Civil Rights

Mackenzie Scruggs

Real Turning Point

The Civil Rights movement was a very brave, and very dangerous movement for the blacks. Although racism is still very alive today, the Civil Rights movement was one that changed America forever. Many lives were taken and many sacrifices were made, but today, skin color is much less of an arguable factor, as equality is soon to be reached.

Civil Warfare

During the Civil Rights movement, both the whites and the blacks had tactics they would use to prevent/promote the idea of equality.

The whites went about the prevention of equality very harshly; they beat and murdered many innocent African Americans. Lynching seemed to be as common as a trip to the grocery store. Whites were very violent and relentless. For example, in September of 1963, a bomb exploded in a black church, and four innocent little girls' lives were taken. Though not always innocent, African Americans had a more civil way of getting what they wanted.

African Americans followed a set of rules that was brought upon by Henry David Thoreau. They called these "Civil Disobedience," a way of letting the government know what they wanted without breaking real laws. The main rules were centered around the idea of following a higher power, or resisting laws peacefully. Many blacks were shot, hanged, even sprayed with fire hoses, all while carrying out their beliefs peacefully.

One of the most famous examples is the Montgomery Bus Boycott. African Americans decided to stop riding buses altogether, to show that they wanted to be able to sit where they want. Of course though, the whites got mad about that, too. Some blacks would walk up to 15 miles each way.


The NAACP has become a household name since their support during the Civil Rights movement. NAACP stands for National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. One of the biggest accomplishments of this group, was the abolishment of the "Separate but Equal," claim that was held in many white lives at the time. The main goal of this group was to move forward in the movement of equality amongst all skin colors.
This was also the group of individuals that helped fight the Brown vs. Board of Education case.

Freedom Riders

The Freedom Riders were a group of African Americans that drove through the south, protesting against segregation. In 1961 a group of 13, seven African Americans and six white folk, began their first trip on May 4. They protested mainly by using facilities or areas that were designated for whites only. These places were most often buses, bathrooms, and lunch counters. For a little while, things were peaceful. Until May 12 in Rock Hill, South Carolina, when two black men and a white man were attacked in a waiting room.

Another large attack that occurred, was on May 14; about 200 people gathered around the bus that the Freedom Riders were on, and blew their tires and threw a bomb onto the bus. Although the group escaped the bomb, they were beaten as soon as they got off the bus. Another part of the group had traveled to Alabama that same day and were also beaten viciously. The Birmingham Safety Commissioner knew about the planned attack, but sent no police officers because it was Mother's Day.

A Change Is Gonna Come - Sam Cooke

This song was written by Sam Cooke in 1963. He uses a powerful voice, accompanied by a compelling chord progression. He over and over says, "It's been a long, a long time comin', but I know a change gon' come, oh yes it will," which is obviously referring to the racism occurring throughout the country.
A Change Is Gonna Come, Sam Cooke, 1963