The Crusade For Equal Rights In The United States

1182 words - 5 pages

The struggle for equal rights has been an ongoing issue in the United States. For most of the twentieth century Americans worked toward equality. Through demonstrations, protests, riots, and parades citizens have made demands and voiced their concerns for equal rights. For the first time minority groups were banding together to achieve the American dream of liberty and justice for all. Whether it was equality for women, politics, minorities, or the economy the battle was usually well worth the outcome. I have chosen articles that discuss some of the struggles, voyages, and triumphs that have occurred. The people discussed in the following articles represent only a portion of those who suffered.
The first speech that I chose was written by Martin Luther King Jr. in December 1955. The speech was given in Montgomery, Alabama and spoke to African-Americans who gathered in protest after the arrest of Rosa Parks. She refused to give up her seat to a white passenger on a city bus and was subsequently arrested. The African-American community decided to protest the decision and a mass rally ensued. According to Foner, “Martin Luther King Jr. invoked Christian and American ideals of justice and democracy in his speeches.” (901) King used these themes to address the protestors and spoke of Rosa Parks’ character, morals, and integrity. Martin Luther King Jr. was a national symbol of the civil rights struggle and advocated for the African-American community by protesting in a non-violent manner. The demonstrations and protests that were led by King evoked the lack of freedom, justice, and equality that African-Americans endured. Even with all of the injustices that occurred, African-Americans were proud to be American and used their voices to stand up for their rights.
The 1950s proved to be a challenge for African-Americans. They struggled for equality and took part in some of the greatest civil rights movements ever known. Although the civil rights revolution came as a surprise, the causes fought for were necessary. According to Foner, “the United States in the 1950s was still a segregated, unequal society with half of the nation’s black families living in poverty.” (902) Many whites paid little attention to segregation because they felt it had no impact on their everyday lives. Segregation impacted blacks, especially in the South, on a daily basis. They had separate restrooms, drinking fountains, schools, entrances to public places, and were unable to enter many public institutions altogether. (902) The arrest of Rosa Parks sparked a year-long bus boycott and marked the beginning of the civil rights movement in the South. (904) With Martin Luther King Jr. leading the movement, the freedom of justice and equality finally seemed within reach. According to the text, “King was a master of appealing to the deep sense of injustice among blacks and to the conscience of white America. He presented the case for black rights in a...

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