Civil Rights Movement
Civil Rights Movement
- This paper is to be written on, why this area interested me (It interested me because this was a movement that fought for the rights of people of color and women, this should be very brief.)
- During the research h discuss your findings on this area of historical interest.
Civil Rights Movement
I was interested in covering the topic the Civil Rights Movement because it was a movement that championed for the rights of the people of color and women. The Civil Rights Movement that took place in the mid-twentieth century was primarily aimed at addressing equality and freedom of African Americans among other minority groups. Almost a century after the abolition of slavery discrimination in United States was still rampant, disenfranchisement, and violence which were motivated by racism and permeated by both personal and structural ideals of the lives of the people of color. African Americans were barred by “Jim Crow” laws from sharing various public amenities such as bathrooms, classrooms, trains, and buses with the white people.
During the mid-twentieth century, there was a huge surge of activism taking place intended to reverse all forms of discrimination and the injustices directed to African Americans. Various activist groups worked as a team employing non-violent forms of protests (Hall, 2007). Additionally, they employed various form of targeted civil disobedience like boycotting the Montgomery Bus and Greensboro Woolworth Sit-Ins with the hope that they would be able to champion change.
Most of the planning and activism occurred in the southern part of the United States but within no time people of varying races and religions from various parts of the nation joined the movement proclaiming their support and commitment to the freedom and equality fight. For example, in August 1963, more than 200, 000 Americans moved to Washington to riot as they pushed for equal employment opportunities and freedom (Hall, 2007). They were determined to ensure that their voices were heard and to get a chance to listen to different civil rights movement leaders such as Martin Luther King, Jr., who offered one of the most popular speeches.
The civil rights legislation was passed between the 50s and 60s and fundamental and lasting changes were made during such a short period and its implications are experienced in a myriad of ways to date. However, still there are many civil rights issues like immigration, racial disparity in the criminal justice systems, and continued racial segregation of schools in the United States among many other problems that remain unattended and need serious changes. Some of the popular legislation changes done included the 1954 case involving Brown v. Board of Education that the Supreme Court ruled out that segregation of schools should be banned. It was established that having state rules that advocated having separate schools for Blacks and white students was illegal.
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 advocated for harmony and equal treatment among people of all races whereby it prohibited discrimination in public places which was to be achieved through integrating schools and public amenities. Additionally, discrimination in employment opportunities based on race, religion, gender, and origin was considered illegal (Flug, 1990). The document was considered to be champion the most sweeping civil rights legislation since the reconstruction period.
African Americans received their voting rights in 1965 after the Voting Rights Act was passed. The legislation was aimed at protecting the minority’s voting rights and barring the states from creating laws that would result in discrimination against African Americans (Bosi, 2006). Furthermore, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 required that some states and local governments that were known for discriminating voters to first seek approval from the federal government before they make any changes to their laws dictating how voting was to be done.
The Civil Rights Act formed in 1968 was intended to ensure that all people regardless of their ethnicity, race, or origin. Also, it was prohibited for states to make any attempts whatsoever to interfere with housing rights and opportunities. The existence of the Women’s Rights Movement or the Women's Liberation Movement was largely triggered by the civil rights movement. This diverse social movement primarily based its operations in the United States during the 60s and early 1970s and it sought equal rights, employment opportunities for all, and freedom of women (Flug, 1990). The women rights movement took place partially at the same time as the Civil Rights Movement and it adopted most of participatory tactics employed in the civil rights movement. Women organizations found value in tactics used in civil rights movements and employed various methods such as the use of grassroots campaigns, consciousness-rising, and sit-ins to air their grievances.
Many women took part in the civil rights movement where they served different roles such as leading local organizations that campaigned for civil rights and serving as lawyers on segregation lawsuits. Despite that most of the time women contribution to the movement were overshadowed by men who got more attention for their contribution. However, women in the civil rights movement was able to secure more rights in the 1960s and the 1970s like reproductive rights and the right not to face any form of discrimination in search of employment and education (Bosi, 2006). The civil rights movement significantly inspired women by how African Americans had banded together to seek changes to the question of discrimination and spread of racist beliefs by mounting protests and organized demonstrations against their subordination as women (Flug, 1990). Other achievements enjoyed by women through civil rights included the right to vote, the formation of a union for working women, and the 19th amendment becoming law.
Bosi, L. (2006). The dynamics of social movement development: Northern Ireland's civil rights movement in the 1960s. Mobilization: An International Quarterly, 11(1), 81-100.
Flug, M. (1990). Organized labor and the civil rights movement of the 1960s: The case of the Maryland Freedom Union. Labor History, 31(3), 322-346.
Hall, J. D. (2007). The long civil rights movement and the political uses of the past. In The Best American History Essays 2007 (pp. 235-271). Palgrave Macmillan, New York.
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