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Now almost 70 years removed from the civil rights movements that people such as Claudette Colvin stood for, minority groups still battle with systematic disadvantages in their daily lives Despite the progress that has been made for African» Americans in America there is still racism that is institutional and quantifiable. The #blacklivesmatter movement marks a revival in civil rights activism. Activists today adapt strategies from precedents set by civil rights predecessors. However, it is now much easier to reach the masses and spread information to the masses Activism derives its strength from a concise message and strength in numbers.
In order to achieve tangible progress, activists need a clear message and a unified group. In the civil rights movements of the past, this meant organizing marches and rallies. Gathering like-minded individuals to join together and express a common concern is paramount to achieving change. The need to gather and organize has not changed, but the way in which masses assemble is the interesting difference between civil rights movements of the past when compared to #blacklivesmatterr Individuals have much more of a global voice than they did 50 years ago.
The advent of the internet and social media means that a simple “hashtag” can connect hundreds or even thousands of people Claudette’s story would have had the potential to go viral within minutes had a such a scenario played out today Claudette bravely stood up for what she believed in and was a pioneer in the fight for racial equality. However, her story went largely unnoticed, She was deemed unworthy of attention by a few and was largely unheard of by the many She had a voice, but no audience In this social media age, everyone has a voice that can reach across the globe within minutes, Racial injustice can no longer be ignored or swept under the proverbial rug.
While there are many aspects of social media and globalization that are less than ideal, the #blacklivesmatter campaign shows how powerful of a tool the internet can be. Racism still exists today, and egregious acts comparable [0 the way that Claudette was treated are still happening, The difference, is fhat today people like Patrisse Marie Cullors—Brignac and Damon Turner can help insure that these atrocities do not go unnoticed.
The first step to solving problems is addressing them, and social and racial injustices are being addressed far more frequently than they have in the past. For Claudette Colvin, she had seen enough racial inequality and knew she needed to make a stand “ Why should I have to get up because a driver tells me to orjust because i‘m black? Right then, I decided I wasn’t gonna take it anymore I hadn’t planned it out, but my decision was built on a lifetime of nast experiences.” (House) Whether it be Colvin in during the 50‘s, or Cullors-Brignac today, people eventually reach a breaking point where they have seen enough injustice. The major difference between then and now, is that Cullors-Brignac was able to share her frustrations and rally people much more rapidly than Claudette Colvin. Due to the fact that information travels so rapidly, there is inherently a greater potential for rapid change. Does this inspire hope for the near future?
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