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Protest Movements Of The 1960s Essay

1606 words - 7 pages

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,” wrote Martin Luther King in his from letter from a Birmingham jail (King 269). The 1960’s would become a time of protests movements and injustice and inequality would be the common theme. For two groups in particular, African-Americans and Women, inequality had gone on for a very long time. The Civil Rights Movement, followed by the Women’s Liberation Movement would use similar tactics and reasoning to try and get what they wanted. The protests and movements during the 1960’s saw the United States policing the world during the Cold War to establish freedom and used this hypocrisy to try and establish their own freedom.
African ...view middle of the document...

What African Americans want is pretty simple and not a whole lot to ask for. King states in his letter “We have waited 340 years for our constitutional and God given rights” (King 270) which he is saying all they are asking for is to be equal to whites and enjoy the freedoms and rights laid out in the constitution. The other thing that African Americans want is desegregation. King talks in his letter about having to explain segregation to their children and seeing their child’s reaction to being treated as inferior. He also states “you are humiliated day in and day out by nagging signs reading “white” and “colored”” (King, 270). Equality and desegregation are the two things that African Americans want changed and they go hand in hand.
Finally the arguments and tactics use in the Civil Rights Movement were very productive. The Civil Rights Movement used the used the courts along with non-violent protests to achieve their goals. A landmark court decision that helped get the ball rolling was Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas. In the case, Thurgood Marshall argued that “segregation was inherently unequal since it stigmatized one group of citizens as unfit to associate with others….Marshall argued that segregation did lifelong damage to black children undermining their self-esteem” (Foner, 962). The Supreme Court ruled in favor of Brown, outlawing separate but equal in public schools. Some of the protests that took place included the Montgomery Bus Boycott, the events in Birmingham, and the March on Washington. The Bus Boycott took place when Rosa Park refused to give up her seat to a white man and was arrested. Protesters refused to ride the buses for 381 days until the Supreme Court in 1959 outlawed segregation in public transportation (Foner, 963). The events in Birmingham included King having black students take to the streets to march and protest. They were met by police brutality and assault. These event really help alert the nation and had to side with either “fellow citizens demanding their basic rights or with violent segregationists” (Foner, 976). Finally the March on Washington took place on August 28th 1963, in which 250,000 blacks and whites marched on the capital asking for the civil rights bill to be passed. In 1964 congress would pass the Civil Rights Act, which “prohibited racial discrimination in employment, institutions like hospitals and schools, and privately owned public accommodations such as restaurants, hotels, and theaters” (Foner 982). African Americans made great strides during the Civil Rights Movement while being met with great resistance. They helped get some pieces of legislation enacted but a big struggle will be getting the legislation enforced.
Like blacks, women have faced much discrimination over time. According to the Brochure on the Equal Rights Amendment, there are 1,795 laws that discriminate against women (Brochure, 302). Women are protesting against discrimination,...

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