Separate and still separate

By Garrett Nickerson


America today is considered a melting pot of many different cultures. Back before the 1960's it was not this way, it was more like oil and water, two separate things that were unable to co-mingle with each other. The land of the free we know today was plagued with segregation; it was believed that this is the way it had to be. Blacks and Whites were unable to sit next to each other at restaurants, go to the same movies, bathrooms, or even drink from the same water fountain. If it wasn't for the civil rights movement we would still be unable to enjoy "true" freedom that we are subject to currently. In this flier the heroes of the civil rights movement will be shown who weren't in as much spotlight like the poster-boys of the movement such as: Martin Luther King Jr. Malcolm X and Rosa parks. And it will show how the civil rights movement changed America into what it is today, and the work that still must be done.

Feature Article

The concept of civil disobedience during the civil rights movement was to disobey the unjust segregation laws. The tactics were civil, as opposed to militant or offensive. This was done by a demonstration of breaking a segregation law (example, a black person sitting at an whites only lunch counter). If the police are called, the demonstrator(s) would peacefully continue the demonstration. If the police or other parties become violent, the demonstrator(s) must remain peaceful and not give in to fighting back or yelling at the aggressor. The demonstrator(s) may cover their head or step away to avoid injury. If the demonstrator is arrested, he/she will not resist arrest and they go to jail for the cause towards civil rights. Because there is power in numbers, the demonstrations proved successful. If people can withstand violence being done to them and still stand up for what is right, there was no way the unjust laws can continue to prevail. The demonstrators successfully proved that there was nothing wrong with integration, but something terribly wrong with enforcing Jim Crows laws. Jim Crow was the gateway to violating one's basic civil and human rights to vote, go to school, use public amenities, etc.

Proponents of black power can be split into pluralist and nationalist groups. Both focused on the unbalanced power relationship between whites and blacks. Pluralists believed the two races could live beside each other amicably in a multicultural society. Nationalists were convinced a stronger and more oppressive white culture would inevitably dominate black culture. Hence they wished to withdraw from society, some even wishing to return to Africa. Other nationalists advocated setting up a black nation state in the South or autonomous areas in America's major cities. Black power's nature as ambiguous and decentralised allowed for innovation and change.

Unsung Heroes

Elijah Muhammad- Elijah Muhammad was considered the prophet of the black Muslims movement, he brought close to a million black men to the nation of Islam. Even though his version of Islam was unlike the true Islamic religion, he instilled pride in blacks that they never would've found without him. One of them being one of the most influential men in the civil rights movement Malcolm X. Without Elijah Muhammad, Malcolm could not have found hope to help the black race and change the world.

Claudette Colvin-Nine months before Rosa Parks made history, Claudette Colvin took her own seat for justice. The teen, who later became a protégée of Parks, helped usher in the Montgomery Bus Boycott. She was one of four plaintiffs in Browder v. Gayle, the landmark case heard by the Supreme Court in 1956, which struck down Alabama’s bus segregation laws.

The language of the Black Panthers was violent as was their public stance. The two founders of the Black Panther Party were Huey Newton and Bobby Seale. They preached for a "revolutionary war" but though they considered themselves an African-American party, they were willing to speak out for all those who were oppressed from whatever minority group. They were willing to use violence to get what they wanted.The Black Panther Party had four desires: equality in education, housing, employment and civil rights.

The NAACP is an African American, civil rights organization in the United States, formed in 1909. Its mission is "to ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate racial hatred and racial discrimination". This group led the bus boycott, brown vs. board of education and funded events during the civil rights movement. Without this group of people supporting the civil rights movement it would have been a long struggle for equality.