The Civil Rights Movement

By, Cole Campbell

Did the Civil Rights Movement make the U.S. a more just and equal society?

The Civil Rights Movement is easily one of the most important events in U.S. History. Without the combined effort of all those who sacrificed for what they believed in, whether it be walking to work or actually losing their life, the society in which we live in today would not be possible. As the Nation traveled down the path to a more just and equal society a more grim and ugly side of the nation was shown, but after the hard work of influential people such as: Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, and Rosa Parks the world slowly changed. It may not be perfect, but it is certainly very different than the struggling society we began with.

Civil Rights Tactics and strategies

The Civil Rights strategy is mainly based around he concept of non-violence protests and the Three Pronged Strategy consisting of three different tactics: Civil Disobedience, Grass Roots Organizing and voter registration, as well as boycotts and economic withdrawals.

Civil Disobedience is defined as: "Is the active, professed refusal to obey certain laws, demands, or commands of a government, or of an occupying international power." Non-violence is the main concern when practicing Civil Disobedience. The African-Americans were not the first to practice this strategy. It has been used dating back all the way to the Egyptians. Some of the most important moments in The Civil Rights Movement are related to this act of protest. One widely known example is when Rosa Parks refused to sit in the back of the bus after a long day.

Grass Roots Organizations are called this because the founders state that the development of these movements are natural and differ from government mandated systems. These organizations are mainly on a local and voluntary basis, and can create new political parties that represent the people and inspire more voting registration. Methods to bring these movements to action include: House meetings, putting up posters, filling out petitions, and organizing large demonstrations such as marches.

The last and very influential primary strategy used during the Civil Rights was boycotts and economic withdrawals. This is the use of the community to band together and cause a monetary influence on the oppressors by refusing to buy a product or use a service provided by the oppressing power. The best and most impacting example of this strategy was the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Thousands of blacks banded together and decided to stop using the bus system to protest after the Rosa Parks incident. The sense of community in a race-wide boycott showed how serious the African-Americans were about their struggle, some had to walk miles upon miles to work, but through all this they stayed united and proved a very important point as the buses sat un-used in lots.

The Top Five Events of The Civil Rights Movement

Brown vs. Board of Education- This event is very important mainly because it was basically the spark that started the Civil Rights Movement. This was the court case that involved parents suing the school board because her daughter had to walk across town to an all-blacks school when there was an all-whites school across the street.

Montgomery Bus Boycott- One of the first economical protests of the Civil Rights Movement. This began with the prosecution of Rosa Parks when she refused to give up her seat to a white man. This influenced the black community to stop using the bus system all together, making an impact on the income of the buses.

March on Washington- People marched from the Washington Monument to the Lincoln Memorial while listening to speeches. This was where Martin Luther King Jr. gave his "I Have a Dream" speech.

16th Street Church Bombing- An act of racial-terrorism where a church was bombed. The explosion killed four girls, marking a turning point in the Civil Rights Movement.

Civil Rights Act of 1964- Lynda B. Johnson passed this act to end public discrimination against blacks and other minorities. This act ended segregation and promoted integration.

A Change Is Gonna Come -- Sam Cooke (Original Version in HD)

"A Change Is Gonna Come" -Sam Cooke

I was born by the river in a little tent
Oh, and just like the river I've been running ever since

It's been a long, a long time coming
But I know a change gon' come, oh yes it will

It's been too hard living, but I'm afraid to die
Cause I don't know what's up there beyond the sky

It's been a long, a long time coming
But I know a change gon' come, oh yes it will

I go to the movie and I go down town
Somebody keep telling me don't hang around

Its been a long, a long time coming
But I know a change gon' come, oh yes it will

Then I go to my brother
And I say, "Brother, help me please."
But he winds up knockin' me
Back down on my knees

There been times when I thought I couldn't last for long
But now I think I'm able to carry on

It's been a long, a long time coming
But I know a change gon' come, oh yes it will

"A Change Is Gonna Come" Review

My immediate reaction to this song is fondness, Sam Cook has the kind of voice that possesses the power to move audiences and bring a sense of change into the air. As a white teenager in the year 2015, I don't carry much of a sense of relation to the struggle that Cooke and his fellow Civil Rights Activists faced; however, it doesn't take much analyzing to see how this song could easily be an anthem to all of those who faced hardships in the Civil Rights Movement. There wasn't much that the people could count on during this time, but music was one of the very few. this song showed how moving a simple set of words could be, and how it could effect the people who listened.