The civil rights movement began in 1954. The start of a new America was beginning. Martin Luther King Junior was at the front of it all but there were countless others fighting for the right to be treated like a human and as equals. Even today people of color are still struggling with being treated as though they belong. The Black Lives Matter movement is a great extension of how MLK paved the way for colored Americans, along with countless others. For years African Americas have struggled to gain basic American and human rights.
People of color faced discrimination in all forms, and one hundred years after the civil war, racial equality was still an issue. After the civil war rose Martin Luther King Junior who was determined to step in and prove that a change needed to happen. There were countless strategies to help the rise of this movement and to convince others to fight alongside and lift each other up. The movement found a profound strategy in the progression of racial equality, using nonviolent actions and peaceful resistance to accomplish their goals. For example, violent actions were critical for challenging segregation in public places. The strategy and cause of these actions were to disrupt the “normal” status quo that most people were used to, people had to use what power they had to show those who thought they were better and thought they deserved more just because of the color of their skin that that was, in fact, wrong, these protests and the movement made it almost impossible to ignore the issues segregation created. There were sit-ins and freedom rides that immediately led to changes in policies that spread worldwide, eventually leading to the civil rights act of 1964, that movement banned segregation in public areas. Other examples are of course Rosa Parks making a point when not leaving her seat and not giving up on what she believed in. But some of you might not know there were other women of color that did the exact thing, like Claudette Colvin who protested even before Rosa Parks but was not praised for her actions. There were many times when people wanted to prove that things needed to be changed but many times their actions went unrecognized, but some of the people who went unrecognized were the ones that came up with the monumental strategies used.
Indeed, courts were still being used during the civil rights movement. Despite the change to use nonviolent actions as a strategy, the movement still had to obtain a legal strategy. The protests and resistance, all while being nonviolent, still required federal or state interference. Throughout the movement, protesters used peaceful methods to gain attention from the public to promote their cause. Although these nonviolent strategies were effective, the movement still needed to get past state and federal laws in order to progress. The protests, sit-ins, and boycotts simply were not enough, it was essential that the movement had federal standing, to keep their actions not only legal but safe. The people had to find a way around, or compromise a way to still be a peaceful group while abiding by the laws. In some protests, participants would get arrested. The more complex side of this movement, the protesting. The walk across the bridge was illegal and it is true that courts were still used during the civil rights movement. Courts were required in the process of the movements. Protesters altered their strategy by resorting to nonviolent actions to raise awareness. To have these movements, they needed to get past the state and federal laws. For these protests to be successful, they need to be legal and nonviolent. They need to have approval from those laws to enforce that their movement is legal. Movements that are lawful and nonviolent tend to be more successful because they won't get shut down by officials. The use of nonviolence also allows for the movement to be successful in which people are getting their point across and spreading the word, not just fighting. The progression of the movement also needed to have a legal strategy.
Another extremely useful strategy that was used was Canvassing which meant a lot of hard work that would surely be worth it, it meant going from door-to-door, talking with the people in the community. This work was slow, yes, and yes it was time-consuming and difficult tying work but it gave people a chance to develop relationships with people in the community and recruit more people to join the growing movement. By recruiting new members the movement could slowly reach the masses and soon those people would teach others and those would teach others and the chain would go on and on. Canvassing helped create mass meetings for the civil rights movement to teach people what this movement was really about. Canvassing was hard work that seemed extremely time-consuming but it is so much more rewarding than people ever expected. Canvassing helped with passing voting acts rights.
Lastly was Black Power, a gigantic push in the movement was people of color demanding independence with Black Power. This Black Power movement as known as The Black Panther Party aimed to empower the African American community by influencing people through popular culture to educate the general public, this movement also aimed to inspire other minorities such as Native Americans, Asian Americans, and the LGBTQ community. This group also worked to resit inequality in any way necessary. But most importantly The Black Panther party worked to protect the African American community.
There were several strategies used in the Civil Rights, even the small ones had huge impacts on the way the world is today. We should continue to use these strategies to fight against racial injustice today during the Black Lives Matter movement and never forget the amazing people who paved the way for how we live today.
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