Movements of the Civil Rights

by Kaila Shaw


The Civil Rights Movements made the United States more of an equal society (more or less) by people protesting for equality, doing things like sit-ins, threatening to put the buses out of business by not riding them and unfortunately the deaths of all the unsung martyrs. But even after all that took place in the 1950's, there is still racism around the world today.


  • Many different tactics were used to get the united states to actually be united and equal. Some of them got people killed and they became unsung martyrs, some of them were what made desegregation a success. People protested outside of segregated buildings and public places, causing riots by those who didn't agree with their desegregation goal. This resulted in deaths and many injured.
  • Another tactic that was used was sit-ins. African Americans would go to separated restaurants and sit in the seats. When they were told to move, they would refuse to get up until they were served like the white people.
  • Refusing to ride the bus and threaten their business was what stopped desegregation on buses. For months, African Americans, who happened to actually be keeping the buses in business by riding them, all decided to stop riding and taking cabs or walking miles to their jobs. This made the buses choose to either make riding them equal or go out of business.
  • The deaths and killings of unsung martyrs wasn't necessarily a tactic but it did get people's attention. many innocent men, women and children was shot, beaten, and killed. When their deaths were brought to the court, police and the jury looked away, refusing to see it was wrong but that wasn't enough for a lot of people. There needs to be closure.

Unsung Martyrs

Song Review (Strange Fruit - Billie Holiday)

Southern trees bear strange fruit
Blood on the leaves and blood at the root
Black bodies swinging in the southern breeze
Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees

Pastoral scene of the gallant south
The bulging eyes and the twisted mouth
Scent of magnolias, sweet and fresh
Then the sudden smell of burning flesh

Here is fruit for the crows to pluck
For the rain to gather, for the wind to suck
For the sun to rot, for the trees to drop
Here is a strange and bitter crop

This song shocked many people for obvious reasons when Billie Holiday first sang it in a New York cafe in 1939. When she finished singing, the room was silent until one person started clapping which then became the entire room of applause. When I first heard this song, I honestly felt sick and creeped out. The lyrics are very eerie and disturbing but they are very true which is what made people sit silent in the room. Strange talks about the hangings that occurred all throughout the Civil Rights movement. Bodies swinging in the trees, "The smell of burning flesh" "fruit for crows to pluck" "For the sun to rot" They are all very descriptive things you can automatically imagine and they are very harsh things to think about.

Civil Rights Groups


CORE (Congress of Racial Equality) was a group that was founded in the early 1940s but got even bigger during the 1960s. They contributed in things like sit-ins and picketing with others who wanted change. They eventually became part of the freedom riders, freedom summer and the black power movement. Their goal was to help register voters and gain national attention on the Civil Rights activists.


NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) was founded in 1909 and they planned to protest politicians and challenged the Jim Crow system. They managed to outlaw segregation in public schools and they participated in non-violent demonstrations like sit-ins and protests against segregation. The NAACP also wanted to provide legal representation to other protesting members of other groups for a certain about of time.