Let Freedom Ring

3179 Words13 Pages
Let Freedom Ring

The Civil Rights Movement was the catalyst, the march that ignited the flame of justice in the twentieth century. It coerced America as a nation to reevaluate itself, to reevaluate what it stood for....

We hold these truths to be self-evident…

Hot, black coffee trickled down the dark skin on Henry Moses’ back.

…that all men are created equal…

“Get out of here, nigger! Go back to your kind!” an angry White man shouted as he continued pouring.

…that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights…

Moses sat silently, keeping his seat at the lunch counter in downtown Jackson.

…that among these are life…

Lunch counter stools were for White folks only. It had always been that way. Moses, just 21, knew that.

…liberty…

“It was just a part of their heritage,” he says now. “They thought that Negroes were filthy… scum. Just somebody you don’t associate with. You don’t wait on ‘em, you don’t cut ‘em no slack whatsoever. This is just the way that they had been taught, the way they had been trained.”

…and the pursuit of happiness.

“And we were trying to change it” (“First in News”).

Since the discovery of the new world by Europeans, Blacks--with the exception of the Native American Indians--have suffered immensely more than any other group in America. From the time the first African slaves stepped on American soil, their destiny changed forever. For over four hundred years, Blacks worked on fields and in homes of their White masters with no concept of civil rights in their daily lives. It was not until 1863, when President Abraham Lincoln read the Emancipation Proclamation, abolishing slavery, that civil rights and freedom became a possibility for millions of African-Americans. Soon th...

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...story. New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 1997.

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Brink, William and Harris, Louis. Black and White. New York: Simon and Schuster. 1967.

Button, James W. Blacks and Social Change: Impact of the Civil Rights Movement in the Southern Communities. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1989.

“First in News.” The Jackson Sun. 6 Nov. 2002. <http://www.jacksonsun.com/civilrights/lesson-plan_mahaffy3_hs.shmtl>.

Gates, Henry Louis, et al. African American: Voices of Triumph. Alexandria Time Life Books, 1993.

Sullivan, Patricia. “Civil Rights Movement.” Africana: the Gateway to the Black World. 10 Nov. 2002. <http://www.African.com/Articles/tt_199.htm>.

“We Shall Overcome.” The National Park Services: Links to the Past. 6 Nov. 2002. <http://www.cr.nps.gov/nr/travel/civilrihts/>.
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