Civil Rights

.. ansmen innocent on the murder charge, but were eventually convicted in federal court for violating her civil rights (Chalmers 29). Martin Luther King, Jr., was an important figure that worked hard throughout the 60’s in order to gain black Americans’ civil rights. In 1959, King went to India where he studied Ghandi’s techniques of nonviolence. Sit-in movements began in Greensboro and soon followed many others throughout the country.

King was arrested in October of 1960 at a major Atlanta department store. The charges on all the other protestors were dropped. King was kept in jail on a charge of violating probation for a previous traffic arrest case. He was kept in jail for four months of hard labor. The next year, December 15, 1961, King was arrested while fighting to desegregate public facilities in Albany, Georgia.

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He was charged with obstructing the sidewalk and parading without a permit. King’s home was bombed on May 11, 1963, and then there was an explosion at his headquarters in the Gaston Motel. In response to the bombings, blacks began to riot in Birmingham. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech at the largest and most dramatic civil rights demonstration, the March on Washington, was the high point of the event. In 1964, King was named “Man of the Year” in Time magazine.

King was then awarded the Nobel Peace Prize later on that year, December 10. King then set up a voter registration drive in Selma in February 1965. King’s civil rights movements came to an abrupt halt when he was assassinated April 4, 1968, in the balcony of the Lorraine Hotel in Memphis. The president then declared April 7 a national day of mourning for King (Biography 1-7). The 1960’s also had many other people that were important to the development of the civil rights movement. Malcolm X was a man who had a lot of influence over blacks.

Although he spent most of his time outside of the United States traveling to such places as Africa and the Middle East, he did help out in the civil rights movement. Malcolm established a secular Black Nationalist party called the Organization of Afro-American Unity (OAAU). Malcolm was assassinated February 21, 1965, while addressing an OAAU rally in New York City. Malcolm’s assassins were allegedly associated with the black Muslims (Microsoft). Stokely Carmichael attended Howard University in 1960 and became active in the civil rights movement. He participated in sit-ins along with many other students and joined the Non-violent Action Group in Washington. He was arrested in 1961 when participating in the Freedom Rides, a campaign against segregation in interstate transportation, by trying to integrate a bus terminal in Jackson, Mississippi.

He ended up spending most of his summer vacation in jail that summer. He graduated in 1964 with a degree in philosophy. In 1966, he was elected as a chairperson of SNCC. Carmichael then started to give speeches and was looked upon as a successor of Malcolm X. In 1969, he moved to Africa where he changed his name to Kwame Tur, a named derived from two African leaders, Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana and Skou Tour of Guinea.

He established a permanent home in Guinea that year and only returned on occasions to the United States to give lectures (Microsoft). Bobby Seale was the founder and leader of the Black Panther Party. The BPP was founded on reaction to the racism he and his friend, Huey Newton, had experienced. The goals of their party were: to end police brutality, full employment, improve housing and education, and the exemption of blacks from military service. Seale organized many community-based activities.

In 1967, he led a group of armed Black Panthers to Sacramento, California, to protest a gun-control bill being considered by the California state legislature. He and thirty others were arrested, but the media coverage of the event attracted attention and the organization grew. Seale was again arrested in 1968 along with seven others for indicting a riot at the Democratic Convention in Chicago. Seale eventually left the Black Panther Party in 1974 (Microsoft). On February 13, 1960, a man by the name of Rev.

James Lawson, inspired by the Greensboro sit-in movement, convened the first sit-in movement mass meeting. He then set up a plan in which five hundred students, from Baptist Seminary, Fisk University, Meharry Medical, and Tennessee State, would be sent to downtown Nashville sit-in sites. Lawson was much like Martin Luther King, Jr.; he wet to India as a missionary and studied the philosophy of nonviolence with disciples of Ghandi (Adams 49). The sixties youth generation was, for the first time, a powerful force in the civil rights movement. During this time there was a lot of young people attending college. The number of college students had increased dramatically during this time.

In 1946, there were 1.7 million college students. By 1960, this number had increased to 3.8 million and over the next five years increased to 6.5 million. In 1970, there were over eight million college students. Campuses revolted throughout the sixties against the Vietnam War and protested for civil rights, but then calmed down by the early seventies (Chalmers 68-69). It wasn’t just the college campuses that revolted and rioted though.

Riots were breaking out across the nation during the sixties. There was a riot in the summer of 1964 called the Red Summer riot and the following year the Long, Hot Summer riot went on. Urban riots in 1965-1967 challenged the notion that the civil rights movement had purged racial injustice from America (Robinson 1). Richard Flacks summed up the sixties as romanticism (the search for self-expression and a free life), antiauthoritarianism (opposition to arbitrary, centralized rule-making), egalitarianism (belief in popular participation and rejection of elitism), antidogmatism (rejection of ideology), moral purity (antipathy toward self-interested behavior and the “sell out” of the older generation), community (breakdown of interpersonal barriers, a desire for relationships), and antiinstitutionalism (distrust of conventional institutional roles and careers). Flacks was a previous leader of SDS (Chalmers 74). The sixties were filled with civil rights movements and great leaders guided people through this time.

Before the sixties blacks may have been free persons in the United States, but they weren’t looked upon as the same as everyone else. Blacks had almost no rights and couldn’t vote. The sixties granted them their well-deserved rights. History Essays.