The Civil Rights Movement

By Sierra Gallegos

The Importance of The Revolution

Years ago people probably never thought that black people would be able to make a difference in this world, but they have. Black protesters may have even had doubt in themselves, not thinking that anything they did would make a difference but they still may have wanted to fight for what they believe in just because they know that its right. And even though we still have racism issues in society today, it is nowhere near as bad as it was back in the time of The Civil Rights Movement. Those brave men and women made a huge difference in this world, whether they know it or not. Movements like sit-ins, marches and boycotts took notice and made a difference. Thanks to several brave people and many great organizations, segregation has been almost completely eliminated.

Movement Strategies

During The Civil Rights Movement, there were several different strategies used to protest. Things like bus boycott, sit-ins, freedom rides and etc. The bus boycott strategy really became popular after Rosa Park got arrested for refusing to give up her seat on the bus. Four days after Rosa Parks got arrested, December 5 1955, the Montgomery Bus Boycott started and didn't end until a little over a year later on December 20 1956. The U.S. Supreme Court then ordered Montgomery to integrate its bus system.


The tactic of sit-ins first made an appearance in Greensboro, North Carolina on February 1, 1960. Four African American college students sat at a whites only lunch counter in a local store and asked for coffee. They were denied service yet they still sat there patiently. Ignoring the threats and intimidation from some of the white customers, the students sat wand waited to be served. Sit-in participants would often get threatened by local customers. They would even sometimes be pelted with food or condiments. Many angry white customers would sometimes provoke fights that usually ended up never happening. If a physical attack ever took place, the student would curl up in a ball on the floor and take the beating.


May 4, 1961, a group of African American and white civil rights activists launched the Freedom Rides. The Freedom Rides were a series of bus trips through the South to protest segregation in interstate bus terminals. The Freedom Riders departed from Washington D.C. and attempted to integrate facilities at bus terminals along the way top the South. African American Freedom Riders would try to use white only bathrooms and lunch counters while white Freedom Riders would do vice versa. Many of times the group encountered violent white protesters along the way, but also drew international attention to their cause. September of 1961 the Interstate Commerce Commission issued regulations prohibiting segregation in bus and stations nationwide.

NAACP

NAACP stands for National Association of the Advancement of Colored People. The NAACP was a very important organization during The Civil Rights Movement, and still a very important organization. When racial lynching became an issue, the NAACP was established. A group of white liberals including Mary White Ovington, Oswald Garrison Villard, William English Walling, and Dr. Henry Moscowitz called for a meeting to discuss racial justice, around 60 people signed the call. Several other early members included Joel and Arthur Spingarn, Josephine Ruffin, Mary Talbert, Inez Milholland, Jane Addams, Florence Kelley, Sophonisba Breckinridge, John Haynes Holmes, Mary McLeod Bethune, George Henry White, Charles Edward Russell, John Dewey, William Dean Howells, Lillian Wald, Charles Darrow, Lincoln Steffens, Ray Stannard Baker, Fanny Garrison Villard, and Walter Sachs. The goal of the NAACP was to secure the guaranteed rights in the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendment for all people. The NAACP's main objective was to ensure the political, social, economical, and educational equality of minority group citizens of The US.

CORE

CORE stands for The Congress of Racial Equality. Founded in 1942, CORE became one of the top activist organizations in the early years of The Civil Rights Movement. In the early 1960s the CORE started working with other organizations and came up with few initiatives including the Freedom Rides, the Freedom Summer voter registration project and the 1963 March on Washington. The Freedom Rides had a goal of desegregating public facilities. 1960 is when the CORE organization drew national attention with its active support of the sit-in movement at lunch counters that refused to serve negroes. Originally the CORE worked with a non-violent approach when it came to fighting racial segregation, but the leadership sifted focus towards the political ideology of black nationalism in the late 1960s. In June of 1964 Andrew Goodman, James Chaney, and Michael Shwerner were murdered by members of the KKK while working as volunteers for CORE's Freedom Summer voter registration project in Mississippi.
WAR - WHY CAN'T WE BE FRIENDS
Although 'Why Can't We Be Friends' is a simple song with very simple lyrics, the words do a good job of describing a serious issue. Also when you think about, the way to solve the issue is just as simple as the lyrics. Whites and Blacks have never been treated equally or have seen each other as equals, even today there are still issues with racism in our country. But what is it that makes it so hard for us to get along with one another or see each other as equals? Like the song says, why can't we all just be friends and live in harmony? I think that this song is a good representation of how Blacks and Whites live their lives in the same world and that they can be standing right next to each other yet they are so separated.

Why Can't We Be Friends- WAR (lyrics)


Why can't we be friends
Why can't we be friends
Why can't we be friends
Why can't we be friends

I seen you around for a long long time, ya
I really remembered you when you drink my wine

Why can't we be friends
Why can't we be friends
Why can't we be friends
Why can't we be friends

I seen you walkin' down in Chinatown
I called you but you could not look around

Why can't we be friends
Why can't we be friends
Why can't we be friends
Why can't we be friends

I bring my money to the welfare line
I see you standing in it every time

Why can't we be friends
Why can't we be friends
Why can't we be friends
Why can't we be friends

The color of your skin don't matter to me
As long as we can live in harmony

Why can't we be friends
Why can't we be friends
Why can't we be friends
Why can't we be friends

I'd kinda like to be the President
So I can show you how your money's spent

Why can't we be friends
Why can't we be friends
Why can't we be friends
Why can't we be friends

Sometimes I don't speak right
But yet I know what I'm talking about

Why can't we be friends
Why can't we be friends
Why can't we be friends
Why can't we be friends

I know you're workin' for the CIA
They wouldn't have you in the Ma-fi-a

Why can't we be friends
Why can't we be friends
Why can't we be friends
Why can't we be friends...