Movement of Rights that are Civil

By Kjersten Huddleston

Let the People be United!


The civil rights movement immensely helped in the contribution to making the United States a more equal and just society. In the mid 1950's, African Americans did not have the same equal rights as whites did which caused much conflict amongst the people in the US. This conflict then caused the African Americans to participate in boycotts, sit-ins, and other means of civil disobedience. This era also helped to unite the United States and to become more diverse. The civil rights movement was extremely important as it very nearly put a stop to segregation and it created, in the US, a more racially equal and just society which gave more people the feeling of unity and equality.

Civil Disobedience at its Finest.

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In the civil rights movement, the main tactic or strategy used was nonviolence. Some examples of using nonviolence as a strategy are sit-ins, boycotts (primarily in buses or businesses who had some sort of economic pull), and other social movements. Most of these things were done in opposition to the Jim Crow Laws. All of these social movements somehow brought our country together in equality.

Brown vs. board was a major leading factor for a shift in tactics in the civil rights movement. The primary tactics in the civil rights movements fall into the category of civil disobedience: sit-ins, bus boycotts, and other social movements. The actual definition of civil disobedience is is the active professed refusal to obey certain laws, demands, and commands of a government or of an occupying international power. A very big boycott in the 1950's was the Montgomery bus boycott. The Montgomery bus boycott involved about 42,000 people, lasted 381 days, and economically hurt the bus system, which successfully resulted in the integration of all city buses in Montgomery, Alabama. Another boycott that isn't part of the civil rights movement is the Boston Tea Party.

"Strange Fruit" Billie Holiday

This song mainly talks about the inhuman way that the African Americans in the south were treated. It vividly describes scenes of hangings and sickly sweet beauty in the south. The title "Strange Fruit" is referring to the fact that black people are hanging from trees and fruit usually hangs from trees so it is comparing the "black bodies hanging in the breeze" to fruit. In the middle of the song it says, " Scent of magnolias, sweet and fresh, then the sudden smell of burning flesh..." These lines are saying that one minute everything will be fine and dandy and then the next moment, African Americans are being hung right and left.

Top 5 Most Important Events in the Civil Rights Era

  1. March on Washington: This includes the "I have a dream" speech by MLK which is pretty much the slogan or the motivating words that accompany the Civil Rights Movement.
  2. Montgomery Bus Boycott: This event brought to attention the severity of segregation and the effect it has on blacks and whites.
  3. Brown vs. Board of education: This event landmarks a key turing point in tactics and strategies for the blacks to "fight back" so to speak.
  4. 16th Street Church Bombing: Innocent children died because of racism. It was very publicized because it was at a church and churches should be a place of refuge and safety, not a place of murder.
  5. Martin Luther King Assassination: He was the hope and the pushing factor to the civil rights movement so when he died, people still had hope and they had a bigger reason to keep pushing on.