The American Civil Rights Movement Essays

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The Civil Rights Movement of the 50's and 60's was arguably one of the most formative and influential periods in American history. Hundreds of thousands of civil rights activists utilized non violent resistance and civil disobedience to revolt against racial segregation and discrimination. The Civil Rights Movement began in the southern states but quickly rose to national prominence. It is of popular belief that the civil rights movement was organized by small groups of people, with notable leaders like—Martin Luther King, Jr, Rosa Parks, Medgar Evers, and even John F. Kennedy—driving the ship. That is partly correct. The Civil Rights Movement, in its truest form, was hundreds of thousands of people organizing events and protests, …show more content…
As a response, the Congress of Racial Equality—also known as CORE—and the Fellowship of Reconciliation decided to arrange interracial and bus rides across state lines. The Journey of Reconciliation, as they were called, decided to focus on the rampant bus segregation of the upper South, but avoided the more dangerous and risky areas of the deep south. Unfortunately, there was a lack of media attention and, ultimately, CORE's goals and rides went unnoticed. In 1961, however, new—and successful—Freedom Rides were actualized. CORE partnered with student activists to continue previous efforts made to fight segregated bus rides and bus terminals. On May 4, 1961, two buses began the trip from Washington DC to New Orleans. They riders were met with little resistance and violence until they arrived in Rockhill, South Carolina. There were many violent beatings and arrests of the riders. The events in Rockhill, South Carolina initiated the national media coverage of the rides. On May 14, the Freedom Rides arrived in Anniston, Alabama. There, the riders were met with a violent mob of regular citizens and Ku Klux Klan members. Local authorities, lead by Birmingham Commissioner of Public Safety Eugene “Bull” Connor—who was known as an
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