The American Civil Rights Movement

Topics: Martin Luther King, Jr., Law, African American Pages: 6 (1836 words) Published: March 11, 2014

The American Civil Rights Movement


Thesis: The Civil Rights Movement was the beginning of true justice for African Americans in the United States, but it may not have been possible without strong opposition, specific outcomes of legal cases, and great leaders.

Strong opposition
People felt very strongly, which made everyone involved
-It was a big enough deal to fight for

Made it a hit or miss situation
-All or nothing
They weren’t going to “settle”

Outcomes of specific legal cases

Plessy v. Fergussen

Williams v. Mississippi

Guinn v. United States

Brown v. Board of education

Not Possible without great leaders –


Malcolm X
-W.E.B. Du Bois
-JFK All made a difference toward the cause/influenced others -Rosa Parks


The American Civil Rights Movement is a well known period of American history. It involves the beginning of equality and justice in America. Racism and prejudice are a big problem in the country today, but they used to not only be socially acceptable, but they were a part of the United States Government. The Civil Rights Movement was the time when blacks in America were fighting for their rights and beginning to get them. The Civil Rights Movement was the beginning of true justice for African Americans in the United States, but it may not have been possible without strong opposition, specific outcomes of legal cases, and great leaders. Most of the time people do not fight for something unless they really believe in it. When it came to the racial issues that were present in America, everyone had an opinion. It was something that everyone could relate to. Even if they were racist opinions, or people believed that whites were better than blacks, that’s still an opinion. Having these opinions ensured that everyone was still involved in the issue. It was this fact that made it so that there was an issue at all. Many people at the time felt very strongly that blacks were not as good as whites, and that the blacks did not deserve anything more than they had. These people provided strong opposition to the Civil Rights Movement. People felt very strongly about their opinions and that is what made them worth fighting for. Both sides of the debate felt strongly enough about their opinions to make them more than happy to defend them or fight for them. It was the fact that they felt so strongly that made the conflict an all-or- nothing situation. The people involved in the Civil Rights Movement who were for civil rights were not going to settle for anything less than the equality that they had been striving for. A lot of times when issues arise and someone wants something to change, or they are unhappy, they will settle for a “compromise”. This can mean that they are given a portion of what they really wanted. This strategy is a way of making people forget about the big thing that was wrong and make them happy because they have at least gotten something. In the Civil Rights Movement they were not going to settle because they believed so strongly in the cause. The effects of legal cases.

Many different legal cases had effects on the outcomes of the Civil Rights Movement. It was the laws that they were trying to change, as well as the hearts and minds of other Americans. There were a number of laws passed as a result of the Civil Rights Movement. There were laws that both helped and hindered the movement. While many of the laws were progressive in giving African Americans more rights toward equality, there were also many that hindered the movement. The court case of Plessy v. Fergussen upheld the separate but equal ideology. It was specifically a case on whether it was constitutional for a state to have segregation on its railroad cars. The outcome of the case stated that it was constitutional for the state to segregate its...

Bibliography: “Civil Rights Leaders.” Accessed October 5, 2010.
Collins, Bethany. “Brown v. Board of Education.” Accessed October 5, 2010.
Jim Crow Stroies. “Williams v. Mississippi.” PBS. Accessed October 5, 2010.
“Martin Luther King – Biography.” Accessed October 5, 2010.
Oklahoma Historical Society. “Guinn v. United States.” Accessed October 5, 2010.
Southern Politics. “Opposition to the Civil Rights Movement.” Accessed October 5, 2010.
Zimmerman, Thomas. “Plessy v. Ferguson.” Bowling Green State University. Accessed October 5, 2010.
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