Essay on Compare the Successes of Reconstruction and the Civil Rights Movement

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Imagine a planet that was not made just by all people. A society in which the color of one's skin, racial origin, ethnicity, and sexuality were what characterized an individual instead of behavior. The Civil Rights movement was a fight for racial justice that existed mainly during the 1950s and 1960s for African Americans to achieve equal treatment under US law. The Civil War formally ended segregation, but it did not end the oppression against African Americans that they suffered, particularly in the South, and the crippling consequences of racism. Throughout the middle of the 20th century, the racism and brutality against African Americans had been more than enough. Just like many whites, they united and launched an ongoing movement for fairness which lasted two decades. African Americans carried on leading positions during the Reconstruction as never before. They endorsed a candidate for public office and pursued policy reforms to bring about equity and voting rights. In the year of 1868, blacks were granted equality under the law by the 14th Amendment to the Constitution. In 1870, blacks were given the authority to vote by the 15th Amendment. Nonetheless, most white Americans, particularly many in the South, were angry that people who were once slaves were now on what seemed like a noneven playing field. To demonize African Americans, to keep them divided from whites, and to remove the gains they made during Reconstruction, 'Jim Crow laws were developed in the 19th century. Black people were not allowed to use the same public services as white people, live in some of the same cities, or attend the same school systems. Homosexual marriages were forbidden, and most African Americans were not allowed to vote since they did not pass checks on political literacy. All in all, Jim Crow Laws were not enforced in northern states, blacks were often discriminated against at their workplaces or while they were trying to purchase a home or get a degree. To make this situation worse, legislation to restrict voting privileges for African Americans was enacted in several states.

The Civil Rights era's important and key goal was to eliminate segregation. The 'by law' administrative and political segregation, mainly the Jim Crow Laws enacted after the post-Civil War reconstruction disaster. The poll taxes and literacy check to apply for the ballot will be several examples. The primary goal and reason will be to eliminate school segregation. The claim of 'distinct but equal' policy, which for blacks v.s. whites were always distinct but never equal in the classroom, with the freedom to sit anywhere you wanted on public transport, to eat in any kind of restaurant, to book a place in any hotel, and the right to get married to a citizen of any ethnicity other than yours.

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There were a couple of people who made this movement so important during this period. 'I Have a Dream' was a public statement made on the 28th of August in the year of 1963 by American civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. in Washington for Employment and Equality, in which he called for human and economic justice and an end to segregation in the U.S. Another important person was Rosa Parks. She declined to give up her seat in the middle of the bus to get a white man seated in her place. She then was arrested for her disrespect to people. Parks was prosecuted with a concerted attempt to ignite a national campaign, which succeeded in catalyzing the boycott of the Montgomery bus. Martin Luther King picked Parks as the face of his campaign because of Parks' good reputation with the government, her work, and her marital status. Claudette Colvin, a fifteen-year-old Black girl, had been jailed earlier in 1955 for the same crime. However, King and his compatriots on civil rights did not believe she would serve as an appropriate spokesperson for their civil rights movement. Rosa Parks continued to add to King's vision of showcasing the city, a key tool in his urban campaigns. With Parks in prison as a survivor of oppression by Montgomery, King was able to establish a constructive solution to her conviction, including the local group. King organized the African American community of Montgomery to boycott public transit in the area, seeking fair access to transportation for all people worldwide. The Montgomery bus boycott has in several ways set off a nationwide battle to abolish racial injustice, while King led the way.

Another important activist who led the movement was Malcolm X. In sharp contrast to King's championship of peaceful resistance and civil disobedience, Malcolm X famously promoted 'by all means possible' to protect himself, thereby triggering what others called a radicalized, potentially destructive iteration of the civil rights revolution. When serving Ten years in jail for a larceny conviction, he switched to the Nation of Islam that embraced African American superiority and opposed the concept of integration. After his release from jail in 1952, X became a representative, speaking for the Nation of Islam and its membership increased from 400 representatives to forty thousand by 1960 under his guidance. Malcolm X finally fled the Nation of Islam in 1964, and then on a journey to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, switched to classical Islam. He had changed viewpoints since returning to the U.S. and became more hopeful about a positive end to the battle for civil rights. “Black Power” was a slogan used by Malcolm X to represent solidarity and social sensitivity. This meant that freedom could not be offered but needed to be taken by a strong, unified Black group. He aimed to make all Black African Americans return to Africa. He felt they needed to get their own 'country' there because of the segregation being attempted in the United States.

The Civil Rights Movement has a tremendous amount of accomplishments. The trend of public services being segregated by 'color' in the South broke in the 1950s and 1960s and accomplished the most critical advance in civil rights laws for Blacks since the time of reconstruction. For this particular campaign, the greatest victory was civil freedom for African Americans. President Johnson provided a national address on March 15, 1965, under which he claimed that 'all Americans must have the privileges of citizenship regardless of race.' Johnson told the nation that he had given Congress a new bill on voting rights and asked Congress to approve the bill. Congress obeyed, and on 6 August 1965, President Johnson approved the 1965 Civil Rights Act. The bill abolished poll taxes, literacy tests, and other activities that largely impeded elections among southern blacks. It authorized the Attorney General of the United States to send law enforcement officials to the South to register African American voters in the occurrence that local registrars did not comply with the law, and it also authorized the federal government to oversee elections in districts that had been discharged african americans. Another major accomplishment was School Segregation. It was now banned. African American children were able to attend and sit in the same classroom as white children. There were no different schools, water fountains, or toilets used anymore. Finally, founded in 1909, NAACP, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, is America's largest and most influential civil rights group. It was created by white and black activists in New York City, partly in response to the continued violence against Blacks across the country. In regards, the Civil Rights Movement influenced many oppressed classes and borrowed its methods. Gays and lesbians, indigenous Americans, and people with disabilities campaigned for their participation in American society through the 1960s and 1970s.

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