Racism and Civil Rights in the U.S

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“The civil rights movement changed over the years by African Americans having equal opportunity in employment, housing, and education. Civil rights gave colored people the opportunity to sit with whites. In 1963, president John F. Kennedy called for the civil rights act, which would abolish major forms of racial discrimination. 1963 is the year that sparked the modern civil rights movement and neither D.C. nor AU were touched by the events that would pave the way for a more racially just nation. Martin Luther King Jr. wanted to create social change and he even advocated for changing the legal framework. Some people feel as if the civil rights was not changed for the better because people are still being treated unequal. Some people feel as if the civil rights didn’t change for the better because colored people are still getting treated differently and police brutality. In “How the civil rights movement shaped us” it says, “There’s a picture of Martin Luther King Jr., in my office that serves as a reminder of work we’re trying to do,’ she said. “He advocated for changing the framework as well as creating social change.” (Ober, 2013)

To begin with, the civil rights movement was for everyone one to have equal rights. The civil war had officially abolished slavery, but it didn’t end discrimination against blacks, they continued to endure the devastating effects of racism, especially in the south. Negros have experienced grossly unjust treatment in the courts. Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor, it must be demanded by the oppressed. People have waited for more than 340 years for their constitutional and gods given rights. Blacks weren’t able to drink from the same fountain as whites. Funtown was closed to colored children. Blacks couldn’t use the same public facilities as whites, live in many of the same towns or go to the same schools. In Alabama all sorts of devious methods were used to prevent negroes from becoming registered voters, and there are some counties in which, even though blacks constitute a majority of the population, not a single Negro was registered. Sometimes laws were just on its face and unjust in its application. Such an ordinance becomes unjust when its used to maintain segregation and to deny citizens the first amendment privilege of peaceful assembly and protest. There was a lot of racial things going on in Birmingham Alabama in the 1963’s. Negroes have experienced grossly unjust treatment in the courts. The civil rights movement was a struggle for social justice that took place mainly during the 1950’s and 1960’s for blacks to gain equal rights under the law in the united states. The Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth and the leader of Alabama Christians in “Letter from Birmingham Jail” in paragraph 7 it says “In the course of negotiations, certain promises were made by the merchants— for example, to remove the store’s humiliating racial signs. (King,1963)

Furthermore, people not being free shows that there is too much oppression in the world. Bob Dylan talks about how people turning their heads and pretending they do not see trouble in the world. What he means by that is that all the answers to everyone’s questions are right in front of them, yet they don’t see it. How many wars must be fought to see that violence is not the answer. Judges were willing to uphold the First Amendment rights of Black Americans, it often fell to federal courts to uphold their rights, and that took time, during which charges could hang over activist. When the authorities re allowed to get away with such things, the people who pay most sharply are the people who are out in the streets, trying to push their country to become a better, more justice place. Its easy to think of the civil rights movement as a campaign against segregation, which it certainly was, but it was also a campaign for the full spectrum of rights, including freedom of expression. In the sixties there were many protesters that had even more causes to be glad that the First Amendment rights are as solidly established as they are and to hope they remain that way. By the mid-20th century, African Americans had had more than enough of prejudice and violence against them. They, along with many whites, mobilized and began an unprecedented fight for equality that spanned two decades. Blacks took the leadership roles like never before. They held public office and sought legislative changes for equality and the right to vote. In 1868, the 14th amendment to the constitution gave blacks equal protection under the law. In 1870, the 15th amendment granted blacks the right to vote. In “Blowin’ in the wind” in lines 11-12 it says “Yes, and how many years can some people exist before they’re allowed to be free.” (Dylan, 2019)

Not only some people feel that the civil right movement has changed but also some feel as if it did not change because of police brutality. There are footages of police brutality across the nation which sparked public outrage and boosted support for the civil rights movement. Blacks were getting arrested for standing up for their selves and the nation and was being charged with different things such as “statements calculated to breach the peace”. The charges that were thrown at many civil rights activists has echoes today in the vague, catch all charges like “disturbing the peace” that police often abusively levy against protesters and others that anger a police officer in one way or another. When angry people who want to change the world hit the streets in protest, and others such as police officers and other officials, feel contempt and hatred for those doing the protesting. Police used dogs and high-pressured water hoses against protestors. Blacks have languished in filthy, roach infested jails, suffering the abuse and brutality of policeman who view them as “dirty nigger lovers”. In “Boycotts, Movement, and Marches” it says, “they faced deep financial disparities and violent reprisal when addressing racial issues.” (Nelmes,2018)

In conclusion, African Americans have struggled to achieve equality. Civil rights are the freedoms and rights that a person has a member of community, state, or nation. In the U.S., these rights are guaranteed to all citizens by the Constitution and acts of Congress. Although the passage in 1964 and 1965 of major civil rights legislation was victorious for the movement, by then militant black activists had begun to see their struggle as a freedom or liberation movement not just seeking civil rights reforms but instead confronting the enduring economic, political, and cultural consequences of past racial oppression. In “Civil Rights Movement” it says “Unhappy that the United states did not truly provide freedom and equality to all people, many African Americans and their supporters created a much-organized movement to achieve equal rights. (OHC,2010)

Ober, L. (2013). “How the Civil Rights Movement Shaped Us”

References:

https://www.american.edu/media/news/20120220_1963_civil_rights_movement.cfm

King, Jr. (1963). “Letter from Birmingham Jail”

https://www.africa.upenn.edu/Articles_Gen/Letter_Birmingham.html

Dylan, B. (2019). “Blowin’ In the Wind”

https://www.bobdylan.com/songs/blowin-wind/

Nelmes, C. (2018). “Boycotts, Movement and Marches”

https://www.aarp.org/politics-society/history/info-2018/civil-rights-events-fd.html

Ohio History Connection. (2010). “Civil Rights Movement”

http://www.ohiohistorycentral.org/w/Civil_Rights_Movement

Stanley, J. (2017). “Civil Rights Movement Is A Reminder That Free Speech Is There to Protect the Weak”

https://www.aclu.org/blog/free-speech/civil-rights-movement-reminder-free-speech-there-protect-weak

Wilmore, K. (2019). “Civils Rights: How Far Have We Come?”

http://www.scholastic.com/browse/article.jsp?id=4794

Carson, C. (2019). “American Civil Rights Movement”

https://www.britannica.com/event/American-civil-rights-movement

History.com. (2019) “Civil Rights Movement Timeline”

https://www.history.com/topics/civil-rights-movement/civil-rights-movement-timeline

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Racism and Civil Rights in the U.S. (2020, Feb 25). Retrieved from https://papersowl.com/examples/racism-and-civil-rights-in-the-u-s/

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