The Fight For Civil Rights Essay

Submitted By mary150793
Words: 2085
Pages: 9

The Fight for Civil Rights In a world where blacks and whites went to separate schools, drank out of separate water fountains, and even had specific bus seating rules one of the biggest fights in history was taking place. It was the fight against segregation and equal rights for all people of all races. Many people fought in this fight even if they did not know that at the time it would make history. People like Emmet Till, KKK members, Rosa Parks, George Wallace, Martin Luther King Jr., JFK, and many more. In this paper I will give examples of people who fought for or against the Civil Rights Act and segregation and show how they risked their lives to do so. Although the end of the Civil War was where the fight originally started most of the history people hear about today when action started to really take off towards it was in the 1950s and 60s. In the 1960s many statistics show just how bad discrimination still was, even in the 20th century. 57% of African American housing was unacceptable, their life expectancy was seven years less than the average white man, it was almost impossible for them to get a home mortgage, and the property value went way down in any neighborhood a family moved into that was not considered ghetto (History learning). This is just a small example of how horrible some of the racism got to be. In class we learned about a girl named Ruby who was the only colored girl in her school. Ruby walked to and from school every day with the instructions to look straight ahead and never look back or talk to anyone. The reason for this being that she was always being yelled at by adults and children from houses and churches. Things like the “N” word and to people telling the girl, who was under the age of ten at the time, that she was going to die. At one point her parents had to take her to the doctor for not eating. When Ruby was asked why she was not eating she told the doctor and her parents that one of the old women who yelled things at her would tell her she was going to poison her food someday and that she would never know when so she would not eat. This is a fight Ruby may have been unaware she was in. It was more her parents, they put her in there because it was simply something that had to be done in order to move forward in society. So even though they could have been badly hurt or killed they risked that to do what needed to be done. (Glassmyer) Another child, whom we also learned about in class, is another example of just how much people gave up in this trying time even if they did not want to. Emmet Till was murdered by two men after being taken from his bedroom at his grandmother’s home. He was murdered because after going to the store to get a soda and some candy he either whistled or said, “Bye baby” to the girl working the counter. Emmet did not do it out of disrespect, that was just his way of showing appreciation but the woman ended up telling her brother and boyfriend who then followed him home and kidnapped him three days later. They beat Emmet and did more ungodly things to this small innocent boy and ended up mutilating his body so badly you could barely tell it was him. His part in the fight for the rights was during his funeral when his mother insisted that it was an open casket to show the world what they had done to her boy. Emmet’s murder was one that really showed the true colors of just how bad it was (Glassmyer). One of the most notorious and well known activists is Martin Luther King Jr. MLK fought segregation one protest and boycott at a time. His main goal was to end segregation and discrimination and he worked towards that by taking smaller local objectives first (Tavanna 2014). His first big boycott was of the bus transportation system in Montgomery, Alabama (Tavanna 2014). This started with the well-known Rosa Parks who would not give her seat up to a white man on a bus and was then arrested for her insubordination with the rule that colored people were to sit at