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Civil Rights and Segregation

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Others might remember a certain civil rights leader that was brought out during one of the greatest movements in United States history. However, even though people know of the civil rights movement a person could never really know what struggles thousands of people went through in order to reach and preserve the rights that we all enjoy today. Blacks and whites were never considered "equal" but instead were considered different in every way. It came to the point where the two races couldn't even drink the same water.

Within the first section of the constitution it states; all men are created equal under god. Contrary to what this natural right says, if you a minority living up to or during the 1950s - 60s you would know that these were just words on paper, not a guideline that people lived their life by. Even though a natural right looks and appears fine on paper, if people do not abide by it; it means nothing. This was the first problem faced by activists during the civil rights movement, getting a natural right and making it a hundred times stronger as a civil right. In essence, this was what the root to what the movement was all about.

Throughout the civil rights movement our judicial system sometimes had to act as the final word when it came to a civil rights issue. One of the first victories for civil rights activists occurred in 1954 with the Supreme Court case of Brown V. Board of Education. The court ruled that having segregation in public schools was unconstitutional. This was a large battle that was won and it signified that the way in which people were living their lives was going to change.

Civil rights activists made many efforts to use non-violent methods of getting their point across. One of the first weapons used was their own local economy. This occurrence happened in 1955, when a 43-year-old African-American woman named Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on the bus to a white man. As she expected she was arrested, but it sparked a boycott on the Montgomery Bus Line. With no minorities using the bus it cost the company over half of its monthly revenue. This later would force another supreme court ruling, forcing that Bus Segregation was unconstitutional and no longer would color of a persons skin dictate if and where they sat on the bus.

Yet another way that activists demonstrated their beliefs in a peaceful way was the use of a Sit in. Having Sit-ins was an act that was first used at a lunch counter in Greensboro, North Carolina. Civil rights activists would sit in a restaurant knowing that full well they were not going to be granted service. Instead they were subject to name-calling and food being thrust on to them. After this event in Greensboro, it sparked many more sit-ins all across the states.

One of the most historical events that took place during the civil rights movement was the Desegregation at Little Rock. It was set to become the first High School to be desegregated. The date was set for September 2, which corresponded with the first day of school, but a group of angry townspeople prevented it from occurring. However, the following day all nine African-American students were brought into the school with members of the National Guard at their sides. Thus, on September 3, 1957 Little Rock High School was desegregated.

One of the few black eyes on the civil rights movement happened on March 7, 1965; it was supposed to be a peaceful march lead by Dr. Martin Luther King, but later that day would be remembered as Bloody Sunday.

State troopers using gas as well as beating the people who were potentially protest voting laws with batons stopped hundreds of people. This was a violent day in American History, but also served a purpose; and that same year voting laws were changed allowing African-Americans to vote.

Robert Frost once wrote, "I have taken the road less traveled by and that has made all the difference." That is what historians should think of people who contributed their time, dignity, and on some occasions even their life to the Civil Rights Movement. Cause to these people and the things that they did, today although things are not all fare, they are easier for people who walk in a skin that is different from white. It began in the late 1800′s. Although it seems that segregation never had a beginning, it feels as if it has always been that blacks and whites have never been equal. In the early 1800′s, the Jim Crow laws were adopted. These laws stated that blacks and whites had to have their own drinking fountains, telephones, bathrooms, restaurants, and even schools. The blacks were not helpless, they had a wonderful leader who was always encouraging them to go on and to take the brutal discrimination they were getting. His name Booker T. Washington. Washington was the most prominent leader of his day. His childhood consisted of being a slave in Franklin County, Virginia. He tried very hard to improve the lives of African-Americans. Back then if you were to go to the wrong drinking fountain, even if it was an accident, you could have been arrested right then and there. Blacks were always considered second. They never received the chance to sit on the front of a bus; they never got to be first. They were the leftovers. Nobody thought they may actually have feelings, they were treated like dirt. Few people ever tried anything as crazy as what Rosa Parks did. Rosa Parks changed everything. She is one of the main reasons things are better today. On December 1, 1955, Parks made history. She was tired and worn



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