Was the Civil Rights Movement Successful: Persuasive Essay

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“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter” (Martin Luther King Jr.) What this means is that if you saw something wrong and you didn’t speak up, the problem wouldn’t be solved and the conflict would continue. Just like today’s Black Lives Matter Movement. There was a problem, people spoke up, and the problem was resolved. It’s that simple. Martin Luther King Jr. was a famous civil rights advocate who gave the 'I Have a Dream' speech in Washington D.C. He was all for peace and equality for both Blacks and Whites. On the other hand, Malcolm X was the complete opposite. He was for Black Power, and Black Power only, with no Whites being involved. Martin Luther King's passive-resistance movement started when he read Henry David Thoreau's essay on civil disobedience. Its main focus was to achieve racial equality, respect, and peace, not only for Blacks but for everybody else as well. Malcolm X was the most influential advocate for what is now known as the Black Power Movement. The ideas behind Black Power were around as early as the 1940s. The movement started when an African-American labor activist called for a march to pressure President Franklin D. Roosevelt into outlawing racial discrimination. Their main focus was to stop discrimination against Blacks, and Blacks only, as they didn’t like Whites. I believe that nonviolent, peaceful protest is the best way to stop discrimination, which is why the Civil Rights Movement was successful.

Martin Luther King grew up in Atlanta, Georgia, and witnessed segregation and racism on a daily basis. This is what really sparked his need to speak out against the problem. As stated in the article 'Nonviolence', King was fascinated by the idea of refusing to cooperate with an evil system. In the years following the bus boycott, King became increasingly involved with nonviolence. As mentioned in the introduction, Martin Luther King was a very famous man. But it wasn’t always like that. During the Civil Rights Movement, King was imprisoned several times due to speaking out against the discrimination he was facing. This didn’t make him any less determined to speak his mind against things that were wrong. Actually, this made him even more determined. He was also monitored by the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation). King often reflected on his understanding of nonviolence.

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The main objective of the passive-resistance movement was to gain equal rights for everyone. This includes Whites, Muslims, Blacks, and everyone in between! During this time, people protested for social, legal, political, and cultural protection. King himself said: “The choice today is no longer between violence and nonviolence. It is either nonviolence or nonexistence”. King was both 'morally and practically' committed to nonviolence. He began to advocate nonviolence not just in the U.S., but in other countries as well. This relates very heavily to the Black Lives Matter protests.

As a result of the Civil Rights Movement, relationships between Blacks and Whites improved drastically. If it weren’t for the Civil Rights Movement, I wouldn’t have met many of my friends. Black people probably wouldn’t be allowed to buy phones, tablets, or any sort of electronic device. Their homes would still be very low quality, and there’d be a lot more violence involving the use of improved technology. Black people would probably be blamed for 9/11. Life would be very different from the ones we are living now, that’s for sure. One can only imagine how scary it’d be for both sides. There would be more crime. A second civil war might have broken out by now. Thankfully, life isn’t like that. Although there’s still a bit of conflict between Blacks and Whites, it’s nothing compared to what it would be if the Civil Rights Movement hadn’t happened.

To sum up, I think that the Civil Rights Movement was a success and was one of the best things to ever happen to the U.S. As I explained earlier, the origins of the passive resistance movement are Martin Luther King's reading of that essay by Henry David Thoreau. The focus of said movement is to achieve equality for everyone. Last but not least, if it weren’t for the Civil Rights Movement, life would be very, very different. So the next time you get into a conversation about civil rights, just remember how different life would be without it.

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