The Awakening, Part Of The Eyes On The Prize Essay

The Awakening, Part Of The Eyes On The Prize Essay

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The “Awakening”, part of the “Eyes on the Prize” series, addresses civil rights, or lack thereof, in the 1950’s. The film highlights two individual’s choices to take a stand against the white supremacy, and the ripple effect that acts cause. The first person featured was Mose Wright. His nephew, Emmett Till, was murdered by two white men. They were angered over the fact that Emmett had spoken to two white women in a flirtatious manner. Mose Wright made the decision to testify in court against the white men. This was a very dangerous act on Mose’s behalf. Speaking to, let alone, against the other race could easily cost him his life. At the end of a very long and public trial, the men were found not guilty.
Next to be featured in “Awakening” was Rosa Parks’ refusal to sit in the back of the segregated public bus. This one action created a very large ripple effect in her city of Montgomery, Alabama. The African American Community came together and started a boycott against the city bus system. They did not ride the buses for eleven months. Financially this hurt the bus system greatly; they even shut down some buses for a short period. It was not until the Supreme Court ruled segregation on the bus illegal that the boycott finally ended. Even though the white community showed their disapproval with organizations like the KKK walking around in their full robes in attempt to instill fear, it was still a wide felt victory for the suppressed community.
There is a great amount of inequality seen in the film between the White community and the African American community; therefore, the Conflict Theory is easy to see and relate to the situation. In this theory there are two groups in conflict with each other; not only are they in conflic...


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...d realness to be seen by the viewer and encourages one to think further into the problem. So often, the current generations see racism and segregation as a word on a page or a picture in a textbook. The connection to the history being about real people is taken away; a loss of emotion and connection. This film brings a connection to the present. Racism is not dead. It is still ruling society. Without people even knowing it they are acting in ways deeply rooted in their culture like crossing the street away when seeing an African American walking at night, but making the excuse of saying they would have the same action with any race. If most knew they would probably be outraged with themselves. The Civil Rights period was not that long ago, and is still something that needs to be fought for. The battle is not won until race can be taken away from language completely.

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