The American Civil Rights Movement was a collection of various social, political, and economic rights movements that aimed to improve the lives of African Americans. These movements were observed during the period from 1946 to 1968. Civil rights activists approached the issues through different approaches, including lawsuits, lobbying the federal government, direct action, black power, etc. . Although the overall outcome of the efforts was positive, it was not without strong opposition.
How did it start?
As noted, the civil rights movement was more of a collection of approaches rather than something that started all of a sudden. read any examples of high quality civil rights essays will help you understand the context and causes of the movement. In the United States, people who believed in ending slavery were already trying to eliminate it when the American Revolution took place. So the fight to give people of color their legitimate rights was already underway.
These efforts played a role in Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, which later became the Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. This amendment officially declared slavery illegal in 1865. The Reconstruction period following the Civil War also saw the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments. These essentially led to political equality for people of color.
However, even with the abolition of slavery, segregation persisted. Under a caste system named Jim Crow, this meant that people of color in the South would have to live in poverty while supremacists continued to deny them the rights they now had on an official level.
The failure of promises of emancipation to materialize is what launched the civil rights movement in the 20th century. Part of the reason was also the experiences soldiers of color had during World War II.
Results before the Court
Some of the first moves to end racial discrimination took place in the courts. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People helped secure the Supreme Court ruling that the segregation of African Americans from others in public education was unconstitutional. Even though there was resistance, this act was a great victory in the grand scheme of things. If you ever wondered why is freedom of expression importantit’s so that people can voice their opinions more easily than when the NAACP had to fight for basic rights.
Disobedience and protests
Another important step taken by civil rights leaders was to turn to civil disobedience. The Montgomery Bus Boycott was started after Rosa Parks, a woman of color, refused to give up her seat on the bus to a white person. One of the leaders of this boycott was Martin Luther King Jr. and it became the first action of its kind which paved the way for many others across the country. It is acts like these that have made it possible today to make their voices heard and to bring down racist statues that have stood proudly on the lands of the country for a very long time.
March in Montgomery
Some 500 marchers led by John Lewis and Hosea Williams as they marched toward Montgomery were attacked by state troopers. This violence, once known as bloody sunday, was broadcast on television. It was just one of many injustices people of color had to endure during this time. Martin Luther King Jr. then took the initiative to take marchers to the Alabama State Capitol as part of his campaign to gain the right to vote in Selma, Alabama.
Civil rights legislation, in the form of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as well as the Voting Rights Act of 1965, was a very big win for the efforts as a whole. However, some people of color were concerned that there were a number of white people in the effort. This concern was heightened after the Freedom Summer of 1964 in which students of both races participated in a voter registration drive. This led some to believe that white leaders were taking over.
As a result, a more militant side was introduced to civil rights activism. Malcolm X has become one of the most prominent proponents of the idea that people of color should be empowered and able to defend themselves. This approach is known as Black Power and only gained strength after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968.
There were a number of victories that were seen as a result of these efforts. Human rights have been granted to people of color in different ways over time and a general awareness has been created in the United States about the events that saw so many people lose their lives. Jim Crow laws in the South were abolished and it became illegal to discriminate on the basis of color. 2008 saw the country’s first-ever black leader take office in Washington, which became a milestone in the country’s national history.
However, there is still much to do. The level of socio-political and economic equality that supporters of the civil rights movement have worked to achieve is still not there. Whether it’s the fact that black men are victims of police brutality more than anyone else, or their stereotypical portrayal in movies and movies, there is an inequality that people of color still suffer from.
Despite the problems that remain within society, no one can deny all the good that has been achieved for people of color through the civil rights efforts of those brave Americans who lived before us. From being treated inhumanely and not being able to vote for someone from their own community to lead the country, people of color have come a long way in their fight for equal rights.
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