The Civil Rights movement in America was one of the most important events in America's history. It was a movement against discrimination, inequality, injustice, and against segregation of society on the basis of race and ethnicity. Although it is generally agreed that the Civil Rights Movement began in the 1960s, it is not clear on what date the movement actually first started. There is a consensus among historians that after the World War II was over, the struggle for racial equality gained prominence.
Some incidents that incited the movement were the Supreme Court decision in the case of Brown v. The Board of Education in 1954 and the refusal of Rosa Parks to give up her seat to a white man while traveling in a bus in Montgomery, Alabama. After the World War II was over, African-American leaders felt that their condition in America was similar to those of Jews in Germany. They had fought the war for America and felt that they deserved equal rights. This was one of the major factors that led to the 1960s Civil Rights Movement in America. Mentioned below are some facts about the Civil Rights Movement in America.
- In 1942, James Farmer and George Houser founded Congress for Racial Equality (CORE). CORE started its agitation by protesting against restaurants that refused to serve Black Americans.
- Nine Black students were not allowed to enroll in a school on the orders of Governor Orval Faubus. Later, with the help of federal troops and National Guard, these nine students got admission in the school and despite being constantly threatened, they managed to graduate from the Central High. These nine students were later known as "Little Rock Nine".
- James Meredith, the first Black student in the University of Mississippi was denied admission in the University, but later, on the orders of Supreme Court, he was permitted to enroll in the University. His first day at the University attracted a mob and two people were killed and hundreds injured in the race riot.
- Martin Luther King, one of the prominent leaders of the Civil Rights Movements attracted a crowd of more than 250,000 people in his call to March to Washington. It was during this march that he delivered the famous "I Have a Dream" speech.
- Sixteenth Street Baptist Church was attacked which resulted in the death of four young girls who were attending Sunday school.
- Three activists, James E. Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner, working for voting rights of Blacks were murdered by Ku Klux Klan (KKK), a white supremacy group.
- The State troopers attacked people protesting peacefully when they tried to pass Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala. In another attack, police used tear gas, whips and clubs to disperse the mob.
- The Lorraine Hotel where Martin Luther King was assassinated by James Earl Ray on April 4, 1968 is now the location of National Civil Rights Museum.
- In August, 1965, a race riot in Watts, a Los Angeles suburb, caused the death of 34 people and resulted in losses of millions of dollars.
- Emmett Till, a 14-year old Black student was murdered by two white men, J. W. Milam and Roy Bryant, and his body was dumped into Tallahatchie River. These two men were tried but were later evicted. The two men had no remorse in killing a minor and boasted of their act in an interview to 'Look' magazine.
- Lamar Smith, a civil rights activist was murdered in broad daylight in Mississippi. All the witnesses to this crime were white, including the Sheriff and because of this reason nobody was convicted.
The movement played an important part in ensuring that Blacks got their due place in America and paved the way for their prosperity and growth. Perhaps the biggest contribution of the Civil Rights Movement is that a country which once did not even grant African-Americans the right to vote, now has an African-American President in Barack Hussein Obama. We would like to conclude this article by quoting two great men in the history of America.
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. ~ Martin Luther King
There is not a black America and white America and Latino America and Asian America -- there is the United States of America. ~ Barack Hussein Obama