The latter part of the Civil Rights Movement was characterized by action and change as it was no longer centralized in the South or only fought for by black individuals. Rather, northerners were active in achieving black equality and the white community was campaigning for integration. Although many lost their lives in this struggle, their valiancy did not go unrewarded and soon enough African Americans were able to vote, work, study, and simply eat lunch beside white individuals.
Despite the great efforts put forth during the Montgomery Bus Boycott of 1955 in which the black community and its supporters refused to use public transportation, transport segregation still remained in some southern states. As a result the civil rights group, the Congress on Racial Inequality (C.O.R.E.), began to organize what they called “freedom rides.” In 1961, the group began sending student volunteers on bus trips to test the implementation of new laws prohibiting segregation in interstate travel facilities (Peck, 161). Most notable was a trip they took from Washington, D.C., making stops in Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi. Upon arrival the group was met with violence and brutality from the Ku Klux Klan and others, but this did not deter them from getting their voice heard. In September 1961, the Attorney General petitioned the Interstate Commerce Commission to draft a policy making racial segregation in bus terminals illegal, and in November this was put into effect. The Freedom Riders gave national publicity to the discrimination that black Americans were forced to endure and, in doing so, helped bring about change not only in bus terminals but in the nation as a whole.
One of the groundbreaking ev...
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Flynt, Wayne. “In the Memory of Four Little Girls” 2 Nov 2004 http://www.useekufind.com/peace/summary.htm
Meier, August and Elliot Ridwick. CORE: A Study in the Civil Rights Movement. Urbana, Ill: University of Illinois Press, 1975.
Peck, James. Freedom Ride. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1962.
Williams, Juan. Eye on the Prize: America’s Civil Rights Years, 1954-1965. New York: Viking Penguin Inc., 1987.
“Africana: Gateway to the Black World.” 2000. 1 Nov 2004 http://www.africana.com/blackboard/bb_his_000156.htm
“Black Civil Rights in the USA (1954-1970). 2 Nov. 2004 http://www.heretaunga.school.nz/dept/history/5BLACK.htm#Birmingham
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