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Civil Rights Movement

Free «Civil Rights Movement» Essay Sample

The civil rights movement in the USA became explicit in the second half of the 20th century. The protests of black people against discrimination were the most common. For example, in 1955, a woman named Rosa Parks got arrested, because she refused to give up her seat in the bus to a white man. There were the Montgomery Bus Rules according to which colored people had to give up their seats if there were additional white people in a bus. There were numerous civil rights leaders at that time, including Dr. Martin Luther King who organized protest against such rules. Finally, after finding Parks guilty and fining Luther King $500, the protest gained success. The Supreme Court decided that the bus segregation violated the US Constitution. The decade of the 1950s is characterized by numerous fights for the equality of black and white people (“Civil Rights Movement” n.p.).

In the 1960s, the civil movement for racial equality gained momentum, and in 1963, Martin Luther, Jr. gathered people of different ethnicities at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. It was the event where King gave his famous “I have a dream” speech, and it also was the biggest protest at that time. Despite the fact that slavery had been abolished about 100 years ago at that time, people of color continued to be treated as if they were worse than whites. African-American population was only granted manual labor jobs without any promotion chances; there were separate public schools for blacks and whites. Generally, in every sphere of life, black people were supposed to accept the supremacy of white over themselves. By the end of the 1960s, after the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., civil rights movement became fiercer, and eventually, discrimination based on nationality, race, and gender ended (“Civil Rights Movement” n.p.).

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The 1970s became the beginning of a new civil rights movement in America. It was the time when people fought for freedom of American business. That philosophy was called “neo-liberalism” which presupposed government help for the richest to become even richer, and avoid helping the poor, homeless, and unemployed. The civil rights movement was organized to get rid of public property, cut funding for public services such as education and housing, and be free to exploit workers and factories polluting the environment (Barrett n.p.)

By the beginning of the 1980s, there had been made an essential progress in women’s rights movement. In the 80s, however, feminism reached the new level. It was the era of “firsts” for women characterized by the first female Supreme Court justice, the first woman- astronaut, the first female candidate for the U.S. presidency, etc. However, in many ways, women continued to be discriminated. In the 1980s, women still gained less money than men for the same amount of work. Even women with higher education could not manage to earn more money than their male counterparts. Naturally, that caused a lot of protests; only by the end of the 80s, women won some recognition and equality in the male-dominated world (Faludi 374).

The 1990s became the time for numerous gay rights movements across the Unites States. It was the time of Bill Clinton’s presidency, under which he signed a policy “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” that impinged upon the rights of homosexuals. In the 90s, any gay connections were banned and punished by law; naturally, it caused a lot of riots against anti-gay policy. Anti-sodomy laws were established in many states, and people could not keep silent and endure the mistreatment on the ground of sexual orientation. Mainly due to the numerous riots in the 1990s, America has become a gay-friendly country now. The gay rights movements were primarily aimed at combating the AIDS/HIV epidemic, ending bans on military service for gays, securing rights for marriage of gay and lesbian couples, and many other issues (“Issue-Based Politics: The Gay Rights Movement of the 1990s and 2000s” n.p.).

The five decades since the 1950s to the 1990s have been the decades of global outlook change. Due to numerous civil rights movement of the 20th century, America has become the most open-minded country.


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