The Civil Rights Movement

By Hanna S. Maffett

Civil Rights Movement Impact

The civil rights movement has impacted the United States society in various ways. The civil rights movement brought the different races of the world together and influenced the people to treat each other with more equality instead of encouraging segregation. During the movement, people of different races and ethnicity learned to work together and make the United States a more peaceful place to live in.

This movement gave the people a good reason to stand up for themselves for the first time and fight for their racial and civil rights. It's so unbelievably unfair to carry out any form of discrimination or segregation in the 1950's-60's. Colored people were not seen as just another person on the street, they were constantly posed as a threat to the whites and frowned upon and abused.

During this time period (1954-1968) it was a very common thing for whites to abuse or even kill colored men and women for just about anything. A colored woman with her child could be walking down the street and be shot a killed for having darker colored skin tone.

The civil rights movement encouraged people in the United States to learn to work together and treat each other with racial equality. With the help and encouragement of Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr., the southern blacks were given a chance to fight back and fight for their rights and protest non-violently.

Unsung Heroes with Untold Stories

Emmett Till & Medgar Evers made an impact during the Civil Rights Movement; however, these two people went unappreciated during this time.

Emmett Till was a 14 year old, little boy, who had a very innocent mind set walking into the South area. He joined the Civil Rights Movement like his father did and believed in racial equality and rights! He had not been aware the dept of segregation where he was exploring with his friends one day and the suffering one must pay when you disrespect a white woman. Emmett was kidnapped, beat nearly to death, shot in the head, tied down with barbed wire attached to a 70 pound fan and thrown in the river to drown at the bottom... and his murderers were not charged due to the double jeopardy laws.

Emmett Till suffered this crucial pain for simply 'hollering' or whistling at a white woman on his way out of a market in the south. He suffered all of this pain because of segregation and the twisted-minded people who are all for it. His story went untold and the passing of his life went unknown and not cared for. He didn't even get to experience life even to the smallest degree. He was so young and naive to the world and now we will never get to experience any of it, simply because his lack of knowledge of the dangers of discrimination and segregation in the south.

Then there is the brave & wise soldier of war, Medgar Evers. In his early life, Evers was drafted into the U.S army in 1943 when he was 18 years old and he not only fought for our country but he later also became the first field secretary for NAACP in Mississippi and continued to fight, but this time for our Civil Rights. But because of his high status in the NAACP, many people opposed to racial equality and rights targeted him heavily. He and his family were constantly receiving threats and violent actions brought upon them over the years, including a bombing of their house in May of 1963. Only one short month later, June of 1963, Evers was on his way home from Jackson and shot in the back of the head in his own drive way and less than one hour later he died at a nearby hospital. Evers was a good man and he was only fighting for all of our rights and racial equality, and he was shot down for standing up for what was right and his death went forgotten.

Hero Of War

The song 'Hero of Way' by Rise against is about a man who's telling his son to go to war because it's the american way. He explains to his son the courageous (but sad) things one has to do while fighting in the war and talks about how those people (soldiers) often time are unannounced heroes and they fight/suffered throughout the wars unsung and not appreciated enough. I related this song to the Civil Rights Movement because there were dozens of dozens of people who fought for our people's freedom and their names are unannounced and unsung to the people in America that were watching. The colored people during this time were, indeed, in continuous suffering and pain and the people around would either help them, but usually just carelessly watch them suffer these hard times.

"Hero of War" By Rise Against

He said son, have you seen the world?
Well, what would you say if I said that you could
Just carry this gun, you'll even get paid
I said that sounds pretty good

Black leather boots
Spit-shined so bright
They cut off my hair but it looked alright
We marched and we sang
We all became friends
As we learned how to fight

A hero of war
Yeah that's what I'll be
And when I come home
They'll be damn proud of me
I'll carry this flag
To the grave if I must
Cause it's a flag that I love
And a flag that I trust

I kicked in the door
I yelled my commands
The children, they cried
But I got my man
We took him away
A bag over his face
From his family and his friends

They took off his clothes
They pissed in his hands
I told them to stop
But then I joined in
We beat him with guns
And batons not just once
But again and again

Civil Strategies to Fight for Civil Rights

Civil Rights Movement Article: published in 2009

"Nearly 100 years after the Emancipation Proclamation, African Americans in Southern states still inhabited a starkly unequal world of disenfranchisement, segregation and various forms of oppression, including race-inspired violence. “Jim Crow” laws at the local and state levels barred them from classrooms and bathrooms, from theaters and train cars, from juries and legislatures. In 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the “separate but equal” doctrine that formed the basis for state-sanctioned discrimination, drawing national and international attention to African Americans’ plight. In the turbulent decade and a half that followed, civil rights activists used nonviolent protest and civil disobedience to bring about change, and the federal government made legislative headway with initiatives such as the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Civil Rights Act of 1968. Many leaders from within the African American community and beyond rose to prominence during the Civil Rights era, including Martin Luther King, Jr., Rosa Parks, Malcolm X, Andrew Goodman and others. They risked—and sometimes lost—their lives in the name of freedom and equality."

Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr. played a huge role in starting/continuing the Civil Rights Movement. Rosa Parks quickly became known in her town because she was the first of any blacks to refuse to give up her seat on the bus to a white woman. After she took that stand, people started to hear about her arrest and decided to boycott the city's buses in Montgomery, Alabama. Then there is MLK, who actually led the boycott movement and led the people to fight for their civil rights and begin the Civil Rights Movement of 1964.Martin Luther quickly came to the realization that the non-violent tactics were indeed successful (according to Indian nationalist Mahatma Gandhi) and Martin Luther decided to use those tactics for southern blacks.

“I had come to see early that the Christian doctrine of love operating through the Gandhian method of nonviolence was one of the most potent weapons available to the Negro in his struggle for freedom,” he explained. Although Parks and King were members of the NAACP, the Montgomery movement led to the creation in 1957 of a new regional organization, the clergy-led Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) with King as its president."