Civil rights protests refer to the United States' Black-Americans struggles for social justice that majorly occurred in the 1960s (Reed and Vernon 7). Although civil war helped to abolish slavery, the protests sort to eliminate racism. Civil Rights Protests gained attention due to its struggle to access the constitutional and legal benefits that law reserved for the whites. This paper explores approaches of the Civil Rights Protest in areas that the protests influenced their course.
DEVELOPMENTS OF THE PROTESTS
History indicates that several events contributed to the achievement of the protests. Each of the demonstrations had a specific effect on the course. The overall effect is the inspiration of more blacks to join and enforce civil rights movements. Some of the critical events include the following.
Bus Boycotts-History of the protest traces its birth to the Montgomery, Alabama (Reed and Vernon 12). A black passenger, Rosa Parks declined to give a white passenger her bus seat. The move was a deliberate violation of the city's laws of segregation. The Alabama authorities retaliated by jailing Park. Under the leadership of Martin Luther King Jr., the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) utilized the arrest to challenge the laws of segregation and mobilized Montgomery's black leaders to boycott the busses and protest against the rules.
The protests lead to significant loses in the bus business (Colbert and Diggs 131). In retaliation, state police arrested blacks for using public sidewalks instead of the busses. The state bombed King's home and other four black churches. The blacks assumed civil disobedience and non-violence to counter the opposition to the boycott. After a year, the Supreme Court termed the segregation law unconstitutional. The move inspired more Blacks to join the fight against segregation.
Using Sit-ins-Sit-ins refer to the non-violent protests that black college students practiced in the segregated Woolworth's lunch counter in Greensboro town of North Carolina. By April nineteen-sixty, more than fifty-thousand students joined sit-ins (Reed and Vernon 32). Many targeted businesses began to integrate. In October, black students formed the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) to carry on the work of the sit-ins. SNCC operated throughout the deep South, organizing demonstrations, teaching in "Freedom Schools," and registering voters. Sit-ins achievement triggered other students to joined the staging sit-ins (Reed and Vernon 36).
The Freedom Rides-The moves were organized by the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) in 1961. The civil rights group would direct non-violent protests and initiate black, and white freedom riders jointly use buses for Southern states, entering segregation areas at each stop. In retaliation, white supremacists attacked one of the freedom riders' buses in Alabama. The group touched the bus and attacked the riders as they were existing. In Birmingham, eight white men boarded the freedom riders' bus and whipped them with sticks and chains. The incidence forced President Kennedy to send federal police to protect the freedom riders. Although there were persistent attacks from the white citizens and police, CORE achieved its target. Kennedy's administration facilitated the Interstate Commerce Commission to ensure the integration of interstate travel vessels (Steil and Vasi 2008).
FRONTS OF THE PROTESTS
Despite the events, the protests gained popularity as a result of several fronts which proved important for promoting the effects of demonstrations. The regions were the hotspots for racisms and segregation, and Civil Rights leaders decided to intensify their war in the areas. Among others, the following places hold records of the memorable events of protests.
Birmingham Protests-After the commencement of the civil rights protests, leaders initiated different approaches to support the protests. In 1963, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) for the blacks traveled to Alabama to integrate public and commercial facilities (Steil and Vasi 2010). The city had defiled court orders and closed its public social amenities.
The organization used the slogan "We Shall Overcome" to encourage African-Americans towards the course. Alabama's move to detain King and other demonstrators angered African-Americans, pushing them to join the demonstrations. The protests would encounter counter forces from Connor. Connor resorted to police dogs, and high-pressure fire hoses chase children demonstrators from the streets. Increased tension forced Alabama white leaders to desegregate public facilities, hire African-American black employees and release prisoners (Colbert and Diggs 135).
The March to Washington-Violence in the South triggered President Kennedy to act. The administration proposed a bill outlawing seclusion in public amenities and employment discrimination. Due to the opposition from the southerners, civil rights leaders arranged an immense march on Washington. A good number of Americans traveled to Washington for civil rights. The peaceful walk ended with a rally in which the civil rights movement demanded equal opportunity for employment and implementation of constitutional rights for minorities (Greenbaum 35). During the event, King delivered the famous "I Have a Dream." The speech inspired many African-Americans increasing their effort for social justice. Leaders of the protest welcomed media for live television coverage. The two media brought the event to international attention (Steil and Vasi 2010).
