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The Cold War acted as catalyst to Civil Rights
Davarian L. Baldwin – Trinity College
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Kraemer , and education Brown v. Yet legal protection was gradual and did not address growing economic concerns. They fought racism within the labor movement, brought economic concerns to the statehouse, and demanded equal access to New Deal social welfare benefits. CORE used a decentralized and nonviolent, direct-action approach to politics, enacting Freedom Rides in the South to challenge segregated interstate transportation and sit-ins to protest northern discrimination.

President Roosevelt had proclaimed the Four Freedoms want, fear, worship, and speech yet black activists made clear that ghettos were in Berlin and also in Boston. Between and industrial centers, military camps, and port cities, including Detroit, New York, and Los Angeles, exploded with race riots.

Ongoing white civilian, military, and police attempts to constrain black life erupted in violent riots in more than forty cities. American citizenship provided little security. The United States held itself up as a beacon in a sea of totalitarianism, and black people seized the opportunity to realign democracy with anti-racism instead of white supremacy.

The African-American experience remained a central component of the geopolitical struggle during the Cold War. The Soviet Union U. In response, the United States both publicly endorsed gradual integration and fostered a stifling climate of anti-communism. Communist activist Claudia Jones organized in Harlem for jobs, housing, and humane immigration policies. In the Cold War context, black struggles for freedom were largely denounced as un-American.

The segregation of black children in inferior schools, however, brought special criticism. Worldwide charges of American hypocrisy certainly played some part in the Brown decision. But the climate of anti-communism largely constrained most political battles to the legal arena while displacing the larger calls for freedom that included jobs, housing, land, and wealth. At the same time, courtroom success was quickly followed by waves of "massive resistance" by whites.

Less than a year after the Brown decision, fourteen-year-old Chicagoan Emmett Till was found murdered in Mississippi's Tallahatchie River. He had been shot and his body mutilated because he allegedly whistled at a white woman. Yet his death was simply the most spectacular manifestation of white terror and racial containment. White citizens councils organized in Mississippi, using tax dollars from both blacks and whites to support their intimidation and harassment strategies.

Southern states shifted the populations of public housing from all-white to all-black and in segregated neighborhoods to stem the tide of Brown.

At the same time, federally subsidized suburban developments were built with racial restrictive covenants written into their foundation, helping cement the stark contrast between impoverished "Chocolate Cities" and prosperous "Vanilla Suburbs. During the Cold War the federal government funded both white prosperity and black containment.

Yet African Americans kept on pushing with organized political strategies and social protest movements. At least since Plessy v Ferguson , public transportation was a vital site of struggle over racial justice.

Black paying customers were relegated to the back of city buses, and black women in particular endured assault, humiliation, and even gunplay at the hands of white bus drivers and customers. But blacks found ways to respond to the shoving and pushing of white passengers: These subversive acts provided the infrastructure for more formal kinds of political action. As early as , black church and social organizations had organized a bus boycott in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Students at the all-black Alabama State University briefly organized a boycott in the spring of Then in December , the Women's Political Council in Montgomery, Alabama, seized on the arrest of Rosa Parks to ignite a full-blown, citywide boycott of the buses.

This was not even Parks's first violation of racial seating laws. Her calculated act was part of a burgeoning black social protest movement. Together they had long fought racial injustices in Alabama.

A one-day boycott of buses turned into a protest that lasted more than one year. Leaders, including peace activist Bayard Rustin, E. Nixon of the BSCP, clergy members, and radical organizer Ella Baker offered key strategies, but the protest's full effect was achieved through the feet and resiliency of riders and fellow travelers, who organized carpools and walked miles to work.

Even with threats of job loss and violence, the largely poor black masses effectively crippled a bus system that received 65 percent of its revenue from black riders. The Montgomery Bus Boycott of helped push toward the desegregation of buses all over the South while thrusting King into the rough-and-tumble world of political organizing.

Nonviolent direct action had won the day and became the dominant mode of resistance for the movement. Moreover, the boycott took place the same year as the Bandung Conference of newly liberated African and Asian nations, situating Montgomery within a worldwide moment of freedom struggles.

In King was urged to create the Southern Christian Leadership Council SCLC to help coordinate local efforts among church, student, and community organizations and train them in the strategies of nonviolent protest. While the SCLC worked with all groups, its strategy highlighted a changing tide. The NAACP resented the attention and resources taken away from what it deemed more effective court cases to defend and support protesters. While Brown had desegregated the schools on the law books, it would take more to make integrated schools a lived reality.

President Eisenhower uttered not a word. The advent of television helped transport images of racial violence against black children into living rooms around the globe, visually demonstrating the racial terms of American democracy. After Faubus removed the troops and left the children vulnerable to the whims of an angry and violent adult white mob, Eisenhower placed the National Guard under the authority of federal troops ordered to protect black students.

Black protest seemed to stoke the fires of white bloodlust and callousness directed against adults and children alike. Black residents were sentenced to prison and murdered, and homes were firebombed all across the South if the owners dared assert their constitutional rights. Racial violence escalated, and the NAACP was not the only organization that grew frustrated with nonviolent direct-action politics.

But his frustration with nonviolent protest stemmed not from a preference for courtroom battles. He advocated armed self-defense, responding to white violence with bullets and barricades. Williams looked out over America's social landscape and saw little recourse in nonviolent protest or legal statutes.

As a case in point, the federal government passed the first Civil Rights Act in , but it was hardly enforced. Williams was part of a growing body of activists from within traditional organizations who were critical of both nonviolence and top-down leadership approaches from the start.

