Select network The Civil Rights Movement took the better part of two decades and deeply changed the ways in which the United States conducted itself towards its own citizens.
Civil Rights Movement in… Civil Rights Movement in the United States, political, legal, and social struggle by black Americans to gain full citizenship rights and to achieve racial equality.
The civil rights movement was first and foremost a challenge to segregation, the system of laws and customs separating blacks and whites that whites used to control blacks after slavery was abolished in the s. During the civil rights movement, individuals and civil rights organizations challenged segregation and discrimination with a variety of activities, including protest marches, boycotts, and refusal to abide by segregation laws.
Many believe that the movement began with the Montgomery bus boycott in and ended with the Voting Rights Act ofthough there is debate about when it began and whether it has ended yet. Segregation Segregation was an attempt by white Southerners to separate the races in every sphere of life and to achieve supremacy over blacks.
Segregation was often called the Jim Crow system, after a minstrel show character from the s who was an old, crippled, black slave who embodied negative stereotypes of blacks.
Segregation became common in Southern states following the end of Reconstruction in During Reconstruction, which followed the Civil WarRepublican governments in the Southern states were run by blacks, Northerners, and some sympathetic Southerners. The Reconstruction governments had passed laws opening up economic and political opportunities for blacks.
By the Democratic Party had gained control of government in the Southern states, and these Southern Democrats wanted to reverse black advances made during Reconstruction. Over the next 75 years, Jim Crow signs went up to separate the races in every possible place.
The system of segregation also included the denial of voting rights, known as disfranchisement. Between and all Southern states passed laws imposing requirements for voting that were used to prevent blacks from voting, in spite of the 15th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, which had been designed to protect black voting rights.
As a final insult, the few blacks who made it over all these hurdles could not vote in the Democratic primaries that chose the candidates because they were open only to whites in most Southern states.
Because blacks could not vote, they were virtually powerless to prevent whites from segregating all aspects of Southern life. They could do little to stop discrimination in public accommodations, education, economic opportunities, or housing.
The ability to struggle for equality was even undermined by the prevalent Jim Crow signs, which constantly reminded blacks of their inferior status in Southern society. Segregation was an all encompassing system.
Conditions for blacks in Northern states were somewhat better, though up to only about 10 percent of blacks lived in the North, and prior to World War IIvery few blacks lived in the West.
Blacks were usually free to vote in the North, but there were so few blacks that their voices were barely heard.
Segregated facilities were not as common in the North, but blacks were usually denied entrance to the best hotels and restaurants. Schools in New England were usually integrated, but those in the Midwest generally were not.
Perhaps the most difficult part of Northern life was the intense economic discrimination against blacks. They had to compete with large numbers of recent European immigrants for job opportunities and almost always lost.
Early Black Resistance to Segregation Blacks fought against discrimination whenever possible. One of the cases against segregated rail travel was Plessy v.
In fact, separate was almost never equal, but the Plessy doctrine provided constitutional protection for segregation for the next 50 years.
To protest segregation, blacks created new national organizations. In the National Urban League was created to help blacks make the transition to urban, industrial life. It relied mainly on a legal strategy that challenged segregation and discrimination in courts to obtain equal treatment for blacks.
NAACP lawyers won court victories over voter disfranchisement in and residential segregation inbut failed to have lynching outlawed by the Congress of the United States in the s and s. These cases laid the foundation for a legal and social challenge to segregation although they did little to change everyday life.
In Charles H. However, black soldiers were segregated, denied the opportunity to be leaders, and were subjected to racism within the armed forces. During the war, hundreds of thousands of Southern blacks migrated northward in and to take advantage of job openings in Northern cities created by the war.
This great migration of Southern blacks continued into the s. Along with the great migration, blacks in both the North and South became increasingly urbanized during the 20th century.
Inabout 85 percent of all Southern blacks lived in rural areas; by that percentage had decreased to about 42 percent. In the North, about 95 percent of all blacks lived in urban areas in The combination of the great migration and the urbanization of blacks resulted in black communities in the North that had a strong political presence.
The black communities began to exert pressure on politicians, voting for those who supported civil rights.
These Northern black communities, and the politicians that they elected, helped Southern blacks struggling against segregation by using political influence and money.The African-American Civil Rights Movement was an ongoing fight for racial equality that took place for over years after the Civil War.
Leaders such as Martin Luther King, Jr., Booker T. Washington, and Rosa Parks paved the way for non-violent protests which led to changes in the law. The civil rights movement was a mass popular movement to secure for African Americans equal access to and opportunities for the basic privileges and rights of U.S.
citizenship. Although the roots of the movement go back to the 19th century, it peaked in the s and s. African American men and. Civil Rights Movement Reflection Essay Non-Fiction This essay was assigned to me as extra credit from my Junior Year US History teacher, who asked me to reflect on a visit to the historical building Woolworth, in downtown Greensboro, North Carolina.
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