Personalities behind the civil rights movement

The Civil Rights Movement was primarily due to discrimination and racism against the African-Americans. It aimed at granting full civil and political rights and equality to all the Americans, regardless of race. This article looks into the earlier phase (1896-1954) of the many movements which constitute the Civil Rights Movements.
The Civil Rights Movement would be nothing without the contributions of brave men and women towards the achievement of equal rights. These personalities and leaders made it possible to end slavery, segregation and unfair treatment to the oppressed. Even some of these people were victims themselves who struggled for freedom and justice.
These leaders include: Mary McLeod Bethune, John Brown, Linda Brown, Ruby Bridges, Frederick Douglass, Medgar Evers, Marcus Garvey, Jesse Jackson, John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr., Abraham Lincoln, Rosa Parks, Homer Plessy, Dred Scott, Sojourner Truth, Nat Turner, Harrit Tubman and Malcolm X.

Every one of these leaders has his/her own story to tell, own act of selflessness in order to see the better of the country. Bethune was an African American who became an advisor of the late Franklin D. Roosevelt and created an all black school so that black children can study to have good jobs later on and vote wisely; Brown helped in preventing Kansas from being a slave state and helped slaves in escaping from their captors; Linda Brown became famous for fighting the Board of Education of Topeka to help give all black children a good education; Bridges helped in ending segregation in her school.
Douglass, once a slave, helped children to read and write and fought for freedom through the speeches he gave; Evers also fought for equality for the blacks in Mississippi; Garvey started the Back to America Movement, meant to help blacks me treated right; Jackson, one of the greatest Civil Rights leader, was the second black American to run for presidency, which he believed was a key to getting more political power for the blacks; and Lincoln played a big role by issuing the Emancipation Proclamation, which was a declaration of freedom for all slaves.
These were just some of those who have great contributions during the Civil Rights Movement. Their primary goal, among others, was to see that every American has equal rights regardless of race or color. To do this, not just whites but blacks must be allowed to have education or to go to an all-whites school. This was important for the blacks because it is one ticket to a good job and future. Achieving this also shows equality in education between blacks and whites.
The leaders also fought for the eradication of poverty among the blacks. During those times, their only purpose was being slaves to richer people in their own state. They have no right for freedom, for good jobs around the neighborhood, and for all the good things whites enjoy. The leaders have wanted economic independence for all.
Another thing they saw worth fighting for was their right to vote. Many black persons were killed brutally just for encouraging blacks to vote. The whites see this as an insult to them because they think that the blacks have no business dealing with political activities.
These leaders also wanted privileges be granted to blacks, especially when it comes to the places where blacks and whites are separated, such as the seating in the buses, bathrooms, housing and school.
All these goals constitute social change. The leaders wanted to end the hardships that blacks shouldered everyday. They have also longed for freedom of speech.
John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rosa Parks can be considered great leaders during these times. Their contributions have made many changes in the way blacks were treated in different states.
Kennedy was the only president to appoint blacks in different federal positions as a way to end racial discrimination. He issued the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to make way for equal treatments and rights. This act abolished the discrimination on buses. Whites and blacks alike can now sit wherever they want to. It abolished discrimination in housing. Before, blacks lived in the seedier parts of town. Only whites have the right to clean, better and richer areas. Kennedy’s Executive Order # 11063 ended this. The act also abolished discrimination in voting and education.
King, on the other hand, also played an important role during the Civil Rights Movement. He believed in peaceful demonstrations and rallies, protests and marches to fight against Jim Crow Laws, which segregate blacks and whites. He wanted blacks to enjoy the same privileges as the whites such as voting. His leadership brought about changes and the Jim Crow was defeated. Blacks were able to enjoy the things that used to be denied them.
Lastly, Parks became instrumental in sparking the Civil Rights Movement. She was arrested one night for refusing to give the seat to a white passenger in the bus. She was found guilty, and had to pay a fine. Although she lost the case, her arrest made way for the Montgomery Bus Boycott which lasted a year. Her lawyers then filed suit against the segregation, saying it was unconstitutional. This effort was not wasted when the U.S. Supreme Court agreed with Parks’ lawyers. The segregation on the buses was finally over.
Payne, Charles M. (1995). I’ve Got the Light of Freedom: The Organizing Tradition and the Mississippi Freedom Struggle. Berkeley: University of California Press.

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