Their presence reveals that the meaning of civil rights activism was not set in stone but constantly contested and reconstructed. In and black students in Nashville, Tennessee, and Greensboro, North Carolina, valiantly defied Jim Crow by "sitting in" at all-white lunch counters.

Students were influenced by images of Montgomery and Little Rock, going on to inspire sit-ins at restaurants, churches, libraries, and waiting rooms across the South. Many were yelled at, kicked, burned with cigarettes, and yet they stood firm. The early s saw civil rights veterans and union organizers joining students to both train people in the discipline of nonviolence and reproduce sit-ins across the country.

Students faced an overwhelming flourish of violent attacks by whites. Activists were beaten, riders were caught in burning buses, and it was all broadcast across the world. Freedom Riders had achieved success, but white resistance was resilient. James Meredith defiantly enrolled at the University of Mississippi in , provoking a vital power struggle between states rights and federal power. Governor Ross Barnett flaunted the dictates of federal law until President Kennedy was pushed to mount a federal military occupation of 31, troops to enforce the law.

The movement pushed forward and began to focus on the important terrain of voter registration in and For their efforts both Lee and Evers were murdered and Hammer and her husband were beaten and lost their jobs, but a voting campaign had been established.

In SCLC turned its attention to the notorious stronghold of white power, Birmingham, Alabama, to inaugurate the one hundredth anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation. The city was known as "Bombingham" because more than fifty bombings afflicted the black community between World War II and When SCLC members organized a series of mass protests, marchers were attacked and jailed and many local ministers called for an end to the demonstrations.

In a controversial decision, arrested adults were replaced on the streets with young children. Images of small children attacked by dogs and police clubs and knocked off their feet by fire hoses shocked the world. The day after W. Du Bois died in Ghana, , people descended on the nation's capital, where King's "I Have a Dream" speech took on mythic proportions. Not a month later, white supremacists bombed the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, leaving four little girls dead.

Central Intelligence Agency director J. Edgar Hoover identified the attackers but disliked the Civil Rights movement, so he did nothing. Robert Moses and Amzie Moore offered their own response in by inviting northern white students to Mississippi for a "Freedom Summer" to register black workers and set up "Freedom Schools.

Unlike the countless murders of local black people, these killings received international attention. Eighty-three delegates were elected, but they were denied access to the Democratic National Convention in Atlantic City.

Fannie Lou Hamer told cameras that they were the true democratically elected representatives of the state, not those sponsored by all-white state elections. The convention seated the white elected delegates, while the MFDP rejected the offer of two at-large seats. This was the most far-reaching and comprehensive civil rights legislation Congress had ever passed.

It banned discrimination in public accommodations and the workplace but did not address police brutality or racist voting tests. The six hundred protestors reached the Pettus Bridge but were pushed back by police violence and tear gas. The attack was dubbed Bloody Sunday. President Johnson was ultimately forced into action, calling on Congress to pass the Voting Rights Act of Racism had excluded black people from the accumulation of wealth and resources, a historical reality that could not be addressed by legal protection in the present.

In fact, the federal government did turn its attention to the economic question with a limited "war on poverty. These programs were radical in their reach but radically underfunded and undermined by black and white resistance from the start.

The link between race and class, however, could not be severed, especially during a Vietnam War that sent largely poor people of color to its bloody front lines.

Even Martin Luther King began to see the links between unfettered funding for the war machine and the sea of poverty washing over America's domestic landscape. These insights set the stage for King's infamous "Time to Break Silence" speech of and his bridging of the gap between civil rights and economic justice.

At the same time, SNCC supported black draft evaders and grew critical of the rights-based approach to black freedom that seemed to be the terms on which white support was offered. It was in Mississippi where Carmichael, frustrated with the continued violence and the limits of legal protection, popularized the slogan "Black Power.

The LCFO was dubbed the Black Panther Party because its state-required ballot symbol was a black panther, a direct retort to the white rooster of the state's Democratic Party and its logo of "white supremacy.

The battle waged in "Bloody Lowndes" was lost, but the efforts of a grassroots southern movement for Black Power speaks to the full range of experiences that encompassed the fight for freedom. The movement fought southern Jim Crow and northern ghetto formation. Led by charismatic individuals and grassroots collectivities, its members turned to nonviolent action and armed self-defense, waging battle in courtrooms and on the streets.

Understood in their full depth and scope, visions of the black freedom movement have yet to be fully realized. America in the King Years, — Simon and Schuster, Harvard University Press, Collier-Thomas, Bettye, and V.

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What is the Civil Rights movement?

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Essay: The Civil Rights Movement There are have been many social movement that have captured my attention but the movement that I was most attracted to was the Civil Rights movement. The reason I am so fascinated by the Civil Rights movement is because the movement was ultimately about equality and freedom.

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The civil rights movement in the American South was one of the most triumphant and noteworthy social movements in the modern world. The civil rights movement was an enduring effort by Black Americans to obtain basic human and civil rights in the United States.

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The Civil Rights Movement Essay - Historically, the Civil Rights Movement was a time during the ’s and 60’s to eliminate segregation and gain equal rights. The Civil Rights Movement took the better part of two decades and deeply changed the ways in which the United States conducted itself towards its own citizens/5(4).

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Following is a custom-written essay example on the topic of The Civil Rights Movement Of The 'S. Don't hesitate to read this paper night and day. The Civil Rights Movement - The civil right movement refers to the reform movement in the United States beginning in the to led primarily by Blacks for outlawing racial discrimination against African-Americans to prove the civil rights of personal Black citizen.