The Civil Rights Museum
By Emma Arnold and Kayla Rupe
Key Events During the Reform
There were many events that occurred during the era that definitely changed and influenced the world today. First of all, the nation used to be split over the views of slavery- the south wanted it, but the north didn't. Due to the Civil War, slavery was abolished, and was made certain by the 13th Amendment. Although slavery had ended, African Americans were still not completely seen as equal. But, the purpose of events like the March on Washington, Martin Luther's "I Have A Dream" speech, and more were to help the inequality problem.
Aside of African American rights, women were also being faced with the challenge of not being seen as equal. Women encouraged others to help women stop being subordinate to men. During the Seneca Falls Convention, people like Elizabeth Cady Stanton spoke about their strong beliefs. Because of these types of people and movements, women were eventually able to expand their rights, like voting.
Another group that wasn't seen as equal were those who were mentally ill and/or handicapped. These people were treated with low respect and weren't treated like others who only acted in a different way. For example, when Dorothea Dix toured certain hospitals, she found that those with mental problems were in cages and other inhuman areas that people without those illnesses wouldn't have to face. So to change that, Dix helped create various hospitals across the U.S. in order to support the movement.
Another problem that happened around this time was focused on prisons. People had "differing ideas about which crimes merit imprisonment, what length sentences should be, and how inmates should be treated." (Brennan, et al. Almanac Vol. 2) As a result, changes, which called for stricter and more severe penalties for crime, were created.
Important Figures During the Reform
Dorothea Dix was most well known for her efforts in the Mental Health Reform. Dix was devoted to those who were mentally ill, and believed that they should receive equal treatment for their sicknesses, despite the fact that they were considered "different" at the time.
Susan B. Anthony
Susan B. Anthony was a woman who was devoted to women's rights. She became the president of the National Women Suffrage Association and helped form the 19th amendment, which grants women the right to vote.
Rosa Parks was another key citizen who deeply believed in African American rights. One day, she refused to give up her bus seat to a white, and on December 1st, 1955, she was arrested for her actions. This event is one of the things that sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott.
Susan B. Anthony
Martin Luther King Jr.
Another key figure who inspired many people during the Civil Rights reform was Martin Luther King Jr. He was a young pastor who was well known for his efforts in African American equality. During the March on Washington, King gave his most memorable speech, "I have A Dream". He also became one of the leaders of the Montgomery Bus Boycott.