alabama, seized on the arrest of Rosa Parks to ignite a full-blown, citywide boycott of the buses. This was not even Parks's first violation of racial seating laws. Her calculated act was part of a burgeoning black social protest movement. Together they had long fought racial injustices in Alabama. A one-day boycott of buses turned into a protest that lasted more than one year.

Leaders, including peace activist Bayard Rustin, E. Nixon of the BSCP, clergy members, and radical organizer Ella Baker offered key strategies, but the protest's full effect was achieved through the feet and resiliency of riders and fellow travelers, who organized carpools and walked miles to work.

Even with threats of job loss and violence, the largely poor black masses effectively crippled a bus system that received 65 percent of its revenue from black riders. The Montgomery Bus Boycott of helped push toward the desegregation of buses all over the South while thrusting King into the rough-and-tumble world of political organizing. Nonviolent direct action had won the day and became the dominant mode of resistance for the movement. Moreover, the boycott took place the same year as the Bandung Conference of newly liberated African and Asian nations, situating Montgomery within a worldwide moment of freedom struggles.

In King was urged to create the Southern Christian Leadership Council SCLC to help coordinate local efforts among church, student, and community organizations and train them in the strategies of nonviolent protest. While the SCLC worked with all groups, its strategy highlighted a changing tide. The NAACP resented the attention and resources taken away from what it deemed more effective court cases to defend and support protesters.

While Brown had desegregated the schools on the law books, it would take more to make integrated schools a lived reality. President Eisenhower uttered not a word. The advent of television helped transport images of racial violence against black children into living rooms around the globe, visually demonstrating the racial terms of American democracy. After Faubus removed the troops and left the children vulnerable to the whims of an angry and violent adult white mob, Eisenhower placed the National Guard under the authority of federal troops ordered to protect black students.

Black protest seemed to stoke the fires of white bloodlust and callousness directed against adults and children alike. Black residents were sentenced to prison and murdered, and homes were firebombed all across the South if the owners dared assert their constitutional rights. Racial violence escalated, and the NAACP was not the only organization that grew frustrated with nonviolent direct-action politics.

But his frustration with nonviolent protest stemmed not from a preference for courtroom battles. He advocated armed self-defense, responding to white violence with bullets and barricades. Williams looked out over America's social landscape and saw little recourse in nonviolent protest or legal statutes. As a case in point, the federal government passed the first Civil Rights Act in , but it was hardly enforced. Williams was part of a growing body of activists from within traditional organizations who were critical of both nonviolence and top-down leadership approaches from the start.

Their presence reveals that the meaning of civil rights activism was not set in stone but constantly contested and reconstructed. In and black students in Nashville, Tennessee, and Greensboro, North Carolina, valiantly defied Jim Crow by "sitting in" at all-white lunch counters. Students were influenced by images of Montgomery and Little Rock, going on to inspire sit-ins at restaurants, churches, libraries, and waiting rooms across the South. Many were yelled at, kicked, burned with cigarettes, and yet they stood firm.

The early s saw civil rights veterans and union organizers joining students to both train people in the discipline of nonviolence and reproduce sit-ins across the country. Students faced an overwhelming flourish of violent attacks by whites.

Activists were beaten, riders were caught in burning buses, and it was all broadcast across the world. Freedom Riders had achieved success, but white resistance was resilient.

James Meredith defiantly enrolled at the University of Mississippi in , provoking a vital power struggle between states rights and federal power. Governor Ross Barnett flaunted the dictates of federal law until President Kennedy was pushed to mount a federal military occupation of 31, troops to enforce the law. The movement pushed forward and began to focus on the important terrain of voter registration in and For their efforts both Lee and Evers were murdered and Hammer and her husband were beaten and lost their jobs, but a voting campaign had been established.

In SCLC turned its attention to the notorious stronghold of white power, Birmingham, Alabama, to inaugurate the one hundredth anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation.

The city was known as "Bombingham" because more than fifty bombings afflicted the black community between World War II and When SCLC members organized a series of mass protests, marchers were attacked and jailed and many local ministers called for an end to the demonstrations. In a controversial decision, arrested adults were replaced on the streets with young children. Images of small children attacked by dogs and police clubs and knocked off their feet by fire hoses shocked the world.

The day after W. Du Bois died in Ghana, , people descended on the nation's capital, where King's "I Have a Dream" speech took on mythic proportions. Not a month later, white supremacists bombed the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, leaving four little girls dead. Central Intelligence Agency director J. Edgar Hoover identified the attackers but disliked the Civil Rights movement, so he did nothing.

Robert Moses and Amzie Moore offered their own response in by inviting northern white students to Mississippi for a "Freedom Summer" to register black workers and set up "Freedom Schools. Unlike the countless murders of local black people, these killings received international attention. Eighty-three delegates were elected, but they were denied access to the Democratic National Convention in Atlantic City.

Fannie Lou Hamer told cameras that they were the true democratically elected representatives of the state, not those sponsored by all-white state elections. The convention seated the white elected delegates, while the MFDP rejected the offer of two at-large seats. This was the most far-reaching and comprehensive civil rights legislation Congress had ever passed. It banned discrimination in public accommodations and the workplace but did not address police brutality or racist voting tests.

The six hundred protestors reached the Pettus Bridge but were pushed back by police violence and tear gas. The attack was dubbed Bloody Sunday. President Johnson was ultimately forced into action, calling on Congress to pass the Voting Rights Act of Racism had excluded black people from the accumulation of wealth and resources, a historical reality that could not be addressed by legal protection in the present. In fact, the federal government did turn its attention to the economic question with a limited "war on poverty.

These programs were radical in their reach but radically underfunded and undermined by black and white resistance from the start. The link between race and class, however, could not be severed, especially during a Vietnam War that sent largely poor people of color to its bloody front lines.

Even Martin Luther King began to see the links between unfettered funding for the war machine and the sea of poverty washing over America's domestic landscape. This led to young peaceful African Americans being sprayed with water hoses, and punched and kicked as they simply walked in a peaceful protest.

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- Civil Rights in the USA 1) How did the civil rights movement change between and [6] Black Americans had a very tough time, there were lots of things they couldn’t do just because of the colour of their skin.

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Articles and Essays The March on Washington For many Americans, the calls for racial equality and a more just society emanating from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on Aug. 28, , deeply affected their views of racial segregation and intolerance in the nation.

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Essay: The Civil Rights Movement There are have been many social movement that have captured my attention but the movement that I was most attracted to was the Civil Rights movement. The reason I am so fascinated by the Civil Rights movement is because the movement was ultimately about equality and freedom. Civil Liberties and Civil Rights Essay Words | 6 Pages Civil Liberties (And how they differ from civil rights) "If the fires of freedom and civil liberties burn low in other lands, they must be made brighter in our own.

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Nov 03,  · Essay on Civil Rights The development of the Civil Rights Movement in the s – s contributed to the consistent transformation of the US society through the elimination of inequality in basic human rights between white Americans and African Americans as well as other racial minorities/5(7). The new president was faced with facts that were indisputable and came from the organization created in the Civil Rights Act to analyze civil rights issue in America - the Civil Rights Commission.