Emergence Of Civil Rights As A National Issue Essay

Beginning in the late 19th century, state and local governments passed segregation laws, known as Jim Crow laws, and mandated restrictions on voting qualifications that left the black population economically and politically powerless.African Americans throughout much of the South were denied the right to vote, barred from public facilities, subjected to insults and violence, and could not expect justice from the courts. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas ushered in a new era in the struggle for civil rights.In February 1960, four black college students sat down at a Woolworth’s lunch counter in Greensboro, N. They were refused service, and they refused to leave their seats.

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Although the roots of the civil rights movement go back to the 19th century, the movement peaked in the 1950s and 1960s.Sit‑ins and other protests swept across the South in early 1960, touching more than 65 cities in 12 states.Roughly 50,000 young people joined the protests that year.Eisenhower enforced the desegregation of Little Rock Central High School in Arkansas.But, even after Little Rock, school integration was painfully slow, and segregation in general remained largely untouched.John Kennedy phoned Coretta Scott King to express his concern while a call from Robert Kennedy to the judge helped secure her husband’s safe release.The Kennedys’ personal intervention led to a public endorsement by Martin Luther King, Sr., the influential father of the civil rights leader.In May 1961, the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), led by James Farmer, organized integrated Freedom Rides to defy segregation in interstate transportation.Freedom riders were arrested in North Carolina and beaten in South Carolina.They pursued their goals through legal means, negotiations, petitions, and nonviolent protest demonstrations.The civil rights movement centered around the American South, where the African American population was concentrated and where racial inequality in education, economic opportunity, and the political and legal processes was most blatant.


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