African Americans and the Civil War

Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 21 December 2016

African Americans and the Civil War

In the world we live in many people take a lot for granted. Just the small simple things people don’t really appreciate, being ungrateful for the things that have been given to them. Many people and different situations have paved the way for our generation to become much easier to live in. African Americans during the civil rights movement had to face a lot of trills in order to make the world a better place. Many people don’t appreciate that because they are unaware of just how much grief African Americans had to go though to create a path for the upcoming generation.

African Americans faced many hardships during the civil rights movement, some of those hardships were segregation, voting rights, and assassination of prominent African American leaders. Segregation was such a big obstacle for African Americans because not only were they not allowed to go certain places it became bigger than that. Everything in African Americans lives were split in half. There were white only signs places all over there towns. White only signs for bathrooms, restaurants, and water fountains. Everything was separated between the two races blacks and whites.

One event that really stuck out like a sore thumb was The Montgomery Bus Boycott. During, the time of segregation blacks were allowed to ride the buses, but many rules had to apply. Blacks had a black’s only section on the bus that could be moved in any location of the bus. That means that the blacks’ only sign could be moved in front of two rows on the bus if that’s what the bus driver wanted. Black riders had to pay their bus far on the front of the bus and get off to walk to the back of the bus to ride. Some bus drivers would allow the blacks to pay and when the step off the bus the bus driver would drive away and leave them.

When blacks did receive a chance to ride on the bus, if a white person did not have a seat to sit in a black person had to give up their seat. The blacks of Montgomery, Alabama, decided that they would boycott the city buses until they could sit anywhere they wanted, instead of being relegated to the back when a white boarded. On December 1, 1955, Mrs. Rosa Parks, an African American seamstress, was arrested in Montgomery, Alabama for not standing and letting a white bus rider take her seat. The plan to stop the whites from making the blacks move was the boycott. Blacks would no longer ride the buses anymore.

That means that the bus companies were losing a lot of money. Blacks would walk to work or school and even carpool, but would not step foot on the buses. The boycott continued for over a year. Eventually, the United States Supreme Court put an end to the boycott. On November 13, 1956 the Court declared that Alabama’s state and local laws requiring segregation on buses were illegal. On December 20th federal injunctions were served on city and bus company officials forcing them to follow the Supreme Court’s ruling. African Americans had to face a lot just so that they could be treated as an equal on the bus.

Segregation played a huge role in the school system. In public schools more so than any. That’s what stated the big flare Brown vs. Board of Education. The 1954 United States Supreme Court decision in Oliver L. Brown vs. the Board of Education of Topeka (KS) is among the most significant judicial turning points in the development of our country. Originally led by Charles H. Houston, and later Thurgood Marshall and a formidable legal team, it dismantled the legal basis for racial segregation in schools and other public facilities. Brown vs. Board of Education was not simply about children and education.

The laws and policies struck down by this court decision were products of the human tendencies to prejudge, discriminate against, and stereotype other people by their ethnic, religious, physical, or cultural characteristics. Ending this behavior as a legal practice caused far reaching social and ideological implications, which continue to be felt throughout our country. The Brown decision inspired and galvanized human rights struggles across the country and around the world. The U. S. Supreme Court decision in Brown began a critical chapter in the maturation of our democracy.

It reaffirmed the sovereign power of the people of the United States in the protection of their natural rights from arbitrary limits and restrictions imposed by state and local governments. These rights are recognized in the Declaration of Independence and guaranteed by the U. S. Constitution. Brown was giving African Americans the opportunity to be accepted as an individual and not just as a race. Now, you would think that after the Brown vs. Board of Education whites would accept African Americans and treat them better. That was not the case and segregation did not stop there.

Although, many people had hoped that it would it took the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to really make a change. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was a landmark piece of legislation in the United States that outlawed major forms of discrimination against blacks and women, and ended racial segregation in the United States. It ended unequal application of voter registration requirements and racial segregation in schools, at the workplace and by facilities that served the general public. Once the Act was implemented, its effects were far-reaching on the country as a whole and had an immediate impact on the South.

