The Civil Rights Movement was a social movement formed with the intention of relieving the African Americans from the prevalent discrimination they were going through in America, Britain and South Africa. The movement started around 1950 but the major activities of the movement took place from 1955 to 1968.Worth noting is the fact that African Americans were facing racial discrimination; the black Americans had no voting rights. In addition, the black Americans couldn’t access quality education. Furthermore, the rate of unemployment among the black Americans was very low. Due to the above mentioned challenges among the black Americans, the Civil Right Movement was formed. Apparently, the movement was marked by civil resistance, disobedience and boycotts in America (Dunkel, 2012). Such led to crisis in the country, forcing the businesses, federal, local government and communities to respond to the unfairness among African Americans. Interesting to note is the fact that the movement resorted to nonviolent means of fighting for the rights of black Americans. For instance there was the Montgomery Bus Boycott which was successful, the boycott took place in Alabama around 1955-1956. Seemingly, Black Americans were perceived as immigrant hence had less privilege as compared to White Americans. Despite the movement fighting for rights of black Americans it also encouraged Asian Americans and Latinos to fight for their rights, since they also faced economic and employment discrimination. The Civil Right Movement was a success; this can be supported by the end of discrimination in education sector, public facilities and fair treatment and equal opportunities for minorities throughout the United States. Also, black Americans were finally allowed to vote. The paper highlights the success of the civil right movement.
According to Newman (2004) the formation of the Montgomery Improvement Association led to the Montgomery Bus Boycott of 1955-1956. The Boycott was led by Dr Martin Luther King. Jr and lasted for a period one year. Due to the long boycott the federal court ordered Montgomery to end discrimination in its buses (McNeese, 2007). Newman (2004) indicated that the bus boycott is among the fruits of the civil movement. Interesting to note is the fact that the movement used nonviolent means to fight for the racial discrimination. Newman, 2004 argued that due to the brilliant leadership of Dr Martin Luther King. Jr the movement was able to succeed in several boycotts. For instance the movement also succeeded in the bus boycott, Tallahasee Florida boycott of 1956-1957.
In 1959, Bernice Robinson, Septima Clarke together with the Esau Jenkins, provided the first Citizenship schools in South Carolina’s Sea Islands, and with the assistance of Highlander Folk School, the program succeeded. The Citizenship Schools were meant to educate the Black Americans on how to pass the voting test (Kallen, 2001). According to Newman, (2004) the only way to ensure the black Americans enjoy their democratic right of voting, they were first to be trained on how to pass the test. The program was a success as the number of African Americans voters increased significantly. For instance in John Island the number of black voters almost tripled.
Newman, 2004 argued that the civil movement also succeeded in ending the discrimination in the education sector. The black students and white students couldn’t learn in the same institution. In 1951, the black students of Moton High school felt they were overpopulated and lack suitable educational facilities, the students protested against Jim Crow laws discrimination. NAACP in South Africa joined the black students. In 1954, the United States Supreme Court gave its verdict concerning the Brown V. Board of Education, the court stated that segregation in public schools was unconstitutional, the black students and the White students have equal right in accessing quality education. Newman, 2004 argued that the court ruling brought to an end the racial discrimination in public schools. Newman, 2004 insisted that no student should be discriminated based on colour. The ruling empowered and strengthened the movement in the fight for Black Americans.
The civil right movement joined many African countries in fighting for decolonization. Dr Martin Luther King Jr encourages Africans to resist colonization. According to Newman (2010), the movement enabled the black Africans to acquire rights and quality education; the education became eye opener to African leaders. For instance decolonization struggle in Nigeria and Ghana could be link by civil right movement. The movement preached against colonization and encourage Africans never to give up in their struggle in fighting for their independence.
The civil movement also fought for the drafting of the United Nations Charter in 1948. The movement knew the Charter could end racial discrimination and injustices done to black Africans (Newman, 2004). The Civil right movement articulates problems which were affecting the black Americans; the Untied Nation was tasked with the responsibility of ensuring no injustice is done to any citizen. For instance, the United Nations commission on human right received an article of Du Bois which indicated the problems African Americans were going through. Newman, 2004, argued that the United Nation has a duty and a responsibility of ensuring no discrimination, injustice happens to any African Americans. Through the Union, civil movement was certain that the grievances of African Americans will be effectively addressed. The civil movement pushed the United Nation to set up laws that favour human rights. Newman, 2004 insists that the activities of the United Nations have led to the end of racial discrimination and the reduction of incidences of injustices done to the African Americans.
The civil movement gained the global recognition in their fight for racial discrimination and challenges facing the African Americans (Newman, 2004). The movement resort to nonviolent and mobilized the churches, local grass roots organization, black Americans who owned businesses. The civil movement encouraged and motivate them to fight for their rights (Newman, 2004). The civil movement also recognised African leaders who were fighting for independence, for instance Azikwe of Nigeria and Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana. The movement encouraged and motivated the leaders to fight against decolonization (Miller et al, 2001).
Dunkel, M. (2012). Aesthetics of resistance: Charles Mingus and the civil rights movement. Berlin: Lit.
Kallen, S. A. (2001). The Civil Rights Movement. Edina, Minn: Abdo & Daughters.
McNeese, T. (2007). The Civil Rights Movement: Striving for Justice. New York:
Miller, P. B., Schäfer-Wünsche, E., Steffen, T. F., & Meeting. (2001). The civil rights movement revisited: Critical perspectives on the struggle for racial equality in the United States. Münster [u.a.: Lit. Infobase Pub.
Newman, M. (2004). The Civil Rights Movement. Edinburgh: Edinburgh Univ. Press.