Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Enlightening African American Civil Rights Movement Facts

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By Anna Edwards

The Civil War heralded a new beginning in as far as equality was concerned in America. While it is largely credited for helping rid the country of slavery, it is a fact that blacks continued to suffer discrimination at many levels. The discrimination suffered by this community in the decades to follow gave rise to a struggle for equality and social justice. Read on to learn some cool African American Civil Rights Movement facts.

Following the Civil War, it was apparent that the systemic discrimination of blacks would not end soon, more so in many of the southern states. Towards the lead up to the mid twentieth century, the majority of them had had it. Many African Americans, with the support of a considerable amount of the white population, took to the streets in protests that lasted two decades.

There was an effort to reinforce the aspect of equality after slavery was abolished. This began with the passing of the fourteenth amendment. This act, passed in 1868, assigned an equal level of protection to blacks under law. A further amendment in 1870 furthered this cause by making it a right for blacks to vote. These efforts enraged the majorly white population down south, being as they viewed the blacks as inferior owing to their long held position as a slave race.

This widespread hatred brought about the establishment of Jim Crow laws in the years leading up to the end of the nineteenth century. The laws, passed by the southern states, were meant to separate blacks from whites. It meant that blacks could not use the same public amenities as whites, including schools. Black and white intermarriage was also made illegal. Furthermore, blacks were not allowed to vote as voter literacy tests were skewed against them.

Luckily, northern states did not take up these laws. However, discrimination continued unabated. An ordinary black would have to go through hell to get educated or purchase a house. A handful of northern states even passed legislation limiting the black population from voting.

Some events ultimately led to the historic protests of the 1950s and 60s. The first major event took place on the first of December, 1955. A 42 year old woman by the name Rosa Parks boarded a Montgomery, Alabama bus after work. The segregation laws back then required buses to have designated seating spots for blacks and whites, with blacks expected to seat at the back, which Parks did.

Soon after, a white man failed to secure seating space at his designated area. The driver subsequently instructed Parks and three other black passengers to surrender their seats. She resisted and was immediately arrested.

This incident caused a furor among the black community. A justice and equality movement, led by Martin Luther King Jr, was then formed. The peaceful protest staged by its participants eventually resulted in segregated seating arrangements being declared illegal. In the years that followed, including after the assassination of Dr. King, equality was finally achieved in education, employment, housing and the general American social system.

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