Civil Rights Essay

1486 words - 6 pages

The civil rights movement was a period of time when blacks attempted to gain their constitutional rights of which they were being deprived. The movement has occurred from the 1950's to the present, with programs like Affirmative Action. Many were upset with the way the civil rights movement was being carried out in the 1960's. As a result, someone assassinated the leader of the movement, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Many blacks were infuriated at this death so there were serious riots in almost 100 cities. President Johnson then appointed a committee called The Kerner Commission to study the civil rights movement. They concluded the following: 'We are moving toward two societies-one white and ...view middle of the document...

While 12% of U.S. citizens are black, there is only one black in the Senate out of a hundred seats. This is a failure because blacks should be proportionally represented because it is their right to have a sufficient say in government. However, the civil rights movement was more of a success because blacks got the vote. The 24th amendment outlawed the Poll tax, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects the rights of all citizens to vote, and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 ended literacy tests and let the Federal government register voters to make sure that they aren't discriminated again. Because of this new political power they have obtained, blacks have the ability to elect other blacks to represent them. There are over four times as many blacks in office today, than before the movement. This helped the blacks because they could have a representative to speak for them. A few years ago, a black named David Dinkins was elected mayor of one of the largest cities in America, New York. In 1968, Chrisam became the first black woman in the House of Representatives and in 1984, a popular black leader, Jesse Jackson ran for president. All this is a success because one of their goals was to have political power and equal opportunity. A second reason why the civil rights movement was politically more of a success than a failure is due to the fact that blacks are better off in the courts than they were. Now, blacks are allowed to serve on juries, and they are hardly ever discriminated in court as opposed to when the boy was over-sentenced for stealing an ice cream. For example, O.J. Simpson, who was accused of killing his wife, received a fair trial and was let off not-guilty. In the 60's in the south, he would have been found guilty very quickly.In the economic sense, the Kerner report has some truth today, but overall the civil rights movement was a huge success in this area because blacks are much better off today than they were before the movement. Before the civil rights movement, almost every black was very poor and they weren't able to get good jobs because of their skin color. There was no middle class for blacks, just a lower class. They didn't have equal opportunity. An economic failure of the movement is the amount of poor blacks that still exist. The children which are products of this particular type of segregation live in a poor neighborhood, go to a poor school, receive an inadequate education or drop-out so they then can only receive a bad job or no job at all. These people have children and the process starts all over again. This is a failure because it prevents blacks from advancing themselves in society. However, the civil rights movement in this area is more of a success than a failure because of what can be achieved by blacks, their ability to obtain much more money than before the movement and not all blacks are in the cycle of poverty. For example, there is now a middle class of blacks which is a huge success because it shows that blacks...

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