May 5, 2010
History since 1877 Final
“Who initiated and led the African-American struggle for civil rights? What role did the federal government play? What were the goals of the civil rights movement? Where did it succeed, and in what ways did it fall short?”
The African-American struggle for civil rights began long before the Civil Rights movement of the 1960’s and before the Emancipation Proclamation for that matter. The most recent struggle endured by African-Americans was the Civil Rights movements of the 1960’s that was figured headed by Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King along with other figures pivotal to the common goals of equal rights for African-Americans. The goals of the Civil Rights movement included civil rights and equal treatment of African-Americans along with the right to vote for those individuals. The federal government positively and negatively affected the Civil Rights Movement as well. Although the Civil Rights is seen as a success there are still many ways in which it failed.
The Civil Rights movement to some was set up by Rosa Parks as she made her brave sit in on that bus in Alabama that day after coming from work. Using her networking skills from the NAACP she contacted Dr. King and began the Montgomery bus boycott. This was an imperative part of the movement because it financially affected the public transportation in Montgomery and ultimately led to African-Americans uniting for transportation reason to keep it going. Another figure essential to the Civil Rights movement was Malcolm X and Huey P. Newton who established more radical groups for the common goal.
The Black Panther Party and the Nation of Islam were groups who took a more drastic approach toward achieving civil rights. Known as violent both groups actually had strict rules against unprovoked violence. The federal government often intervened in the internal affairs of these groups spying on them and causing riots forcing them to retaliate. The federal government also implemented programs and laws to assist the African-American cause of equality as President Lyndon B. Johnson passed the Equal Rights Amendment in 1972 which effectively gave African-Americans equal rights as all other Americans. The government played both good and bad roles in the struggle of African-Americans because they were the initial problem dating back to the founding fathers who said that, “all men were created equal…” but there was a 3/5 compromise in the U.S. Constitution stating that African-Americans were only 3/5 of an individual.
Nevertheless the efforts of thousands of black people who were hosed, maced, and attacked weren’t for nothing as eventually African-Americans obtained their rights as Americans. The Civil Rights succeeded in getting equality for all but it did fall short in some aspects. The black community has since lost its sense of pride and has fallen astray since the days of the marches and sit ins with Dr. King and other influential leaders of that time. The movement was a complete failure though as now diversity has become America’s new theme and Dr. King’s dream of children of all colors and nationalities can sit together without hate and be judged by the content of their characters.