The American Civil Rights Movement Essay

623 WordsMar 19, 20083 Pages
The civil rights movement in the 1960’s had a profound effect on American history. African Americans were long suppressed in this country and finally took a stand to make American citizens follow what the constitution says, “All men are created equal”. This was a long road and bumpy road, though for activists. Goals, strategies, and support often changed and developed based on individual beliefs, although all blacks wanted the progression of their people. During the civil rights movement all activist groups wanted the same rights as white people, but some groups’ goals were a bit varied. In the beginning of the 60’s groups such as SNCC (Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee) and Martin Luther King Jr. supporters strove to be equal with whites. In 1963 President John F. Kennedy stated, “…All Americans are to be afforded equal rights and equal opportunities…” (Document D) Leaders like Stokely Carmichael though wanted the blacks to succeed and contain their success. Carmichael believed that the blacks should obtain equality, rights, and success but build their own separate communities, “The society we seek to build among black people”. (Document E) Some extremists, often members of the Black Panthers, also felt that black separation would be necessary, and even that African Americans were superior over whites. This was often seen as an alternate form of racism. So, while all these individuals and groups desired the progression of blacks in America, their specific goals varied. In order to reach these goals of black progression, strategies were necessary. The matter of strategy appeared to be clearly divided, militant and non-violent. The SNCC and Martin Luther King Jr. were the major advocates for nonviolence. In April of 1960 the SNCC stated that, “Through nonviolence, courage displaces fear; love transforms hate.” (Document A) King preached about nonviolence

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