African American Rights

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African American Rights are a large portion of the topic on inequality and is often used as the example for such disputes and influential discussions. Such to the extent of being a modernized debate in the outcome of why and if it didn’t happen. Activism for African American Rights impacted and influenced society in regards to the inequalities in the nation, positively. This is shown through the common knowledge of Civil Rights activists and leaders such as Rosa Parks, Malcom x, and Martin Luther King Jr. These people advocated through measures of influential debates, speeches, arts and protests such as the bus boycotts. These all gained attention and expressed the underlying inequalities towards non-white communities and peoples in America at that time. Within this essay, it is argued that during these times, improvement upon African American rights were a necessity based on events before and during the creation of said rights. These rights are now called the Civil Rights Act, instituted in 1964 and banned the discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. But what was life before the Civil Rights Act, why did African American Rights make such an impact and How did the Civil Rights Act Influence and create future change. Throughout each and every great triumph are legacies of many who show their strength and dignity through speech’s and many forms of art and this is exactly what happened within the Civil Rights Act and why it was widespread through the media. But how was the treatment towards non-white peoples in America at this time?

Life before African American Rights

Before 1964, in which was the year the Civil Rights act was instituted, African American people were treated alike that of flora and fauna. These communities where torn and ripped by higher powers as the social norm was extensively different to what it is now. Rules were in place so that only white men could work in higher, more important careers in which would usually hold a tinge or more of power. Usually in many cases, a person with darker skin in those days was seen as nothing more than a slave for those in power to use as pawns for their game of life and success. Often times in courts and offenses, when an African American Person was on trial against a white or lighter person, it wouldn’t take a second glance to make a verdict of who was guilty and who wasn’t. Many white supremacy groups were spread throughout the United States, the largest being the Ku Klux Klan (aka. The KKK) and were highly abundant throughout almost all States. This group was dedicated to the suppression and essentially the extinction of what they called ‘black culture’ and of the African American Communities. During Reconstruction, African American People took on higher power and leadership roles in abundance. They held positions in public office and attempted legislative change within matter of inequality and the right to vote. In 1868 the 14th Amendment on the constitution have all African American people to have equal protection within the original laws and in 1870 the 15th amendment granted African American’s the right to vote. But as white supremacy was normalized, many (more in the south) white Americans were angered and outraged that the people they had once enslaved being on a more-or-less equal playing field. To marginalize the community who had made so much progress in the extortion of inequality the Jim Crow Laws were instituted to demolish everything they had worked towards. Those with dark skin were unable to use the same public facilities as those with white skin, go to many of the same schools and were also prohibited to live in some of the larger and more popular towns. Interracial marriage was illegalized and due to lack of educational opportunities many were then unable to vote because they couldn’t pass the voter literacy test. The Jim Crow laws weren’t instituted in northern states however many dark skinned peoples still experienced racism and discrimination in jobs of any kind and or when they tried to buy houses and get an education. Laws were also passed in order to limit voting rights for black communities in some states and lived for longer than they should have. As a further matter, southern segregation was grounded in 1896 when The Supreme Court’s declared Plessy V. Ferguson that facilities should be equally shared but said that they could be “separate but equal”.

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Post World War II, most black communities and peoples were low-wage and worked in areas of lesser power but high importance such as farmers, domestics or servants and factory workers. The early 1940’s brought war-related work into the picture with a large spike in military action giving said people more work but yet not better paying jobs. They were also discouraged from joining the military although few did make it through. The Executive Order 8802 on June 25, 1941, issued by Franklin D. Roosevelt (Current President) opened national defense jobs and other government jobs to all American regardless of race, color, national origin and creed. This was influenced by thousands of African American people who had threatened to march on Washington after their wages were not improved and job opportunities weren’t. All Genders and race were able to honorably serve their country within military defense jobs and other government opportunities. Many were scorned against and received much discrimination whilst coming home after the war because of their race although they were allowed to enlist and serve, even die for their country. At the start of the cold war, the current raining President, Harry Truman initiated a Civil Rights project and in 1948 issued an order to end discrimination in the military.

Now although Americans had all been able to vote for some time no matter of personal, uncontrollable or religious factors, many southern American states made it difficult for the black community. They often required many to take voter literacy test that were misleading and nearly impossible to pass because of the utterly confusing nature of the questions. On September 9 1957, President Eisenhower signed the Civil Rights Act of 1957 into law which showed a commitment to the civil rights movement and minimized racial tensions in the south and also allowed federal prosecution of anyone who tried to prevent someone from voting. It also created a commission to investigate voter fraud. During this time there were many African American Leaders to push and influence the Civil Rights movement and were the glue that stuck this revolution together.

