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    The Importance and Impact of the Civil Rights Movement to the Public Policy

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    The Civil Rights Movement was a very impacting and well-known movement. Racial inequality was first seen in the early 1900s when slavery was being used. Slowly going away, and through the 1950s African Americans and blacks were seen as different. The racial inequality up until the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s was unfair compared to the rights minorities hold today. Not only did the Civil Rights Movement open many doors for African Americans and people of color, but it opened many eyes and many other movements to gain freedom and rights. This movement was inevitable and unforgettable, and even stil referenced and compared to today’s society and contemporary movements.

    The importance and impact of the Civil Rights Movement to public policy is huge. “Its public policy impact includes the landmark Supreme Court Decision of 1954, the comprehensive Civil Rights Act of 1965, and the Voting Rights Act of 1965…”(Gordon, 42). Starting in the 1940s with the threatened march on Washington June, 1941 till the 1970s when the Civil Rights Movement was slowly being forgotten, African Americans and people of color fought for their own rights.”…begins with the threatened march on Washington in June, 1941…” (Taylor, 117). African Americans wanted to fight for their rights of being served in restaurants, the right to an equal education, the ability to stand in government, the ability to live in white neighborhoods and equal job opportunities, and many others. “Blacks had no votes, nor could they get jobs in the public sector.” (Anderson, 31). People of color both men and women were treated with disrespect and not allowed the rights that whites were allowed. African Americans and people of color just wanted the ability to be treated with respect and equal rights as the whites. As time went on they were allowed what they asked and protested for, but there were twists on many of their rights.

    Throughout the Civil Rights Movement, there were many leaders such as LBJ, Malcom X and Martin Luther King Jr. Although each leader had their own accomplishments, Martin Luther King Jr. will be the focused leader with his sit-ins, protests and marches that helped him to accomplish his goals. Martin Luther King Jr. moved to Chicago in 1966 to apply nonviolent action to the North. …which had proven so effective in the South against white supremacy, could work in the North against poverty and discrimination.” (Fairclough, journal of American Studies 266). King wanted to move his practice of nonviolent tactics to the North to achieve his goals through poverty and discrimination.

    Martin Luther King Jr. was a Civil Rights activist and well known leader of the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s. King valued nonviolence and thought as though violence was not a way to get things done correctly. 1960 to 1963 Birmingham was recognized for racial inequality. Everything was completely segregated to the point where they removed a specific book from the library. “…so much that officials had removed a book from the library that featured white and black rabbits.” (Anderson, 31). When the blacks started to call Birmingham, “Bombingham” is when Martin Luther King Jr. realized the amount of danger. Under the lead of King, sit-ins and nonviolent protests and marches were held in his belief of nonviolence. Arrests of Civil Rights activists were being made day by day. April 3 began many of the nonviolent sit-ins and marches. “On April 3 black activists peacefully began sitting-in and picketing restaurants and businesses. The police arrested and jailed them.” (Anderson, 31). King was a leader through this time of nonviolence and enjoyed seeing people of color fight for what they want although he was in fear of killings and violence. People of color were being arrested for standing up for themselves. They innocently sat in restaurants and businesses, and whites did not agree with what they were doing. They chose these places in spite of the fact that they were unable to obtain jobs in large businesses, and they could not be served at many restaurants, or if they could be, they had to sit in a specific small section of the restaurant. It is very clear that black were not treated with respect and looked at quite differently, there are very many tactics that King used to accomplish his goals, and those are just some of them.

    The Civil Rights Movement was an eye opener for most. African Americans fought each and every day for their lives and rights, but still didn’t get very far until few years passed. Martin Luther King Jr. was a huge contribution to the Civil Rights Movement with his nonviolent acts including marches and sit-ins. MLK stood his ground and pushed nonviolence while on the other hand Malcolm X pushed for violence. The movement went through many curves from violence to nonviolence, and from getting nowhere, to achieving its goals of equality. Though, still today we see racial inequality and miss judgements, tables have turned and African Americans have many more rights as well as other minorities. Without the Civil Rights Movement, we may still have lived in a world of inequality and judgements. The Modern to the Contemporary Civil Rights Movement shows the progress through society in the years of the 1960s till now.

    The Civil Rights movement sprunga lot of contemporary movements between the late 1960s and now. Without the Civil Rights movement, many other rights may have not been given. After such a movement, the Counter Culture movement and the Women’s Rights Movement came about. Groups and individuals within society had now felt as though that they could speak their minds. Even after such movements, we still see inequality today such a feminism. “The contemporary women’s rights movement developed as an outgrowth of the black civil rights movement of the 1960 and 1970s” (Langston, Donna). The law of Civil Rights is not a law that may always stick, unfortunately it is still seen every day. “The attempted use of the law to promote principles of the democracy and equal opportunity in the United States during the last half-century… but also provides a classic example of the many, often contradictory, faces of law in modern societies” (Hawkins, Law and Human behavior.

