Theatre in the Era of the Civil Rights Movement

1486 Words6 Pages
Civil rights was and still is an ever changing picture. In the 1950’s, civil rights went from being a generally southern issue, to being a national concern. The issues of the day began to be spilled out over a new medium called television. During the 1950’s, television had become popular and spread throughout the United States. The racial issues of the south were now being seen in living rooms across the nation. The 1950’s laid the groundwork for what would become the massive civil rights movement of the 60’s. The laying of this foundation was not without failure and not without it’s share of problems. The issues of the day were not only reflected on the television screen, but on the theatrical stages of New York…show more content…
In 1955, Montgomery, Alabama had a municipal law which required black citizens to ride in the back of the city's buses. On December 1st of that year, Mrs. Rosa Parks, a forty-two year old seamstress, boarded a city bus and sat in the first row of seats in the black section of the bus. When some white men got on the bus, the driver, James F. Blake ordered Mrs. Parks to give up her seat and move back. She refused to move, and Blake called the police to have her arrested. When Rosa Parks was arrested, the leaders in Montgomery 's black community saw the incident as an opportunity for staging a protest against the city's segregation laws. They held a meeting and began the M.I.A (Montgomery Improvement Association). The Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. was elected as president of this organization. The Montgomery bus boycott continued into 1956. For all its success, the boycott had its downfalls. Some blacks grew tired of their stand. They grew tired of walking places, they found themselves having to seek insurance from London as it was impossible to get it at home. During that time, reactionaries within the local white communities fought back against the protesters in a variety of ways. Blacks riding in car pools were harassed by the police. Bombs were set off at the houses of both the Reverend King and E. D. Nixon. At one point, King was arrested on a petty speeding offense. Conspiracy charges (based on state anti-boycott law) were brought against King as

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