The civil rights movement is associated with a span of time beginning with the 1954 Supreme court’s ruling. The decision outlawed segregation in education and the Montgomery Bus Boycott. The movement draw its members from both the local groups as well as other organizations which include; National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC).
Notably, even though the movements employed different strategies and tactics, they cohered around the aim of outlawing the system of Jim Crow segregation as well as reformation of the racial aspects in the American institutions. The purpose of this movement was to restore African Americans civil rights and the rights of citizenship as outlined in the constitution which is in the fourteen and fifteen amendment. These rights had been crumbled by Jim Crow laws a segregationist in the south. It significantly affected the relationship between the states and the national government since the federal government was compelled in many occasions to enforce its rules and laws to protect the rights of the African American citizens.
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The black panthers outlined a ten-point program that fought for the freedom of the blacks, among them include: We want freedom. We want power to determine the destiny of the black community. Nevertheless, it fought for the full employment for the blacks. Besides, the program outlined the need to end the robbery on the blacks by the capitalists. On the housing, it focused on decent housing units for the black community.
In his letter from Birmingham Jail, Martin Luther King Jr called for honest and open negotiations on the racial issues. The movement prompted the re-emergence of judiciary involvement of the Supreme Court and to uphold its responsibility as a protector of independent liberty against the powers of the majority. The civil rights movement provoked gains were enjoyed not only by African Americans but also for women, individuals with disabilities and many more. Heavy consequences were inflicted upon the south following the civil war, most would agree the civil rights movement as a second reconstruction phase. During this phase, the 14th amendment gave way to equal protection of the laws and the 15th amendment (1865-1870) gave the men the right to vote regardless of race were approved.
The armed forces from the north lived in the south as from 1865 to 1877 to bring the official end of slavery. Unfortunately, when the reconstruction ended in 1877 the whites from the south passed laws that discriminated African Americans on the basis of race. These laws were popularly known as Jim crows’ laws; these laws kept apart from whites and blacks in education, housing and restricted the use of private and public facilities such as trains, restaurants, and restrooms. The laws also turned down the black’s right to vote, limited free movement, and denied them the right to marry whites. A great number of discriminatory and prejudicial actions were committed on African Americans as well.
The migrant farmers initiated a multiracial movement that led to the formation of the United Farm Workers led by Cesar Chavez, the migrant farmers adopted the consumer boycotts, this was a successful strategy under the social protests by the civil rights movement. The success of this movement has continued to motivate the farm workers to fight for their justice and it eventually changed laws and put farming communities in better positions than ever before. Nevertheless, the African Americans also deployed direct action protests as well as aggravating their rights through political organizing, through the voter registration that culminated in the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party. These strategies led to the achievements of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
NAACP used parks arrest as an opportunity to challenge discriminatory laws in the southern city. The NAACP called upon religious and Montgomery’s political leaders to advocate for one day boycott. A public protest is a strategy that is used in civil rights movements, for instance, Sit inn’s that was used by black students to protest segregation at the Woolworths lunch counter. They would come to sit down peacefully and wait to be served and would not move until they were served.
This strategy called for perfectly behaved and well-dressed students to sit and ask to be served. Protest marches were used by the Congress of racial equality who organized a freedom ride in 1961. The black and white riders boarded a bus that took them to the south and in each stop they entered racially segregated areas. Martin Luther announced that SCLC would travel to Alabama Birmingham to integrate commercial facilities. Marching was one of the strategies that were used for instance marching on Washington. Civil rights movements used the above strategies.
The subjugation of African and Hispanic Americans can be blamed on the white supremacy and racism. During the period that led to the formation of the civil rights movement, racial and ethnic minorities as well as women were confronted with legal and social exclusion. The whites passed laws that were discriminating blacks and Hispanic Americans. African Americans and many other minority groups across the nation endured very difficult times because of many unfair and unconstitutional laws. The longstanding subjugation led to the enactment of an affirmative action with the aim of ending discrimination. The affirmative action orders were issued by president Franklin Roosevelt aimed at barring discrimination against the blacks by the defense contractors. Interestingly, it led to the formation of a fair employment practices committee. However, the federal compliance programs faced a lot of challenges that ranged from being understaffed, they were underfunded, and they lacked an enforcement authority.
In conclusion, civil rights movement strategies and ideas have evolved over time. Different organizations employ the same strategies such as boycotts, sit-ins, demonstrations, non-violent picketing to achieve liberation. In the 1960s civil rights movements, the minority fought against racial discrimination in the southern states by using some of these strategies to achieve liberation even though they faced resistance. The purpose of this movement was to restore civil rights and the rights of citizenship to all American citizens as outlined in the constitution which is in the fourteen and fifteen amendment. Currently, there has been a constant evolution to the strategies employed for any rights movements. People have invented new ways to channel their grievances as illustrated above.
Cesar Chavez: Letter from Delano
Black Panther Party 10-Point Program – War Against the Panthers, by Huey P. Newton, 1980
Martin Luther King Jr. Letter from Birmingham Jail.
SNCC – The Basis of Black Power
Migrant Farmers & Immigrant Labor 1952
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