The Civil Rights Movement

By, Brendan Magorian

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From Inequality to Equality

The Civil Rights Movement is one of the most important historical events alongside the greatest contributor to how the United States is today a more racially equal and just environment. The way the U.S. is today is because of all the dedication and sacrifice the African American population put into the Movement. Without the the Boycotts, all the local organizations, and in general the extreme amount of Civil Disobedience that occurred, segregation might've still been a way of life for people today.

Tactics and strategies used during the movement

The Civil Rights Movement was a success due to several key strategies that were used. Some of the most effective tactics used were Grass Root Organizations, all the Boycotts, and Civil Disobedience.

One of the most effective were Grass Root Organizations. A Grass Root Organization is a movement usually influenced by a communities politics. It is something that is generally held on a more local or rural level, as many people in the community volunteer their time to help and support the local party.

A lot of the people that were part of GrassRoots during the Civil Rights Movement are unsung heroes. The work they did to organize events, meetings, and so much other grueling work was appreciated yet generally unnoticed by most.

Another important tactic used was Boycotts. A Boycott is a voluntary act of withdrawing from using, buying, or interacting with a person or organization as a sign of protest. It is a non-violent act of civil disobedience, but very effective. Because Boycotts, if done right, can affect not only the organization they are choosing to Boycott.

A perfect example is the Bus Boycott that took place in 1955. It not only effected the city bus systems.. but also served as a hinderance to restaurants, grocers, and many other city wide locations.

One of the strongest strategies that took place during the 14 year movement was Civil Disobedience. Civil Disobedience is the act of professed refusal to obey laws, rules, regulations, or commands of the current international power. This was the act of protesting, but in a non-violent way. It showed that they could do something civily without the use of disorderly violence. But often times white people became so angry that it led to the use of violence.

Some of the acts of Civil Disobedience that went on during the movement were sit ins, freedom rides, and organized marches.

Important Civil Rights Groups

There were several groups/organizations that held importance in the Civil Rights Movement.

The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee(SNCC) - Created by the students of Shaw University in Raleigh, North Carolina, on April 15th 1960. At first their general cause was to coordinate student led sit ins. Eventually they led the charge against segregation and discrimination.. and finally their efforts paid off during Freedom Summer when thousands of blacks were registering as voters.

National Association for the Advancement of Colored People(NAACP) - Founded in 1909 by a group of Booker Washington's followers, who happened to be influential white people. Their purpose among this racial mess was to bring about legal solutions to America's race problems. The NAACP was more of a conservative group, and a lot of people wanting to help out their cause had to do so in secret.. because if found out they would most likely lose their job. Their work would more represent the political side of things they didn't organize on sit ins or freedom rides but focused thier attention on the governmental stuff. They had good success with lawsuit wins in the areas of education, voter registration, and workplace practcices.

Unsung Heroes of the Civil Rights Movement

Emmet Till was a young 14 year old African American boy from Chicago. He was beat brutally and had his eye gouged out before being shot in the head and thrown into a river. This happened all because Emmett, playing around with his friends, decided to be cool and call the female owner of a store 'baby' as he left. The lady played it out to be more than it was and when her husband returned from a business trip him and a friend went to where Emmett was staying and took him, later commiting the crime. The body was found three days later and shipped back to Chicago on his mothers request. When the service took place, she made it open casket so the whole world could see what racist whhite people had done to her only child.

Medgar Evers was a black civil rights activist from Mississippi. Born on July 2nd, 1925. and died on June 12th, 1963. He was involved in efforts to over turn segregation at the University of Mississippi. After returning home from over seas millitary service in WWII he decided to get involved in the Civil Rights Movement. So he decided to join the NAACP as a field secretary. He was shot and killed in his doorway by Byron De La Beckwith. As he served in the millitary he was given an honorable burial in the arlington cemetary. His death inspired many.

These people made great contributions to the Civil Rights Movement, even if it was because of the way they died. The things they did for the movement in the longrun is what matters. They may not be a Malcom X, or a Martin Luther King, or a JFK.. but they made a world of difference.