The Civil Rights Movement

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Victims & Frustration In general, historians will have us believe that the fight for Civil Rights was one fought in the South. While this is predominately so, there were still people to the North and West that needed representation during this struggle. The situation in the South mainly revolved around the reluctance of local authorities to follow the national legislature after the Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka decision. Black Power became synonymous with urban riots in Harlem, Detroit, and Watts. Author Brian Behnken argues that putting a geographical face on each sub-movement creates difficulty when trying to understand the movement as a whole. Instead of focusing on the difference in the areas where struggles were occurring, it is important to concentrate on why. What brings nonviolence and Black Power together regardless of location is the mere fact that those participating in each were victims of racism. Some of the more common examples of cruelty during the Civil Rights Movement include the Birmingham Campaign which was met with tear gas, police dogs, and water hoses being used against the protestors and the Selma to Montgomery March which resulted in police-inflicted beatings. In each, the participants were engaging in non-violent protest when officials reacted with force. While these two instances occurred in Southern areas, the injustice in police brutality was witnessed in other areas as well. During the 1960’s, urban riots occurred frequently
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