Georgia in the Civil Rights Movement

Topics: African American, Black people, Southern United States, Race, White people / Pages: 9 (2180 words) / Published: May 10th, 2009
Georgia in the Civil Rights Movement

Contemporary History Research Paper

The civil rights movement was a time of great upheaval and change for the entire United States, but it was especially so in the South. The civil rights movement in the American South was one of the most triumphant and noteworthy social movements in the modern world. The civil rights movement was an enduring effort by Black Americans to obtain basic human and civil rights in the United States. Black Georgians formed part of this Southern movement for civil rights and the wider national struggle for racial equality. From Atlanta to Albany to the most rural counties in Georgia, black activists, and their white allies, protested white supremacy in a myriad of ways from legal challenges and mass demonstrations to strikes and self-defense. The end results proved to be a significant victory in Georgia and in the national fight for civil rights.

Atlanta’s Washerwomen’s Strike remains as one of the most successful protest carried out by African Americans in the late 19th century. In 1881, washerwomen formed a Washing Society and then they went on strike, demanding higher wages for all members and greater autonomy. Household workers started to walk off their jobs and black male waiters began refusing to serve until their pay was increased. This strike set the precedent for other labor protests in Georgia and in the South (Tuck, 2003).

In the late nineteenth century, segregation was formally established in Georgia with the passing of a wide variety of Jim Crow laws that mandated racial segregation or separation in public facilities (Schulz, 2005). These laws effectively preserved the region’s tradition of white supremacy by institutionalizing it. The segregation of public transportation was protested by community leaders and acts of resistance to white domination increased across Georgia even when lynching was at its pinnacle and almost a common occurrence.

The Atlanta Race Riot of



Cited: Bayor, Ronald H. (2007) Race and the Shaping of Twentieth-Century Atlanta. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press. Goff, Richard. (2008) The Twentieth Century and Beyond: A Global History. McGraw-Hill. Grant, Donald L. (2001) The Way it was in the South: The Black Experience in Georgia. Athens: University of Georgia Press. Schulz, Mark. (2005) The Rural Face of White Supremacy: Beyond Jim Crow. Urbana: University of Illinois Press. Tuck, Stephen G.N. (2003) Beyond Atlanta: The Struggle for Racial Equality in Georgia. Athens: University of Georgia Press.

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