Civil Right and Black Power Movements

Published: 2021-07-07 00:13:18
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Civil Rights and Black Power Movements started in the United States of America in the year 1960s. These movements involved protest by the black people who were against the unfair treatment that they received since slavery abolition from the white people. Various black freedom moves had been made however the blacks were not satisfied. To the core leaders in the Civil Right and Black Power Movements, the end of black people apartheid did not mean freedom. Attending the same learning institution with the whites or eating together in a restaurant was not total freedom whereas the black people lived in total poverty. As a result, the civil rights activist responded to this move as a joke that increased discrimination in the United States of America against the poor black people. It is this opinion that the civil activist separated into two groups: those advocating for violence as a mean of liberating the black people and those believing that the best way to bring any desired change in the lives of the black was through the use of peaceful negotiations[1].The Civil Right Movement: The Non-Violent ApproachMany African-American populations concentrated in the south between the 1950s and 1960s. In this southern states, there was much racial inequality experienced[2]. The 1954 Brown V. Board of Education had not stipulated some time limit. The education segregation continues to 1960s. This was an overwhelming obstacle to African Americans economic obstacle. The young black people were motivated to get liberty. The black people in America had fought for civil rights since Emancipation, but they were not considered until when the Supreme Court conclusion at the Brown V. Board of Education brought into light the African American plights to the sight of the nation as well as the world. The Civil Right Movement started as an organized fight for the privileges as well as the basic human rights of every citizen in the United States of America. This movement changed into a mass famous movement. This movement included both whites and the African Americans. It was composed of local, small and countrywide organizations such as National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC and Congress of Racial Equality (CORE)[3].These movements were mainly rooted in religion. The meetings were often conducted in the southern states, in the churches of the black people. This Civil Right Movement was a non-violent movement. It used non-violent protest as well as civil disobedience to attain their objectives. Reverend Martin Luther King Jr.is one of the popular Civil Rights Movement leader. Ruther was greatly inspired by the non-violent struggle of Gandhi. Gandhi had used this non-violent struggle to attain the Indians people independence from the rule of the British colonies. The first example of this non-violent protest form is the 1956 Montgomery Bus Boycott. This illustrated that the black had a right of movement and fair treatment in the society. This boycott resulted in Rosa Parks’s arrest. Rosa was arrested after she refused to lend a white her sit in the bus[4].In 1960 the SNCC was formed at North Carolina because of the Greensboro sit-ins. At this time the black students went to a hotel and requested to be served food in their native Woolworth’s. They were rejected and authorized to leave. However, this students remained seated up to the time the restaurant was closed[5]. This action results in fifty-four same sit-ins in every southern state. This illustrated that the black Americans had the right of using various restaurants in the country. The discrimination they face needed to come to an end.The 1961 Freedom Rides were protests against the public transportation segregation. Public transport segregation existed even though it had been declared as an unconstitutional in the past year. In these protest, six whites and seven African Americans in Washington boarded buses. The black people were severely punished and met various violence to the extent of jailing them. However, the actions motivated new Freedom Rides in the bus stations, train stations as well as the airports across the states in the south[6].The SCLC and Martin Luther King Jr. organized a huge rally at Birmingham, Alabama. This rally included sit-ins, a march of more than one thousand students from high school and various boycotts. The march of the high school students was called the Children’s Crusade. The peaceful movement reached its maximum protest later in that summer. The SNCC was very instrumental in defending the rights of the African Americans in peaceful ways. The bus ride illustrates that they had a right of movement. Some of this rides never ended well, however, their main agenda was not to fight or elicit any violence. They displayed the pride that the black people had in their lives. At the end of 1963, they organized a free ballot. This displayed the various discrimination that the African- American faced when it came to voting in the nation. At this period the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC and Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) joined forces. This integrated movement organized a massive march in Washington[7].The main objective of this massive march was to influence the Congress to adopt the Civil Rights Bill of President Kennedy. Over 200 000 people, both the whites and blacks, assemble in the Lincoln Memorial. In this meeting, Martin Luther King presented his legendary speech “I Have a Dream.” The speech of Martin Luther became a national Text. It portrayed the difficulties and troubles that the organizers hard to march forward. It was a complicated act to gather the religious, labor groups as well as civil rights leaders. As the name of this march implied, various compromises were made for the groups to come together. The “March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom” illustrated and emphasized on the integrated purpose of this march and the objective that every leader had at that moment. The march on organizational leaders, as well as Washington organizers in 1963 that was initially called the Big Six, included Martin Luther King Jr. James Farmer, John Lewis, Whitney Young, Roy Wilkins and Philip Randolph. However these people came from various backgrounds as well as political interests, they focused much that the march had to be peaceful and non-violent.The Civil Rights Movement made numerous achievements. First, the judicial case victory in the Brown V. Board of Education nullified the “Separation but equality” legal action. It made segregation to be legally not permitted in the nation. Second, the 1964 Civil Right Act passages that stopped discrimination in various public accommodations as well as in employment practices. Third, 1965 Voting Rights Act passages that restore the freedom of voting to all people without discriminations. Finally, the 1968 Civil Rights Act that stopped discrimination in rental housing or sale. Therefore, the Civil Right movement was able to achieve their goals using non-violent methods. These achievements aided the African Americans to be treated fairly in the nation. The rights that the white people had were also given to the black. This enabled the black to use public accommodations among other facilities. At the same time, the employment practices were fairly conducted in the nation. Not only did this movement attain the fair treatment of Africans but also ended the segregation act that justified discrimination