Achievements of the civil rights movement by 1968
After the Emancipation Proclamation in 1965, the end of the American Civil War, a new era dawned in the United States. The previously voiceless people of the African American race finally gained rights to fight the oppression of their white counterparts. Despite their liberation, racism was evident in the United States with the black Americans prohibited from exercising certain rights. Thus, black Americans saw the need for the African-American Civil Rights Movement, of 1955-1968, seeking social reforms against the racial segregation. It is important to note that; pro-slavery southern states exhibited reluctance in absorbing blacks as their equals. Said reluctance revolves around the reports of blacks lynched in Jim Crow south and the blatant discrimination in all levels of society, most notably political and educational. Hence, the Civil Rights Movement by the segregated African Americans took on the task of protesting, boycotting and filing court cases against white supremacy in the country. This paper seeks to determine the achievements of the Civil Rights Movement whilst concentrating on the United States politics before 1968.
As aforementioned, the black Americans faced multiple problems at the hands of the whites. Given, the banning of slavery helped curb some of said problems, but scholars concur on the idea of the government’s failure to consider the racists’ actions against the freedmen. A good example finds basis in the events leading to the December 1, 1995 “Bus Boycott in Alabama.” Part of the reasons behind the boycott was Rosa Parks’ refusal to give up her seat to a white man on a bus. In turn, the Montgomery Improvement Association held the boycott mentioned above to protest the racist act. The government responded with the Civil Rights Act of 1964 legislation “ that outlawed segregation in public facilities and discrimination in employment and education.” Through the act, the law actively supported the rights of black people and in turn, allowed the inferior race to fight discrimination. As a result, the state considered any form of racial discrimination on the United States’ soil a crime.
Another problem that African Americans faced finds a basis in the inhibition to their rights to vote alongside the whites. Hence, unless elected white men showed compassion to the blacks, it was an assumption that the black suffrage will continue. On that note, the signing of the “1965 Voting Rights Bill into law on August 6, 1965 marked the first step in ending the political reign of the whites. To understand the events leading to the signing of the Voting Rights Bill, one has to backtrack to the laws of Jim Crow and in turn, the implications of the law on the black community. The most prominent law against the Jim Crow beliefs originates from “the lynching of Emmett Till in 1955.” The lynching of the fourteen-year-old black male is, according to Morris, “a reminder to the Black community that whites would utilize all means, including murder, to uphold Jim Crow.” Therefore, the black community realized the importance of overturning Jim Crow in their bid for equality in America. The act outlawed “literacy tests and empowers the Justice Department to supervise federal elections in seven southern states.”Hence, by voting African Americans into positions of power, the activists ensured the eradication of Jim Crow and at the same time, acceptance of blacks into the political realm.
Finally, there is the 1954 case of Brown v. Board of Education, and the decision that “ declared segregation of public schools illegal.” The importance of the court case wins dates back to the years of slavery in which education emerged as the key to freedom. Hence, by ensuring that black children receive the same level of education as the whites, the activists believed future generations would be at par with the whites. In addition, with suitable education, the black Americans gained enough skills to face “the challenges of a highly industrialized society.” Through proper education, all of the achievements stated before turned to reality.