Civil rights

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  • Publicado : 11 de mayo de 2011
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Civil Rights are the natural rights we get as citizens. They are guaranteed by the United States Constitution. “Examples of Civil rights are freedom of speech, right to vote, due process of law, equal protection of the laws, and protection for unlawful discrimination.” (US Dept. of Health and Human Services, www.hhs.gov). The civil rights were amended after the civil war. The reason for this wasto give the former slaves freedom and rights as citizens. In the early twentieth century, racial segregation was the norm in the southern states and opportunities for African American citizens were limited.
After World War II, black veterans expected that the racial segregation would end and they will find a new day for democracy. Also, the family members of these veterans such as wives, sisters,daughters were proud of them and thought that the situation will improved for them because they were heroes as well as the white veterans. Unfortunately, this was not the case. As an example, the case of “Gladys Stephenson and her son James who served in the Navy. She was upset and complaining to a white clerk at a repair shop because he did not want to fix a radio that she wanted her son to haveafter returning home from the military. As a result the white man attacked James from behind and then the two began to fight. The police got the Stephenson and not the white guy. After the police took them to their place and whites went to the black’s neighborhood to retrieve the Stephenson but what happened was the whites and blacks were into gunfire so four police officers were wounded. Onehundred blacks were taken in custody and two of them were killed by the police. So at the end the Stephenson and Flemings (white man) never stood trial.” Police only arresting the black people showed us that although many African-Americans fought for the country in WWII, the situation afterwards did not change. (Lawson, p.7-8) “When Black, Hispanic, and Native American soldiers returned they found acountry that still did not grant them full rights, but a movement for the expansion of civil rights had been born. Some black soldiers who had left farm jobs in the South decided not to return home. Instead, they moved to cities, looking for work that was similar to what they had learned in the armed forces. This movement represented an intensification of the black migration that began around theturn of the century. (www.livinghistoryfarm.org)”
In the 1950s a movement for the civil rights began. One of the most important leader was Martin Luther King Jr. an eloquent speaker influenced by the ideas of nonviolent resistance. For his protests he was arrested several times but he did not care because his objective was that all African Americans had the same rights the whites had. Dr. Kingwas involved in many protests one of them was the Montgomery Bus Boycott. “The confrontation began on December 1, 1955, when Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on the bus that a white man could seat. She had no intention to disobey the law but she refused to give up her seat because she was tired after a long work day. As a result she was arrested. On her first appearance to court, African-American community leaders called for a boycott of the buses. They submitted a list of proposals to the city and bus officials calling for courteous drivers, the hiring of black drivers, and a more equitable system of bus seating. Mrs. Park was found guilty but she appealed the decision. After a year of the boycott the Supreme Court ruled in Gayle et al.v. Browser (1956) that they city’s and buscompany’s policy of segregation was unconstitutional.” (Berkin, p. 840)
On September 15, 1963 a horrifying act occurred. Four innocent girls were killed in a racial hate crime. A church in Birmingham, Alabama was the target of some unscrupulous members of the Ku Klux Klan. They put a bomb in the basement of the church. Unfortunately, the four little girls were there waiting for their Sunday class....
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