Personal Experience with The African American Civil Rights Era

1546 Words Feb 19th, 2018 6 Pages
I registered to vote the day after my eighteenth birthday, anticipating my first ballot the way a kid anticipates Christmas morning. My parents want me to have the best education I can get, which means I plan on attending graduate school after my four years at UC Berkeley. I live in the dorms; my floor is home to both male and female students, some from foreign countries like Turkey and Hong Kong, others less than an hour’s BART ride away from home. We live in a beautiful country where people are not turned away because of race or gender, and while we still have some issues to work out, there are many freedoms that I take for granted having lived here all my life. It is easy for me to forget the struggles of so many people before us, people without whom this nation would not be as free as it is.
Nearly a century after the Emancipation Proclamation, African Americans in the south were still faced with innumerable injustices, including disenfranchisement, segregation, and violence. Jim Crow laws infringed on African Americans’ fundamental rights to a basic education, to suffrage, to serve on a jury, to enter certain shops, and even to use a public restroom. Throughout this time period, activists, African American and white alike, rallied for change using all methods possible: nonviolent protest, civil disobedience, and even violence in some cases. While it is most common to recall the achievements of men such as Martin Luther King, Jr. and A. Philip…
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