The Civil Rights Essay

The Civil Rights Essay

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The civil rights movement in America was and is to this day a historical landmark. It marked a change in thought, a change in society and a change in the political structure as we know it in America. We are now living in the product and the efforts made by the civil rights activists. It is one of the most recent monumental changes that took place in America and for the world by extension back in the 20th century.
From the early 1940s to the late 1960s the civil rights movement in America took on the many racial injustices faced by black people. It represented the battle for social, economic, and political freedoms; which were denied by the Jim Crow laws which were viciously supported in the south by whites. These laws were enacted from as far back as in 1876 and reinforced the idea of “equal but separate” in the landmark Supreme Court case of Plessy v. Ferguson in 1896. The majority of the justices argued that, “as long as racially separate facilities were equal they did not violate the Fourteenth Amendment’s guarantees of equal protection of the law” ("Separate but Equal: The Plessy v. Ferguson Case"). This philosophy of racial segregation as Aldon Morris points out , “was the linchpin of Jim Crow” he also adds that, “following slavery [Jim Crow laws] became the new form of white domination, which insured Blacks would remain oppressed well into the twentieth century” (518).
During the Jim Crow system whites often relied heavily on terror tactics and fear to uphold the idea of white supremacy. The system “went to great lengths to impress on blacks that they were a subordinate population by forcing them to live in a separate and inferior society” Morris observes (518).The methods used to achieve this were ruthless, according to wo...


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..., Martin Luther, Jr. "Letter from Birmingham Jail." Patterns for College Writing: A Rhetorical reader and Guide. Ed. Laurie G. Kirszner and Stephen Mandell. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2012. 567-578. Print.
Morris, Aldon D. "A Retrospective on the Civil Rights Movement: Political and Intellectual Landmarks." Annual Review of Sociology 25 (1999): 517-539. Web. 15 Oct. 2013.
Santoro, Wayne A. "The Civil Rights Movement and the Right to Vote: Black Protest, Segregationist Violence and the Audience." Social Forces 86.4 (2008): 1391-1414. Web. 15 Oct. 2013.
"The Story Behind the Bus." n.d. Thehenryford.org. The Henry Ford, 2002. Web. 30 Oct. 2013. <>.
X, Malcolm. "Ballot or the Bullet." n.d. Social Justice Speeches. 1964. Web. 30 Oct. 2013. .


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