The first massive direct action in the Civil Rights Movement came in Montgomery, Alabama in 1955. Under SCLC leadership, the black community boycotted the city’s bus system, which required them to ride at the back of the buses. After many months of boycotting, the U.
S Supreme court declared that segregation on public buses was unconstitutional, and the boycott was bought to an end. This was a very significant event for the civil rights movement. It caught the attention of the entire nation. People around the country were made aware of the event because it was launched on such a massive scale and lasted for more than a year. It also set the tone for the civil rights movement, which led to more struggles and protest. There was the school integration in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1957, where nine black students were admitted to Little Rock’s Central High School.Order now
President Dwight Eisenhower sent federal troops to enforce desegregation. There were public accommodation sit-ins in North Carolina and Georgia in 1960, when four black college students began protesting racial segregation in restaurants by sitting at “white only” lunch counters and waiting to be served. There were the freedom riders who traveled around the South in buses to test the effectiveness of the 1960 Supreme Court decision of illegal segregation in bus stations. There was also education and voter registration drives in Mississippi in 1961, which organized voter registration campaigns in black counties. Many of these protests where organized by the student affiliate of SCLC, many northern white liberal supporters, and the SNCC which stands for Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee.
The SNCC was founded in Raleigh, North Carolina in April 1960 to help organize and direct the student sit-in movement. They also concentrated on voter registration, believing that voting was a way to empower blacks so that they could change racist policies in the South. Southern whites counter mobilized by reviving the infamous Ku Klux Klan who used violence or threats against anyone suspected of favoring desegregation or black civil rights. There was also the start of a new organization called White Citizens Councils. There goal was to maintain segregation.
One of the last meetings between civil rights demonstrators and southern whites came in Montgomery, Alabama in 1963. Local sheriff’s attacked peaceful demonstrators with fire hoses, police dogs, and cattle prods. There was also the bombing of 16 Street Baptist Church in Birmingham Alabama, which killed four young black girls. The murderous act shocked the nation and provoked the civil rights movement. Both of these events were vividly portrayed on Network Television.
The majority of Americans were morally outraged. This surge of emotional momentum helped ensure the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. .