The Evolution Of Freedom And Civil Rights In America

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The civil rights movement started to gain momentum in the 1950s and 60s.This was several years after the Civil War and Reconstruction. These decades were represented political activist and social change. There were many reasons this movement had such a dramatic start in the 50s and 60s. One huge contributor were the achievements and legislation of the blacks. The 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments, also known as the Civil War amendments, were put into place to secure equality and eliminate some the previous laws like slavery. The 13th amendment declared slavery to exist in the United States. The 14th amendment guaranteed African American citizenship rights and guarantees equal protection under all laws. The next Civil War amendment allowed African Americans men the right to vote. The amendments were a huge start to the civil rights movement. on The executive order 8802 helped equality through the government. It twas put in place for the government to watch over and make sure no businesses prohibit ethnic or racial discrimination in the nation’s defense industry.

Despite these Civil War amendments, African Americans were still being treated differently than whites all through the country. A historic moment in the Civil Rights movement was The Brown vs. Board of Education case. This landmark of 1954 changed the public schooling systems. It ruled that the racial public schools could not be segregated due to race. This was a violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. This also led to public restrooms and transportation, restaurants, and more due to the outcome of Jim Crow Laws. Next the event that would stimulate is the Executive order 10730. This spiraled due to the outcome of Brown vs Board of Education. President Eisenhower had to send national guards to Little Rock Central High School to protect the nine black students attending school. The focus of this Executive order was to desegregate schools all around. President Kennedy later issued executive order 10925 on March 6, 1961. This ordered the government contractors would make sure that employees would not be discriminated against based on race. Also the 24th amendment passed in 1962. It was responsible for demolishing poll taxes in voting for Africans Americans. The March on Washington in 1963 led by Philip Randolph, Bayard Rustin, and Martin Luther King Jr gathered 250,000 people at the National Mall. They were peacefully protesting to protest civil rights abuses and employment discrimination. This events purpose was to draw attention to continuing fighting inequalities faced by African Americans a whole century after emancipation. This is where Martin Luther King Jr gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was an awakening moment during this movement. This act is known for banning discrimination and segregation on the basis of race, color, religion, and sex. This changed workplaces, schools, and public places. It also ended unequal use of voting registrations. The Voting Act of 1965 aimed to end all barriers restricting blacks from their voting rights. On April 11, the Civil Rights Act of 1968 was created. This act was put in place to continue previous act eliminating discrimination while also forbidding discrimination housing. These acts were essential to legislation ensuring blacks with more rights.

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The civil rights movement began to increase its pace when influential black leaders led events like marches and boycotts. Some of black leaders include Martin Luther King Jr, Philip Randolph, Harriet Tubman, and W.E.B. Philip Randolph was known as a leader throughout the civil rights movement. Randolph led and organized the March on Washington along with Bayard Rustin and Martin Luther King Jr. He was responsible for building the first successful black trade union. Martin Luther King Jr is famously known for his “I Have a Dream Speech” in 1963. In his speech he spoke of the idea of a desegregated country and world. In reaching his goal of a racist free world he became an activist for nonviolent protests. His nonviolent actions helped shape America today. His first protest was the Montgomery Bus Boycott in the southern state of Alabama. The buses made blacks enter from the back door. They also only allowed the first ten rows of seats were for whites. On December first in 1955, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat to a white male. She later was arrested for her action. His death caused riots in many cities all around the country. Congress passed the Fair Housing Act after Martin Luther King Jr. This was similar to the Civil Rights Act of 1968 protecting families from sales and financing housing. African Americans around the world saw W.E.B as a leading advocate for civil rights. He believed that African Americans should be demanding for equal rights while also protecting unjust treatments. Harriet Tubman is famous for the Underground Railroad’s conductors. During her time there she travelled into the South and was able to bring over 300 slaves to freedom.

The writer James Baldwin challenged America to rethink “what it really means by freedom.” James Baldwin made people rethink if freedom was for all Americans or only some. Baldwin was apart of the Congress of Racial Equality allowing him to travel around the world discussing his views on racial inequality. Once returned to America he gave his ideas on how to solve racial problems. James Baldwin’s “The Next Fire,” is made up of two essay that discuss the issues of racial inequality. He believed people though this way because they were so narrow minded. Baldwin believed no one would be able to achieve power through violence and segregation. His solution for a long lasting power is for blacks to be willing to love and accept white people. Notes of a Native Son is also a collection of essays that describe his life journeys. The Civil Rights Movement period was committed to activism for equality and fair treatment of African Americans in the United States. During this era, people fought for social, legal, political and cultural changes to eliminate segregation and end racism. This was a time of struggle, violence, and prejudice. African Americans were prepared to fight for equality. There were many events that involved discrimination against African Americans that led up the civil rights movement. Throughout the civil rights acts were put into place throughout this era. There were two important civil rights that were passed by Congress. The two acts were the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and 1968. These laws were put in place to secure constitutional rights for blacks and minorities. Although the laws went into effect immediately, some citizens could not adjust right away. This caused the President to put out Executive Orders. This is how Executive Orders 8802, 10730, and 10925. The efforts of eliminating segregation and discrimination have been an ongoing fight for blacks and minorities. The Civil Rights movement was just the momentum they needed to achieve everything they wanted to. Throughout this era African Americans fought to end slavery, eliminate segregated schools, desegregate, restrooms, get equal protection under the laws, and ensure rights in the workplace. The Civil Rights movement of the 1950s and 60s was an historic era for blacks and minorities.

The issue of racism and race relations reaches almost every aspect of American life from housing to education to our criminal justice system to name just a few. I believe that race relations have improved over time in several different aspects. The United States has decreased the amount of racial violence all throughout the country. There are also organizations like Black Lives Matters that let people express who they are. With that being said, this still shows there are clear acts of racism still going on. I do believe that the media has brought more attention to and awareness to racial issues. In today’s society people still fail to see things from another’s point of view. This is a main contributor to the downfall of racial relations. The United States has come a long way, from police officers escorting black children to school to all schools being free of segregation. Personally, there has definitely been improvement to race relations but there is always room to improve.


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