    Afterward 352). In today’s society, we still see inequality through different groups of people, such as racial inequality. Many minorities are still not treated equal, and African Americans are often misrepresented. “Official and unofficial data report that racial and ethnic minorities are disproportionately arrested and convicted for violent criminal offenses” (U.S Department of Justice, 1992 in Law and Human Behavior). After the civil rights movement in the 1960s, African Americans were given their rights, but the racial inequality still did not go away. Often time we see African Americans and other minorities still fighting for their rights to be treated like ‘normal’ people. Because in earlier times, the Civil Rights movement turned into violence between Blacks and the Whites, blacks and other minorities are often looked at as harmful just because of their skin color or race. It is said, that even though our assumptions are that blacks and minorities are more dangerOus in a stereotypical point of view, that is wrong… there is a higher rate of white crimes than there are black and other minorities. “Their findings for black rates contradict common assumptions. For blacks, crime decreased as the percentage of female-headed households increased, and crime increased as family income and educational attainment increased” (Law and Human Behavior, 308). Although the civil rights movement had a huge impact on society and allowed blacks and minorities their rights, there are still racial inequalities seen today in contemporary matters.

    The Civil Rights movement has also impacted Gender relations and sex differences as well as race issues. Due to the civil rights law, men and women are now able to have same sex marriages and gender relations are looked upon more as equal. “But the evidence increase in racial and ethnic conflict and the massive attention to sex differences or gender relations.. things have not turned out quite the way civil rights supporters have hoped”(Epstein, Caste and the Civil Rights Laws… p 2456). There are more laws now that are looked upon as good rather than bad because of the many people rejecting or accepting the Civil Rights Law. Today in society individuals are able to have same sex marriages and Trans gender switches.

    After African Americans and minorities got their rights approved, many other groups wanted the same causing more laws involving same sex marriages, and Tran’s genders approval. Everybody is susceptible to their own rights, and that’s how it should have been all along.

    The contemporary civil rights movement is both very similar and different to the modern Civil Rights Movement. Racial justice has been a huge progress throughout society in the past 40 years, and shows the comparison between times in the 1960s till now. In the 1960s African Americans began the Civil Rights movement with the nonviolent sit-ins and marches. As time went on, violence was added to both the sit-ins and marches which is where progress really started to be made. “A nonviolent strategy works only if the protesters are seen as blameless victims” (Blair, Reproducing Civil Rights Tactics, 35). Nonviolence was not a way to get the process moving, so when the violence came into play, the movement was more effective. Society today does not allow such violence to happen. In today’s movements there are protests and parades to fight for what we want. Much like modern Civil Rights movements, the fight for what we wants is started on our own, and not by society as a whole. The movements have switched from African Americans, to Minorities, women’s and Trans genders wanting their own rights throughout the forty plus years from the 60s till now. The modern and contemporary movements are similar in the way that they are a fight for rights and peace, but also very different in how they were achieved.

    Starting in the 1960s till now, there has been much progress with many of the movements. One being the Civil Rights Movement with the leader Martin Luther King Jr, had one of the biggest impacts. Between African Americans gaining their rights, and many other movements being sprung off of the Civil Rights, there has been much progress and evolution. This movement has changed things today for both better and worse. Though we still see aspects of inequality and judgements in today’s society, they are much less harsh than the 1960s before the movement. The Civil Rights movement sprung other movements such as the Women’s Rights Movement, and the Counter Culture movement with each of these movements being a progress to equality, many aspects of them were achieved. In absence of the Civil Rights movement, there may have been no progress with inequality within society. African Americans, Women, and many others have gained much respect and rights which started with that one movement. Society today has held much progress and may not have without such movements. The Civil Rights Movement along with many others play a huge role in how the world around us is today, and without that we would still live in a world of inequality and no self-peace. The Civil Rights movement has been one to remember, and has had one of the largest impacts on public policy. The Civil Rights movement has made many people proud to say that they have fought for their own rights and changed history. “I have never been so proud to be a Negro… I have never been so proud to be an American.” (Anderson, 34). This quote came from Civil Rights activists fighting for their own rights showing how much the movement truly impacted people of color. Through many tactics, leaders and assassinations, the Civil Rights Movement has been influential and history changing.

     

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    The Importance and Impact of the Civil Rights Movement to the Public Policy. (2023, Apr 02). Retrieved from https://artscolumbia.org/the-importance-and-impact-of-the-civil-rights-movement-to-the-public-policy/

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