The Civil Rights Movement And To Kill A Mockingbird

1348 words - 5 pages

The beginning of the Civil Rights Movement era corresponds with the time that Harper Lee was writing about Scout Finch and her brother Jem. They live in the very state that events like the Montgomery Bus boycott would take place. The fictional town of Maycomb is in Alabama, the same state where Martin Luther King Jr. would rise to be the voice of African Americans aching for equality. The actual movement may have started in 1960 but that is the same year that To Kill a Mockingbird was published and huge events were rupturing the south, throughout the novel readers can see the attitude of a want and need for equality in characters and some events.
The civil rights movement was introduced to national headlines in the 1950s and 60s but in places like Georgia began as early as the 40s. In Georgia groups of African Americans were organized to try and vote. People like Thomas Brewer “a medical doctor in Columbus, organized Primus Kings and several [groups] who attempted to vote in the July 4, 1944, primary but were turned away”( Stephan Tuck). Those events took place before the Brown vs. Board Of Education trial in 1954, even more protest sprung up after the case. Even before the 1940s, African Americans were not treated as equals in society.
One year after the Brown vs. Board Of Education case, the Montgomery Bus Boycott took place. On December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks, a woman from Montgomery Alabama, refused to give up her seat to a white man and move to the back. Rosa Parks had gone against the “southern custom” (Clayborne Carson) of sitting in the back of the bus only because she was black. She was thrown in jail but the black community came together and boycotted the buses. The boycott lasted more than a year and is said to have “greatly demonstrated the unity and determination of the residents and inspired blacks elsewhere” (Clayborne Carson). Later, due to the events of the boycott, Martin Luther King Jr. emerged and was the movement’s “most effective leader” (Clayborne Carson). He is known for his nonviolent tactics and his ‘I Have a Dream’ speech. Martin Luther King Jr. was also a member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and later became the president of the SCLC in 1957 following the Montgomery Bus Boycott.
To Kill a Mockingbird was written and published in 1960, “in the midst of the Civil Rights Movement” (Carolyn Jones). This time was just a few years after events like the murder of Emmett Till, a fourteen year old boy accused of whistling at a white woman, the Montgomery Bus Boycott, and the ruling in Alabama that segregation on buses is unconstitutional happened (PBS African American World). This goes to show that the time period had some effect on Harper Lee at the time.
To Kill a Mocking bird takes place in the fictional town of Maycomb deep in the south. This town “clings to its ideals, its traditions… People, especially blacks and poor whites are … expected to...

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