Students and the Civil Rights Movement During the 1960's Essay

Good Essays
The 1960's was a decade of tremendous social and political upheaval. In the United States, many movements occurred by groups of people seeking to make positive changes in society. During this decade, the Civil Rights movement continued to gain momentum. The black community was continually persecuted and discriminated against by prejudice white individuals and figures of authority. Blacks everywhere struggled to end discrimination. They demanded the right to vote, to receive quality education, and to become respected individuals in the community which shunned them. (Sitkoff 35) Students, in particular, played a significant role in the Civil Rights Movement during the 1960's. Many college students were outraged by…show more content…
Black school children, who were able to attend integrated schools, experienced extreme racial discrimination from both their peers and their teachers, in an effort to force them to return to segregated schools. (Curry 83) By 1965, at the elementary and secondary levels, 1,160 of the 3,028 southern school districts contained both white and black students. (Sitkoff 45) Almost 10% of all black children were attending school with whites. (Sitkoff 45) The amount of desegregation that occurred at public universities was greater than that of elementary and secondary schools. (Sitkoff 45) Nevertheless, many conflicts and riots occurred on college campuses when blacks attempted to enroll. James Howard Meredith was the first African American to attend the University of Mississippi during the Civil Rights Movement. James Meredith attempted to register in the fall of 1962. (Curry 74) Because of several violent threats, Meredith was accompanied by federal marshals. State officials tried to block his entrance to the building. Protest groups formed, and riots broke out, in which two people were killed. (Curry 74) After much controversy, James Meredith succeeded in registering at the University of Mississippi, but federal marshals stayed to protect him until his graduation in 1963. (Curry 74) James Meredith was an instrumental black individual who was brave enough to fight for his rights
Get Access