“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal,that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights,that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. This was written July 4, 1776 but yet slavery was not abolished until1865.
If an American, because his skin is dark, cannot eat lunch in arestaurant open to the public, if he can not send his children to the bestpublic school available, if he cannot vote for the public officials whorepresent him, if, in short, he cannot enjoy the full and free life whichall of us want, then who among us would be content to have the colorof his skin changed and stand in his place? Who among us would becontent with the counsels of patience and delay? One hundred yearshave passed since President Lincoln freed the slaves, yet their heirs,their grandsons, are not fully free. They are not yet freed from thebonds of injustice. They are not yet freed from social and economicoppression. And this nation, for all its hopes and all its boasts, will notbe fully free until all its citizens are free. John F. Kennedy said thisJune 11, 1963 with the signing of the civil rights acts.
During the Civil Rights Movement Essay there were many leaders. Dr. Martin Luther King was one of this leader. Dr.
King had thebiggest impact on the movement. After organizing the famous 1955bus boycott in Montgomery, Alabama he became the leader of themovement. In the face of often violent opposition, King challenged hissupporters to maintain a policy of peaceful resistance to injustice. In1957 King helped found the Southern Christian LeadershipConference (SCLC), an organization of black churches and ministersthat aimed to challenge racial segregation. King and other blackleaders organized the 1963 March on Washington, a massiveprotest in Washington, D.
C. , for jobs and civil rights. On August28, 1963, King delivered a stirring address to an audience of morethan 200,000 Civil Rights supporters. His “I Have a Dream”speech expressed the hopes of the civil rights movement in oratory asmoving as any in American history: “I have a dream that one daythis nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: Wehold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.
. . . Ihave a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nationwhere they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by theMartin Luther King JR.
believed in non-violence. During theCivil Rights Movement another group of black men believed anothermethod. The Black Muslims, followers of a predominantly blackreligious movement in the United States, who profess Islam as theirfaith. Its leaders advocate economic cooperation and self-sufficiencyand enjoin a strict Islamic code of behavior governing such matters asdiet, dress, and interpersonal relations. Members follow some Islamicreligious ritual and pray five times daily.
The Nation of Islam is themost prominent organization within the black Muslim movement. The most famous of the Black Muslims was Malcolm X. At thebeginning of his career Malcolm X did not believe as Martin LutherKing. But after taking a trip to Mecca, Saudi Arabia he renouncedhis previous teaching that all whites are evil, began advocating racialsolidarity, and adopted the Arabic name El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz. Another leader of the United States at this time was John F. Kennedy.
John F. Kennedy, the youngest man ever elected to theUnited States presidency, assumed the office in 1961. As president,Kennedy directed his initial policies toward invigorating the country,attempting to release it from the grip of economic recession. He madedirect appeals for public service and public commitment, payingparticular attention to civil rights. The major American legal andmoral conflict during Kennedys three years in office was in the areaof civil rights.
Black agitation against discrimination had becomewidespread and well organized. Although Kennedy was in no wayresponsible for the growth of the Civil Rights Movement, heattempted to aid the black cause by enforcing existing laws. Kennedyparticularly wanted to end discrimination in federally financedprojects or in companies that were doing business with thegovernment. In September 1962 Governor Ross R.
Barnett ofMississippi ignored a court order and prevented James H. Meredith,a black man, from enrolling at the state university. On the night ofSeptember 30, even as the president went on national television toappeal .