The Civil Rights Movement Essay
The Civil Rights Movement Essay

The Civil Rights Movement Essay

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  • Pages: 5 (1142 words)
  • Published: July 21, 2021
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Throughout Americas time, it has held many movements. One movement that hundreds of people joined was the Civil Rights Movement. This movement was created so that people of color, people that weren't “American” could have their place in this country. What it did was it essentially gave them a platform to speak, to stand up for what they believed was right and make a change to their lives and the rest to come. Not only did this movement create change but it also brought so many great leaders to rise and give their people a chance at hope. In this movement we saw leaders like Emmett Till’s mother, Mamie, using her anger and sadness of what happened to her son as a call to action, Emmett Till himself becoming the face of the Civil Rights Movement and also Martin Luther King Jr. who saw a


nd gave hope to others without the use of violence but of peaceful protest. The struggle was a hard battle, having laws to restrict them and belittle them but what the Civil Rights Movement did was it opened a path for African Americans.

Since before the mid- 1900s African Americans went through exceedingly harsh situations in this country. They had to deal with slavery, black codes, segregation, Jim crow laws, but overall discrimination due to their race. The 13th Amendment in January of 1865 essentially abolished slavery. It was after Lincoln’s assassination that Andrew Johnson became the president and allowed the creation of black codes. Black codes were designed so that African Americans could not vote or serve on juries. It was also a great advantage for the southern elites so tha

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they could keep control of the labor force, specifically blacks (Globalyceum, Unit 1, Section 1). However, it wasn’t until the spring of 1866 that Congressional Republicans passed the 14th amendment, granting African Americans the right to vote. Although it was passed, many whites opposed of it which led to discrimination of black voters. On the other hand, this led to the creation of the 15th Amendment in the winter of 1869, which prohibited states from “discriminating against voters on the basis of race, color, or former slave status” (Globalyceum, Unit 1, Section 1).

Fast forward to the 1940s, where there was segregations everywhere. Anything that ranged from theatres, parking lots, waiting rooms and even water fountains were separated according to your race and skin color. This was known as Jim Crow laws, which were mandated by the state and “private” places, which allowed for segregation (Globalyceum, Unit 6, Section 2). However, this led early civil rights activists to battle against Jim Crow throughout the 1940s and 50s (Globalyceum, Unit 6, Section 2). Through those decades, African Americans wanted to not only end racism abroad but also at home. Thus, leading Walter White, leader of the NAACP at that time, to start the Double V campaign in 1942 (Globalyceum, Unit 6, Section 2). Roughly about the same time African American leader, A. Philp Randolph, was fed up with the lack of opportunity in the war industries and threatened President Roosevelt. His call to action was called the March on Washington in which he stated to bring 100,000 African American protestors if he needed to unless the president took the necessary “steps to guarantee equality of economic opportunity

to African Americans looking for work in the war industries” (Globalyceum, Unit 6, Section 2). After President Roosevelt heard his threat, he took affirmative action and in June 25, 1941 he created Executive Order 8802 (Globalyceum, Unit 6, Section 2). The order barred discrimination in government financed defense work as well as established a Fair Employment Practice Committee to assure themselves of the compliance. This action on behalf of the president himself came to be known as a step to equality for African Americans.

Resembling to what A. Phillips Randolph did, Martin Luther King Jr. also held a March on Washington but this one was in 1963 (Globalyceum, Unit 6, Section 2). However, MLK’s march was unlike Phillips but a peaceful protest for a call to action. Whereas Randolph’s was for equality in war work industries, King’s march was for jobs and freedom. Not only was this march famous but it was also known Differently. The marched that occurred in 1963 was indeed the same march that he gave him famous “I Have a Dream” speech. Likewise, to Randolph, Dr. King’s march was effective and in full throttle because precisely one year after his famous march, Congress enacted the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Globalyceum, Unit 6, Section 2). Not only did this act prohibit discrimination in the bases of color and race but it also ended the fight that early civil right activist fought so hard for throughout the 40s and 50s. Amongst all the titles was essentially the most famous one of all, Title ll, which outlawed Jim Crow in places of public accommodation. Title Vll, also under the Civil Rights Act, “revived and

expanded Executive Order 8802” and established the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (Globalyceum, Unit 6, Section 2).

Although many great protests started with the actions of great leaders it also started by a gruesome lynching of a fourteen-year-old boy, in 1955 in Mississippi, named Emmett Till. Till was murdered by two white males after Carolyn Bryant stated that Emmett allegedly made flirtatious remarks to her. He was kidnapped from his uncle’s home and on the third was found dead… At that time, the county, wanted to have him buried quickly but Mamie, had another idea in mind. As soon as she heard about her son’s disappearance she immediately, “started telephoning Chicago newspapers” and spreading the word of her son (Timothy B. Tyson, Emmett Till, 57). Once Emmett was found she demanded that her son be returned to her. When they tried to convince Mamie of keeping his casket closed, she refused, stood her ground and had an open casket because for her Emmett “’didn’t die for nothing’” (Timothy B. Tyson, Emmett Till, 68). She invited everyone to witness what they had done to him, “they had to see what she saw” (Timothy B. Tyson, Emmett Till, 72). Later, Mamie would get on platforms and speak about the injustice; “members of the black national congregation launched rallies, letter campaigns, and fund drives... a call for action” (Timothy B. Tyson, Emmett Till, 75). Soon, Emmett would become the face of the Civil Rights Movement.

The oppression of African Americans has been around for hundreds of years, but that didn’t stop these great leaders from making a change. After being enslaved, restricted, discriminated, segregated, belittled and so much more, they prevailed.

It was because MLK took a stand, because Mamie although with a broken heart found courage to stand up and make son’s death matter, because all the civil rights activist fought for equality and ultimate freedom for not only them but the future generations to come. The Civil Rights Movement started in 1954 but leaders before that also helped pave the way.

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