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Segregation And The Civil Rights Movement

935 words - 4 pages

The 13th Amendment came into effect at the conclusion of the Civil War, allowing some African Americans to break free from the evil chains of slavery, still, many continued to face prejudice throughout society even after they gained their freedom. From 1955 to 1965, the black movement toward equality gained tremendous momentum in an effort to fight the unending injustice of segregation plaguing society. The Civil Rights Movement changed society forever, using sit-ins and protest marches to promote their cause and advance the position of African Americans in society.

Equality was unknown to African Americans in the United States, especially in the South. Blacks faced a constant fear of ...view middle of the document...

Pat Shuttlesworth remembers not being able to sit inside the restaurant she and her friends just ordered food from (Levine, 1993, p.13). Restaurant owners did everything in their power to avoid the label of “Nigger-lover”, and white customers did not want to eat around African Americans. The bombing of the Shuttleworth’s home during Christmas time forever traumatized Pat’s younger brother, Fred. At about ten o’clock at night, Fred sat in the dining room when he heard a loud noise. Through the dust and air, Fred knew that somebody had tried to kill them. As a child, Fred did not understood somebody would try to kill him and his family. Segregation made life a brutal challenge for African Americans, an experience with long-lasting impacts.

African Americans did not sit there and accept prejudice, they fought back, peacefully, with protests, marches, sit-ins and boycotts. The movement against segregation began with the Montgomery Bus Boycott of 1955-56. Many African Americans in Montgomery took part in the boycott, “For over a year, nearly fifty thousand blacks in Montgomery stayed off the buses. They walked, hitchhiked, carpooled, all in protest against the discriminatory and demeaning system of segregation” (Levine, 1993, p.17). The Montgomery Bus Boycott began a wave of retaliation against segregation and inequality. African Americans protested with sit-ins as well, they would go into restaurants, sit down in a white area, and refuse to leave until served. Often the police came, and sometimes even television cameras to record the event.

Gladis Williams, a high school student during the movement, participated in as many protests as he could. Gladis and other high school students went to segregated stores with picket signs to protest, usually with the police waiting for them to get there....

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