Civil Rights Movement

by Danica Fouse

To what degree has the civil rights movement contributed to making the United States a more equal and just society?

I believe the Civil Rights Movement made a big impact to the United States and making it a more equal society. African Americans can now vote, go to school, eat where they want, and live the life they want. There are many events that helped this happen like The Brown vs. Board case, The Little Rock Crisis, and The Montgomery Bus Boycott. MLK, Rosa Parks, and Malcolm X also played a huge role in the Civil Rights Movement.

Tactics and Strategies

During the Civil Rights Movement many tactics and strategies were used to help make the United States an equal place. The tactics and strategies used were peaceful and didn't cause any harm towards the white people of the communities.

One of the main tactics was with Rosa Parks. She wanted to test the norms of society, by doing this she sat at the front of the bus when she was supposed to sit in the back. She got asked several times to move but didn't. The cops were then called to arrest her for not moving. This event seems like it wouldn't help but it did. It drew a lot of attention from the white people. It was mainly African Americans that rode the buses so if they stopped riding them the buses would have no purpose.

Another tactic that they would use was "The power of non-violence." MLK believed that if you are non-aggressive physically, but strongly aggressive spiritually you will get farther. King says non-violence "means to awaken a sense of shame within the oppressor." If you are being violent no one will win because you wont look at each others views or beliefs.

A strategy that they would use was Civil Right Marches. The Birmingham, Alabama march of Spring 1963 was an important march, I believe. The goal of this march was to peacefully break segregation laws in such large numbers that the jails would be overcrowded, and the laws could not be enforced. This march had the most horrific incidents of police brutality ever witnessed. Another incident was the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing was a racially motivated terrorist attack on September 15, 1963 by members of the KKK. The bombing resulted in killing 4 young girls. These two events made people think about what was actually going on and made white people begin to change their views.

Unsung Heroes

We are all aware of people that made an impact to the Civil Rights Movement like MLK, Malcolm X, and Rosa Parks, but there are more than just those people that helped. Jimmie Jackson and Medgar Evers were two unsung heroes.

Jimmie Jackson was born in Alabama on December 16, 1938. He lived in the south with his mother. Jimmie Jackson was a Civil Rights Activists in Marion, Alabama, and a deacon in the Baptist church, the youngest one. February 18, 1965 500 people including Jackson and his family organized by the SCLC activist left Zion United Methodist Church and attempted a peaceful walk to the Perry County Jail. He was shot on February 18, 1965 by a state trooper. Fowler the state trooper didn't admit to shooting Jackson until 2005.

Medgar Evers was born July 2, 1925 in Jackson MS. Evers served in the U.S army during World War two from 1943 to 1945. Later he became a Civil rights activist in the 1950's. He also became the first field secretary for the NAACP. June 12, 1963 Evers was assassinated by Byron De La Beckwith, a member of the white citizens' council. Evers made it to the hospital after being shot but was denied entry because of his race. His family told the hospital who he was and he was admitted, he died 50 minutes later in the hospital.

Significant events

1. Brown vs. Board of Education. The Supreme Court of this case decided " the integration of the public school was to go forward with all deliberate speed. This court case ended school segregation and helped jump start the rest of the movement.

2. 16th street Baptist Church Bombing. The bombing was a racially motivated terrorist attack on September 15, 1963 by members of the KKK. The bombing killed four young girls. This attack then drew attention to everyone and began to change people's attitudes.

3. Martin Luther King is arrested and jailed during anti segregation protest. He writes " Letter from Birmingham Jail," arguing that individuals have the moral duty to disobey unjust laws.

4. Congress passes the Voting Rights of 1965, making it easier for southern blacks to vote. Requirements that were used to restrict blacks from voting are made illegal.

5. In 1968, president Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1968 which prohibited discrimination in the rental, sale, and financing of housing.