The Scottsboro Trials And The Civil Rights Movement

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A Tumultuous Turning Point Few things have impacted the United States throughout its history like the fight for racial equality. It has caused divisions between the American people, and many name it as the root of the Civil War. This issue also sparked the Civil Rights Movement, leading to advancements towards true equality among all Americans. When speaking of racial inequality and America’s struggle against it, people forget some of the key turning points in it’s history. Some of the more obvious ones are the Emancipation Proclamation, which freed slaves in the North, and Martin Luther King Jr.’s march on Washington D.C. in 1963. However, people fail to recount a prominent legal matter that paved the way for further strides towards equality. Truly, the Scottsboro Trials, lasting from 1931 to 1948, substantially impacted America as they brought whites and blacks together, allowed African Americans to serve on juries, and granted a fair trial to every citizen. To commence, the Scottsboro trials united people of all backgrounds towards the common goal of racial equality. When Samuel Leibovitz was hired as the attorney for the nine convicted boys, news of the trial spread to the north. People saw this trial as a blatant disregard for equality. Incensed by this injustice, Americans banded together to protest the prosecutor of the case, or the state of Alabama. During the myriad of rallies, people were not as concerned about their race as they were about the Scottsboro Boys. Both whites and blacks marched together to support the cause. Soon, the phrase, “Blacks and whites unite and fight!” became widespread throughout the rallies. Americans were able to overcome the petty issue of race and focus instead on injustice, bringing them cl... ... middle of paper ... ...ng the matter to the Supreme Court in Norris versus Alabama, the Scottsboro trials enabled blacks to vote on a jury. This would be crucial in the future, during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, as the desegregated juries granted majority victories toward racial equality. These trials also reinforced the right of a fair trial to every citizen in America. Before this, trials were often rigged in favor of one particular side, frequently because of race. If a white man faced a black man in court, the former would likely win due to his race alone, no matter the evidence against him. These hearings made such a verdict illegal, insuring a just trial. Overall, the Scottsboro trials were crucial to the history of America. By impacting events such as the Civil Rights Movement, these landmark proceedings forged the way towards further human rights and equality in America.
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