6 June 2011
Social Studies 8 pd. 3
Civil Rights Essay
“Nonviolent resistance (or nonviolent action) is the practice of achieving socio-political goals through symbolic protests, civil disobedience, economic or political noncooperation, and other methods, without using violence.” During the Civil rights movement of the 50’s and 60’s, Civil Rights protesters used Nonviolent Resistance as their main strategy. I think it was a very effective strategy and that African Americans would not have won their rights without it. A classic example of this in the Greensboro, NC sit-in, when four young African American men sat down at a whites-only lunch counter in order to protest the segregation of eating facilities throughout the south. Hot coffee was spilled on them and cigarettes were put out on their necks, but they sat peacefully until they were arrested. If the four men had fought back, it would have begun an all-out riot. Then newspapers in the North would say that blacks were starting violence in the South. If that were to happen, then African Americans would lose the North’s sympathy, one of the things they needed most for bills to be passed in their favor. By remaining nonviolent in this situation, the four men were portrayed in newspapers as victims, not as perpetrators. This earned them the nation’s sympathy.
The media was the Civil Rights movement’s key weapon. If it hadn’t been for the media, politicians and Northerners would probably never have heard of some of the events that occurred during the Civil Rights movement. If politicians had not been aware of these events, laws would not have been passed protecting protesters and giving African Americans equal rights. If northerners had not heard of the events of the Civil Rights movement, then few would have come to the south to support the cause. All of the front page attention made civil rights a national issue rather than a southern one. The Klan had...