Analysis Of Pacifism Vs. Armed Resistance In The Civil Rights Movement

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Davey McKinley Brown HIST 3900 Civil Rights Movements Dr. Thomas Edge October 20th 2014 Pacifism vs Armed Resistance During the civil rights struggle in the late1950s it became apparent that those who supported segregation would go to any length in order to maintain the status quo. Until then, many whites in the 1940s believe blacks were content with the way things were (Shmoop). For the first time, the nation would come face to face to the reality of the violence that African Americans faced on a daily basis. The Brown v. Board of Education decision was a major victory for the civil rights movement. It showed momentum for desegregation in the Jim Crow south. After school integration, it was only a matter of time before Jim Crow laws would be challenged and overturned everywhere. Many segregationists recognized the implications of the Brown decision. It represented a threat …show more content…

Despite this is it important to remember there was still disagreement and tension on what would be the most effective philosophy in driving the movement forward; Armed resistance or Non-violent protest. While Rev. Martin Luther King advocated for non-violent protest and peaceful resistance it is important to remember that participants in the movement were ordinary people. While non-violent protests were politically correct, many participants often put their lives, families and property in danger. Particularly in the south, the KKK and other white supremacist groups gained a reputation for church bombings, lynching and other violent acts against minorities. Despite pacifist idealism in a public protest, it didn’t mean black were willing to let their homes, churches and loved ones go undefended. Many took it upon themselves to arm and protect their communities through any means necessary, and by acquiring as many weapons they could get their hands on. Many black southerners were prepared to meet violence with

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