Civil Rights Movement

By Jason Barnes

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

The civil rights movement has had a great affect on segregation today. Now, all people regardless of race are pretty much treated equally. There are some people who still live in the past, and believe white to be superior, but that is becoming less and less all the time. Black and white people alike live together in most societies as one. We will be talking about the tactics and strategies used in the civil rights movement, two important groups in the movement, and the top 5 events that happened during the movement.

Tactics and Strategies Used in the Civil Rights Movement

There was many strategies used in the civil rights movement to further their cause. One of these was bus boycotting. The Montgomery Bus Boycott was a year long boycott, where African American refused to ride the city buses. This took a huge toll on the bus systems. A large portion, if not the majority of the people who took the bus were African Americans.Now that the majority of them refused to ride the bus, they were loosing a lot of business. Instead of taking the bus, they would find other means of travel, suck as taxis, carpool, or just simply walking.

Another one of the strategies used in the civil rights movement was marches. That's right, thousands of African Amricans would gather and march from one place to another for certain causes. One of these marches was the Selma to Montgomery march. In this march the purpose was to help blacks register to vote. This march was stopped by police when the marchers tried to cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge. This march was attempted three times before it was completed successfully. Another one of these marches was the March on Washington. This was probably the most well known of them all. About 200,000 blacks and whites showed up and this is where Martin Luther King Jr. gave his famous "I Have a Dream" speech.

Finally, there was the attempt of desegregation of public schools. One of these schools was Little Rock Central High School. Nine African American students who had sued for the rights to attend an integrated school. These students had been chosen for this school because of their excellent grades. The students had to be escorted to school by the military, and had to be escorted between classes because of harsh conditions. The white students would harass the nine students and they were even attacked when the military personnel were not around. Only one of the nine students graduated from central high school, then the school closed so they wouldn't have to integrate.

Top Five Events of the Civil Rigths Movement

The most important event in the Civil Rights Movement is probably the March on Washington. This was one of the largest events during the civil rights movement. Between 200,000 and 300,000 people met at the Washington Monument in Washington D.C. to rally for economic rights for African Americans.

The second most important event in the movement is probably the Montgomery bus boycott. This year long event in Montgomery, Alabama involved African Americans finding other means of transportation than the bus system. African Americans took up 75% of the people who rode the bus, so the bus systems lost a lot of money because of this.

The third most important event was the Selma to Montgomery march. Thousands of African Americans made 3 attempts to make a 54-mile march from Selma to Montgomery. Only on their third attempt did they complete the march due to law enforcement.

The fourth event is the desegregation of Little Rock Central High School. National guard prevents black 9 black children from attending the school. Federal paratroopers have to escort the children to and from school and between classes for them too attend.

The fifth but not least is the bombing of Birmingham Church. 4 girls are murdered vy a bomb that was planted inside of the church.

Important groups in the Civil Rights Movement

One of these important groups in the Civil Rights Movement was the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. himself became the first president of this organization. This group was founded on February 15, 1957 after two meetings were held to form an organization to desegregate buses. The main focus of this group then became to end all forms of segregation.

Another important group in the Civil Rights Movement was the Congress of Racial equality (CORE). Only a third of the founders were black, the other were white. CORE was founded in Chicago in March 1942. This group focused on nonviolent actions against segregation. They had a total of 53 chapters by 1961 throughout the US.