The Civil Rights Movement in America lasted during the 1950s and 1960s. It was a time in which oppressed African Americans demanded change in society, both socially and legally. Some sacrificed most of what they had in order to make their point clear; they were jailed, assaulted, and even killed by the government that was supposed to protect them. Nonetheless, their protests proved to be powerful because some laws and Supreme Court decisions were in their favor. This includes the Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas case ruling, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Voting Rights Act of 1965; all of which helped put an end to segregation in the country.
Only at the age of 26, was Jackson shot and severely beaten by a state trooper named James Bonard Fowler. Jackson was shot during a peaceful voting rights march on February 18, 1965. He was in critical condition after being beaten and died a few days later in a hospital. Jackson’s death inspired numerous civil rights leaders to hold the Selma to Montgomery March on March 7, 1965. Not to mention his death also inspired the voting rights march, which soon was known as “Bloody Sunday” because of the violence that took place at the march.
President Lyndon B. Johnson once used the phrase, “we shall overcome”, in response to a violent racial uproar in Salma Alabama. This deadly uproar was in response to the African American struggle for equal rights in the 1960s. I found Johnson’s speech to be one of great significance because it is a declaration that still pertains to America, today. Johnson’s request of the American people to come together, and stand for our neighbors when freedom is denied to them, is a request that still holds true today. While we have come a long way since the violent racial discrimination of the 1960s, it is still in existence today, and many are still denied freedom.
There will always be racial tensions in society, but without Martin Luther King Jr. and his fellow activists, the inequalities that blacks faced in America wouldn’t have been addressed until much later on in life. However, great progress comes with great struggle. Americans all over the country had issues with giving black people rights, but this was predominant in the deep south. Three civil rights workers traveled down to Mississippi in 1964 with the goal of registering African Americans to vote.
Chase dreams even if doing so is technically illegal. Throughout history, we have celebrated those who disobey unjust laws in the name of justice. Take Martin Luther King for example. “A law is unjust if it is inflicted on a minority that, as a result of being denied the right of vote, had no part in enacting or devising the law.”(King, p469) However, all sorts of devious methods were used to prevent the colored from becoming registered voters. All men are created equal, but the colored were not given the equal rights to vote nor were they treated equally at that time.
After the Civil War, a period that spanded from 1863 to 1877, known as the Reconstruction period began. This time in history focused on transforming the South and changing African American lives. Although progress was made during this time, set backs from white supremacy groups like the KluKlux Klan also known as the KKK, people with pre-civil war or racist mindsets, and goverment coruption,the full effect of the Reconstruction would not be truely experienced or seen for about the next century. Northern civil rights activist and radical Republicans worked to secure rights for free blacks. Many towns, countys, and states made Black Codes black codes restricted the rights of free Africa Americans.
“Federalists argued that the Constitution did not need a bill of rights, because the people and the states kept any powers not given to the federal government.” (http://www.billofrightsinstitute.org/founding-documents/bill-of-rights/). This quote means that anything the federal government does not control, the states would control. An example of this would be the Tenth Amendment, which is anything that is not controlled by the federal government went to the control of the state. The southern states pre-civil war favored this amendment because it gave them the control they wanted over slavery. The concept of slavery being taken away as a right led to the Southern states seceding, becoming a “country” of their own.
They had segregated schooling, transport and toilets under the Jim Crow laws. This is justified by, ‘the popularity of protest music in the 1960s was also fuelled by the massive social change that evolved from the Civil Rights Movement, the rise of feminism,’ (4) showing that many artists were also fighting for an ideological change in the way American citizens were treated by their country, namely African Americans and women, rather than only fighting against what they believed was an unjust war. Artists like James Brown (5) fought for black empowerment in American society. Brown’s song, ‘Say it Loud: I’m Black and I’m Proud’ (5) is described as being ‘an important document in the development of the Civil Rights Movement’ (5) due to its infectious rhythm and strong message about black pride and self-empowerment. Another example of a black artist is Aretha Franklin, who wrote songs about women rising up and demanding ‘respect’ (5) in the country in which she lived, both as an African American and a woman, as shown by her song title.
Even though the establishment of the 15th amendment especifically mentioned that no voting rights shall not be denied by any race, color, or previous condition of work. White Supremacist groups were able to found a way around the amendment to be able to keep freed slaves and republican voters from voting or making them vote for democrats by the use of intimidation, violence which was never against the law and no accusations were made even though knowing the who they were. When the federal troops left in the Missouri Compromise of 1877 left, freed slaves and republican voters remained unprotected and eventually white supremacy was restored in the South and continued for almost another 100
When Dr. King was alive, society was very different from present day. In the 1960’s the community was heavily divided and was experiencing the difficulty of segregation. The African Americans were not treated equally as the whites so Dr. King worked to improve the civil rights for African Americans. In his speech, he proclaimed that “Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice.” If Dr. King was alive, he would not be satisfied with the amount of progress made since the 1960’s. Additionally, in Dr. King’s speech, he declared that “Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality” and this still occurs.
It is common knowledge that not everyone interprets everything in the same way. Just because a student wants to support their Southern heritage does not mean other students cannot use the same image to bully other students. We would not allow a student to wear a swastika to show their German heritage because it is insensitive the Jewish religion; we should not allow people to wear the Confederate flag simply because it is a Southern heritage. I would be far too likely that others would interpret it by its more familiar connotation with racism and slavers. By allowing such a racially charged symbol as the Confederate flag, schools are upholding the discriminatory aspect of the symbol.
During the early 20th century, mainly in the South, many African Americans were banned from associating with whites in public locations such as schools, restrooms, restaurants , etc. Racial discrimination denied blacks the rights of decent jobs, decent schooling, and the right to vote. "Freedom is never won, you earn it and win it in every generation," Coretta Scott King once stated. The Civil Rights Movement was a long movement that predated the Brown v. Board of Education decision. The civil rights movement led to the Brown v. Board decision due to the limited rights for African Americans during that time.
No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws." . This meant that the Black Codes were illegal and unconstitutional and the southern states had to get rid of them. Southern states refused to ratify 14th amendment. The Congress required all the southern states to ratify it before they were accepted back into the Union, so that all citizens had "equal protection" once and for all.