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Link Between The Civil Rights Movement In America And The Fight For Rights And Freedoms In Australia

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Charlie Perkins made the link between racism in the USA and racism in Australia and was at the forefront of efforts to stop racism in Australia. The freedom riders were established and captained in Australia by Carlie Perkins. Charlie was inspired to introduce the freedom riders by what he had heard from both Martin Luther King Jnr and the freedom riders in America. Perkins incorporated the freedom riders of America by encouraging Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders to use facilities that were marked for whites only, similar to what the American riders did. Drawing on from both King and the Freedom Rides of America, Perkins attempted to carry his message across Australia without resorting to violence, his actions and ideas would ultimately help to turn the tide and abolish racism in Australia. The freedom riders in Australia encouraged people to realise that there was an issue of racism and segregation within our country and this called for change. In 1967 a referendum was called that allowed Aboriginals to be included in the count as part of the national population and that they would be considered as Australians and that by doing so, the government would create special laws for them. (‘A Comparison of the Similarities Between the United States and Australian Civil Rights Movements | Kibin’, 2019)

By Charlie Perkins and his group of friends going on a freedom ride inspired by Martin Luther through the most racists parts of NSW, made sure that they were getting the message across about aboriginal rights and made sure the media were following so it brought attention for the rest of the general public, this is why it was so successful.

What were the freedom riders

The freedom riders were a group university students from the University of Sydney, who started to protest for the rights of certain individuals and groups to freedom, the Freedom riders took it upon themselves to protest against what they saw as racism against non whites and to see if what they witnessed was isolated to certain sections of the community and see whether or not the racism and segregation was really true, and if so, what could be done about it; The freedom riders went on a fact-finding mission across New South Wales, documenting the treatment of Aboriginal people in several cities both in writing, in images, and on video. This ultimately became the freedom Rides. The Freedom Rides raised an enormous amount of awareness of discrimination and segregation against Aborigines and by doing so helped expand a brand new civil rights movement in Australia, this was modelled explicitly on the civil rights movement within the USA. (‘Impact of Civil Rights Movement on Australia (Overall)’, 2019)

Significance and success of the freedom riders

The freedom riders first took place in America in the 1960s. The freedom rides were made up of people travelling around the country to educate citizens of the issues going on in their country and what was important. In 1966 a group of Sydney University students decided to get a bus and travel around NSW to bring attention to the misuse of Australian laws to the Aboriginals people, the Freedom riders saw similar issues arising out of America that was also how the Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islander people were being treated and they felt that the civil rights movement headed by Martin Luther King was making many important inroads into the rights of the black Americans and other minority groups.

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Group movements In America Groups and Movements had evolved. The Black panther groups were one of the most popular groups in one of the biggest movements for America which helped and aimed for social change and improvement of treatment of blacks in America. The black panthers were founded on October 15, 1966, by Huey Newton and Bobby Seale. They were created to protect African Americans from police and their targeted brutality as well as protecting their neighbourhoods. The programs had 10 main focus areas, including Land, bread, housing, education, clothing, justice and peace. This group inspired the Tent embassy for Australia which was originally a group of aboriginal men who set up a beach umbrella in front of the lawn on the Parliament House where they held up a sign saying Aboriginal Embassy. (‘US and Australian Civil Rights Movement’, 2019)

The American Civil Rights movement had an extremely big influence on the freedom Rides program in Australia, and because of the Civil Rights movement and the success they seemed to have, the Freedom Rides wouldn’t have existed, because this is what inspired the Freedom riders to protest.

A protest against racial discrimination at the University in Sydney in 1964 was held in solidarity with similar protests happening in the US. From this protest, it was believed that Australian too had their own issues with racism. This protest encouraged the belief that our own society had enormous problems with our treatment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and that our own human rights and discrimination mirrored that of the US Civil rights actions against what was a long-held belief that laws needed to change to reflect everyone in the community and that white supremacy was no longer tolerated amongst some elements of society.

As already discovered, The Freedom Rides borne from the original protests in 1964, did raise a huge amount of awareness of discrimination against Aboriginals and this created a brand new civil rights movement in Australia, which was modelled on the civil rights movement of the USA

The major difference between the two movements was that in America, the issue of treatment of black people had been simmering for some time, way back to the Civil War and slavery, in Australia it was not considered that we as a society mistreated its people but more about ignorance. Which is why it took Australia over a decade from initial protests to pass laws against discrimination. Whereas the Civil Rights Act was passed in the USA in 1964 only a few years after protesting.

References

  1. Australia, E. (2019). Search – Scootle. Retrieved 20 October 2019, from http://www.scootle.edu.au/ec/search?accContentId=ACDSEH105
  2. Education resources for schools teachers and students – ABC Education. (2019). Retrieved 20 October 2019, from http://education.abc.net.au/home#!/media/172899/us-civil-rights-movement
  3. A Comparison of the Similarities Between the United States and Australian Civil Rights Movements | Kibin. (2019). Retrieved 20 October 2019, from https://www.kibin.com/essay-examples/a-comparison-of-the-similarities-between-the-united-states-and-australian-civil-rights-movements-juHEAbH2
  4. US and Australian Civil Rights Movement. (2019). Retrieved 20 October 2019, from https://prezi.com/ih-fnqdu4zls/us-and-australian-civil-rights-movement/
  5. Impact of Civil Rights Movement on Australia (Overall). (2019). Retrieved 20 October 2019, from https://martinlutherkingjrivanhu.weebly.com/impact-of-civil-rights-movement-on-australia-overall.html

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Link Between The Civil Rights Movement In America And The Fight For Rights And Freedoms In Australia. (2022, Jun 09). Edubirdie. Retrieved January 29, 2023, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/link-between-the-civil-rights-movement-in-america-and-the-fight-for-rights-and-freedoms-in-australia/
“Link Between The Civil Rights Movement In America And The Fight For Rights And Freedoms In Australia.” Edubirdie, 09 Jun. 2022, edubirdie.com/examples/link-between-the-civil-rights-movement-in-america-and-the-fight-for-rights-and-freedoms-in-australia/
Link Between The Civil Rights Movement In America And The Fight For Rights And Freedoms In Australia. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/link-between-the-civil-rights-movement-in-america-and-the-fight-for-rights-and-freedoms-in-australia/> [Accessed 29 Jan. 2023].
Link Between The Civil Rights Movement In America And The Fight For Rights And Freedoms In Australia [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Jun 09 [cited 2023 Jan 29]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/link-between-the-civil-rights-movement-in-america-and-the-fight-for-rights-and-freedoms-in-australia/
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