Essay Civil Right Movement

Topics: African American, Martin Luther King, Jr., Black people Pages: 6 (2318 words) Published: December 23, 2011
Erasmus student

Montgomery bus boycott

Loughborough UniversityMay, 2011

In 1865, slavery was abolished throughout the United States, with the vote of the Thirteenth Amendment ("Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly recognized convicted, shall exist within the United States or any place subject to their jurisdiction") and the fourteenth (this ensures the right of suffrage to all citizens of the United States of America), and fifteenth amendments ("The right voting U.S. citizens will be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude") were voted in 1868 and 1870, which guaranteed the civil rights of African-American population, and equality before the law with whites. However, these constitutional amendments were not heeded. White citizens who were in a perspective where blacks were inferior beings, continued with what is called segregation. We will study one of the major movements that allowed Black Americans to improve their civil rights and the bus boycott in Montgomery that is a social and political campaign initiated in 1955 in Alabama to oppose the policy of racial segregation in municipal public transport. Leading to the arrest of Rosa Parks, who is a black American woman; she refused to give up her seat to a white person in a bus. This boycott lasted from December 5, 1955 to December 21, 1956. How was the movement? Who are involved? What is the result? That is what we will develop here. But first, back to what happened before the boycott, the segregation of black American people.

Segregation has occurred after the end of slavery, black people were free, but with regard to being "equal ", they were far away. The doctrine of "Separate but equal" allowed to keep them at disadvantage. Racial segregation existed both in public places as voters: in the field of education (schools for blacks, white schools), in public parks (they consisted mostly of signs "White Only" reserved for whites), in transit, hospitals, restaurants and even on the electoral roll. We parted the black list by submitting, prior to enrollment, questionnaires such as: "How many are the windows at the White House?”. Very few Blacks were therefore included on the lists. Segregation towards African-American population grew, particularly in the South. Thousands of African Americans migrated in the north. Lynching and the Ku Klux Klan persecution is increasing. Nationwide, black people are clustered in ghettos where they live in very poor conditions. In 1910, life expectancy of a black man is 35 years against 50 years for a white man. The crisis of 1929 increased these inequalities by precipitating the black community in unemployment and job insecurity. This example of legalistic and non-violent struggle based on non-economic cooperation is the first of its kind in the United States. Its success rests on the development of a smart strategy, which effectively guide the black community determined and disciplined.

The Montgomery bus boycott marked the beginning of the movement for civil rights in the United States. This is where the tactics of nonviolent action for the first time demonstrate their effectiveness, and was born the doctrine of non-violent religious inspiration for decades to guide the struggle of African Americans.

As we said earlier, despite the abolition of slavery, decreed the end of the Civil War, the white citizens of southern states impose legislation that shows racial difference. This segregation leads to multiple oppressions and injustices. In Montgomery, it affects the transportation system where buses are equipped with seats reserved exclusively for whites. More than 15,000 African Americans borrow yet every day the network, representing over 70% of users. For several years, they complain of mistreatment. Drivers regularly insult them,...

Bibliography: Romano, Renee Christine, The Civil Rights movement in American memory, 2006
Parks, Rosa, Rosa Parks: my story/Rosa Parks, 1999
Robinson, Jo Ann Gibson, The Montgomery bus boycott and the women who started it: the memoir of Jo Ann Gibson Robinson, 1987
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