American Civil Rights Movement Essay

1. American Civil Rights Movement


1865 and 1870 - Three Constitutional amendments: The Thirteenth Amendment abolished slavery, the Fourteenth Amendment gave blacks the rights of citizenship, and The Fifteenth Amendment gave them the right to vote. Until the modern civil rights movement (1950s) blacks were denied access to public places such as restaurants, hotels, theaters, and schools. There were separate facilities marked "colored only", which was sanctioned by the courts. 1896 The Supreme Court: “Racial segregation was legal as long as "separate but equal"” 1954 The Supreme Court ruled that maintaining separate but equal schools for blacks and whites was unconstitutional. CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT (1950s –1960s). Goals: desegregation, fair housing, equal employment opportunities, and fair voting laws. Dr Martin Luther King (killed in 68), provided leadership and strategy for the mass movement. Some radical black leaders advocated violent revolution.


The movement was a success in voting rights and public accommodations and facilities. 1957 - First civil rights legislation. Focused on protecting the voting right of blacks. 1963 - Amendment prohibiting the use of a poll tax in federal elections. 1964 - It prohibited discrimination in public accommodations such as restaurants and hotels and also outlawed job discrimination. 1965 - Voting Rights Act abolished literacy tests, used to deny blacks the right to vote. Nowadays voter registration among blacks has increased but percentage of whites is much bigger. Black political power has also grown: more and more blacks are being elected to public office. AFFIRMATIVE ACTION (Policy) Goals: Matching the racial and sexual composition of the working place with the composition of society. Employers are encouraged hire and promote blacks, women, and others minorities. Critics charge that it results in reverse discrimination against qualified white males. PROBLEMS OF URBAN BLACKS Poverty rate for blacks – 31% compared with 11% for whites. Two-thirds of all black children are born to unmarried mothers. 1980 Leading cause of death among young black men is murder. Blacks account for half of the male prison population, while they are only 6% of all Americans.

2. David Griffith and the Stars of the Silent Films Era

One of the most popular producers of silent cinema was David York Griffith. shot 61 short films. most promising american producers. ="Shakespeare of Screen". a genius producer, a founder of new cinema language. innovator in the sphere of actor art. G. specialized in melodramas, he shot comedies, historical films, thrillers, westerns, filmings of Bible and different works of literature. Before 1913 there existed an opinion, that the spectator can not watch the film longer than 15 minutes. He shot a film "Yudif from Betulia" in 4 parts. It lasted 42 minutes. There was a great scandal at the studio because of this film duration, after it Griffith left "American Biography" and began his work at full-length film "Birth of Nation". It appeared on screens in 1915. The film lasted 3 hours and told about the relationships of two American families during the Civil war. The film had grandiose success. had racist character. In 1916 Griffith released a complex film called "Intolerance". It didn't have commercial – too complex. After it Griffith finished his experiments, his works became more and more sentimental. In 1948 in 18 years after his last film Griffith died. The brightest stars of the silent cinema Mary Pigford and Douglas Fairbanks belonged to the most highly paid actors in the world. After their marriage in 1920 they were reckoned among Hollywood aristocracy. Mary Pigford was called the favorite of America. roles of young girls. Douglas Fairbanks had athletic figure and played mainly in adventure films. One of his films is "Black Pirate" (1926). In 1919 Mary Pigford, Douglas Fairbanks and Charlie Chaplin...
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