Segregation and the Civil Rights Movement

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What are the factors responsible for the success of the Civil Rights Movement in the US during 1960s?

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Many factors, both great and small, contributed to the success of the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s. Small but significant factors include the decision of popular entertainers to advocate for civil rights. Though we often like to pretend these days that we do not care what the famous think, the role of those whom we elevate to such a status is key in forming popular culture. This may have been more true in the early 1960s, when the influence of such people became more ubiquitous as a result of television.

The Beatles famously refused to play to a segregated audience in Jacksonville, Florida, on September 11, 1964. Numerous figures from the entertainment world, such as Marlon Brando, Charlton Heston, and Paul Newman, participated in the March on Washington—a huge, televised event. Politicians, including the Kennedys and Lyndon Johnson, also enlisted the support of black entertainers, such as Harry Belafonte and Sidney Poitier, to promote civil rights and even to provide...

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