The African American civil rights movement was a long journey for African American nationwide. The success involved many people, hardships and time in order to advance the African American community in America. The purpose of the movement was to achieve their rights, cease discrimination, and racial segregation.
During and succeeding the Era of Reconstruction, African American lives were reformed in very substantial ways. Most African Americans thought of Reconstruction as an opportunity to improve the lives of their entire race. They thought it would help them bring equality to their people. However, Reconstruction showed many African Americans how difficult it was to survive independently. Once they left their plantations, they had nowhere to live. African Americans living in the south struggled to find food and shelter. To make matters much worse, Southern Whites were beginning to fight to retain southern white supremacy. “Reconstruction did not provide African Americans with either the legal protections or the material resources to ensure anything
The Civil Rights Movement of the 50's and 60's was arguably one of the most formative and influential periods in American history. Hundreds of thousands of civil rights activists utilized non violent resistance and civil disobedience to revolt against racial segregation and discrimination. The Civil Rights Movement began in the southern states but quickly rose to national prominence. It is of popular belief that the civil rights movement was organized by small groups of people, with notable leaders like—Martin Luther King, Jr, Rosa Parks, Medgar Evers, and even John F. Kennedy—driving the ship. That is partly correct. The Civil Rights Movement, in its truest form, was hundreds of thousands of people organizing events and protests, working together to ensure that every American—whether black, white, brown and anything in between—had the right to a prosperous and harmonious life.
During the mass immigration era of America, an abundant number of people traveled to the urban industrial society of the United States in aspiration to seek job opportunities and better lives than the ones they left behind. These groups included the Poles, Italians, Chinese, Mexicans, Japanese, East European Jews, and the African- Americans. However, one of these groups mentioned was distinctly different from the rest: the African-Americans. They were already American citizens, who migrated to the northern American cities to free themselves from segregation, oppression, and harsh conditions they experienced in the South and obtain equal rights and opportunities. Although the African-Americans' ambitions were exceedingly high, there were strong barriers that kept them from reaching their goals of Americanization. The historical legacy of slavery acted as a barrier, and left the African-Americans with fewer civil rights than all other Americans and immigrants. To understand the meaning of "civil rights," it can be defined as "the rights belonging to an individual by virtue of citizenship especially the fundamental freedoms including civil liberties, due process, equal protection of the laws, and freedom from discrimination" (Dictionary.com). African-Americans were similar to the new comers from abroad in that they both experienced change and adjustment when entering urban American, but due to the legacy of slavery and the impact it had on the African-Americans' civil rights, the African-Americans migration experience was clearly different than other immigration experiences.
After the Civil War, with the protection of the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments to the Constitution and the Civil Rights Act of 1866, African Americans enjoyed a period when they were allowed to vote, actively participate in the political process, acquire the land of former owners, seek their own employment, and use public accommodations. Opponents of this progress, however, soon rallied against the former slaves' freedom and began to find means for eroding the gains for which many had shed their blood.
Prior to the Civil War, African Americans were treated as second class individuals. They lacked the freedom and equality they sought for. To the African Americans, the Civil War was a war of liberation. Contrary to what African Americans perceived, Southerners viewed the war as an episode of their journey to salvation. Southern lands may have been destroyed and depleted, but the South was persistent that their racial order would not be disrupted. To most, the goals of the Reconstruction era were to fully restore the Union, and to some, grant emancipation and liberty to former slaves. Although the newly freedmen gained various rights and liberties, their naïve dreams of complete equality and liberation collapsed due to the immense resistance of the South.
We saw the Thirteenth Amendment occur to abolish slavery. We also saw the Civil Rights Acts which gave full citizenship, as well as the prohibiting the denial of due process, etc. Having the civil rights laws enabled African Americans to new freedoms which they did not used to have. There was positive change occurring in the lives of African Americans. However, there was still a fight to suppress African Americans and maintain the racial hierarchy by poll taxes and lengthy and expensive court proceedings. Sadly, this is when Jim Crow laws appeared. During this time African Americans were losing their stride, there was an increase in prison populations and convict labor, and the convicts were
Although many laws were passed that recognized African Americans as equals, the liberties they had been promised were not being upheld. Hoffman, Blum, and Gjerde state that “Union League members in a North Carolina county, upon learning of three or four black men who ‘didn’t mean to vote,’ threatened to ‘whip them’ and ‘made them go.’ In another country, ‘some few colored men who declined voting’ were, in the words of a white conservative, ‘bitterly persecute[ed]” (22). Black codes were also made to control African Americans. Norton et al. states that “the new black codes compelled former slaves to carry passes, observe a curfew, live in housing provided by a landowner, and give up hope of entering many desirable occupations” (476). The discrimination and violence towards African Americans during this era and the laws passed that were not being enforced were very disgraceful. However, Reconstruction was a huge stepping stone for the way our nation is shaped today. It wasn’t pretty but it was the step our nation needed to take. We now live in a country where no matter the race, everyone is considered equal. Reconstruction was a success. Without it, who knows where our nation would be today. African American may have never gained the freedoms they have today without the
To begin with, the conditions African Americans in the South experienced, before Reconstruction was ever conjured up, were difficult, inequitable and nearly impossible. Reconstruction began months after the thirteenth amendment was passed, so freedmen were left without the protection or guidance of the government for a short interval. Adapting to a whole new system was hard enough for African Americans...
In the months following the Brown v. Board of Education decision C. Vann Woodward wrote a series of lectures that would provide the basis for one of the most historically significant pieces of nonfiction literature written in the 20th century. Originally, Woodward’s lectures were directed to a local and predominantly southern audience, but as his lectures matured into a comprehensive text they gained national recognition. In 1955 Woodward published the first version of The Strange Career of Jim Crow, a novel that would spark a fluid historical dialogue that would continue for the next twenty years. Woodward foresaw this possibility as he included in the first edition, “Since I am…dealing with a period of the past that has not been adequately investigated, and also with events of the present that have come too rapidly and recently to have been properly digested and understood, it is rather inevitable that I shall make some mistakes. I shall expect and hope to be corrected.” Over this time period Woodward released four separate editions, in chapter form, that modified, corrected, and responded to contemporary criticisms.
After the emancipation of slaves in 1862, the status of African-Americans in post civil war America up until the beginning of the twentieth century did not go through a great deal of change. Much legislation was passed to help blacks in this period. The Civil Rights act of 1875 prohibited segregation in public facilities and various government amendments gave African-Americans even more guaranteed rights. Even with this government legislation, the newly dubbed 'freedmen' were still discriminated against by most people and, ironically, they were soon to be restricted and segregated once again under government rulings in important court cases of the era.
The African Americans were tired of being slaves, and they wanted their rights back. They won the Civil War and earned their rights, but they were still discriminated against. For example, due to Jim Crow laws, they did not get the same quality transportation that the white people did. Even today, African Americans are being discriminated against by law enforcement and other people who believe that they are plebeians.
The passage of the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments to the Constitution of the United States gave African-Americans recognized rights under the law. However, a national commitment to the civil and political rights of all U.S. citizens without regard to matters of race was destined to last less then a decade.4