The Civil Rights movement in the United States was a perfect example of Margaret Meade’s statement, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has”. Small groups of people formed organizations which created movements, which spread the message of equality for all. This message was spread across the nation all because a few people started to take a stand. Activists spread their messages in different ways and their desperation for change increased as time went on. Non violent protests were sufficient for most at first, but soon people craved a change and began to take measures into their own hands. Each protest, movement, and action influenced the fight for equality, as did each individual who fought for their rights. During the civil rights movement African American students as well as other people regardless of age, race, or gender came together to effect a much needed change in segregation throughout the South.
A group of nine children, called the Little Rock Nine, were the first African American children in the country to attend an all white school. Their actions enraged many southern whites and also brought the spotlight back to the issues of inequality and segregation. It was not just the Little Rock Nine who helped effect this change, it was also people like Barbara Henry who helped make a difference, “Mrs. Henry took us into a classroom and said to have a seat. When I looked around, the room was empty. There were rows of desks, but no children. I thought we were too early, but Mrs. Henry said we were right on time. My mother sat down at the back of the room. I took a seat up front, and Mrs. Henry began to teach” (Ruby Bridges PBS). These nine children started a movement that worked its way up to the Supreme Court. After the Little Rock Nine caused the Little Rock Crisis, a verdict was ruled in Brown v. Board of Education that ruled that segregated schools were unconstitutional. Those nine children and their families helped start the movement to integrate schools nationwide.
The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee was another group of individual who helped initiate massive widespread change. SNCC, along with a few other civil rights groups, began non violent sit ins as a form of protest. The African Americans would go into white only areas in public places and refuse to move when told to go to the colored section. Members of SNCC were taught the practice of nonviolence and were trained to never respond to the violence inflicted upon them with violence. The movement of non violent protests were based off of the words of Gandhi, “If someone gives us pain through ignorance, we shall win him through love” (Gandhi and Satyagraha).
The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee also played a major role in the freedom rides. On the freedom ride, protesters were fighting the segregation of interstate transportation. The Supreme Court ruled in Boynton v....