The Civil Rights Movement: Unwavering Goals, Dynamic Strategies, And Increasing Support

897 words - 4 pages

From the founding of the United States of America, the American people agreed upon essential ideas to live by including unalienable rights including life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. All American citizens were guaranteed these rights, except for the racially discriminated upon black Americans. After the ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment in 1864, former slaves were proclaimed free; yet they were exposed to significant discrimination in education, the workplace, and public accommodations. The civil rights movement began in an attempt to end racial discrimination and create a nation in which black Americans had the same opportunities as white Americans. The overall goals ...view middle of the document...

1 percent of African Americans. The goal of equal voting rights for black Americans was a major focus of the civil rights movement. During the 1968 presidential election, the American Independent Party, a segregationist group led by George C. Wallace, received its greatest support from southern states that stood to benefit from segregation as a social norm (Document H). However, also in 1968, three years after the Voting Rights Act was passed, 62 percent of African Americans were registered to vote (Document G). Over the course of the decade, the goals of the civil rights movement were steadfast.
During the 1960s, the strategies implemented by the civil rights movement to achieve their goals shifted from non-violent direct action to violence. Martin Luther King, Jr., a civil rights movement leader, promoted the idea of non-violent action through petitions, sit-ins, and marches. In 1963, King participated in the anti-segregation protests in Birmingham, Alabama that resulted in his arrest (Document B). The media depicted the viciousness of the white policemen attempting to control the peaceful black civil rights protesters illustrating the unnecessary force used to control blacks (Document C). Non-violent direct action was thought to be the most effective form of protest by many civil rights leaders. The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) declared that nonviolence would result in the acceptance of black civil rights by white Americans (Document A). While many people believed in non-violence, this method did not result in immediate change. Violent protests and actions became an increasingly popular means of enacting change as the decade progressed. Malcolm X suggested that the civil rights movement was a revolution that required violence to enact change (The Ballot or the Bullet). In California, in 1967, the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense deemed that the time had come for black...

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