The Civil Rights Movement in the Deep South is one that is well known and familiar to us all. We all know of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the charismatic preacher who was undisputedly the leader of the civil rights movement in the South. We have all also heard of Rosa Parks, the black woman who would not give up her seat in the bus and was thus arrested for it, she was the catalyst that sparked the civil rights movement. They were the famous people often mentioned in the Civil Rights Movement. However, they were not the only people engaged in the Civil Rights Movement, there were many more, and their stories are just as important as that of Dr. Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks. That reason is perhaps justifiably the main reason why Howell Raines set out to compile this book, so that the people who were there at the Civil Rights Movement would have a chance to tell their story.
Rosa Parks, without a doubt, was the catalyst that sparked off the entire Civil Rights Movement. Her arrest and subsequent trial on the grounds of a segregation ordinance was "inviting a federal court test of the Jim Crow laws upon which segregation throughout the Deep South depended" (47). The Montgomery Improvement Association thus sprang up in accordance with the trial of Rosa Parks, and later on Martin Luther King was elected President of the MIA. Everybody credits the starting of the movement with Martin Luther King. However, according to E.D. Nixon, "If you're gonna talk about the boycott, they oughta start from the day Rosa L. Parks was arrested and not just December the fifth when Rev. King was elected president" (50). Clearly, Rosa Parks was the one who should be credited with the starting of the Civil Rights Move...
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...ately, the Movement transformed the South and the entire nation. Finally, there were equality rights for the blacks, now they could sit in the front of the bus without having to fear prosecution. There was no more segregation in public, and the black people were allowed to integrate with the white people. Now some fifty years later, black culture has seeped into everyday life and has fully integrated itself into American culture. The radio airwaves are swamped with black music, black actors and actresses are gaining ground, and black culture is seemingly the in' thing right now. One can't go around without hearing some sort of praise being sung about black culture, be it from the white folks, or the black people. Some fifty years later, black people are no longer being ostracised, right now, they are being celebrated. Life, as it seems, has come full circle for them.
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