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Modern History Essay on USA Civil Rights Movement Essay

In the USA from 1865, when slavery was abolished and African American people where supposedly considered separate but equal by the constitution, to the 1960s, when the African Americans where actually considered equal, segregation practises where being endorsed throughout the USA. Segregation was the practice of separating the white Americans and the African Americans. Segregation occurred when the white Americans continued their upper status on the previously enslaved African Americans, therefore maintaining the African Americans status of repression. However throughout the later 1950s to 1960s American went through the Civil Rights Movement, in which the African Americans aimed for a desegregated society that maintained equality.

Throughout the Civil Rights Movement many non-violent protests were held creating direct confrontation urging changes to be made within segregated social areas. Therefore non-violent direct confrontation was the successful means which helped to end segregation practises in the USA. Non-violence was the concept of holding a protest that was peaceful and did not retaliate to violence that was likely to be present.

The most successful aspect of these protests was direct confrontation. This was when the African Americans would directly break one of the rules in public segregation, causing direct friction within the segregated society, to push the boundaries in which African American people where confined. The confrontation along with the friction created by these peaceful protests predominantly concluded with change due to the persistence of the African Americans. Despite the escalating violence that was waiting at the majority of the African Americans protests they continued, fighting for their civil rights as humans.

One of the most supported organisations for African Americans, by not only African Americans themselves but also white Americans in support of desegregation, was the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People (the NAACP). As well one of the most historically supported leaders of the NAACP, Martin Luther King’s virtues for desegregation was non-violent protesting. The increasing levels of support for the NAACP helped create mass protest to which those higher up within the government would be forced into acting upon to eradicate the chance of the protest escalating into a violent scene caused by the white Americans. Therefore it is clearly evident that non-violent, direct confrontation was a marginally successful approach to the Civil Rights Movement. Throughout the Civil Rights Movement the media played a major role in the method of non-violence in the ending of segregation.

Although the African Americans had a great dedication to their protests they would not have been as greatly supported through these protests without the media. Television station camera men, reporters and photographers, where able to capture the violence and abuse directed at the African American’s, thus demonstrating the resilience of the protesters. Furthermore showing the general American public that in these situations of protests the aggressors where the white Americans and the treatment of the African Americans were unjust. Not only was this evidence of repression upon the African Americans displayed amongst the American media but also global media.

Therefore effecting America’s superior reputation amidst the Cold War, giving the current enemy reason as to why capitalism was potentially failing and to their acquainted supporters and potential supporters. This global recognition for a Civil Rights struggle gave motivation to politics to act upon this situation to maintain their global reputation. Therefore the recognition of the African Americans repression and unjust treatment was national and globally recognised, thus gaining support from white Americans after this realisation.

Hence the global realisation of this unjust treatment emphasised the need of social change to the government therefore giving some explanation as to the equality that becomes desegregation. Many of the non-violent protests African Americans undertook where simple acts however they caused extravagant aggravation due to racist view that the superior percentage of Americans had grown up amongst. One of the protests conducted by seven African Americans and six white Americans was abruptly ended when bus companies refused to carry them on further through their journey as they were confronted with a brutal mob that violently physically abused them and destroyed the busses that carried them.

This protest was the Freedom Rides, protesting to desegregate bus terminals and associated facilities. However other protest groups pushed forward with the Freedom Rides continuing the journey and withstanding the violence until significant action was taken by the government. The desegregation for bus terminal and
associated facilities was finally arranged after a major uprise in support for these freedom Riders.

Much alike the Freedom Rides, Lunch Counter Sit-Ins were a peaceful protest than ended the desegregation of lunch counters. It started with the simple act on February 4th with of four African American college students sitting at a Woolworths lunch counter until the stores closing after being refused serves due to their race. This protest escalated in size and expanded rapidly due to the support it received. Over 50,000 people participated in one or more of the sit in’s within a year in over 15 different states and various cities. Due to the size and direct confrontation of this protest, abuse and violence erupted in many of the Sit-Ins encouraging the government to desegregate to maintain the countries reputation.

Thus although many of the protests conducted where simple acts of rebellion for the African Americans the persistence of them where found confronting to the white Americans therefore resulting in change. Further on during the Civil Rights Movement it became apparent that many other organisations for African Americans gained further support, this including the Muslim religion and in particular those surrounding Malcolm X. Although Malcolm X’s and Martin Luther King’s values for the equality of African Americans differ, their main aim was equality with the white Americans.

Malcolm X supported maintaining the separation of the races where as King supported the integration of the races in an equal society. Malcolm X was an activist of the Muslim religion; he focused in eradicating the repression on the African Americans that was being held upon by the white Americans, much alike Martin Luther King. However they differ as King’s protests were supporting the integration of the races and living peacefully together, were as Malcolm believed in the maintaining of the separation of the races. However as history has proven within American prior to the late 1950s that separate is not equal, as much as that may be the aim. Hence it becomes evident that Malcolm X’s protests didn’t succeed in the equality of African American, whereas Martin Luther King’s non-violent protests to integrate proved very successful.

Therefore throughout the Civil Rights Movement many different protests where held, and many different organisations where supported however the most successfully was non-violence. These non-violence tactics as stated earlier, where the most effective due to the media coverage, persistence of the large quantity and direct confrontation. Without these aspects the non-violence practices for ending segregation within the USA wold not have been as nearly as efficient. Thus using non-violent methods as a means for ending segregation within the USA proved to be highly successful.


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