Civil Rights Movement

Topics: Black people, African American, Martin Luther King, Jr. Pages: 7 (2466 words) Published: April 17, 2009
IntroductionThis paper will make an attempt to shed light on their interconnectedness or, on the other hand, the different perspectives, which sew a great deal of mistrust and animosity into, what might have been considered by the majority of people as a coherent movement with set political agenda and well-thought out objectives. By taking a closer look at the most important Black performers that were shaping the future American society this paper will try to portray not only the major cleavages within the respective groups but also the reason why the movement shifted from non-violent sit-ins to more assertive and aggressive ways of advocating their claims. The studied organizations existing at the beginning of the 1960's are the following: Southern Christian Leadership (SCLC) and Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) 1.

History and milestonesThere is a common position for all three of them, in logic that they were established of a need to materialize the gains Black movement got in the 1950's through the very significant Supreme Court's rulings. One of them concerned the school segregation case, which was struck down by the Topeka ruling in 1954. The court's decision officially did away with the "Separate but Equal" doctrine in public education. In 1956 the doctrine was undermined by another key decision delivered by the Supreme Court in the wake of the Montgomery bus boycott, which followed the arrest of a prominent NAACP member Rosa Parks. It was herself who unleashed the boycott by refusing to yield her place to a white person on the bus on December 1, 1955. The permanent inheritance of the boycott, as Roberta Wright wrote, was that "It helped to launch a 10-year national struggle for freedom and justice, the Civil Rights Movement that stimulated others to do the same at home and abroad" 10Although there were substantial improvements in the legal treatment of the African Americans in the mid 1950's fostered mainly by the Supreme Court rulings, de facto racial segregation and discrimination went on, especially in the Bible belt region of the USA.

The Black RevoltThe feeling of inequality and being inferior had started building some frustration in the minds of the black community and this tension and frustration had exploded in the form of riots in 11th August 1965 at Watts a black ghetto outside the Los Angles. In this riot more then thirty people were dead and many were injured and arrested. The white community thought that it was the worst riots of its kind. This had confused and amazed the white community because they thought that they have given so much to the black community and instead of being thankful they were angry. The Police had not handled this event tactfully and instead of settling down the matter they had created havoc2.

In the beginning of the year 1967 the riots had started again which immediately spread into the whole country. This riot has been started from the three southern universities, and then the violence started in Tampa, Florida and some other parts of the U.S. The Worst riot of its kind is occurred in Newark, New Jersey. The death toll of this riot was twenty-three lives, among which twenty-one were blacks and the two were whites. On 22nd July the riots started in Detroit, Michigan in which forty-three were killed, among which thirty-three were blacks and ten were white.

President Johnson appointed a commission to investigate the causes and reasons of these riots. This commission in its report said that the sense of racism divided the nation into two parts; the whites and the blacks and had created a gulf between the two communities. The commission also gave many suggestions in this regard but unfortunately all were ignored by the government.

In 1968 Martin Luther King Jr. was killed and the insurrections were started again. Kennedy started his campaign with the spirit to reunite America, and for the rights of whites and blacks both but in June he too was shot and...
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