Impact of Activist on the Development of the Civil Act

Activism is a large part of any movement and most importantly the Civil Rights Movement as many of the items received afterward, such as the acceptance into defense work positions and government positions were only allowed after activist threatened to storm the White House because of it. Bus Boycotts were exceptionally popular as common practice within the race separation was that people with dark skin would have to sit at the back of the bus or move and stand for light people if one was to walk onto the bus. On December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks a 42-year-old women was catching her bus after work and found a seat that happened to be closer to the front. Segregation Laws stated that ‘blacks must sit in designated seats at the back of the bus’, and Parks was still closer to the back then the front although yet when a light man got on the bus and couldn’t find a seat in his section/the light section, the bus driver instructed Parks to stand so he could sit along with three other people (for the one man might I say). Rosa Parks thus refused and was then arrested which ignited outrage and support and Parks became the mother of modern day civil rights movement. Her actions cause the MIA (Montgomery Improvement Association led by Baptist Minister Martin Luther King Jr.) staged multiple bus boycotts. The bus boycotts, now named ‘The Boycott of the Montgomery Bus System’ lasted 381 days and on November 14, 1956 the courts ruled the seating law in the segregation as unconstitutional.

1954 brought more momentum to the Civil Rights Movement when the U.S’s Supreme Court made segregation illegal in school as for the events of Brown v. Board of Education and the Little Rock Nine Group. After this on 1957 the Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas asked all-black high schools to attend the pre-segregated school. Nine black students on September 3, 1957, arrived at Central High School to begin their new schooling in the co-racial school but yet were met by the Arkansas National Guard and a screaming and violent mob. These kids where then called the Little Rock Nine and after the first attempt tried again a few weeks later and although making it inside, had to be removed for their own safety when harassed and attacked during the day. This got the current reining President Dwight D. Eisenhower to address the issue with an order for federal troops to escort Little Rock Nine during the day, between classes at the high school. Still the students faced discrimination and harassment from the public, media and other pupils. Their efforts were not in vein as it brought much deserved attention to the issue of desegregation and influenced further protests on both sides of the debate. Freedom Riders were also another group of people who sparked protests and influenced change. Seven African American peoples and seven Caucasian people mounted a greyhound bus in Washington, embarking on a tour around America’s south to protest the segregated bus stops and terminals. They were challenging the 1960 decision by the court in Boynton V. Virginia that issued the segregation of transportation and facilities remaining to those transport systems, unconstitutional. They faced violent protests from the white protestors and also from police and federal power during the protest but thus actions still gained international attention. On mother’s day in 1961 the bus reached Alabama, Anniston where a mob of unknown protestors (majority white) and they had then thrown a bomb onto it after harassing the passengers. They faced hard ship and challenges along their journey but then, after the constant circulation and media talk of their presence and acts, as well as others towards them created havoc between many and the interstate Commerce Commission issued regulations prohibiting segregation in interstate transit terminals. Many mentionable events such as the March on Washington which happened on August 18 1963, the voting rights act of 1965, and the reaction towards the civil rights leader’s assassination all caught fire within the topic and influenced the discussion on the treatment of African American Peoples and the treatment of non-white races.

There were also many public speakers, the more popular ones being Malcom X and Martin Luther King Jr. who both protested very different meanings in the way to seek out freedom and create a revolution with the outcome of freedom. Malcom X was a Muslim minister and human rights activist and was a popular figure during the Civil Rights movements. He challenged the mainstream civil-rights movement and the non-violent protesting on segregation that was championed by Martin Luther King Jr. He inspired those who listened to defend themselves against oppression and white aggression “by any means necessary”. In contrast to this, Martin Luther King Jr. was a Baptist Minister and was the most wide-spread and visible spokesperson for the Civil Rights Movement and considered one of the leaders until his assassination in 1968. His most famous works was his ‘I have a dream’ speech in 1963, in which he spoke of his dream for the nation within equality and future advancements within ethicality of human treatment. King, unlike to Malcom X, advocated for nonviolent methods of protest and believed that in order to bring about change one must not steep to the same level as their oppressors. These movements, events and people all influenced and changed the course of America and the way inequality was treated as well as segregation in their country. The Civil Rights impacted not just the course of African American Communities Future but that of the whole nation and was able to influence and create change forevermore.  


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