Civil rights movement in America
Civil rights Movement in the United States was led primarily by Blacks in an effort to establish the civil rights of individual Black citizens. Civil Rights Movement in the United States, political, legal, and social struggle by black. The civil rights movement was first and foremost a challenge to segregation and to gain full citizenship rights and to achieve racial equality, as well as political, legal and social rights. During the civil rights movement, individuals and civil rights organizations challenged segregation and discrimination with a variety of activities, including protest marches, boycotts, and refusal to abide by segregation laws. Many believe that the movement began with the Montgomery bus boycott in 1955 and ended with the Voting Rights Act of 1965, though there is debate about when it began and whether it has ended yet. The civil rights movement has also been called the Black Freedom Movement, the Negro Revolution, and the Second Reconstruction.
In the 1940s and 1950s the NAACP attacked race discrimination in the courts. It chipped away at Plessy v. Ferguson (1896), a Supreme Court decision upholding segregationist laws. The NAACP lawyers’ greatest success was the Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka decision in 1954, in which the Supreme Court ordered desegregation of schools. The decision struck a Chicago newspaper as a “second emancipation proclamation.”
The Supreme Court’s implementation order of 1955, designed to hasten compliance, ordered desegregation of schools “with all deliberate speed,” but compliance was slow. When the governor of Arkansas, Orval Faubus, tried to block the enrollment of nine black students into Little Rock High School in 1957, television showed the entire nation the confrontation between National Guard troops and segregationists. Television news helped make Little Rock’s problem a national one, and television crews continued to cover civil rights protests.
In December 1955 the black community in Montgomery, Alabama, organized a bus boycott after Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to give up her bus seat to a white man. A local minister, Martin Luther King, Jr., helped organize the boycott. In 1957 ministers and civil rights leaders formed the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). The SCLC, which adopted a policy of nonviolent civil disobedience, formed the backbone of the civil rights movement in the United States.
The civil rights movement expanded on February 1, 1960, when four black college students at North Carolina A&T University began protesting racial segregation in restaurants by sitting at whites-only lunch counters and waiting to be served. Within days the sit-ins spread throughout North Carolina, and within weeks they reached cities across the South. To continue students’ efforts and to give them an independent voice in the movement, college students in 1960 formed another civil rights group, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). Students and activists soon adopted other methods of protesting segregation, such as freedom rides—bus trips throughout the South in order to desegregate buses and bus stations. A powerful civil rights movement was underway.
Postwar prosperity brought comfort and social mobility to many Americans. Those who had grown up during the Great Depression especially appreciated the good life of the postwar years. Prosperity, however, eluded many citizens. The era, moreover, was hardly placid and complacent, but eventful and divisive. Signs of change around 1960 included the growing role of youth, the civil rights protests, and the simmering of dissent.
Summary: The civil rights movement was a struggle by African Americans in the mid-1950s to late 1960s to achieve Civil Rights equal to those of whites, including equal opportunity in employment, housing, and education, as well as the right to vote, the right of equal access to public facilities, and the right to be free of racial discrimination. No social or political movement of the twentieth century has had as profound an effect on the legal and political institutions of the United States. This movement sought to restore to African Americans the rights of citizenship guaranteed by the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments, which had been eroded by segregationist Jim Crow Laws in the South.