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The Civil Rights Movement

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Historically, the Civil Rights Movement was a time during the 1950’s and 60’s to eliminate segregation and gain equal rights. Looking back on all the events, and dynamic figures it produced, this description is very vague. In order to fully understand the Civil Rights Movement, you have to go back to its origin. Most people believe that Rosa Parks began the whole civil rights movement. She did in fact propel the Civil Rights Movement to unprecedented heights but, its origin began in 1954 with Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka. Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka was the cornerstone for change in American History as a whole. Even before our nation birthed the controversial ruling on May 17, 1954 that stated separate educational facilities were inherently unequal, there was Plessy vs. Ferguson in 1896 that argued by declaring that state laws establish separate public schools for black and white students denied black children equal educational opportunities. Some may argue that Plessy vs. Ferguson is in fact backdrop for the Civil Rights Movement, but I disagree. Plessy vs. Ferguson was ahead of it’s time so to speak. “Separate but equal” thinking remained the body of teachings in America until it was later reputed by Brown vs. Board of Education. In 1955 when Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat, and prompted The Montgomery Bus Boycott led by one of the most pivotal leaders of the American Civil Rights Movement, Martin Luther King Jr. After the gruesome death of Emmett Till in 1955 in which the main suspects were acquitted of beating, shooting, and throwing the fourteen year old African American boy in the Tallahatchie River, for “whistling at a white woman”, this country was well overdo for change. Before any steps could be taken for the equality of human kind, we had the tackle the idea of intergrationism. This time is often referred to as the Nadir of American Race Relations, which simply put means that racism was at its worst during the time period of the Civil Rights Movement. Pulling together for equality proved to be a grueling task for Americans. In order to move into the future, one must let go of the past, and many people were not eager to abandon the beliefs that had been engrained in them since birth. Racial discrimination was present nationwide but the outrageous violence of African Americans in southern states became know as Jim Crow Laws.
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