Success and Failure of the Civil Rights Movement Essay

Success and Failure of the Civil Rights Movement Essay

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The Civil Rights Movement had a lot going on between 1954 and 1964. While there were some successful aspects of the movement, there were some failures as well. The mixture of successes and failures led to the extension of the movement and eventually a more equal American society.
Success was a big part of the Civil Rights Movement. Starting with the year 1954, there were some major victories in favor of African Americans. In 1954, the landmark trial Brown vs. The Board of Education of Topeka Kansas ruled that segregation in public education was unfair. This unanimous Supreme Court decision overturned the prior Plessy vs. Ferguson case during which the “separate but equal” doctrine was created and abused. One year later, Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr. launched a bus boycott in Montgomery Alabama after Ms. Parks was arrested for not giving up her seat in the “colored section”. This boycott, which lasted more than a year, led to the desegregation of buses in 1956. Group efforts greatly contributed to the success of the movement. This is not only shown by the successful nature of the bus boycott, but it is shown through the success of Martin Luther King’s SCLC or Southern Christian Leadership Conference. The conference was notable for peacefully protesting, nonviolence, and civil disobedience. Thanks to the SCLC, sit-ins and boycotts became popular during this time, adding to the movement’s accomplishments. The effective nature of the sit-in was shown during 1960 when a group of four black college students sat down at a Woolworth’s lunch counter in hopes of being served. While they were not served the first time they commenced their sit-in, they were not forced to leave the establishment; their lack of response to the heckling...


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... leaving the people to deal with matters on their own. Despite the fact that the executive branch did quite a bit during the Civil Rights Movement to aid blacks and other minorities, more could have been done if not for events like the Cold War and the Cuban Missile Crisis requiring the immediate attention of the president.
While there seemed to be more successes than failures in the Civil Rights Movement due to the many positive changes that have occurred from then to now, it is safe to say that the movement was not completely victorious. Efforts on the part of many individuals and events made the lives of people today more equal than they were decades ago, however, race is still a factor and de facto segregation and unfair treatment remain a part of American society. Regardless, the successes and failures of the Civil Rights Movement helped shape America today.

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