Civil Rights Movement 1954-1968

By Victoria Hermes

Equal and Just Society?

The Civil Rights Movement has made our society more just and equal. It is one of the most important movements that has happened in the United States. If it wasn't for the movement, then African Americans would still be treated poorly and cruelly today. Many would still be living in poverty, have bad education, and no freedom of speech.

Today, African Americans are treated equally as a White man is. There are situations that try to prove differently, like the riots in Ferguson or the killings of African Americans by White men, but those have evidence that they are against the race, the are just trying to help other citizens. If the Civil Rights Movement hadn't happened, the African Americas would have worse treatment in those type of situations.

Tactics and Strategies

The Civil Rights Movement was very nonviolent from the people who were standing up and fighting for the movement. For those who were against the movement it wasn't as nonviolent. The people who fought for the movement followed Martin Luther King Jr. who encourage the fighters to stay nonviolent. He encouraged them not to give in to the violent ways by holding "meetings" that told them God is on their side and he will help them in the end.

Boycotts was a way that the protesters would protest nonviolently. The Montgomery Bus Boycott is probably the most famous boycott. It started when Rosa Parks would not give her seat up to a White person and then was arrested for her actions. The bus system was already having a hard time and when news of Rosa Parks spread, many Africa Americans were starting to realize the unfairness that they had. They decided to not use the bus system, instead they would walk to where they needed to go or would hitch hike with people who were nice enough to give them rides.

Civil disobedience was another tactic that the protesters used. Civil disobedience is the refusal to disobey the orders of a government or commanding power. Instead of listening to the orders that were given to the protesters, they kept going and some would get arrested for disobeying. Many leaders encouraged people to keep going and keep disobeying. They believed that if they lasted long enough that something would change, and it would be for the better for them.

Unsung Heroes

William Moore: An unsung hero that deserves recognition is William Moore. Moore was a white man who was known by his friends and family for standing up for what he believed in. He was standing in a like with African Americans to watch a movie. For this he was arrested. To get his message across he walked from Chattanooga, Tennessee to Jackson, Mississippi to deliver a letter for Gov. Ross Barnett. The letter included the acceptation of integration. He was shot and killed in a drive-by. There were two White segregationist men who suspected of the murder. Sadly, no action was taken against the men and the case was closed. He never got the closure that he deserved, that he died for. He stood up for what he believed in and that was the equality for everyone.

James Reeb: James Reeb was a reverend who devoted his life to improving slum condition living places. He went to Selma to march with Martin Luther King Jr. to fight against segregation. The march that was planned got stopped, so he had to stay a couple more days in Selma than what was planned. Some White men had found him and beat him. Reeb ended up with a fractured skull and a large blood clot. He died two days later. There were four white men who were arrested and indicted, but the jury decided they were not guilty. James Reeb was standing up for what he believed was right, just like William Moore, but sadly they both lost their lives because other people went to extreme measure just because they didn't believe the same thing.

Top 5 Events Leading to the Civil Rights Movement

1.) Jim Crow: These laws were created as a loop hole so that the African Americans were still segregated from the Whites, although they were free because of the Civil War. If the laws had not been made, the Civil Rights Movement probably wouldn't have happened till later, if at all. It gave the final push for the African Americans to stand up for themselves.

2.) Rosa Parks: If she had given her seat up like every other African American then the bus boycotts wouldn't have started. She started a revolution, that created ripples in getting the Civil Rights Movement rolling.

3.) Little Rock Nine: The group of African American students helped the movement. They showed the White people who were against integration, that they were just as good as them. That they could accomplish the same thing as a White person, and nothing was going to stop them from doing what they wanted to do.

4.) Emmett Till: Although he isn't very well known person, Emmett Till did help with the Civil Rights Movement. When his murder was in the media, many people were getting an incite of what was still going on in the South, even though the Civil War was over. He help get some White people on the integration side.

5.) Freedom Riders: They were a croup of northern idealists who were active in the Civil Rights Movement. The group included both African Americans and Whites, who rode buses into the South in order to challenge racial segregation. They helped spread the word, as well, by making sure of telling people what was going on.