Civil Rights Movements: The People's Temple

1390 Words6 Pages

The 1950s to the 1980s were a time filled with social change within the US. These people fought for deserved justice in multiple places of controversy, such as race. Partly as a result of this, came on a wave of organizations and cults, all with their own agendas. The People’s Temple was among these, ran by a former reverend, Jim Jones. The organization started small in 1956 as a racially integrated church. Slowly, it marched its way to 1978 on the fateful day when its members “drank the Kool-Aid” as a revolutionary act of suicide. This suicide, however, involved the poisoning of 918 people, a third of whom were children. These facts led to the conclusion that it was a coerced suicide. This 20-year transformation from integrated
…show more content…
Jones worked closely with Father Divine, a man who often preached about “economic empowerment for his Harlem flock”. In the 1950s and 60s, there was a huge movement in the US for civil rights and Jones felt strongly on the matter. One of his major concerns within the church system was it segregation of races. Within the Peoples Temple, workdone in Indianapolis tried to desegregate movie theaters, hospitals, and restaurants. People 's Templed showed noble in their action. This, unfortunately, was not recognized and met a lot of disparagement. In the 1950s and 60s, people were looking to change the way race defined your place in society. This push for social equality met fierce resistance to keep things the way they were. Jim Jones push for a more integrated society fell in line with the non-violent protestors, advocating for civil rights. With leaders like Martin Luther King Jr., Malcom X, and Andrew Goodman, his work, though not as notable, could shows as gallant if looked at at the surface level. Media, however, conducted a deep look at this “church” which forced Jones’s paranoid and drastic…show more content…
Jim Jones became increasingly more drastic. He moved out of the country, refused people from leaving, killed those who tried, and eventually killed the entire Temple. Jones may have been a troubled man, and there may have been aspects of the group that were negative or cultish, however, without the scrutiny and attention from the media, those things may have remained benign rather than leading to the death of almost 1000 people. Regardless, the originally innocent People’s Temple spiraled in part by the heavy push of the US media. There can be no overlooking of

More about Civil Rights Movements: The People's Temple

Open Document