Civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s were the mass protest that were organized against racial discrimination that was going on in the United States. It started because of the slavery where African were taken into slavery and were forced to work in the United States under masters. As a resist, they made a move to resist racial oppression and look into abolishment of slavery as well as the slave trade. Many people had their accounts of the event that took place during the protest which they use to tell people on the history of the movement to every generation. Some of these people are John Lewis and his co-authors who tell people about this using their real-life experience. As such, they make impacts as people trust them because they give firsthand information. The paper will focus on John Lewis and his co-authors’ accounts as well as other people who gave such reports.
Why the Civil Right Movement happened
This movement occurred between the 1950s and 1960s when the African wanted the abolition of the slave trade as well as the removal of racial segregation and oppression. The African were transported to work in various place in the United States such as in the factors and plantations without proper payment. Their women were harassed as some were being used up for sexual satisfaction for the whites. The people who were living in those years could not access public facilities because of their color as most of such facilities were being offered depending on the race. As a result, the whites were ore privileged to get better services and properties. The oppression was cutting across all the aspects in the economy such as political, economic and social aspects of the society.
The movement started dramatically in the mid-1950s when a black activist called Rosa Parks refused to give her seat to a white man on a public bus. Some of the people who were instrumental in the movement include Martin Luther King Jr who was an influential leader and other people like John Lewis who help to plan March on Washington. Some of the critical protests organized include the Montgomery bus boycott, Greensboro sit in, and freedom rides that proved successful in their quest for justice. Some of the rights that they were fighting for are the right to vote, right to a fair trial, right to movement and freedom to public education among other reasons that they were denied because of their race. The action happened in most parts of the United States as many blacks were trying to ensure that they are regarded as the United States citizens.
Where was the Civil Rights Movement?
According to John Lewis, the movement was formed in all parts of the United States. It was reported in all the mass media and was recorded in many websites and textbook. John Lewis and Martin Luther King wrote most of the textbooks that talking about the civil right movement. Even though it was organized in all parts of the country, most books capture the protest that took place in the south. This is not because it was the place where the protest majorly occurred but because it was the place where most of the activist was. As a result, most of the recorded works were taken from the south as the accounts were comfortably within reach of the writers and their co-authors. This is confirmed by John Lewis who said that “…but because the Southern Movement was the part of the Movement that we participated in and knew enough about to build this website.” This clearly shows that it was the southern part that most of this activist was coming from and so many of the protest could be starting from these places. However, other regions also participated to ensure that black Americans get their rights and freedom within the state.
Key events in the movement
In 1951, various events occurred that discriminated the blacks hence moving to fight hard to stop such incidents. In 1954, the campaign organized strikes to save Martinsville seven who was sentenced for death after an allegation that they raped a white woman. This was followed by students’ strikes at Moton High and the formation of the regional council of Negro leadership established in Mississippi among other events. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, various events occurred that attract the attention of the writers. In 1958, there was a youth march to integrate schools that happened in Washington DC in October where John Lewis and his co-authors were present to tell the youths how the movements were happening. They also talked of the power and how the youths could use their power to ensure that there is justice in the society. This was one of the ways that they use to sensitize the public about their activities. In 1958, the activist organized massive resistance and all deliberate speed that made them win the war and go their rights back. This came along with various coordinated strikes and movements activities because of the able leaders they had.
Achievements of the civil rights movement
There are various achievements that the movement made and can be seen in American society until today. In 1957, the movement organized crusade for the citizenship that saw the registration of the thousands of the black voters across the south. As a result, the voter clinics to train the black people were introduced to ensure that the black people also participate in the voting process. In 1963, they organized the Birmingham campaign to end the segregation in that city. This came along after the spring and summer peaceful demonstration but ended up in a violent protest that was caused by Birmingham’s public safety commissioner. Some of the achievement also include the march on Washington that was culminated by Dr. King’s speech. This was followed by sit-ins in the North Carolina, freedom riders that facilitate the access of the public facilities and the registration of Mississippians to end the all-white primaries in the United States. All these events are among the ones that ensured that the states were to be free from any discrimination and ensure that they accommodate all the people who were living in the United States irrespective of the race.
Challenges the activist faced
Many of the activists did not get the government support as most of the people who were in the government were part of the people promoting racism. As a result, most of them were harassed by policemen who did not see them to have enough reason to protest about. Some of the blacks were also afraid because they wanted to be loyal to their masters whom they fear to kill them if they act against their will. Even though they had enough support from fellow blacks, they did not have enough numbers to make them fight effectively. However, their continuous quest for the freedom materializes because most of the members were so active in the movement. As a result, they help the movement to reach out to the government to ensure that they are heard.
Despite challenges, the movement used a lot of techniques to ensure that all their activities and approaches were successful. Their use of non-violent protest made the government not to be harsh on them. They came up with various ideas such as minority group deserve protection which caused them to force the government to give them protection. The women activists fought for the legislation to amend the equality in the distribution of rights of all the races and gender. This led to the amendments of the equal rights amendment in the constitutions. They held a protest against some social evils such as gay and the lesbianism which were mostly affecting the black community. Various groups that were involved had a grassroots organizing strategy that helps them in raising the consciousness of the members on such issues as human rights and other matters of their interest.
In conclusion, the civil right movement was a movement that was meant to end racial oppression and segregation of public facilities among other issues that were affecting the black community in the United States. Some of the activists that led the movements include John Lewis and Martin Luther King Jr who also wrote accounts of the events that they saw during the period of movement. Such reports are still used today to tell people of the events as they are first-hand information because the writers were present during the occurrence of the events. They made vital events such as protest that saw them winning the battle by ensuring that the blacks are trained ion the voting process to ensure that they also vote during the election period. Despite the achievement, the movement also experienced some challenges such as lack of government support that made them not to operate effectively. However, this was countered by the courageous leaders who mobilized large groups in all parts of the state.