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2008 April 10
went as far as to involve the Arkansas National Guard into refraining the students from entering the high school. When President Eisenhower heard of the wherea
Did you know America is slowly reaching the dream of all those who fought for civil rights? You know that dream of America getting rid of limited black and white sight, and just seeing everything in a wonderful shade of grey? The Civil Rights Movement is what occurred and there were two sides to the stories that were told by many and unheard by many until this very day. On the day of May 17, 1954, Thurgood Marshall helped win the Brown vs. Board of Education case that declared the injustice of segregation; this ignited a case of exigency in the state of Kansas. The NAACP had achieved a sense of ascendancy that day (Pearson Education). Little did the state or country know that not too much later on, Thurgood Marshall would become the pioneer of African American Supreme Court Justice?
Back in the 1950’s, the major events in history that occurred between two races with enormous controversy caused them to engage in debates and protest as well as secret peaceful testimonial gatherings, this also started the revolution of the Civil Rights Movement. When the initial beginning of the Civil Rights Movements began, it initiated a domino effect of reactions. When the movement began to show effect, retaliation was due to reveal itself. There were many forms of conflict between the two groups; they considered it to be mass pandemonium. The issues that were happening could have easily been mistaken for multiple attempts at genocide.
Little did they know that that was not the end of it when the date of December 1st , 1955 came swinging around; the famous and greatly well-known woman Rosa Parks would become highly reluctant to give up her seat on the Montgomery bus line for a white man. She had done what no other African American had ever done; refused to move to the back of the bus. All she did was refuse to relocate on a bus, but this sparked more action. African Americans began to boycott the buses with frequent uprisings until bus segregation was sanctioned from the law. Life and laws in America were slowly changing (“Voice of the boycott”). This event assisted the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) in making their presence known in the American lifestyle and community. This also sparked Martin Luther King to his move into the civil rights scene.
As time went by, multiple life changing events followed along the ponderous trail of time. In 1963, the well known man Martin Luther King was arrested during a protest. In May of that same year during a protest, Commissioner Eugene “Bull” Conner of the Birmingham, Alabama Police department decided to use fire hoses and dogs on the protesters as a sign to deviate from what he felt was their display of negligence. These images of police brutality were shown nationally until it no longer occurred. Afterwards, the legendary “I Have a Dream” speech was delivered to over 200,000 people at the March on Washington. As Martin Luther King delivered his miraculously famous speech, many people were moved towards the Civil Rights Movements.
Another equally famous controversy revolved around educational policies. For the longest time, black students were not allowed to attend what they called “All White Schools”, which were funded with more money than traditional black schools. Oliver L. Brown and several other parents challenged the “separate but equal” educational laws of Topeka, Kansas. When this case was won, the Little Rock Nine was created to attempt school integration at Central High in Little Rock (Little Rock high school history). When the nine black students came to Central High, they were welcomed with threats to their lives and bitter hostility. The mayor bouts of what was happening to those students, he took action by assigning them their own personal bodyguard out of the 101st airborne division that was sent there to escort them to and from school. Some of them furthered their education by attending collage and others pursued their knowledge in their own form of choice.
For example, James Meredith became the first black student to enroll in the University of Mississippi, but this required over 5,000 federal troops as escorts just to attend (Simkin). In 1963 April 16th, a seminal letter was written that declared individuals had the moral duties to disobey unjust laws. In this discovery, the right to attend an all white college was given to James Meredith no matter how much they didn’t want him to. James Meredith was discriminated against in the situation, yet chose to continue attending school in the hostile situation.
Not long after, in 1964 on Jan. 23rd, the 24th amendment was put in place to abolish the poll tax, which kept poor African Americans from voting. July second of 1964 president Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Prohibits discrimination of race, color, religion, or national origin.) This law unlike many did more than one thing for the Civil Rights Movement; it gave the government the right to enforce desegregation in the south. It gave the right of way for blacks to move forward in earning their rights as humans in an American society (Civil Rights). The movement also has to be recognized in more than one way; the whole thing wasn’t just Martin Luther King and all the peaceful marches and rallies that were done; the movement was also enforced in a court of law by activists such as Thurgood Marshall and many others.
Even though the laws were being changed and American Society was changing, it didn’t mean racism was gone completely. Once more though, three men were murdered on the day of Aug 4th, 1964. They were civil rights workers investigating the burning of a church, and on their way back, they were arrested for speeding charges, and held for several hours until it became dark. Shortly after they were permitted to leave and were welcomed by the KKK (Ku Klux Klan) and were brutally murdered that very night. The victims were two whites and an African American; 21-year-old James E. Chaney, 21-year-old Andrew Goodman, and 24-year-old Michael Shwerner (Sowell). Their bodies were found the next day at the Earthen Dam.
The KKK was not a very secret organization; they did a lot of their events in public. The group wanted everyone to know they hated black people. Their biggest symbol was the hooded cape; this was a long white garment with a pointed tip cap that covers the whole face except for the eyes and mouth (Simkin). When the group would go on their many rallies, they would chant and usually be on a direct course for certain Negros (black people) that they had prechosen to either hang or burn at the stake. The group’s favorite way of execution was lynching followed by burning. Sometimes they even killed African Americans by throwing bricks and stones at them.
Even now, the KKK isn’t completely gone; they just aren’t very popular anymore now that the way of life in the United States has changed. The era of racism and oppression is slowly dissipating helping to create more equality for all. As changes were made more attacks were done, the grip of an all white life style was disappearing, when they created the thought of the American dream it was made pre-slavery. They felt like they were losing their country to the blacks when in actuality all the blacks wanted were equality and fairness. After all, who decides whether you’ll be white, black, or even Jewish? You never know so what really made it right for them to do such things? As far as whites were concerned during everything blacks were inferior to the white race, blacks were more or les considered a sub-human, less then human or as they liked to say more beast then human. They figured that if our own kind could sell us like lesser humans then we must have been less then humans(Simkin). So when the KKK hunted them it was as if they were beasts.
As time went by, many others were killed and arrested for all the rights some African Americans today sadly take for granite. The intolerable actions that proceeded over those times were and should have been unacceptable. Rosa Parks later on died at the beginning of 2005; she lived long enough to hear the song written about her and see what it was that she fought for and believed in. Later on, Coretta Scott King died of a stroke on January 30th of that year at the age of 78. Shortly after that, justice was served. Emmett Tills 1955 murder case was reopened and he was to be charged for the murder of J.W. Milam and Roy Bryan but they were dead of cancer. One of the most recent cases was former trooper James Bonard Fowler, who was indicted to prison for the murder of Jimmie Lee Jackson, 40 years after Jackson’s death. When Jackson was murdered, it lead to many civil rights actions in 1965 that were followed with protests. This long trail of blood and sweat was a long struggle, but well worth it for the freedom and equality we hold now.