Civil Rights Movement Many African Americans Unified to Fight

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During the civil rights movement many African Americans unified to fight for their justice and freedom. In 1896 the Unites States passed the legal doctrine of “separate but equal.” They were separated in every possible way from white Americans but were far from being equal. Around 1954-1968 African Americans fought for true equality in their education, transportation, housing, voting, employment, and public facilities. They were able to obtain equality, but it came at price of many lives. Their strategies allowed the movement to be successful and unified them as a community.

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They used nonviolence, media, and boycotts to reach their goal of equality and freedom. Not using violence was their weapon it made them vulnerable, but it made their movement strong. They believed nonviolent resistance was a courageous way of living and they choose to love instead of hate.

The media allowed many Americans across the nation to see the truth of what was happening. It touched many Americans and put pressure on the white house to act. Their direct action in sit-ins and boycotts brought attention to the movement and allowed for other African American to get involved. It also brought attention to the white house and Americans across the nation demonstrating they could no longer be ignored. An event that showed both strategies of nonviolence and media was the Selma March of 1965. It was a 54-mile 5-day march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama. The purpose of this march was to nonviolently protest for voting rights. African Americans had repeatedly tried to register, and only two percent were on the voting rolls. At first the march had a lot of arrests but little violence.” Governor George C. Wallace commanded troopers to stop the protesters.

The troopers met the nonviolent protesters by the Edmund Pettus Bridge, and that day became known as “Bloody Sunday.” Protestors were violently stop by baton sticks and tear gas. This caused a national outraged and President Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The use of nonviolence and media allowed the voting rights act to be passed. They knew that if they used violence neither the President, Congress, or Americans would support their movement. Refraining from using violence even when their life was in danger brought sympathy to those watching. Media allowed for a broad audience no matter where they were. The president was able to see what was happening through televised news and pictures taken of the march. In the photograph Selma March (1965) we can see African Americans marching alongside with white Americans. We can also see many young people participating in the march. They are all peacefully marching with no weapons protesting the right to vote.

Without any visual evidence we might have not imagined white Americans and young people in these marches. Which would have encouraged other white and young Americans to join the movement. These strategies weren’t only effective but gave momentum to the civil rights movement. President Johnson gave a speech on March 15, 1965 a week after the Selma march. He presented his speech to the Presidency, members of Congress, and the American people. The purpose of his speech was to address the violence that occurred during the Selma march, and convince the Presidency and Congress that all Americans regardless of their color, race, and religion had the right to vote. In his speech he mentions one of the strategies used in this movement which is nonviolence. He states, “There, long-suffering men and women peacefully protested the denial of their rights as Americans.

Many were brutally assaulted, one good man, a man of God, was killed.” He recognizes their peaceful protest even when their lives were at stake they still refrained from using violence. Their nonviolent protest ironically was very violent, and he acknowledges the pain and suffering the protestors have endured and their cry has urgently demanded a change to “majesty of this great Government–the Government of the greatest Nation on earth. (Johnson 1)” A country which always want to right wrong, do justice, and serve men (Johnson 1). America as a country had dealt with global crisis of war and depression. Now they have a crisis at the heart of America which is the issue of equal rights. They must rise as a nation and right the wrong they have justified. Present Johnson pleaded for the bill to pass, and even if it passed the work wouldn’t be done. There was still a long road to justice and equality. The civil rights movement also used boycotting as a strategy to change laws and bring equality. In the “Sunday Advertiser and Alabama Journal” the Negro Ministers of Montgomery and Their Congregation wrote an article about the bus boycott. The article informed and educated the people of Montgomery about the boycott, but it also talked about methods that were used for the civil right movement.

For example, nonviolence, passive resistance, and the use of religious imagery. Nonviolence and passive resistance were used as a way to stand up to their enemies. They believed violence wouldn’t solve anything and would only make things worse for them. It was God who would bring justice to their enemies and all they had to do was love them. Boycotting the buses was not an easy thing for them to do. They had to walk long distances or pay more money for a taxi. It was better than having to endure the way they were being treated on buses, they had nothing to lose. They wanted common courtesy, fair seating, and stop of physical torture. They were willing and determined, boycotting allowed their presence to be noticed, and nonviolence allowed their voices to be heard. The boycott ended with the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that segregation on public buses was unconstitutional. Once again, they achieved what they were fighting for. African Americans didn’t only fight for the right to vote and equal rights in public transportation, they also fought for equal education. Schools were also under the “separate but equal” principle.

Like everything else schools were far from equal. They had received fewer funds from the government, they had poor facilities, and had second rate materials (American Yawp 26). According to Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, “they had been denied admission to schools attended by white children under laws requiring or permitting segregation according to race.” This document shows the effect on African American children when separated even if education were to be equal. Earl Warren states, “To separate them from others of similar age and qualifications solely because of their race generates a feeling of inferiority as to their status in the community that may affect their hearts and minds in a way unlikely ever to be undone.” Separation must end not just because its unequal but because it also has a long-term physiological affect. Children will grow up feeling less and that will show in their grades and most importantly in the way they lead their life’s. Education is one of the most important things someone can obtain it will determine the type of job they can acquire and it’s the foundation of being a good citizen. Children who are deprived a good education and have a feeling of inferiority are not given the mental and emotional tools to be successful in life.

By any means that is not an equal constitution. The state-sanctioned segregation of public schools was a violation of the 14th amendment and was therefore unconstitutional (Brown v. Board 1). Not even once in their fight for equal education did they use violence. They were persistent and presented facts about the effects of segregation on young children. Media also help spread the news of banned school segregation. It captured picture of children of different colors being educated together. It also captured protesters full of anger with signs that read “stop race mixing.” Media was a very useful tool and strategy used during the civil rights movement. It spread the news across the nation faster than ever before. It captured real footage and emotion which allowed many Americans to feel sympathy. The emotion that the news, videos, and pictures brought to the public were so strong that it encouraged many to join the movement.

It brought such strong emotion that it moved President Johnson and Congress to pass Acts that changed the lives of many African Americans. Even when they were beaten, and their lives were put in danger they never lifted a finger in their defense. They refrain from using violence because they knew if they did no one would hear them, and it would make them look bad. America would see them as violent and would only stir up more anger and separation. Boycotting allowed their presence to be noticed and have effect on companies like the bus. It showed they were serious and were willing to do anything to be heard. Media also help bring attention to boycotting allowing their movement to gain momentum. Their strategies, determination, courage, and strength allowed them to change the America we know today.

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Civil Rights Movement Many African Americans Unified to Fight. (2021, Jun 26). Retrieved from