civil rights

Topics: African American, Martin Luther King, Jr., Brown v. Board of Education Pages: 8 (2852 words) Published: March 29, 2014

Civil Rights

Civil rights throughout history played an intricate role in many if not all aspects of society. Economically, socially, and politically the civil rights movement has impacted today’s society. Certain events are considered landmark events in the civil rights movement because they changed the course of the civil rights movement as well as the course of history. The Supreme Court case Brown vs The Board of Education, and Malcom X’s Ballot or Bullet speech played key roles in the success of the civil rights movement. Arnold Hirsch’s article on the Massive Resistance in the Urban North, and Leon Litwack’s article “Fight the Power” provided detailed accounts of what it was like during the civil rights movement. Brown vs. The Board of Education impacted society in numerous ways most importantly socially and also had a long term economic impact on society. The Massive Resistance in the Urban North brought attention to the fact that African Americans were being exploited and forced to live in horrible living conditions. The Ballot or Bullet and Litwack’s “Fight the Power” explore the social impact of the civil rights movement. All four of sources had credible information which showed how civil rights affected our society.

In Malcolm X’s speech given on April 3rd 1964 at a church in Cleveland Ohio Malcolm X wanted the African American community to exercise their right to vote. Malcolm warned the government that if they continued to deny blacks the same rights as whites the black community would fight back using violence. Malcom was a Muslim who wanted to unify the African American race as a whole, regardless of their religious beliefs to form a more powerful voice for the black community. During the speech Malcolm talked about it being an election year and how "when all of the white political crooks will be right back in your and my community, with their false promises which they don't intend to keep” (X, 1964). Malcolm stated that the Democrats lied about supporting the civil rights bill and had a hidden agenda, and politicians were just using blacks as political bait. This quote in the speech by Malcolm X shows a sharp contrast to other civil rights leaders, instead of working alongside the politicians of the time, the politicians of the time were the problem.  The Ballot of Bullet shows that Malcolm X wanted African Americans to attain their own power, not to be satisfied with the little power the white political system was willing to give them. Malcolm wanted the African American community to use the ballot or the bullet to defend their rights and push for Black Nationalism, equality, and human rights. This speech became one of the most prominent speeches given in the 20th century. This speech attempted to unify black Americans by telling them to stand up for themselves, to get the rights they deserved and become free from segregation.

The civil rights movement has undoubtedly changed the course of history in the United States, because of leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr and Malcolm X African Americans are afforded the same opportunities as whites. Most people would argue that in today’s social, political, and economic landscape whites and blacks are on equal footing. Landmark events such as the 15th amendment, Brown vs. Board of Education, and the inauguration of President Obama have ended the great injustice that African Americans have suffered. Activist such as Leon Litwack in his article “Fight the Power” talks about the legacy of the civil rights movement, and argues that despite the great success of the civil rights movement African Americans are still fighting a war of economic inequality and social injustice today. Litwack points to hurricane Katrina and its effect on a mostly African American population. “If Americans need any further reminder of force of race and class… Hurricane Katrina provides in on august 25th 2005… A city in which 28 percent of lived in poverty, 84...

Bibliography: X, M. (1964). The Ballot or the Bullet. Retrieved from Digital History :
Malcolm X, was an African-American Muslim minister and human rights activist
Brown v. Board of Education, 347 U.S. 483 (1954) (USSC+). (n.d.). Retrieved from National Center:
Brown vs
Litwack, L. (2009, Febuary). "Fight the Power!" The Legacy of the Civil Rights Movement. Retrieved from Proquest:
Leon F
Hirsch, A. R. (1995, September). Massive resistance in the urban North: Trumbull Park, Chicago, 1953-1966. Retrieved from Pro Quest.
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