Segregation and the Civil Rights Movement

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Assess the presence of nonconformity in the Civil Rights Movement.

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I don't think that you will have to go very far to find examples of the non- conformist strand present in the Civil Rights Movement.  The entire premise of the movement was driven by non- conformity.  Every example of a bus boycott, a march, or a protest was an example of people who refused to conform with the segregated standards of society. When Rosa Parks refuses to surrender her seat, an example of non- conformity emerges.  Dr. King writes about the need to break an "unjust" law in his "Letter from a Birmingham Jail."  This is an example of non- conformity.  When Malcolm X preaches about the idea of African- American community empowerment, a demonstration of non- conformity is evident.  In all of these examples, non- conformity provided the ability for individuals to envision what can be as opposed to what is. In these examples and in nearly every single example of the Civil Rights Movement where individuals stoically and heroically challenged the existing system, non- conformity emerges because of the direct challenge to make things different from what they are.  In these instances, individuals are able to demonstrate non- conformity because their actions represent what can be as opposed to what is.

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