The Civil Rights Movement was formed by African Americans in mid 1950s to late 1960s in order to enable them achieve equal civil rights with those of the whites. Among these rights included; equal employment opportunities, right to equal educational facilities, the right to vote and the right to face free and fare justice. The movement was intended to restore the rights to fair justice to African Americans as guaranteed by the 14th and 15th Amendments which were violated by Jim Crow laws in the south. In this article we will focus on major facts you didn’t know about the Civil Rights Movement.
- The Civil Rights movement was formed to counter the tough Jim Craw Laws which were formed after the Civil War. The laws treated African Americans as second-class citizens where the “equal but separate” law was implemented. There were separate schools, hospitals, restaurants and transportation something which most blacks found to be unconstitutional.
- The civil rights movement led to the convergence of civilized black leaders such as W.E.B. Du Bois, Malcolm X, Rosa Parks, Ida B. Wells and Martin Luther King Jr. leading to the formation of the NAACP in 1909. Other leaders such as Booker T. Washington established black schools which specialized in educating black students to upgrade their social and educational status.
- The civil rights movement led to the signing of the Civil Rights Act by then President Lyndon Johnson in 1964. The act outlawed all segregation laws including the Jim Craw Laws stating that any racial or discrimination acts were unconstitutional. The act further gave all black organizations such as the NAACP the power to fight racism even in the Supreme Court.
- The civil rights movement paved way to another law known as the Voting Rights Act. This act was passed on 1965 which stated that no one should be denied the rights to vote whether black or white. This act outlawed civic tests that verified blacks to vote as well as poll taxes which were paid out before voting.
- One major event that sparked the Civil Rights movement was the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott that was formed after the arrest of Rosa Parks for refusing to give up her seat to a white woman. The boycott, which lasted for over a year led to the formation of other protests such as the Birmingham Campaign and the famous March on Washington where Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his iconic speech “I have a Dream.”