Civil Rights Movement

Topics: Martin Luther King, Jr., African American, Jim Crow laws Pages: 7 (1402 words) Published: February 10, 2015

Donna Fedelski
Mount Washington College


I am writing my mid-term paper on the Civil Rights Movement which I think is one of the most important movements in the United States in the last one hundred years. The Civil Rights movement is a revolutionary movement that took place in our country in the hope that the words written on the Declaration of Independence “that all men are created equal” will apply to everybody. The Civil Rights Movement was inevitable because any time a person is deprived of the basic rights and dignities guaranteed to any human then there will be a day of reckoning. When laws are outdated and discriminatory in nature and basic rights and services are denied to a person because of the color of their skin or religious or ethnic background then a revolutionary movement has to come about to change the system. I will look at what caused the Civil Rights movement and how it changed our society. I will also look at the key players of the Civil Rights movement and what laws were enacted to fix the system. I will also look at whether the Civil Rights movement was successful in all areas an whether all men are truly created equal or whether prejudices is still alive and well. I am currently RVing around the country with my husband and we are currently in South Haven Mississippi which is about thirty minutes outside of Memphis Tennessee. This area is considered to be the worst offenders of Civil Rights violations and was at the heart of the movement. I picked this social movement because I recently attended the re-opening of the National Civil Rights museum after a multi-million dollar renovation here in Memphis Tennessee and was very moved and educated on the struggle of the African Americans who were active participants of the Civil Rights movement. CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT 3

One of the biggest causes of the Civil Rights Movement is something as simple as geographic. At the turn of the twentieth century most of the African American population lived in the southern states in rural areas, but all of this changed after WWI where more and more African Americans moved into northern urban areas such as New York, Chicago and Detroit. The Urbanization of the African American population gave the African American population a feeling of self-worth and demanded to be treated with respect. They worked in various manufacturing jobs and realized that these manufacturing job paid more than farming and there was a mass exodus of African Americans to the north for employment. With these jobs more and more African Americans joined Unions and with numbers came strength. In WWII a large amount of African Americans were drafted. After fighting for freedom and democracy abroad they realized that they didn’t have these particular rights at home in the United States. Taking their cue from Unions African Americans started establishing organizations to further the rights of African Americans. Groups such as the National Advancement for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the Urban League and militant organizations such as the Black Panthers. Jim Crow laws in the south played a big part in spurring on the Civil Rights movement because African Americans were treated like second class citizens. They couldn’t eat in restaurants that were for whites only and they couldn’t stay in hotels or drink out of certain water fountains because they were segregated. They were refused rights that we take for granite such as equal protection under the law and were blatantly discriminated against in all areas such as CIVIL RIGHTS...

Cited: 1. ABC NEWS. The Big Six, other Civil Right Leaders, , August 28, 2003
2. Harper L. Charles, Kevin T. Leicht, Exploring Social Change, America and the World
6th Ed. Prentice Hall Upper Saddle River NJ, 2011
3. International Socialist Review, Issue 45 January-February 2006. Roots of the Civil Rights Movements, Ahmed Shawki
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