The Civil Rights Movement

By Reilly Crane

Contribution to Our Equality in the United States

At some point in time, everyone who has studied U.S. history and the Civil Rights Movement has asked themselves the following question: To what degree has the Civil Rights Movement contributed to making the United States a more equal and just society? Before the movement began, the U.S. had to deal with several racial issues, including slavery and racial discrimination. There were several things that contributed to the movement's beginning, as listed below. Thanks to the Civil Rights Movement, our nation is now a racially equal and free society.

Tactics and Strategies of the Civil Rights Movement

Because of the civil disobedience, grass-rot organizing, voter registration, economic withdrawal, and massive boycotts, the Civil Rights Movement was able to succeed.Through protests, sit-ins, and freedom rides, the movement established its strategy of having dramatic encounters with people of authority. Civil disobedience tactics were designed to call attention to the existence of of injustice, win over public sympathy, and risk jail, injury, and danger in general for their cause through demonstrations.

Each sit-in during the movement had one demonstrator with a hundred grass-roots activists; these activists spend lots of time traveling around in the South to establish freedom schools that would be found in church basements, restaurants, barber shops, and meeting halls. The gatherings for these sit-ins were held in towns of any size, and the freedom schools supported voter registration efforts and political campaigns for African-American candidates.

Five Events of Importance to the Movement

  1. Brown V.S. Board of Education- This event was the court case that jump started the Civil Rights Movement, as well as ended segregation in schools nationwide. The Brown V.S. Board of Education court case deserves this top ranking because it demonstrated to African-Americans throughout the nation that it was possible to end segregation and obtain the rights that everyone else had, so it gave everyone hope as well as the will and courage to keep pushing for their freedom.
  2. The Montgomery Bus Boycott- This boycott began after Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to give her seat up to a white man on the bus, which gave Martin Luther King Jr. his rise to fame for encouraging others to protest as well as causing the protest movement to start. The boycott deserves this ranking because it further encouraged African-Americans to stand up to the whites and the government in order to gain liberties, and it gave rise to the rest of the Civil Rights Movement after segregation in public transportation services was destroyed.
  3. The Freedom Riders- Freedom rides were a series of protests led by both blacks and whites against segregation that rode buses together. These groups of people were important to the movement because they further expanded the concept of the Montgomery Bus Boycott by protesting the segregation in buses, and helped the boycott obtain the rights for African-Americans being able to sit where ever they wanted on the bus.
  4. The March on Washington- This was a political rally designed to emphasize the political and social struggles of African-Americans in the nation and to call for racial justice and equality. The March was important to the movement because it was the event where Martin Luther King Jr. gave his famous "I have a dream" speech, and it contributed towards giving African-Americans jobs and freedom.
  5. The 1964 Civil Rights Act- This was a document signed by the U.S. government that gave African-Americans the rights they had been fighting for. This Act is important to the movement because it was the document that gave African-Americans racial justice and equality, and allowed them to be free.
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Civil Rights Activist Groups

The NAACP, or the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, was an African-American civil rights organization that was formed on February 12th,1909 in the United States, specifically in Baltimore, Maryland. It's main goal was to rid of racial discrimination through lobbying, legal action, and education and to gain racial minorities equal protection under the law. The organization works locally to handle racial discrimination cases, offer tutorials on referral services, offers a daycare program, sponsors the National Housing Corporation to help develop low and moderate income housing for multiple families, offers programs to the youth as well as prison inmates, maintains a law library, and lobbies Congress for supreme court justices. Some of the group's key contributions to the Civil Rights Movement were ruling in Moore v.s. Dempsey that the exclusion of African-Americans in a jury was inconsistent with the right to a fair trial, argued in Shelley v.s. Kraemer and struck down racially covered land covenants, got President Truman to abolish racial segregation in the armed forces, got the Supreme Court to rule racially segregated professional schools unconstitutional in Sweatt v.s. Painter, ruled segregation in public scholls unconstitutional in Brown v.s. Board of Education, led passage to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, led to the passage of the Fair Housing Act of 1968, and launched the Economic Reciprocity Program.


CORE, or the Congress of Racial Equality, was a civil rights organization in the United States created in 1942 in Chicago that was one of the big four civil rights activist groups, along with the NAACP. The group sought to incorporate nonviolent principles as tactics in the Civil Rights Movement, inspired by Mahatma Gandhi's nonviolent civil disobedience tactics, and believed that nonviolent civil disobedience could be used to challenge racial segregation. The group's key contributions to the Civil Rights Movement include freedom rides, desegregating Chicago's schools, the march on Washington, the freedom summer, and a march in Cicero Illinois,
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