Segregation and the Civil Rights Movement

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In what ways did the civil rights movement succeed and what made those successes possible?

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After a long struggle, the Civil Rights movement accomplished many of its goals. By the end of the 1960s made many positive changes had been made by the movement.

With the Brown v Board of Education case, separate but equal schools were declared illegal. The "separate but equal" policy was created to keep the races apart but was rejected by this Supreme Court ruling.

The Montgomery Bus Boycott helped to end the practice of having separate seating sections on buses. African-Americans would no longer have to pay their fare at the front of the bus, get off the bus, enter through the back door, and sit in the back of the bus.

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 made it illegal to have segregation in public places. No longer would there be separate bathrooms, separate drinking fountains, or restaurants that only served whites.

The Voting Rights Act of 1965 helped African-Americans register to vote. It also made the poll taxes and literacy tests illegal. These taxes and tests were designed to keep African-Americans from registering to vote and from voting.

The Civil Rights Act of 1968 made it illegal to discriminate when renting an apartment or selling a house. The race of person could no longer be used as a factor when deciding to whom an apartment would be rented or to whom a house would be sold.

There are several factors that made these successes possible. One factor was the persistence of the African-American people to demand equal rights. African-Americans remained united in the Montgomery Bus Boycott and didn’t ride the buses for 381 days until segregation ended on the city buses of Montgomery.

Outstanding leadership was another reason for these successes. Leaders like Martin Luther King, Jr., made wise decisions in leading the nonviolent protests. They were able to rally the people to the cause and keep them focused on the ultimate goal.

The bravery of the African-American people was another factor for these successes. They were brave to face the hate the white people showed toward them. The Little Rock Nine were incredibly brave kids to face this pressure. Other people were beaten for protesting nonviolently for their rights. Some were killed in doing this also. However, the protests continued until changes were made.

The coverage of some of these events by the media also helped. Many people couldn’t believe what they were reading in the newspapers or hearing on the radio. When they witnessed the violence with their own eyes on television, such as with the Selma March, this spurred many whites into demanding change along with the African-Americans who demanded change.

There were many successes made in the Civil Rights movement. There were many reasons why these successes occurred.

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