The Civil Rights Movement

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Man-made constitutions once created a society based on hierarchy, separating black from white, Latino from Asian, and rich from poor. Through the significant decades of the 1940s-1960s, America laid the groundwork for civil rights, a movement through which minorities fought for equal opportunity. How could America call itself “land of the free” when only the white man could socially and economically move upward? For minorities, this represented an immobile society. Yet, equality elapsed over time, and due to pivotal events in American history such as the Cold War and WWII, the Civil Rights Movement molded the road toward change and challenged America to redefine their core values. The Civil Rights Movement was first established during the 1940’s and World War II. As WWII prevailed, affirmative action by determined minority leaders generated a changing view among whites towards minorities throughout this wartime period. Success for minorities was not measured by immediate gratification; rather, success was measured through opportunity and governmental change. In 1943, Norman Rockwell’s popular works of art represented what America called the Four Freedoms: freedom from want, freedom of speech, freedom of worship, and freedom from fear. It was in a 1942 radio address that President Roosevelt announced, “the Four Freedoms is the defining difference between America and the enemies we faced” (Foner 797). Roosevelt designed The Four Freedoms to generate political support and draw Americans closer together. The problem was Roosevelt established the Four Freedoms at a time when America was segregating Japanese American into Internment camps. At this critical point in history, the Civil Rights Movement was born, challe... ... middle of paper ... ...color, nationality and origin. Ultimately, in order for America to stay on a continuance, education (of Americas historical past) must continue to be a primary focus in society, allowing people to recognize that each and every individual has something important to contribute. Works Cited Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) http://www.wwnorton.com/college/history/foner2/contents/ch23/documents06.asp Why Should We March? (1941) http://www.wwnorton.com/college/history/foner2/password/ch22/documents03.asp Executive Order 9981 (1948) http://www.wwnorton.com/college/history/foner2/contents/ch23/documents04.asp Evacuation to Manazar (1942) http://www.wwnorton.com/college/history/foner2/password/ch22/documents04.asp Winfrey, Oprah http://learningtogive.org/papers/paper136.html Eric, Foner. Give Me Liberty. New York: 2nd edition, 2009

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