The Civil Rights Movement

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The Civil Rights Movement was not about violent protests to get what the people wanted. Most of the protests that occurred to make the African-Americans equal to the white Americans were done in a polite manner, for example, sit-ins at lunch counters that would not serve the African-Americans and Freedom Rides to Jackson, Mississippi. All of the protests were non-violent on the people who wanted the Civil Rights Act to go through, but on the opposite side there was violence against these people.

Rosa Parks was considered to be the mother of the Civil Rights Movement. This was because she was considered to be the first person that stood up for what the white Americans did to the African-Americans. Parks was arrested just for refusing to give up her bus seat to a white passenger. After she was put in jail other African-Americans started to Boycott the Montgomery Buses. Most of Montgomery’s 50,000 African-Americans took part in boycotting the buses; because of this the buses were losing 65% of their income. After 381 days of the African-Americans boycotting the bus service the Montgomery buses gave up. A court desegregated the Montgomery buses in November, 1966. It was a great victory for the people of Montgomery. This is just one of many peaceful and non-violent ways that the African-Americans voiced out their opinions on how they are treated.

The Freedom Rides are another great example of peaceful protesting can make changes. The Freedom Rides were buses that took people into the Southern States of America to protest against the separate water fountains and restrooms and to desegregate buses. The only problem that the Freedom Riders faced was the Ku Klux Klan with was a mob a southern citizens that was against the Freedom Riders. The Ku Klux Klan terrorized the buses. They threw fire bombs and gas bombs into the buses and then would beat all those who were inside until they severely injured. When the freedom riders arrived in Jackson, Mississippi they were arrested and thrown into small, dark, filthy prison cells. They were given over salted food to eat and were beaten by the guards. Since most of the guards and police were Ku Klux Klan members they were let off for treating the freedom riders harshly. After a while Kennedy was forced to desegregate the buses and make restroom and water fountains available for both African-American and white Americans.

After years of being excluded from a Woolworths lunch counter in North Carolina, students from North Carolina Agricultural & Technical College began to do sit-ins at the place. All of the African-American protesters dressed nicely and sat in every other seat. This type of protest became popular and the African-Americans started doing all across the Southern States of America. Instead of just doing at lunch counter the African-Americans started to do them in parks, libraries and even museums. Since sit-ins were becoming a popular form of protest and they were happening more often the local police forces became annoyed and sometimes used violence to get the protesters out of the facilities.

After World War Two (WW2) most of the African Americans were living in cities after they migrated from the south. Most of the African-Americans preferred to live in Ghettos rather than in the Southern States where the Ku Klux Klan ruled. Since the African-American population was much larger than it had perversely been most of them would take jobs and get paid a lot less than a white person would. On of the first large race riots were in Harlem, New York in 1964. During this riot a white American police officer shot a fifteen year African-American boy. The police officer thought the boy was running at him with a knife. On the day after the African-American boy died hundreds of protesters marched to the 67th Street Police Station demanding that the white American police officer be suspended. The white American police officer was not suspended. The same summer that this incident happened, a similar riot broke out in Philadelphia. In 1965 after the Voting Rights Act had been passed a massive riot broke out in Watts. It all started when a young man was arrested for drinking and driving and his mother was arguing with the police. After this the riot started and lasted for six day. At the end of this riot 34 people had been killed and 30 million dollars of property was destroyed. In Detroit a wealthy black middle class had been established with most of the African-American men getting the average wage. The riot in Detroit was caused by an illegal liquor bar being shutdown. This caused many furious residents to riot because patrons had been arrested at the time. Also, after the assignation of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. riots broke out in many of the major cities around America. In many of these riots the damage that was caused was very serve. In the end the Race Riots from 1960 to 1970 did not achieve very much in the way of rights but it did achieve a great cultural change in the way that some of the wealthier African-Americans moved into the suburbs where the white Americans lived.

In conclusion The Civil Rights movement changed the way that the white Americans saw the African-Americans and this allowed the African-Americans to become expected in society. This was done by peaceful protesting. Rosa Parks achieved a great lot just by refusing to give up her bus seat to a white passenger. The freedom rides allowed African-Americans to use the same restrooms and water fountains as the white Americans. It also desegregated buses. Sit-ins sometimes allowed the African-Americans to eat at the same lunch counter as the white Americans or go to the same library or museum as them. Finally, while the race riots did not really achieve anything they did voice out the African-Americans thoughts. The race riots also change the culture of some cities. Altogether, the Civil Rights Movement was a time where the African-Americans got what they deserved.


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