African American History Paper 1

Submitted By Harrison-McElroy
Words: 1563
Pages: 7

Running Head: Civil Movements
Civil Movements
Harrison McElroy
Florida A&M

Civil Movements
African Americans have fought hard for their freedom, citizenship, and equality in America. It was only fifty years ago that Martin Luther King gave his famous “I have a dream speech.” It was in then, that many black leaders we look up to today, fought for rights that we exercise freely today. After the North won the civil war, blacks were not given the rights that they sought to achieve. In essence, this was the biggest problem that the South brought to African American Citizens. African Americans did not always feel as if they had the power to overcome things such as Jim Crow Laws. Most were comfortable to a certain extent with the inferiority that came with more post-war issues. And they are not to blame considering the amount of change that had already taken place. It seemed that many of these African Americans were complacent and felt that there was not much more to achieve. Fortunately, there were others who felt that the Revolution wasn’t over, and there was much more to achieve in the South.
Starting with the 1950’s blacks started making moves towards abolishing Jim Crow Laws and unfair segregation. At this time African Americans felt that the best route to achieving integration was through nonviolent civil disobedient protest. The first well known objection to Jim Crow Laws took place by a subtle act by a famous Civil Rights Activist named Rosa Parks. In 1955 Rosa Parks refused to give her seat up to a white man who walk on the bus in Montgomery, Alabama. At this time it is required for an African American to give up their seat to a white person if asked. When Rosa Parks continuously refused to give up her seat, the bus was then stopped and officers got on the bus to arrest her. A full year later, the case was brought into court in the well-known, historic case of Browder vs. Gayle. The jury found that laws stating that African Americans must give up their seats to whites is unconstitutional. Making Rosa Parks, a quiet soft spoken women victorious in her efforts to fight for equality.

Civil Movements
African Americans started with small nonviolent protest such as these. Eventually, they would have to take further steps towards fighting for rights due to retaliations. Often time’s blacks would enter places that were whites only, such as restaurants and places of that nature and perform what was then known as a “sit in.” These sit in’s greatly impacted some of the major issues that plagued blacks in the South for many years. On the 1st of February in the year of 1960 four students from a North Carolina Agriculture School organized a “sit in.” They refused to pay at the segregated counter of the Woolworth store 132 South Elm Street in Greensboro, North Carolina. These men, known as the Greensboro four or the North Carolina A&T four refused to leave the store until it closed. The following day, another twenty black students who decided to join in on the sit in fun assembled and performed the exact same activity, refusing to leave. As the students sat inside and began studying until the cashier accepted their service more people started to hear of the event. A Television videographer and some Newspaper reporters covered the full second day of protest. As the event gained publicity the third day more than 60 people came to the Woolworth store to participate. The store continued to deny their request, getting informed by Woolworth headquarters to abide by local community rules and sustain segregated cashiers. As the week went by, people around the south were taking notice. Many people all across Greensboro as well as around Greensboro started to initiate their own “sit in’s.” By nature, some of these peacefully intended “sit’in’s” became violent. In Tennessee fights were to break out in one of the stores that the blacks refused to leave in. Angry, racist white people were afraid of the actions that blacks