Throughout the second half of the twentieth century, there have been several critical turning points signaling an important and permanent change of historical fortunes. These have been due to several factors affecting social, economic and political aspects of people’s life. The changes are catalyzed by coming up of racial equality minded leaders, remarkable advancement in technology and the people’s cultural change. (http://history.defense.gov/resources/OSDHO-Acquisition-Series-Vol1.pdf). During this moment, several memorable phenomenons are noticeable ranging from protests, civil right movements, Cold war, Sexual liberations and the Counter culture.
America had a history of high level of racial discrimination over the years. I say high because African Americans were treated in a very demeaning manner. They were not allowed to eat from the same restaurants as the whites, drink from the same water source or even shop from the same shopping malls. Martin Luther King Jr was born in this land and being black, he noticed the difficulties his people went through. He was optimistic in his dream that someday the blacks and the whites will be treated equal in the land of America and beyond. In this liberation activism, Montgomery Bus Boycot of 1955 had a great impact on the social co existence of different races in America. Earlier, cases of slavery was the cause this discrimination. While others saw slavery inhuman, the others saw owning another human as a slave easier. (Abdo Pub, 2005 pg 1-7) It all began when Rosa Park (a black lady) refused to give her seat to a white person. She was arrested. This led to public protests as the blacks advocated for her release and bring racial discrimination to an end. Martin Luther king become their spokes person. After many days of protests, the court of law finally ruled against racism. Racial discrimination is now a thing of the past in America. Surely, the recent election in the US has manifested a great deal of advancement against racism since they elected a Black American as their president.
Cultural changes that liberated women from sexual harassment arose in the 1950’s through Feminism movements. Magazines such a ‘sex and the single girl’, ‘cosmopolitan’ and ‘playboy’ revolutionized the aspect of women sexuality. These magazines helped the women realize their individualism and consumerism to sexual liberation. (http://scholarcommons.usf.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=4236&context=etd)Women’s oppression and segregation due to their difference in sex were publicly addressed for the first time. This was greatly a watershed moment since it has managed to bring about equality between the men and the women. Comparing this to the current way of life, it is a great advancement and an advantage as women now have a chance to be treated equally with men. Gender based violence has largely been overcame. At the same time, several women have taken leadership roles in the government of different nations.
The end of World War II was a great historic watershed since it was an event of great consequence as it destroyed political, social and economic structures of different nations of the past compared to when it ended. The war hastened the end of Western colonialism. (Elliot V. Converse pg 1) It clear that the end of world war 1945 marked the beginning of an end to colonialism especially as for the European countries those were fully involved in the war. It was a moment for the European countries to recollect itself and establish its economy and governance.
In conclusion, I strongly believe that between the period of 1945 and 1960, there has been great revolutionary changes that affected the life of the many people. The impact of these changes is felt even now.
Pierce, Alan. The Montgomery Bus Boycott. Edina, Minn: Abdo Pub, 2005. Internet resource