The Civil Rights Movement was the beginning of justice for African Americans in the United States, but it may not have been possible without strong opposition. African Americans helped to integrate public schools, places and help them get their natural rights back. African Americans faced very bad discrimination and racism especially in the southern states were they were not even allowed to associate with whites. There was extreme segregation, African Americans were not allowed to use public restrooms, schools, nursing homes, water fountains, busses, trains, parks and beaches,and restaurants that whites used. African Americans wanted equality that the by right should have,champions of the civil rights realized that in order to make a change they needed (White American) be aware and appeal to them in a way that would make them understand what was happening.
Dr. Martin Luther Kings Jr , was a civil rights leader that first came into the spotlight in 1955 for leading the boycott of buses. King himself was a clergyman and had the appeal of religious and moral principles. In his essay ” Letter from Birmingham Jail” he called for nonviolent protest and civil disobedience especially when it came to the Jim Crows Laws. These laws promoted segregation in the south, king called the laws “unjust” , which contradicted “law of God”(Doc 4).
Kings again appealed to religion when he spoke his famous “I Have a Dream” speech in Washington D.C stating that “were were all god children black and white”(Doc 7).Americans morals were also challenged by President Kennedy on national Television after two student of color weren’t allowed into the university of Alabama. In his statement he reminded Americans that America “was founded on the principle that all men were created equal and dismissinsin one man rights distingues every man’s rights”(Doc 6).Kennedy uses christian morality when talking about the scriptures. Another tactic that was used which was probably the most influential was the appeal to Patriotism and democratic views. When addressing the nation on national Television and stated in paragraph one President Kennedy question Americans in their use of the phrase “land of the Free” which was certainly true for White American but not Black American(Doc 6).The same tactic was used by two more Presidents Johnson and Eisenhower.
President Johnson when he addressed the supreme court in hopes of them passing a votings rights law so African American had the protection to vote. He pressed issues that to vote was one of the most important and basic democratic value that our country was built on and that refusing to acknowledge that would make them an oathbreaker under god because they swore to support the constitution which was for all American no matter what race(Doc 8). President Eisenhower addressed American after a group of African American kids tried going to an all white school. A group of whites angered by the Federal Court that African American were allowed to attend their school and how the National Guard was commanded to block the entrance to the school and even whites further escalate the situation with threatened to harm the black students. Eisenhower used the Cold War’s lasting effect against Americans stating ” that communists would criticizes the US for disobey our belief of democracy which we stated “Faith in fundamental Human rights” in the Charter of the UN”(Doc 3) Lastly the Law was put to used to make everything set in stone even though it didn’t really help because the still were groups like the kkk and incidents like the Little Rock. Gunnar Myrdal a Swedish sociologist came to america to study our race relations.Gunnar became a contributing factor for the Civil Rights movement he even wrote a book “An American Dilemma”.
He stated that the treatment of “Negroes in American is our biggest scandal” is help fuel the civil rights movement because African Americans were already fight but to have someone from a different country see the negativity toward Blacks and shine a light one it really caught the attention of Americas, which ultimately caught the attention of the court.In the Case “Brown vs Board of Education” was a huge victory for the Civil Rights moving because is was the first step to becoming closer as a whole because he ruled segregation unconstitutional. This case appealed the the 14th amendment of “equal protection”(Doc 2).