Civil Rights Movement: The Quality of Life of African Americans Today

Topics: Southern United States, Martin Luther King, Jr., Racial segregation Pages: 3 (804 words) Published: June 16, 2013
In the fifty years following World War II, African Americans made great strides in America. Now they did not come easily but the hard ships endured by those some sixty/seventy years ago have improved the quality of life for many African Americans today. Throughout the Civil Rights Movement, great black leaders stepped up to help secure equality for all races and equally voting rights among, among other things. Some of the more recognizable names were Martin Luther King, Jr., Stokely Carmichael, and Rosa Parks. They may have had different ideas and ways to end segregation but they all contributed to improving African-American life in America politically, socially, and economically over the latter half of the twentieth century.

To look at the political changes of blacks over the years, look no further than the White House. Without the influence of the Civil Rights movement, Barack Obama would never be the President, and politicians like Herman Cain, Condoleezza Rice, and Colin Powell would never have made it as far as they did in their political careers. These are just a few of the many politicians who have benefitted from the political empowerment of African Americans. All of these achievements have stemmed from the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

The Civil Rights Act was part of the first phase of the Civil Rights movement. The Act was a Congressional law that nullified Southern states “Separate but Equal” laws once and for all. Now “Separate but Equal” had been abolished a decade earlier by Brown v Board of Education, but some Southern states had chosen not to abide by it and continued with segregation as long as it was ‘equal.’ This first phase was highlighted by MLK’s core principles of a peaceful protest and legal changes whereas the second phase was filled with riots stressing on enhancing black power and equalizing economic results. These riots were not in the south now either, they were in northern inner-cities. These...
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