What were some of the effective methods of nonviolent protest practiced by some civil rights groups to achieve their goals?

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mizzwillie | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

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Many nonviolent protest methods were practiced in the effort to get civil rights recognized for people of color.  Rosa Parks in December of 1955 began the public protests by refusing to give up her seat on the bus to a white man in Montgomery, Alabama.  That public refusal and her arrest began the nonviolent bus boycott  by black people which forced changes after a year.  In 1957, after the courts ruling to desegregate the buses, nonviolence became the official method used in the civil rights movement.  Marches on Washington in 1963 and 1995 attracted attention and motivated people to work on civil rights. Black students enrolled in white schools despite the threats against them and troops were sent in to protect them.  Black people began to sit down in white restaurants and wait for service. The Freedom Riders rode buses and broke segregation laws forcing the federal government to enforce the laws already on the books.  Many of the street marches were shown on television and when the country saw the dogs and fire hoses used against children, the movement gained more momentum. The killing of Medgar Evers in 1963 and three Freedom Riders in 1964 also outraged the country. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 gave power to the civil disobedience being used to force change.  I think all of these actions helped bring about change though slowly and not completely. We are still waiting as a country to truly have complete equality among people of color, women, the newer immigrant groups, and watching as many whites in this time fight to tighten restrictions on any non-white groups.  

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