civil rights movement essay

Topics: African American, Martin Luther King, Jr., Brown v. Board of Education Pages: 3 (1868 words) Published: December 5, 2014
What were the aims and methods of the Civil Rights Movement and how successful were they in achieving their aims by 1964? The civil rights movement was a political, legal and social struggle by Black Americans to gain full citizenship rights and to achieve racial equality. After the eminent speech by Martin Luther King (in the early 1950's) African American men and women, along with the whites, organised and led the movement at national and local levels. They organised events such as non-violent protests, bus boycotting and sit-ins. The Civil Rights movement was based in the South of America, where the African-American population was concentrated and where racial inequality was most obvious. The first significant development of the Civil Rights Movement came almost immediately at the turn of the decade, when the Supreme Court essentially overturned the verdict reached in the Plessy vs. Ferguson trial of 1896. The aim of this case was to declare the racial segregation under state laws as unconstitutional. Due to the NAACP lawyers, the Supreme Court made three decisions regarding civil rights which not only showed that at times the government was on the blacks side, but also almost completely overturned the ‘separate but equal’ idea that had been followed for 54 years. Slowly the movement was achieving its aims. However, the court verdict was that segregated education was unconstitutional, and by 1955 all states were ordered to integrate schools, though most states ignored the ruling. As a result, lynching and racial attacks increased in the South. The thought was that if it was applied to schools it would then be applied elsewhere to buses, restaurants etc. Therefore the movements aims were hindered by the inflexibility of the states to adopt the new ruling, it took 11 years for the ruling to be applied. It was a ground mark ruling but with limitations. Up until 1955, many of the Northern, white Americans were unaware of the extent of the racism in the...
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