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The Civil Rights Movement Essay

1535 words - 6 pages

Many changes occurred during the late 1950s into the early 1960s in
the goals, strategies, and support of the movement for African
American civil rights. Many strides were made for racial equality in
the United States. However, while changes were made, they did take a
considerable amount of time to achieve. This made some leaders of the
civil rights movement frustrated and caused them to divert from their
original goal of integration. They instead strove for black separatism
where blacks and whites would live segregated. The civil rights
movement started in 1955 with the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Rosa Parks,
a black woman, sat in the front of a public Montgomery bus. According
to the Jim Crow laws enforced in the South, the front of buses was
reserved for white people. When a white person approached Rosa Parks
for the seat, she refused to get up. She was arrested for violating
the Jim Crow law. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. contacted Rosa Parks and
asked her if she was serious about starting a civil rights movement.
When she said yes, King organized a boycott on public buses in
Montgomery, Alabama. As a result, the bus company agreed to allow
blacks to sit wherever they wanted to on their buses. This was the
first step in a long process that eventually resulted in racial
equality in the United States. In 1960, Stokley Carmichael organized
Lunch Counter Sit-ins in Greensboro, North Carolina. He was the head
of the Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee(SNCC). Restaurants
in the South had separate counters for blacks and whites. Carmichael
had black students sit down at a counter designated for whites only.
When the owner of the restaurant approached the student to tell them
to move, the student would simply say "I would like a hamburger and a
coke please." The student would be sure not to raise his or her voice
because that would denote violence. The student would continue to
politely recite his or her lines until the police showed up. The
student would be arrested for violating the Jim Crow laws. However,
the commotion caused by the police caused the restaurants to lose
business. For this reason, restaurant owners were forced to
desegregate their lunch counters. This process exemplified the
strategy of SNCC. In a statement released in 1960, the organization
stated its method for achieving civil rights. They believed in
nonviolence to help their goal of integration. They wanted t be equal
with the white man. They wanted to be able to do everything white
people could do. Blacks did not want to be separated from whites, they
wanted to be together and equal. Stokley Carmichael exercised these
beliefs in his civil rights movements. The lunch counter sit-ins were
non-violent and they succeeded in their purpose to integrate the lunch
counters of the South. However, change came to slow for...

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