Film Analysis: The Civil Rights Movement

1649 Words7 Pages
In this documentary about the Civil Rights Movement it shows actual footage of the struggles that African Americans went through to gain equal rights. In the documentary it shows various monumental moments throughout the movement, such as the sit ins that began in 1960, also the freedom rides that started in 1961, or the violence in both Birmingham and Selma. In all of these movements there are grave injustices with innocent people being attacked, beaten, and even killed. One of the first major movements of the Civil Rights Movement was the sit ins that started before the movement started. The first known sit in started in 1939 in New York. But the one that was talked about in the documentary was in Greensboro, North Carolina on February…show more content…
The freedom rides began May 4, 1961 Washington, D.C., led by CORE director James Farmer there were thirteen riders six of which were white and seven that were black. They left on two Greyhound and Trailways buses. Their plan was to go through Virginia, the Carolinas, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and ending in New Orleans, Louisiana. While stopped in Birmingham, Alabama the riders were violently attacked by Ku Klux Klan members. This was organized by the Police Commissioner Bull Connor and Police Sergeant Tom Cook, who was a supporter of the Klan. The pair wanted the rides to end in Alabama. They told Gary Thomas Rowe and FBI informer who was a member of the Eastview Klavern #13 which is one of the most violent Klan group in Alabama that they would have fifteen minutes to attack the Freedom Riders and not be arrested. On May 14th KKK members attacked the first of the two buses, the driver tried to leave the station they were at but the Klan slashed their tires. The bus got a few miles down the road and then the Klan firebombed the bus. As the bus was burning mob members held the door shut to kill the riders, but they eventually let go of the door because of speculated reason and the riders got out only to be beaten by Klan members. It took warning shots to stop the chaotic beatings to prevent lynchings. The second bus arrived and were also attacked by the Klan, but in consideration of the first bus attack they were not hurt as badly. Twelve riders were hospitalized, but most were refused care and were removed from the hospital in fear of the mob outside. After the attacks Alabama Governor John Patterson said “We can 't act as nursemaids”. When this incident happened many law enforcement officials knew it was going to happen. U.S. Attorney General Robert Kennedy got word of the attacks and immediately contacted his assistant John Seigenthaler to talk to Alabama officials to calm the
Open Document