in the nation[8].The public supported this movement. The Civil Right movement gained massive support from both the whites and the blacks. They joined this movement because it used non-violence methods in solving the problems that the African- Americans were experiencing in their daily lives.The Black Power Movement: The Violent ApproachWhile the peaceful civil rights activist labored in bringing vital legislation such as the 1964 Civil Right Act and the 1965 Voting Right Act, numerous activities were highly discontented with the slowness of this progression. In the same way, the Civil Right Movement was working towards completing the racial inequalities so were the Black Power Movements objectives. The primary distinction between the two movements was that the Black Power Movement were equipped with the violent means of attaining their objectives[9].The Black Power Movement proponents did not have one group. This proponent subdivided themselves into two primary groups. These groups included the nationalist as well as the pluralist. The pluralist included the people who believed in the integration of all people and all of them living peacefully together. On the other hand, the nationalist believed that the white always dominated and to bring the oppression of the African-Americans to an end, they had to separate themselves from the great American society. After them separating from the American society, they were to form their society without the white people. Many hoped for an African nation within the United States of America. Stokely Carmichael, the man who made the phrase “black power,” began the movement as a pluralist but ended being a nationalist[10].In the begging of 1960s, a section of the Black Power foundation had been already laid. In this period Malcolm X preached the black separatism as well as back supremacy. The main idea behind this foundation was that it was hard for ant African- American to advance in the white-dominated society. As a result, the African- Americans wanted their institutions that were run by themselves, the black people. They believed that there existed no revolution without violence. “You don’t have a peaceful revolution. You don’t have a turn the cheek revolution. There’s no such thing as a non-violent revolution.” This remained Malcolm view until his last life year. At this last year, he went back home having a trusting attitude about the white Americans who were involved in fighting for various civil rights, after a journey to Mecca[11]. Malcolm X toiled not only changing the legislation but also instilling black people with great pride in their legacy- this the expression “Black is Beauty.” Malcolm was later assassinated in the year 1995.After a year of Malcolm X assassination, Huey P. Newton and Bobby scale created the Black Panther Party. This party became one of the influential Black Power Movement group. Huey and Bobby claimed that all of the non-violent movements had failed. They led various militant events against the ruling government. The group was based on Maoism, socialism as well as Marxism-Leninism. They instigated armed citizen patrol that was examining the activities that the police were conducting. They used violence against the government that was ruling. The group argued that the poor individual from both races needed to unite and fight against the rich people in the society. This is because the rich people were the ones controlling the economy of the nation. The believed that a socialist revolution was the only thing to bring the true change. They listed their demands in the Ten Point plan. The two were ready to use any mean of violence to attain their demands[12]. The Black Panther was motivated to work toward achieving good conditions for the black people. They as well initiated numerous survival programs successful throughout the nation.However, the ruling government considered the Black Panther Party as a threat to the country security. Since the Panther members were incompetent in military activities the government through the COINTELPRO program brought down this panthers group. Many of their members were assassinated. For instance, in 1971 numerous Panthers officials had to flee from United States of American because of the concerns from the police. In this year 1971, the Black Revolutionary Assault Team was active[13]. This group at first bombed the offices of South African Consular in the new yolk. The second and last action took place when this group placed a bomb in the missions of the Republic of Malawi as well as the Republic of Congo. February of 1971 after the ideological splitting of the Panthers, four people were killed in assassination series. Other people were killed in the police-related operation. In the end, the group was contained by the government. The party did not get more support from the American people. In 1972, Newton ended various Panthers chapter[14]. He held a party congress at Oakland. January 27 of 1972 the arm of the black liberal killed police officers, Rocco Laurie and Gregory Foster in 174 Avenue comer B in the city of New York. Therefore, the authorities considered the Black Panther Party as a threat to the security of its people in the nation.At the peak of the Black Panther Party movement, they had around ten-thousand people, in 1967. However, by the end of the year 1980, it had 27 members only. Nonetheless, these remaining members kept struggling for various civil rights in public as well as alive. This worked towards their understanding more about the existing distinction between the two races. However, this movement resulted in the death of many people. The white people were excluded in this Black people movement. They sought to be free from any interference or influence of the white people. However, this violent approach induced various dialogues that had an impact in achieving the fair treatment of the black people in the United States of America[15].It is evident that violence alone cannot bring civil right. The Black power movement resulted into violence activities. These activities did not alone lead to ways that brought the fair treatment of the black people in the United States of America. However, it leads to various damages in the nation as well as deaths. Many people were assassinated as a result of this movement. The police also responded to this people negatively. Also, this approach as well achieved less. Many people did not join it probably because they feared the violent acts. At the same time, it is important to note that even non-violent acts can be fruitless especially in cases whereby the oppressors, as well as the abusers, are not willing to listen to the other party. It is common, almost, in every corner of the world, that the oppressors do not make any move to guarantee the oppressed their rights. It is the same case in the history of America. The government took a dialogue stand after that death of the two policemen in 1971. From this argument, we can conclude that in some situations violence may be a necessary act. However, it cannot deliver civil rights. The best thing that violence can result in is necessitating dialogue and other nonviolence approaches. This is because when the abuser or oppressor fell threatened they compromise their views and stand then, dialogues come and later the oppressed is liberated. However, violence should not be the first step to take as the Civil Right Movement demonstrated that Non-violence approaches could be effective in attaining the civil rights of the minority in the society.

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