The Freedom Summer of Mississippi-The protests aim was to force for the inclusion of Black-Americans in the voting register. In the Southern States, African-Americans did not have voting rights. The blacks in the Mississippi lived under constant threat of violence from white extremists. In 1964, SNCC and other civil rights organizations arranged for the registration of Blacks to vote (Greenbaum 27).
The organization formed the "Freedom Democratic Party" to challenge the Mississippi Democratic Party which was exclusively for the whites. Freedom Democratic Party established freedom schools and open community centers for the blacks. In June, Freedom Summer workers were arrested for over-speeding, released and bodies later found buried in a farm. The discovery attracted the media's attention to state two weeks before the Democratic National Convention would begin. The party elected demanded to seat in place of the segregationist Democrats of Mississippi. Consequently, the meeting struck a compromise. Power struggle during the assembly raised the issue of voting rights across the entire nation (Reed and Vernon 20).
Selma March-In December 1964, the SCLC started a voter-registration campaign in Selma, Alabama, a region that the population of the blacks outnumbered the whites but with few Africans registered as voters. King would spend two months leading African marches for registration with a courthouse. The sheriffs jailed King and other demonstrators (Reed and Vernon 36). SCLC acquired court order from the federal to bar the Mississippi sheriff form interfering although election officials still objected registration of the blacks.
A notable march is when King organized a Selma to Montgomery march. The state police would attack the march teams and mercilessly beat men, women, and children with national television as the audience. The airing galvanized support for the voting rights which put the elections in Southern states under the control of the federal government. King and his team resumed march after two weeks. Over twenty-thousand people celebrated the group as it arrived at the site of the bus boycott in Montgomery (Welfare Warriors 9).
The North-Although the north did not encounter legal segregation; the blacks in the region endured employment and housing discrimination. Most of the blacks resided in slams. In Chicago, the most residentially segregated large city in the nation, King led demonstrations, complaining of police brutality. Until 1960, Black-Americans felt frustrated and resort to violence and even formed the 'black power.' Riots broke out in Newark, Los Angeles, and Detroit. The assassination of Martin Luther King in 1968 triggered intensified violence.
The US faced its record troubling domestic crisis since the Civil War (Reed and Vernon 20). SNCC and CORE later adopted "black power," arguing that they would only achieve their endeavors if they use both economic and political powers. With the escalated Vietnam War at the, US was in turmoil. The Nation of Islam campaigned for black separatism while Black Panther Party arranged for breakfast programs for black children, published a daily newspaper and readied for eminent revolution (Welfare Warriors 17).
Civil Rights Protests utilized different approaches. The protest helped the US to attain fair treatment of the blacks and changed the faces of the African-America. The US enjoys the idea of equality under the law, injustices, and indignities of racially segregated public places and social amenities now form part of the regrettable history due to the protests. Although the demonstrations did not end the country's racial issues, it depicts an excellent potential for significant achievements.
Colbert, Soyica Diggs. "Black Movements." Black Performance Theory, 2014, pp. 129-148., doi:10.1215/9780822377016-009.
Greenbaum, Joan. "A design of one's own: towards participatory design in the United States." Participatory Design. CRC Press, 2017. 27-37. Retrieved from https://www.taylorfrancis.com/books/e/9781351425780/chapters/10.1201/9780203744338-3
Reed, Thomas Vernon. The Art of Protest: Culture and Activism from the Civil Rights Movement to the Present. U of Minnesota Press, 2019. Retrieved from http://www.posgrado.unam.mx/musica/pdfLR/sesion4/ReedSingingCivilRights.pdf
Steil, Justin Peter, and Ion Bogdan Vasi. "The new immigration contestation: Social movements and local immigration policymaking in the United States, 2000-2011." American Journal of Sociology 119.4 (2014): 1104-1155. Retrieved from https://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/abs/10.1086/675301
"Welfare Warriors." 2004, doi:10.4324/9780203819500.
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