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In the 1960s, America fought for the second revolution in the streets through the civil rights movements. They fought against segregation of blacks socially, economically, and politically for this had destroyed them psychologically and physically. It was a fight that challenged American believes on the definition of liberty and justice for all. The prize was freedom and no American could afford to lose this objective. For over a century, America was segregated in ways of keeping whites and blacks apart by custom and by law.
Most blacks were laborers, lived in separated poor housing, and went to poor schools. They were delaminated socially and psychologically. Segregation had its rules, for example, whenever a black looked at a white woman there would be violence. Radical violence developed where black groups armed themselves against the system. Some of the blacks who fought in the Second World War demanded for justice upon coming back home. However, the system was not ready to hear their demands, and then in the 1950s, the inevitable happened.
The mid-20th century witnessed the development of various social means by which the Black Americans, led by civil activists, demanded for the abolition of segregation and called for equality and justice for all. Amongst the peaceful methods used by the civil activists included peaceful protests, picketing, and boycotts where black college students resolutely waged sit in campaigns in various southern lunch counters in the mid-1950s. In 1954 the now infamous seamstress Rosa Parks caused a public stir when she declined to give up her seat to a white man as was established in law. Her arrest set off a yearlong boycott of the Montgomery buses.
In 1957, Martin Luther King’s Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) started organizing civil rights movements, and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) backed the four students who instigated the sit in campaigns in the southern lunch counters. Their action grabbed media attention triggering a deluge of protests. The nonviolence sit in campaigns by students was not only used in desegregating public places but also gave numerous students an avenue to get involved in the movement.
In 1961, CORE (The Congress of Racial Equity) exploited the rising student activism by sending volunteers on free rides to test laws prohibiting segregation on buses. Community based projects were also started to contest barriers that segregated against black voters. Martin Luther King emerged as the leader of this civil rights movement and advocated for peaceful nonviolence means such as boycotts and picketing which spread to the entire southern communities. Unlike the violence means that were started in the late 1960s, the peaceful non violence means never subdivided the blacks; they were in solidarity and achieved more than the violent radical groups that emerged in the late 60s.
Following the arrest of Rosa Parks in 1954 when she declined to give up her seat to a white man as was established in law, there was a yearlong boycott of the Montgomery buses. This started four days after she had been arrested. In spite of the taunting and other ways of harassments from the whites, the black community persevered until the courts intervened and abolished the segregation laws in in December 1956. Unlike violence means, these public boycott of the buses demonstrated that through determination and unity the blacks could make their voices be heard and thus impart change. Economic methods also brought down the whites’ transportation business, especially those who decided to embrace the court’s decision.
The order by President John F. Kennedy in June 1963 stated that legislation should be fast tracked to abolish all segregation laws in the country. Civil movement leaders led by Martin Luther King made a match to Washington for a mass gathering in the summer of 1963 where they pressed for the passage of civil rights legislation in order to promote economic emancipation of the blacks. The match to Washington gathered about a half a million people whites and blacks before the Lincoln memorial where Martin Luther King delivered his now infamous speech, “I have a dream.” Political methods were dangerous because they exposed the civil rights movement leaders to assassination unlike the economic and social means.
Following the protests sparked by Rosa Park’s arrest NAACP enlisted the assistance of a black eloquent preacher Martin Luther King to organize mass public rallies that led to the abolition of the segregation laws in 1956 by the c.............
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