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The civil rights movements emerged in the twentieth century with the prime efforts in fighting to improve the quality of life of Black African Americans. However, it was challenging for general equality in the political, social and economic space, the elimination of racial injustices as well as the eradication of slavery. The civil rights movements were seen as avenues through which the social, political, and economic rights of African Americans could be secured. Although the movement had and experienced numerous victories, it was faced with strong opposition from the white supremacists.
The civil rights leaders used various approaches to achieve their agenda. They used the legal avenues through the court of laws which initiated lawsuits (Ellis 13). For instance, Brown V. Education Board of Topeka ruling held that segregation was unequal and it was rendered unconstitutional, which was a win for the activists. Additionally, they used nonviolent actions such as economic boycotts, mass protests as well as civil disobedience (Ellis 13). The civil rights activists introduced the black power which advocated for the cultural pride of Africans, self-reliance, and self-defense in the face of racial injustices and violence.
The civil morals activists brought the move to national attention through taking part in actions that affected the economic, political and social stability of the country. The economic boycotts affected the country's economy (Berger 61). The mass protests and work changed the general public in significant cities (Berger 61). The increased support from the religious organizations, student's union leadership, and labor unions increased awareness and momentum of the movement. The media played a crucial role in spreading the news of particularly nonviolent protests being harassed and beaten up by the police, an exercise which is against the law, putting the government under watch to be more responsible in handling protesters.
The federal state was unwilling to help the movement because of those in government, especially the law enforcers, believed that the campaign was supported and connected with the communist's changes. For example, Martin Luther King (1) was highly discredited by J. Hoover under the pretext that he was attached to the communists (Berger 70). Eventually, the Black power movement championed by Malcolm X was connected to the communists (Berger 70). Ultimately, law enforcers considered the action to be illegal since it was a black movement; which was a form of racial discrimination from the government.
The role of the federal state in the movement is seen to be undermining its success and goals. For instance, the end of the reconstruction period marked the period during which the fundamental rights of the black Americans were enforced (Ellis 18). Consequently, the government through its law enforcement agencies undermined the process and therefore, it was to be blamed for the decline of black civil rights during the end of the reconstruction period (Ellis 18). Further, the federal government granted freedom to the Southern states to pass laws that were detrimental to black civil rights. The failure of the government to sustain the reconstruction period led to little achievements in black civil rights.
Civil rights movements had many notable successes and victories. For instance, it managed to dismantle segregation in the South, a ruling which was made by the Supreme Court to be unconstitutional (Burger 62). Although the movement faced stiff opposition from white supremacists like Jim Crow, they finally emerged to be victorious. Notably, the move managed to pass the federal law which banned racial discrimination (Berger 62). The civil fair move succeeded in creating awareness in the contribution of the black Americans to the history of America especially during the First Global War where most black Americans fought tirelessly. Further, the movement created awareness of the Africans cultural heritage, values, and norms. Additionally, the campaign succeeded in securing the freedom rights and voting rights. The current great achievements of the black civil morals movement are the election of the first black American president in the United States of America, which dramatically symbolizes and indicates the extent of equality since its inception in the twentieth century.
The civil morals move eventually lost momentum because as time went by, affirmative action came to play in handling issues such as less clear-cut. For instance, it is not easy sometimes to recognize who is right or who is wrong. Unlike in during those periods where it was clear to every individual on whom side was right and which side was wrong. The movement eventually lost moment because most black Americans moved to middle and upper-class life standards making the civil right movement less significant.
In summary, due to the significant progress and achievements realized, it is hard to say that the movement lost momentum. The struggle for social, economic, and political equality is still ongoing. Racial discrimination and social justice are still vital, heated topics of concern in the modern day American media. Finally, the struggles for the civil rights movement were successful as it ensured equality for African Americans in public, legal, and financial sectors.
Berger, Martin A. Seeing through Race: A Reinterpretation of Civil Rights Photography. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2011.
Ellis, Sylvia. Freedom's Pragmatist: Lyndon Johnson and Civil Rights .U Press of Florida, 2013.
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