The Beginning of the Civil Rights Movement

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The Beginning of the

Civil Rights Movement

Michelle Brown

The Beginning of the Civil Rights Movement

The Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s were a profound turning point in American History. African American’s had been fighting for equality for many years but in the early 1950s the fight started to heighten, from Rosa Parks, to Martin Luther King Jr., to Malcolm X, the fight would take on many different forms over the span of two decades, and was looked at from many different points of view.

The Beginning of the Civil Rights Movement

For most historians the beginning of the Civil Rights Movement started on December 1, 1955 when Rosa Parks refused to give her seat to a white person on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama. This is when the rise of the Civil Rights Movement began; however, there were several previous incidents which helped to lead up to the movement. In 1951, the “Martinsville Seven” were all African American men tried by an all white jury in the rape of a white woman from Virginia. All seven were found guilty, and for the first time in Virginia history, were sentenced to the death penalty for rape. (Webspinner, 2004-2009). In this same year the African American students at Moton High decided to strike against the unequal educational treatment. Their case was later added to the Brown v Board of Education suit in 1954. (Webspinner, 2004-2009).

In June 1953, a bus boycott was held in Baton Rouge, LA. After the bus drivers refused to enforce Ordinance 222, an ordinance which changed segregated seating on buses so that African American’s would fill the bus from the back forward and whites would fill it from the front back on a first come first serve basis, the Ordinance was overturned. Led by Reverend Jemison and other African American businessmen, the African American community decided to boycott the bus system. Later in the month Ordinance 251 was put in place, allowing a section of the bus to be black only and a...
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