Essay On The Civil Rights Movement

666 Words2 Pages

The Transformation of the American Society was drastically effected by the Civil Rights movement and the antiwar movements that occurred during the 1960s and 1970s. These movements gained momentum quickly as public sentiment saw the everlasting war in Vietnam and the domestic violence within the country as unneccessary. Led by Martin Luther King Jr., and with the support of President Lyndon B. Johnsn, the Civil Rights movement began gaining support in the 1960s. Dr. King and his group, the SCLC, protested racism through civil obedience, also known as non-violent resistance. Through Dr. King's leadership, blacks and civil rights activists gathered in great numbers throughout the United States to protest racism and segregation. In 1963, with the March on Washington and Dr. King's delivery of his "I Have a Dream" speech, drasticall turned the tide of the movement. Ultimately, these two events alone, led to President Johnson's passing of the Civil Rights Act in 1964. Signed into law on July 2, 1964, the Civil Rights Act created the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and outlawed discrimination at public facilities, such as hotels, restaurants and theaters. During the next four years, more civil rights legislation were passed under Dr. King's leadership. Unfortunately, in 1968, Dr. King was assassinated by James Earl Ray, a racist, in Memphis as Dr. King was giving a speech at a church. Although his death brought great misery to the civil rights community, it was not the end of the Civil Rights movement. Other leaders had arisen during Dr. King's lifetime, such as Malcolm X (who was also assasinated) and Huey Newton. Huey Newton, founder of the Black Panthers in 1966, continued King's legacy. Although his group was... ... middle of paper ... ... set on fire. As a result, the governor called in the National Guard. On May 4, 1970 the guardsmen confronted students at a rally. The students threw rocks and bottles and the guards retaliated with tear gas. However, without warning, a group of guardsmen fired their rifles into the crowd and killed four students and wounding nine. New of this violence soon spread to other campuses and more protests erupted nationwide. The antiwar movement and the civil rights movement drastically altered the American society in the 1960s and 1970s. In one way, these movements were used to express the values of the American people of the time, the value of equality and peace. On the other hand, these movements were used to show the government the power of protests and the success of these protests. Therefore, these movements were significant in transforming American society.

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