Civil Rights Movement and Its Influence On America's Course Of History

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How did the Civil Rights Movement change America’s course of history? The Civil Rights Movement changed America by establishing equality and justice for citizens of all races.

The Civil Rights Movement started after racism reached an unbearable level towards people of color in the United States. The movement started in 1955, although there had already been acts to fight racism before. Such as in 1955 when Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat to a white man and was arrested for it. The fight for civil rights was mainly in the south because racism was the most severe there. Other important people and events of the Civil Rights Movement were Emmett Till, Martin Luther King Jr., and 16th St. Baptist Church Bombing.

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Emmett Till was a boy who died in the movement. Emmett was 14 when he was murdered in Money Mississippi by a white woman’s husband and his brother. His cousins dared him to go in the store and ask out the white cashier, Carolyn Bryant. Carolyn told her husband about what happened but said he grabbed and harassed her. Carolyn’s husband and his brother went to the house Emmett was staying at and forced Emmett to get into their car. From there, they drove him to the Tallahatchie River and made Emmett carry a 75-pound cotton gin to the river bank. The men beat Emmett, gouged out one of his eyes, then killed him with a bullet to the head. They strapped Emmett with barbed wire to the cotton gin they made him carry. The body was found three days later, and was in such a horrible state, that Emmett’s uncle was only able to identify the body by Emmett’s ring. The two men were found “not guilty” by an all-white jury, stating it was because the state couldn’t identify the body. Later, Carolyn came out said she had lied about the sexual harassment, and Emmet had only asked her out, not grabbed her or anything else she hand said. Emmett’s family decided to have an open-casket funeral so everybody can see the harsh effect the Jim Crow Laws and racism had on the African American race.

Martin Luther King Jr. was arguably the most important person of the Civil Rights Movement. He was a pastor who became popular when he started preaching about what changed needed to come to America. King preached to use peace and not be violent. He led the Montgomery Bus Boycott, which was started by Rosa Parks when she refused to give up her seat to a white man. King led the Civil Rights Movement by organizing many famous marches. One of them took place on May 2nd, 1963. Over 1,000 students left school and marched to Birmingham, Alabama. The march was shut down, and hundreds of the participating children were arrested. The next day, he also led another march that went on national television. Police arrived to shut down the march by using fire hoses to spray marchers and using dogs to scare the children and others in the march. King did over 500 speeches and became the voice for African American community. On August 28, 1963, King spoke his famous “I Have a Dream” speech. Around 250,000 people gathered to hear his speech at the Lincoln Memorial. His speech included voting rights, equal opportunity, and ending racial segregation and discrimination. He said if this didn’t happen, they would continue fighting more until they got the rights they deserved. This lets the government know that they would not quit until they got their rights.

The 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama suffered a bombing on September 15, 1963. The church was the church where many civil rights activists would meet, including Martin Luther King Jr. It was commonplace during the movement because it was used as a meeting place before a march. It was a Sunday morning, and around 200 people were in the church when it was bombed at almost 10:30 a.m. Many people were injured but safe except for four African American girls. Three of them were 14. They were Addie Mae Collins, Cynthia Wesley, Carole Robertson, and 11-year-old Denise McNair. The bomb was planted by the Ku Klux Klan. Thomas Blanton, Bobby Frank Cherry, and KKK leader Robert E. Chambliss were all convicted. The case was closed and opened many times until 1977 once all the men were convicted. After the bombing, a march was set for justice of the girls who died, and thousands of protesters were arrested, violence broke out, and a black man died. The bombing helped the African American community get more support in their fight.

A current movement today for injustice is the fight to end police brutality. There are many, many cases of police brutality, and most of them involve racism. As stated in an article,” Recent studies show that African Americans are 2.5 times more likely to be killed by police than white people.”An instance of police brutality and racism is Charles Kinsey. Charles, a black man, was lying next to a man with autism who was holding a toy truck. Charles was the man’s aide. A driver noticed the scene, and mistook the truck for a gun, and called the police. When the police arrived, Charles yelled out for them not to shoot, and also yelled out that the man was holding a toy truck and not a gun. Officer Jonathan Aledda, a white man, was the cop who shot Charles, even after he heard what Charles was saying, and after his colleagues told him not to shoot. The officer shot Charles in his thigh and said he meant to shoot the man with the toy truck, even though he knew both of the men were not posing a threat. This is one of the countless cases that happen that show police officers being excessively violent against innocent people.

The Civil Rights Movement greatly affected America because it gave equality and justice to everyone. The people who fought for their rights were successful and the Civil Rights Act was passed banning discrimination and segregation against anyone’s race, color, gender, and religion. 


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