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The Civil Rights Movement

Introduction

The Civil Rights Movement in 1960 was the culmination of the end of people’s dissatisfaction with segregation and discrimination in almost all spheres of society. The march on Washington and the piercing speech of the fighter for justice, Martin Luther King, made a wide response among citizens. Since then, the struggle for the rights of African Americans has become a problem for the whole nation, and more and more whites are beginning to support the protest movement. Nowadays, America remains one of the controversial states within the framework of social equality and justice, despite such a rich and inspiring history.

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Effective Change Caused by the Civil Rights Movement in 1960

The active and uncompromising struggle for justice, honesty, and equality among the residents of the United States in the post-war period were able to significantly change the nation and change the attitude toward specific individuals. In difficult times, Martin Luther King’s speech made a broad public response: “Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood” (King, 1963). King was able to achieve considerable success and significant progress in the fight against racial segregation (OpenStax, 2019). Thanks to his piercing words and eloquent speech, the name of the famous preacher has become one of the most honorable, not only in America but throughout the world.

The United States has entered the “new era” – abolition of slavery and the beginnings of parity, equal opportunities for everyone. Moreover, after the “March on Washington,” in which black and white Americans walked side by side, the United States became a completely different country (OpenStax, 2019). National minorities began to receive support and social assistance for all the years of oppression. Indeed, Martin Luther paid with his life for the beliefs he professed, and his tragic death turned the politician into a real hero of modern America. Thus, King’s activities and the Civil Rights Movement created a new reality. Nevertheless, America continues to have the character of contradictions but in a more restrained and softened form.

Effect of the Civil Rights Movement on Minority Groups

In most cases, the Civil Rights Act would positively affect minority groups across the continent. The adoption of the 1964 law had a favorable impact on the development of the country and it was an important step forward on the way to equality of the population. After signing the Civil Rights Act, almost immediately, all forms of segregation were formally eliminated, both in the North and in the South part of the country.

Black people began to open up new chances that could not have been imagined before. For example, previously segregated and inaccessible “minority” opportunities have become available (Pedriana & Stryker, 2017). Blacks have been given access to career growth and higher positions, and African American children began to study on a par with Whites (Pedriana & Stryker, 2017). However, with a more detailed study of the law, it becomes evident that in many respects, it had a compromise character, which was reflected in almost all its sections containing several reservations and restrictions. It cannot be said that the law will eliminate discrimination. Still, it marked the beginning of the realization of the dream of Martin Luther King and millions of blacks about equality. Moreover, thanks to peaceful rhetoric and interaction with the authorities, Blacks managed to achieve significant changes in the democratic and pluralistic components of the US political system.

Application of Strategies of Civil Rights Activists Then and Now

In my opinion, the tactics and strategies that civil rights activists used in the 1960s would not apply to today’s racial and ethnic conflicts for the following reasons. First of all, the world is constantly changing and transforming. People and society are beginning to acquire new familiar foundations, norms, and traditions based on certain factors. Moreover, America needs a new leader and a fighter for civil rights that will adapt to the modern framework and the current life principles. Activists of the movement in the 60s did not use violent measures and were limited to reasonably loyal and humane events and acts. Boycotts, protests, and marches are likely to make it harder to make a stunning impression on the public. Such companies are more likely to be discussed and condemned in the news than to join the protesters. The problem concerning minorities is more global and requires slightly different conditions. Indeed, the rules and conditions of life have been modified, people have changed, and more radical measures are needed in this case.

I think that one of the best ways today applicable to eradicate conflicts regarding racial and ethnic segregation is through the mass media. Recently, “dissimilar people” appear more and more often on TV screens and in movies, posters of magazines, and music albums. Nowadays, Black people have become the main characters of new films and TV series from famous film studios, and young girls and boys with remarkable external features get on the covers of glossy magazines. Hence, such images indirectly or even directly affect people’s mindset and perception of specific moments, forcing them to believe in the truth of certain aspects.

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Relevance of Civil Rights Ideas Today

Certainly, the ideas of the 1960s still have relevance today. Although there are fewer apparent manifestations of racism today than more than 50 years ago, racial injustice still exists in American society. Many African Americans are still experiencing a critical attitude towards their person and a negative assessment of their actions. There remains a tendency for Americans belonging to different races to contact each other in many parts of the country. They go to different schools, shop at different stores, and do not always access the same services. The civil rights movement continues but is now named “Black Lives Matter.” Attracting the attention of the public and the government to this problem and applying ideas, tactics, and strategies of the social movement of the 60s can significantly correct the unfavorable situation.

Impact of the Civil Rights Movement on Diversity Today

The Civil Rights Movement would impact diversity in America today in the following ways. First of all, public movements for civil rights, rallies, and mass demonstrations attract public attention to the problem, forcing them to act and take specific measures and sometimes drastic decisions. The enthusiasm of the participants of the movements, coupled with the concern of citizens about the events taking place, can become a formula for particular success. Secondly, the Civil Rights Movement will be able to find not only a reflection in the media but also in the collective memory of the country. The black and white population will have the opportunity to prevent violent confrontation, gradually moving towards racial integration.

Conclusion

Summing up, the movement for equal rights and opportunities for every citizen of the United States at the age of the 60s has led to positive results and outstanding successes. Thanks to the recent series of important events, the situation and standard of living of the black population have significantly improved, and the attitude of whites towards them has softened. Even though today’s relations within the country are still tense, such “processions” that took place in the 60s could not wholly eliminate the pressing social problems. Faith and hope for change for the better is an integral part of the social movement for the rights of Blacks. Actual plans, methods, and strategies within the modern world will help “protesters” achieve the expected results and positively influence the aspect of diversity in 21st century America.

References

King, M., Jr. (1963). I have a dream. Stanford University. Web.

OpenStax. (2019). U.S. History. OpenStax. Web.

Pedriana, N., & Stryker, R. (2017). From legal doctrine to social transformation? Comparing US voting rights, equal employment opportunity, and fair housing legislation. American Journal of Sociology, 123(1), pp. 86-135. Web.

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