The Civil Rights Movement

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In a Democracy the majority does not need any protection, because it is the majority which has control. However, as seen through history, even majorities can be tyrannical, and the minority needs protection from them. “Civil rights” is the term used when speaking of the privileges, immunities, and practices of freedom which are protected from violation by other citizens. That is the definition of civil rights, although when most people think of civil rights they instantly think it means black civil rights.

This is understandable since blacks, more than any other minority group in America, have had the toughest and therefore the best known struggle for equal rights. This is due to the fact that most of the majority believed that when the people in the minority group are of another color, they are also different in other ways, and therefore, not entitled to quite the same rights and privileges. This belief was not limited to just the South. Discrimination has always been pervasive throughout all of Western civilization.

This racist ideology has held the African Americans down in America for many years. It was not more than 150 years ago that Blacks were considered so inferior that they were held as slaves. African Americans have fought hard against the overwhelming racist powers to earn the rights that they have now. To say it has been a battle for civil rights is an understatement. It has been a hard fought war. A battle implies one fight, one clash. But it has taken fight after fight for African Americans to earn their freedom and equal rights.

After earning freedom from slavery, Blacks fought for more than one hundred years to be considered equals in society. That struggle reached its climax during the1960s, when the biggest gains in the area of civil rights were made. Up to that time blacks and whites remained separate and blacks were still treated as inferiors. Everything from water fountains to city parks was segregated. Signs that read, “whites only, no coloreds” were all too commonplace on the doors of stores and restaurants throughout the southern states. Blacks and whites went to different schools where black children would have classes in shabby classrooms with poor, secondhand supplies. These are just a few examples of some of the many racial discriminations which blacks once had to face in America prior to the 1960s. ...

... middle of paper ... , 1990 This was also a pretty decent book. It was also not very substantive and is young adult/moron reading level. Although it is a simple, easy read, it did have some very interesting anecdotes which provide very good insight into King’s life which is not available anywhere else I looked

Lewis, David L.- King:Critical Biography: Praeger Publishers: New York/Washington 1970- This was a very useful book. It provided some very good information on King. Although it is an extremely hard read it was very, very helpful.

Current, Williams, Freidel, Brinkley. American History A Survey New York: Alfred A. Knopf inc, 1983-Used the textbook for info on the civil rights and King

Haskins, James The Life and Death of Martin Luther King, Jr. New York:, Beach Tree Books 1977- This was a fair book. Has a nice biography but lacks anything real original. It was really just another bland King Biography that is just the facts and no real opinions or insight.

Paris,Peter,. Black Religious Leaders New York: Westminster John Knox inc, 1991 –good book for my comparative analysis of King and X. Really provided insight into Malcolm’s beliefs and how they contrasted with King’s.

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