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American Civil Rights Movement

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Last updated date: 13th Jul 2024
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Injustice to the Blacks – Revolted by the Civil Rights Movement

American civil rights movement is the mass protest movement that originates because of the injustice against black people. Due to the racial segregation and discrimination of the same in the southern United States, this movement came into prominence which was nationwide accepted during the mid-1950s. This movement had its origin in the centuries which had the long efforts of the Africans and their descendants to resist the racial oppression which was to abolish the institution of the slavery of the people


In this section, we are going to learn about the US Civil Rights movement which gave the country a new phase to invest their hope in. 


The US Civil Rights Movement

Even though the enslaved people were as a result of the American Civil War, they were granted the basic civil rights which were expected from a citizen. Thus, through the passage of the fourteenth and the fifteenth amendments to the US Civil rights movement the struggles had their own phase to be more secular, secure, and with federal protection of the rights which continued during the following century.

  

The Civil Rights Movement of the US was about? 

The civil rights movement was about the social struggle for justice which took place majorly during the 1950s and in the 1960s for the Black Americans which helped them to gain equal rights under the law in the United States of America


The Civil War had officially abolished the system of slavery, but unfortunately, it did not end the discrimination which was done against the Black people. The black people continued to endure the devastating effects of the racism that took place in the Southern part of the region. 


In the mid-20th century, the Black Americans had even more power which was more of prejudice and an acute case of violence against the black people. These black people along with many of the white Americans began an unforgettable fight for equality that almost continued for two decades.


At the time when reconstruction of history was done in a full-fledged manner, the Black people took on the leadership roles much efficiently. They had thereby held public office and sought legislative changes fighting for equality and the right to vote assured to the black Americans. 


The Jim Crow Laws to Separate the Black people

In order to marginalize the Black people and keep them segregated from the white people which would erase all the progress they had struggled for during the Reconstruction, the “Jim Crow” laws were being formed in the South beginning. This began in the late 19th century. According to the law, the black people were not allowed to use the same public facilities as the white people could use, they were not allowed to be in the same towns or go to the same schools. Interracial marriage was totally illegal in those times. Even most of the Black people were not allowed to vote as they failed to pass the voter literacy tests.


The Northern States of America did not adopt the Jim Crow laws. However, the Black people still experienced discrimination in those states as well in regard to their jobs, or when they tried to buy a house or get an education, they were always diminished. To make matters worse, some laws were passed just to curb the rights of Black people. 


Finally, the Path of Equality

In the year 1868, in accord with the 14th Amendment, the Constitution gave the Black people equal protection under American Law. In the year 1870, with the passing of the 15th Amendment, Black American men were granted the right to vote. On the other hand, due to the change many of the white Americans, especially those who resided in the South, were not quite happy. According to them, the people who were once enslaved now are marching shoulder to shoulder with them. 


Black Civil Rights Leaders 

In those times, there were many black rights activists who worked non-stop for their community. To stop injustice, they worked rather ferociously. The work of the black activist leaders was in fact commendable. 


Some of the Black rights activists are known for their fight against the social injustice which was going on in their community which had a great impact on the lives of all the oppressed people. Let us know some of the Black Activist leaders


Malcolm X 

This activist leader – Malcolm X has preached defending selves “by any means necessary”. Thus, this was analyzed as the violence intended in order to protect self from racial discrimination. After spending 10-years in prison, this great leader converted a nation to Islam that focused on black supremacy and rejected any idea of integration. 


Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther King Jr. is a prominent figure in the civil rights movement of India. He was popular for non-violent protests. Like the Montgomery Bus Boycott which took place in the year, 1963 was one of them, where he gave his iconic speech “I have a dream”.   


Rosa Parks 

Often this figure is referred to as the “Mother of the Civil Rights movement”. She was put into the spotlight in the case of racial discrimination when she refused to give up her bus seat to a white man in Montgomery. 


John Lewis

John Lewis was another prominent figure among the black activists. He served as a Georgia congressman from 1986 where he learned about non-violence. He later became one of the main fighters as a black activist. 


Bayard Rustin 

Bayard Rustin worked as an assistant to Dr. King. He assisted him in organizing the black protest in the Montgomery Bus Boycott. He also followed the principles of Mahatma Gandhi on the path of non-violence. After moving to New York, he got engaged in many civil rights issues. 


Did You know?

In this section of did you know, we are going to represent four facts that were actually a myth during the Civil Rights Movement. Let us burst the myths!

  • Myth 1 – Segregation was actually not a particular issue in Northern America. 

  • Myth 2 – The Freedom activists were all black – No they weren’t. There were white leaders who participated in the civil rights movement wholeheartedly. 

  • Myth 3 – Martin Luther King Jr. was loved in the civil rights movement – No, this was not true. 

  • Myth 4 – Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X were sworn, enemies. – They were social activists’ leaders of the civil rights movement. They weren’t enemies working and fighting for the same cause. 


Conclusion 

Thus, as we come to the end of the content, we can satisfactorily say that the Civil Rights Movement in America was positively carried out. Yet, there are still many instances of racial discrimination in such a prosperous country as America. While those are treated with acute stringent measures as well. Also, we have studied the black activists’ leaders who played a great role in equality and recognition. 

FAQs on American Civil Rights Movement

1. What was the motive behind the Civil Rights Movement?

The Civil Rights Movement was an era where it dedicated to the activism for equal rights and equal treatment of the African Americans who resided in the United States. During this time period, the people rallied for social, legal, political and also for cultural changes, this was done to prohibit any sort of discrimination on the basis of race or color and this would in turn end segregation. In simple words we can say that it was a struggle against the discrimination as well as segregation gain equality in the United States.

2. What was the most important events of Civil Rights Movement?

The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom’ was the largest and most effective civil rights protest in the history of the US which contributed to the successful implementation of the Civil Rights Act of the year 1964 as well as the Voting Rights Act of the year 1965. On the other hand, the other important event was Bloody Sunday when the movements turned into a violent event in Alabama in March 1965. 

3. Answer the following questions:

  1. What is Bloody Sunday?

  2. When was the peak of the civil rights movement

The answers are given below:

  1. The civil rights movement, on March 7, 1965 got a bad violent turn in Alabama. It happened when activists were doing the Selma to Montgomery march in order to protest for the killing of one of the activists, Jimmie Lee Jackson by a white officer and to seek enforcement of the 15th Amendment. The Alabama government sent the local police when the activists reached near the "Edmund Pettus Bridge" and led to hospitalisation of the activists. This event is known as "Bloody Sunday". 

  2. The peak of the civil rights movement was said to be on August 28, 1963 when around 250,000 black people along with the Whites gathered around the Lincoln Memorial for the "March on Washington".