The Civil Rights Movement and the Civil Rights Act of 1964

The Civil Rights Movement and the Civil Rights Act of 1964

Today we will learn about the Civil
Rights Movement and the Civil Rights Act of 1964 Civil Rights refers to basic human rights that are protected by law generally, these are laws put in place by
the government to help protect groups from discrimination. Today’s civil rights have not always been guaranteed but, have developed over time many of them were born from the Civil Rights Movement. The Civil rights Movement began after World War two and generally refers to the 1950s and 1960s. Today we will look at several events from the Civil Rights Movement, first we will look at Rosa Parks in the Montgomery Bus Boycott. In 1955 most buses in the South were
segregated, segregation was a system that separated people by their race in public places; under this system white passengers sat in the front of buses ,while black passengers were required to sit in the back. On December 1st, 1955 an african-american woman named Rosa Parks was riding on a bus in Montgomery,
Alabama she was seated in an area designated for black passengers when a white man demanded she give up her seat because, there were no more empty seats in the whites only portion in the front of the bus when she refused she was arrested. This moment is sometimes acknowledged as the official beginning
of the civil rights movement. A few days after her arrest on December 5th 1955, Parks was convicted of violating segregation laws and what we now know as the “Montgomery bus boycott” began. A boycott is a form of protest in which
you refuse to buy, sell, or use something; in order to bring about change. For the next year the African American community in Montgomery refused to pay money to use the public bus system, instead they use taxis, walked, and organized car pools, in efforts to end racial segregation and fight discrimination. As a result of many discrimination cases similar to Parks on November 13, 1956, the US Supreme Court declared bus segregation unconstitutional, when the decree went into effect on December 20th the “Montgomery Bus Boycott” came to a close. Next we will examine a year-long protest in Birmingham, Alabama better known as the “Birmingham Campaign” In 1963 Birmingham, Alabama was considered the most segregated city in
the south, African Americans were refused service in stores, and restaurants, denied jobs due to their race, and often victims of violent crimes Martin Luther King led a series of nonviolent protests in effort to influence the government to change the discriminatory laws segregating the city . The nonviolent protests included marching, picketing, and giving speeches, thousands of African Americans were arrested and many more were attacked with fire hoses, and police dogs some of the homes and hotel rooms of civil rights leaders were even bombed, these images of violence against
nonviolent protesters gained national attention, and put pressure on the government in Birmingham to make real changes. In May of 1963 the local government agreed to desegregate water fountains, restrooms, and lunch counters, and to work to reduce discriminatory hiring practices these changes were a step in the right direction but, did not mark the end of racial violence in Birmingham. A few months later on September 15th the Ku Klux Klan bombed the 16th Street Baptist Church; killing 4 African American girls and injuring several others, during the same time frame the march on Washington occurred. In August of 1963, over 200,000 protestors took part in a march through Washington, DC. Marchers of different races came together from across the country in unity, against segregation and discrimination. As the group ended their march in front of the Lincoln Memorial; Martin Luther King made his now famous “I have a dream” speech. These events during the early days of the civil rights movement led to the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 begun by President Kennedy and continued after his assassination by President Johnson. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was one of the most disputed laws in our country’s history. The bill faced 83 days of filibusters byopponents in the Senate; a filibuster is a long speech in the Senate meant to delay voting on a bill, the Act was a National Law that finally made racial discrimination illegal in all public places within the United States, it also banned discrimination in education as well as making it illegal to discriminate and hiring practices and in elections. In July of 1964 President Johnson signed the bill into law, though the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is undeniably one of the most influential
results of the civil rights movement; it did not end all discrimination in our
country. The civil rights movement continued and many more anti-discrimination laws were passed in the years to come.


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