Civils Rights For All Americans

How the civil rights movement made a more equal and just USA

The Civil Rights Movement and How It Reshaped America

The civil rights movement was easily one of the most influential movements in all of history. It proved that even though something had been expected of a group of people for hundreds of years they were able to overcome that shadow and start defining themselves. For many years prior to the civil rights movement African Americans were looked down upon as lesser to white people, and were there only to benefit the white folk. The Civil Rights Movement made the United States a more equal and just society. This is because it allowed children of all races to go to the same schools and thus get the same education which allows them to be equal later in life. The movement also allowed for white people to see black people in a powerful position which showed them that it might be time for a change.

To Be Peaceful Or To Fight

Each side of the civil rights movement used different tactics in order to get their point across. In America, there was not only a split in political beliefs, there was also a split in how to deal with the fight that was happening. Some people preferred to use peaceful protests and sit-ins to bring their beliefs to the forefront. Other people believed that they needed to repress the opposite side by using militaristic tactics. They achieved this by using attack dogs, powerful water sprayers, guns, and at some times even bringing in the National Guard. This caused outrage among the peaceful protesters and even some on the militaristic leaders because they were doing harm to the peaceful people, but the peaceful people weren't doing anything back which made the tactics they used seem even crueler than they were.

The Pro Civil Rights leaders taught their followers to use a tactic called civil disobedience. Civil disobedience was a tactic used by Ghandi during the struggle in India that he faced. The idea of it is to go about the movement in a pacifist manner and fight with words instead of fists. By being peaceful it would make the other side feel guilty for killing or attacking the group of people that is being completely peaceful and not fighting back. The main leader and advocator of this civil disobedience was Martin Luther King JR. MLK was the leader of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference which was a civil rights activist group which went through the movement using the word of God to guide them. They eventually taught other groups that eve if they don't believe in the power of God the best way to win the fight was to be peaceful, and that's how the civil rights movement became peaceful on the pro civil rights side.

On the other side were the whites who would stop at nothing to repress the Black Community. They used all of the means available to them in order to keep the black people from getting the same rights as white people. They used police dogs who were trained to attack black people. They used strong fire hoses to move the black people back and cause serious damage. They were invade some o the African American peaceful protests and start beating up the people who were protesting. The worst part about this was that the people who were advocating for this behavior were some of the people who were supposed to be the most just people in society. Such as, police chiefs, senators, mayors, and even people who were high up in the presidents cabinet. However, the only things that kept the violence in check were the Supreme Court and the President of the United States. As the top people in the nation they were expected to be just and give an equal voice to all citizens of the United States. This was the only reason that the White Community didn't totally obliterate the Black Community.

The Equality Top 5

  • 1. Brown vs. Board decision- In this decision the supreme court banned the segregation of public school in America. This built up the civil rights movement in the new generation which kept the issue going. It also allowed for Black and White kids to get the same education which showed that the new age of kids would be equal in what they know and would thus see each other as more equal.
  • 2. Montgomery Bus Boycott- The Montgomery Bus Boycott was instrumental in showing that the Black Community could work together and prevail. It was one of the first victories of the Civil Rights Movement and it caused there to be more movement in other cities because of it.
  • 3. Assassination Of Martin Luther King JR.- When the KKK killed MLK they believed that it would also shut the lights out on the movement because they lost their main leader, but what happened was quite the contrary. It actually caused the movement to move closer together and start to share their own ideas for victory which caused the community to grow and thrive. This kept the movement from dying out overall.
  • 4. March On Selma- The March on Selma was important because it showed the resilience of the movement. Even though the original march was stopped by the police and held back from happening, just days later they re-marched with thousands of more people which shows that they grow in numbers due to hardship.
  • 5. Jackie Robinson In The Major Leagues- When Jackie Robinson became the first black baseball player in the major leagues it showed that the black community was just as equal as the white community. This is because Jackie was as good as any white player, if not better. This caused uproar in the white community because baseball was a "White Man's Sport". By uprising the white community showed it's weakness's because it was the first time that they had felt threatened by the black community to have equality.

The Groups That Kept The Movement Moving

The Southern Christian Leadership Conference-

The Southern Christian Leadership Conference(SCLC) were a group of christian people, who were mostly black, that used the word of God and the idea of Civil Disobedience to fight for their civil rights. The group was formed at the end of the Montgomery Bus Boycotts in 1957. Their president, up until his assassination was, Martin Luther King JR who was a founder of the group. The SCLC use the word "christian" to emphasize the fact that the movement was more than just a fight for the Black Community, but was instead a spiritual movement that had to happen for the spirituality of the Black Community. There were only three things that the group asked of it's "enemies" and the people who wanted to be a part of it. first off, they wanted the white community to fix the wrongs and the injustices that were happening to the black community. This caused the group to not be only all black, but have diversity within it. Secondly, they wanted African Americans to search for justice because the only way to receive justice was to find it. Lastly, they asked all members to go about their civil rights business in a peaceful manner and to follow Ghandi's belief of civil disobedience. This helped people to see the importance of the movement, while also showing that the movement didn't mean any harm and just wanted to be treated with the respect they deserved.

The KKK- While this group was extremely against the Civil Rights Movement due to some of their actions it caused the movement to strengthen. The KKK had been around for many years prior to the civil rights movement, but it really moved to the center of the action during the movement. They committed, or were a part, of many of the assassinations that caused the civil rights movement to strengthen. One of the first big ones was the assassination of Emmett TIll who was a young boy from Chicago,but he was visiting family in Mississippi. When he said something to a white woman in a store earlier that day she told a couple of men and those men decided to go after Emmett. Those two men's names were Roy Bryant and J.W. Milam. These two were a part of the white knights which was a section of the KKK. When they found Emmett Till they brutally beat him, so bad in fact that his face was unrecognizable. When his body was recovered Till's mother had an open casquette so that people could see the injustice of what happened. Even though the two men who did the crime were never convicted, it did show that the KKK were doing huge injustices that needed to be righted.

The other big assassination that they were part of was the assassination of Martin Luther King JR. Even though his murderer, James Earl Ray, was not a KKK member due to his criminal record, the Klan promised to pay Ray for doing the job. The Klan was famous for doing this a lot. There were many occasions that people stated the Klan bribed them to commit murders. The Klan, in fact, had tried many times to kill MLK before the final killing. Once he was killed and everyone somewhat knew that the Klan was behind it, they lost all of their merit in America, and actually ended up making the civil rights movement stronger. This is why the Klan, by trying to do the civil rights movement injustices, actually ended up helping the movement be successful.