Desegregation Essay

3181 words - 13 pages

Desegregation is a term that can be defined as the process of abolishing racial segregation. Throughout the Civil Rights Movement of the mid 1950's to late 1960's, the desegregation of school systems was a heated issue in the United States both at a federal and state level. Many events transpired throughout this decade that were monumental not only to the educational system but to the civil rights of African-American's as a whole. It can be said then, that the desegregation of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg North Carolina School System during the Civil Rights Movement included involvement by the NAACP, nonviolent methods of protest, federal government rulings, local city official proceedings, and student/parent involvement that aided in shaping the future of America.Before discussing the issue of desegregation in the public schools of Charlotte, it's important to have a basic concept of the events occurring during that time, as well as the key figures involved. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People commonly referred to as the NAACP was formed in 1909 and took an active role in the Civil Rights Movement. There were NAACP branches throughout the country including North Carolina.An African-American man by the name of Kelly M. Alexander was President of the North Carolina NAACP at the time that desegregation became a prominent issue. Often, the NAACP would hold meetings to initiate action within the African-American community and these meetings would occur in churches. This is partly because no other locations were available, and because by going to African-American churches they were able to appeal to larger crowds.One key event occurred in 1955 when an African-American woman by the name of Rosa Parks, refused to move to the back of a bus in Alabama. This nonviolent method of protest ultimately caused bus segregation to be declared unconstitutional. This was a huge step in the civil rights movement because it showed America that Blacks were not going to settle for anything less than equality.Meanwhile, across the country Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was also struggling to gain rights being denied to African-Americans. He was leading marches, giving speeches and holding rallies, which were other types of nonviolent methods of protest that inspired thousands of African-Americans to become involved. Blacks were also dealing with white extremist groups like the Ku Klux Klan. There was segregation not only in schools, but also in housing, public places, employment opportunities, and more. Many African-American's used nonviolent methods of protest such as sit-ins and the before mentioned. These nonviolent types of protest were important because they demonstrated a peaceful yet effective way of achieving their goals and getting recognition both locally and federally.It's important to note that on May 17, 1954 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that racial segregation in public education was discriminatory and unconstitutional. However, it...

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