MGC HIST 2112 - Essay Unit 8 Civil RIghts Movement

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US History Online Based on the evidence you've seen in this unit, how did the priorities, organization, and tactics of civil rights movement leaders change between 1954 and 1970? Why? Cite specific examples.The Civil Rights movement was one of the most consequential and transformative periods in American History. And one where nonviolent resistance was a strategy to fight Southern state governments and the terrorism of racists. The civil rights movement also had a strain which believed in fighting back with violence and was against integration. The Civil Rights movement was not a monolith. It was a group of people coming together to fight a common adversary: injustice. As Martin Luther King said, “injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere.”As in other monumental moments in American history, the names are different, but the battles seem the same. Like the populist movements, or the labor movements before the civil rights movement—the law that was supposed to protect the people had failed a segment of the population. In some ways it was a civil war all over again, with less calamity, but just as much impact on American life and America’s future. The factions were African Americans and eventually the federal government vs the Jim Crow South and KKK with the other segregationists. However, this is not the first time African Americans fought for their freedom. But it was the first time, they were being heard and seen all over the world fighting for their freedom. In a time when America was viewed as the land of the free. The Civil Rights movement was the war for the constantly redefined and reexamined American hallmark and defining trait: freedom. AfricanAmericans were fighting for this elusive freedom of expression, the freedom to vote, and the freedom to pursue happiness, as other groups had accomplished. The Civil Rights movement wanted equality, and waged war with the old Southernorder. The southern status quo went from slavery, to Reconstruction, to Jim Crow and segregation. Governor George Wallace stated, blacks move to the south because they are happy to be apart of this order. The order had changed over the years, but in the 1960’s, it was separation in public, and minimal right to vote, poorer schools, and worse healthcare. The movement was visceral, urgent, methodical, and changed America henceforth. The movement morphed fromgeneration to generation as different leaders yearned to be heard, though they shared a common goal. Integration was the act of being able to attend white institutions and gain access to the same treatment as white citizens had achieved. Desegregation was necessary as Thurgood Marshall pointed out during Brown vs Board of Education. It was established in the Supreme court trial, segregation was harming black children, and black people writ large. The Education system was one of the first institutions to be challenged. Before Thurgood Marshall’s victory in Brown v. Board, 17 states had segregation laws on their books until 1954. It was now unconstitutional, but this did not prevent violence towards blacks and those who allied them. The Little Rock 9 received threats, insults, and physical abuse. Orval Faubus shut down all schools in 1958, because he thought it would be better if schools were closed than to desegregate them; it was not until President Dwight D. Eisenhower intervened to force schools to reopen. The President had to send in federal troops to serve as escorts to the schools. These events had happened for several generations, but now it could be televised. And the country could now witness the horror of Jim Crow south. Thurgood Marshall was successful and wielded the media attention well, but Thurgood Marshall’s approach differed from Martin Luther King’s. Martin Luther King believed in nonviolent resistance, inspired by Ghandi. He believed whites and blacks could work side by side to end the racist practices of Jim crow and segregation. He was an organizer, who believed in peaceful disruption, and civil disobedience as exemplified in the Montgomery Bus Boycott, which lasted almost one year, until the Supreme court ruled it unconstitutional. Martin Luther King drew crowds with his oratory skills, and dedication, as well as his uncanny ability to use the media to bring attention to the injustices he saw. He did this in 1965 in the Selma to Montgomery march, when 100’s of people marched from Selma to Montgomery to fight for the right to vote. And the 1965 Voting Rights act was signed. Martin’s methods were successful. He garnered the country’s attention and helped establish political expediency for his ideals and vision. So it wasn’t surprising that when MLK was assassinated, the dream of harmonious racerelations through peaceful protest, also died for many people around the country.After Martin Luther King was assassinated on April 4th, it did not take long for news to spread of the movement’s loss. And it did not take long for many people jarred by the loss of an iconic figure within the civil rights movement, for ablunt reaction. There were massive acts of violence all over the country. And the unrest and absence of MLK, left a vacuum for other views far different than his to prevail. If there is such a thing, as an exact opposite view, Malcolm X was very close to that exact opposite. Malcolm Little also known as Malcolm X believed in violence when met with violence was apropos; he saw white people as devils. He was a student of Elijah Muhammad who believed in separatism because he thought black people could not contend with white racism, which he believed wasthe default state of America. He presented this view until he was assassinated February 21, 1965.Though Malcolm died, his view of Black power, and Black separatism did not. He inspired several young leaders to reject MLK’s strategy, in favor of a more militant approach. One of his most notable disciples was Stokely Carmichael, who later changed his name to Kwame Ture. Stokely Carmichael was the chair of the SNCC (Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee), and was committed to the separatist movement, he even kicked out white members from the organization. He then, left the group and joined the Black Panthers.The leadership of the Civil Rights movement proved that the movement was not a monolith but a collection of people with varying needs, views, religions who sometimes came together to overcome their shared

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MGC HIST 2112 - Essay Unit 8 Civil RIghts Movement

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