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Civil Rights Movement: Key Events and Importance to the African American Race

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This essay is written to inform readers of the Civil Rights Movement, the Montgomery Bus Boycott as the key its event, the importance of the movement to the African American race, and the Civil Rights Act.

On December 1, 1955, the life of our nation changed forever. The start of the Civil Rights Movement began with the Montgomery Bus Boycott in the 1900s. December 1st, 1955, was a day many African Americans marked as the day to stand up for what they believed to be right by sitting in the seat that they wanted to sit in without the bus driver telling them to get up. This boycott was done to prove that African Americans had had enough of being pushed around. Many important civil rights activists were: Claudette Colvin, Malcolm X, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., James Farmer, Rosa Parks, and many more African Americans. Rosa Parks is the person famously known for getting arrested for refusing to give up her seat to a white passenger in Montgomery, Alabama. Little do many people know that a woman named, Claudette Colvin, was arrested on March 2, 1955 for refusing to give up her seat on a Montgomery, Alabama, nine months before Rosa Parks. After this day, the apprehension grew even rapidly between whites and blacks which led to another boycott in the city of Montgomery, Alabama. Many people were injured and many were even killed, but the ending result had a favorable outcome. Which meant people were actually starting to see what the south had going on.

No one ever thought that the Boycott would happen this long. On December 8th, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and other officials met lawyers and other activists from the bus company, and the city of Montgomery commissioners, to present a modest desegregation plan similar to the plan that was already set to happen in many of the Southern cities, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and Mobile, Alabama. The plan was hoped to end the boycotts and to be accepted, but the company did not approve of it. Due to the bus boycotts, many black owned cab services and bus companies charged a minimum of ten cents to blacks that needed a lift to their destination.

Dr. King later formed an organization named the Montgomery Improvement Association in which he was led to oversee the well beings of the organization. This organization was called the mastermind of the Montgomery Bus Boycott which had an executive board filled with many pastors and ministerial staff around the surrounding Montgomery area. Later on, at the end of this journey, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the segregation on buses to be resolved and the movement continued.

In 1942, James Farmer created the interracial organization named the Congress of Racial Equality also known as CORE. The Congress of Racial Equality was created to enhance race relations and to end discriminatory policies through direct action projects. Farmer was given the title and responsibility as the race-relation secretary for the American branch. He later resigned from positions after an altercation in policy, then founded CORE as a nonviolent approach to racial prejudice that was influenced by an Indian leader. From that point forward, CORE begin to planning trips that was created to observe the Supreme Court’s 1946 decision, that declared the segregation of seating unconstitutional. That movement later lead to group of known as the freedom riders. This group of people left on May 4th, 1961 from Washington and was supposed to arrive on May 17th in New Orleans, which was the anniversary of the brown decision. While participating in the ride, they drove through the state of Alabama.

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While in Alabama, the group split into two separate group, the first group traveled the city of Anniston where they came in contact with a cluster of mobsters. The mobsters damaged the bus the freedom riders rode on, but the freedoms rides were able to get away. The freedom riders later made a poor decision to stop and purchase new tires not knowing that their transportation vehicle would get bombed by Ku Klux Klan members and other white people. Although the second group did not have the same obstacle while traveling through a different part of Alabama. They did not let anything stop them from getting to their destination. Truth be told, the freedom riders never arrived at New Orleans majority of them ending up getting arrested.

April 6th, was all marked an important day for many of the African American race because while on the march from the Sixteenth Street to the city hall they were arrested. King was later arrested on the day known as ‘Good Friday’, which is April the 12th. While Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was in lock up, he wrote the letter to Birmingham.

On September 9th, 1957, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the law to the Civil Right Act of 1957. It was previously attempted to be passed by Attorney General Herbert Brownell, this act was the first opportunity since Reconstruction that the federal government embarked the legislative actions to secure the civil rights.

On March 7th, the Civil Rights Movement began to take a turn in violence in Alabama. A total of 600 demonstrators were involved in the march from Selma, Alabama to Montgomery, Alabama to stand up for the murders of the black civil rights activist by white police officers. That is when many people motivated the legislation to enforce the 15th Amendment. While marching near the Edmund Pettus Bridge, they were stopped by policeman. While refusing to stop their mission, many people were beaten and tear gassed by police and some were hospitalized. From that point forward that day was given the title of being called ‘Bloody Sunday’.

The movement had two devastating punishments for two of the well-known leaders in the 1960s. On February 21st, 1965, the well-known Islam and Afro-American Unity leader, Malcolm X, was killed. Then, the father and civil right leader and Nobel Peace Prize recipient, Martin Luther King Jr., was assassinated while at his hotel room on the balcony. Later following Dr. King’s death Fair Housing Act law was passed on April 11th, 1968, preventing housing discrimination based on sex, race, national origin, and religion.

Due to the countless marches and rallies of all different races, the legislation finally ended segregation.

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Civil Rights Movement: Key Events and Importance to the African American Race. (2023, March 01). Edubirdie. Retrieved March 30, 2023, from
“Civil Rights Movement: Key Events and Importance to the African American Race.” Edubirdie, 01 Mar. 2023,
Civil Rights Movement: Key Events and Importance to the African American Race. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 30 Mar. 2023].
Civil Rights Movement: Key Events and Importance to the African American Race [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2023 Mar 01 [cited 2023 Mar 30]. Available from:
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