Civil Rights/Secret Life of Bees

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Bridget Baker
Mrs. McQuade
Period 2
4/10/12
Racial Discrimination and Segregation
In 1619 the very first African Americans arrived in America, coming over for the purpose of forced slavery. It’s been nearly four hundred years since then and African Americans are still not treated completely equal. But throughout the years major steps towards equality have been made and as a whole the United States is close to reaching this goal. The first key action taken was abolishing slavery in 1865, but African Americans didn’t start gaining equal rights until 1955 during the Civil Rights Movement. The African American Civil Rights Movement aimed to eliminate all racial discrimination and segregation in America and demonstrated throughout Sue Monk Kidd’s The Secret Life of the Bees.

In America, African Americans were not only treated unequal, but looked down upon to the majority of whites. The Civil Rights Movement was from 1955 all through 1968 and was carried out through both violent and non-violent acts with the support of leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X. MLK Jr. stood on the side of non-violence, believing that by getting the public’s attention to how blacks were being treated there would be a sense of sympathy and change of heart towards African Americans. During one of the non-violent protests, March of Washington, MLK Jr. gave the famous “I Have a Dream” speech to 200,000 civil rights supporters who were gathered at the front of the Lincoln Memorial, stretched past the reflecting pool. In this speech he said, “I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood. I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice. I have a dream that my four little children will...
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