Rosa Parks Civil Rights Movement: Igniting Change

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Updated: Sep 06, 2023
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The civil rights movement was a fight for the rights of minorities in the 1950s and 1960s. Many important events sparked this movement, such as inspiring people like Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King, as well as acts passed, such as the separate but equal law and supreme court cases like Brown v. Board of Education. This movement also led to many new things and opportunities for African Americans. Effects of the civil rights movement include African Americans gaining fully the right to vote, the civil rights act of 1964, and the 1965 immigration act.

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I believe that the most important cause of the movement was Rosa Parks, and the most impactful effect was the civil rights act.

Rosa Parks: The Catalyst of the Civil Rights Movement

The most important cause of the Civil Rights movement was the actions of Rosa Parks. The separate but equal clause made it so blacks and whites had to be separated; for example, whites sat at the front of the bus, and blacks sat in the back. Rosa Parks sat up front on the bus and refused to give her seat up to a white person.

This sparked protest, as stated in an article on English online: “Parks was arrested. The blacks no longer wanted to ‘sit at the back of the bus’ and started a boycott of the bus system. They chose a young minister, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., to lead their protest.” This shows that Rosa Parks inspired the most important person that she could, Martin Luther King. He then went on to make sure that inspiration and determination spread. I believe this is the most important cause of the civil rights movement because it is what sparked motivation in the people. Rosa Parks inspired black citizens to have a voice and made the issue of separate but equal not being entirely fair. The law was more separate and unequal.

The Civil Rights Act of 1964: A Landmark Change

Now, the most important and impactful effect of the civil rights movement was the Civil Rights Act passed in 1964. An article by David Kenneth tells us the reason behind this act being passed: “The eradication of racial segregation from Southern society was a central aim of the civil rights movement. These laws forced whites and African Americans to live separately; African-Americans received second-class treatment throughout the region. The nation was visibly not living up to its ideal as a democracy based on justice. The movement forced Congress to take action, which it did through the 1964 Civil Rights Act.” This act got rid of separate but equal; not only that, but it also outlawed the separation of any people based on their race. This was especially helpful to minorities in looking for careers since employers were no longer permitted to deny someone solely based on their race.


The civil rights movement did a lot to shape the way our country functions today. The discrimination and separation of anybody based on their race are not shed in a negative light, and for a good reason, thanks to this movement. Though some may be argued to be considered more important, the fact is that many events led to the civil rights movement beginning, and even more positive effects of the movement still exist today.

Works Cited

  1. “Rosa Parks: The Woman Who Changed a Nation” by Kira Albin, Biography Magazine, July 1996.
  2. “The Civil Rights Act of 1964: An End to Racial Segregation” by David Kenneth, Journal of American History, 1965.
  3. “Martin Luther King Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement” by Stephen B. Oates, Martin Luther King, Jr.: A Biography, 1997.
  4. Brown v. Board of Education and its Impact on Civil Rights Movements” by James T. Patterson, Brown v. Board of Education: A Civil Rights Milestone and Its Troubled Legacy, 2001.
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Rosa Parks Civil Rights Movement: Igniting Change. (2023, Jun 21). Retrieved from