Social CHange

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An era of bigotry, racism, and conformity promoted a period of rebellion, protest, and activism beginning in the 1960s. The African American civil rights movement gained massive support in the 1960s (1). The anti-war hippie movement followed soon after, attracting attention from across the country (2). Lastly, activism for gay rights rose substantially during the 1960s (3). The leaders who have first garnered the support for the cause primarily drove the momentum needed to successfully implement the legislative initiatives that each civil rights group called and protested for. The advancements of African-American rights during this movement would have been impossible without specific individuals who have inspired thousands and have acted as martyrs for the cause. On December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks, a black woman, was arrested in Montgomery, Alabama for refusing to give her seat on bus to a white passenger. Parks was arrested that day for breaking Jim Crow laws that regulated race interactions in the city and throughout the South. Black civil rights leaders and activists in Montgomery were motivated by Parks’ act of defiance, allowing the city’s African-American community to successfully organize a boycott of the Montgomery’s segregated busing system (Textbook, pg 822). The boycott put economic pressure on the bus company as most members of the black community in Montgomery found other means of transportation for about a year. As a clear result of Rosa Park’s rebellious act against an unjust system, the Supreme Court would go on to declare segregation in public transportation to be illegal in all states in 1956 (Notes, Lesson 2: Civil Rights Continued, 4/23/14). The bus boycott also led to the establishing of a new prominent leader in... ... middle of paper ... ...movements for social change were guided by influential figures that drew attention and support from throughout the nation. The African American, anti-war, and gay movements were all prime examples of how specific leaders who advocate for change are vital and beneficial to the cause. President Obama is a current example of how a major figure can actively support an effort, as he did by announcing that he supported gay marriage in 2012. As the first ever-sitting president to proclaim this, Obama symbolized advancement in the movement of gay rights (, “Obama announces he supports gay-marriage”, 2012). President Obama is also signed an Executive Order recently to prevent workplace discrimination and by doing so, Obama is expressing that he is committed to empowering woman in the workplace (, “Taking Action in Honor of Equal Pay Day”, 4/8/14).

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