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Civil Rights Movement

By cindylouwh0 Apr 21, 2013 426 Words
The civil rights movement in America had a wide variety of successes over time. As successful as they were, all went through their share of hardships and struggles. Major desegregation acts in history include Brown vs, Board of Education, the Montgomery Bus Boycott, and the Civil Rights Act of 1957. These events changed life for African Americans to come. In the early 1950's, racial segregation in public schools was the norm across America. Although all the schools in a given district were supposed to be equal, most black schools were inferior to their white counterparts. Brown vs. Board of Education was a decision of the US Supreme Court in 1954 that declared state laws establishing separate public schools for black and white students was unconstitutional. It was a giant step towards complete desegregation of public schools. However, even partial desegregation of these schools, was still very far away.

Started by the arrest of Rosa Parks on 1 December 1955, the Montgomery bus boycott was a 13-month protest that ended with the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that segregation on public buses is unconstitutional. At one point in time, 90 percent of African American bus riders were choosing to walk. The bus boycott demonstrated nonviolent protest to successfully challenge racial segregation and was an example for other campaigns that followed. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., being the president of the Montgomery Improvement Association, spoke to many about the Montgomery Bus Boycott, commonly expressing that, ‘‘I want it to be known that we’re going to work with grim and bold determination to gain justice on the buses in this city”. The bus boycott was followed by a similar judgment concerning interstate buses. However, states in the Deep South continued their own policy of transport segregation.

The 1964 Civil Rights Act made racial discrimination in public places, such as theaters, restaurants and hotels, illegal. It also required employers to give equal employment opportunities. The Civil Rights Act also attempted to deal with the problem of African Americans being denied the vote in the Deep South. The legislation stated it must prevail for establishing the right to vote. Schooling to sixth grade constituted legal proof of literacy and the attorney general was given power to give legal action in any area that they found resistance to the law.

These three things impacted American history and all strengthened a complete integration that many during this time were moving toward. Without these, who knows where the U.S. would be at, in terms of racial issues, today?

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