It prohibited discrimination in public facilities, in government, and in employment, invalidating the Jim Crow laws in the southern U. S. It became illegal to compel segregation of the races in schools, housing, or hiring. After passage of the law, the NAACP was the only major civil rights organization to maintain a large membership in the South, where it concentrated on organizing the ongoing struggle for black civil rights. During 1965-75, the NAACP remained committed to using litigation to challenge racial injustice.

African Americans had to fight hard to get what they deserved and it took a lot of patients and time to receive change but it finally happened. That is we segregation ended and Africans were free to sit, eat, talk, shop, and work anywhere they wanted. Being able to vote is a very important ordeal. Many people in this day and time take advantage of being able to voice their opinions. Not taking advantage of who we desire to have in office is a sign of being ungrateful. African Americans were not given that right years ago. African Americans had to fight just so that they could vote. That’s when the Voting Act of 1965 came in play.

Before, this Act was enforced African Americans had to take a literacy tests and pay poll taxes. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 abolished literacy tests and poll taxes designed to disenfranchise African American voters, and gave the federal government the authority to take over voter registration in counties with a pattern of persistent discrimination. Echoing the language of the 15th Amendment, the Act prohibits states from imposing any “voting qualification or prerequisite to voting, or standard, practice, or procedure to deny or abridge the right of any citizen of the United States to vote on account of race or color.

The Act was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson, a Democrat, who had earlier signed the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964 into law. Being able to vote was an honor and so many people don’t even both to go vote during the elections today. African Americans fought for the right to vote without having to take tests or pay poll taxes and people still don’t go out to vote. That is taking voting rights for granted. Being an African American during the civil rights movement was a challenge, but being an African American woman was even difficult.

That’s when the period of women’s suffrage played its role. Women’s Suffrage is the right of women to vote and to run for office. The expression is also used for the economic and political reform movement aimed at extending these rights to women and without any restrictions or qualifications such as property ownership, payment of tax, or marital status. Being a woman in this time period restricted of many rights. Women’s suffrage has been granted at various times in various countries throughout the world, and in many countries it was granted before universal suffrage.

Without women’s suffrage women would still be restricted to make decisions and just be limited to being mothers and wives. The women’s suffrage broke that cycle. The best way to leave a positive mark on the world is being a leader. It takes a lot of heart, courage, and sacrifice, in becoming a great leader. Leaders are persons that people look up to. They depend on a leader to give them hope to carry on and a positive role model to look up to. There were not too many people that wanted to take the position of being a leader, but a few chose to step up to the plate.

African Americans needed kind and encouraging words to help uplift them during the civil rights movement. Two great leaders Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Melcolm X took on a job to lead the world into a better place called freedom. The two leaders gave African Americans hope to continue on when they wanted to just give up. African Americans depended on these two prominent leaders to strengthen them. African Americans during the civil rights movement needed to relay on someone and those leaders were the perfect ones. No one would have ever been ready for what was expected to come.

For years African American have been told what they could and couldn’t do. They have been talked about, abused, lied on, and have had everything taken from them. But, still they have stayed strong through it all. When all they had were two great prominent leaders and they were taken from them as well they still stayed strong. Two great prominent leaders were assonated. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X. Martin Luther King Jr. was an American clergyman, activist, and prominent leader in the African American civil rights movement.

He was best known for being an iconic figure in the advancement of civil rights in the United States and around the world, using nonviolent methods following the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi. King was often presented as a heroic leader in the history of modern American liberalism. A Baptist minister, King became a civil rights activist early in his career. He led the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott and helped found the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in 1957, serving as its first president. King’s efforts led to the 1963 March on Washington, where King delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech.

There, he expanded American values to include the vision of a color blind society, and established his reputation as one of the greatest orators in American history. But, as people have said “all things must come to an end. ” At 6:01 p. m. on April 4, 1968, a shot rang out. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. , who had been standing on the balcony of his room at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, TN, lay sprawled on the balcony’s floor. A gaping wound covered a large portion of his jaw and neck. A great man who had spent thirteen years of his life dedicating himself to nonviolent protest had been felled by a sniper’s bullet.

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  • University/College: University of California

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Date: 21 December 2016

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