Summary Of The Civil Rights Movement

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Beginning of a Movement The 1950s held the birth of a movement that would change this country and the world as well. Two incidents fueled the movement during this time more than any others. On May 17, 1954, the NAACP won an unprecedented legal victory: The Supreme Court unanimously ruled in the Brown v. Board of Education that segregation in public schools was unconstitutional (Friedman, 32). Chief Justice Earl Warren presented the Court’s decision, in which he describes why “separate but equal” in education represents a violation of African-American rights. In nullifying the “separate but equal” doctrine set by the Plessy v. Ferguson case, the high court had struck a blow to segregation. Yet southern racist practices were deeply entrenched and many whites remained adamantly opposed to change. The implements of Brown remained painstakingly slow, if not nonexistent. Many school officials refused to comply with the ruling, and the threat of harassment—for the ruling had unleashed fierce resistance—prevented many black students from enrolling in all-white schools. At the same time, schools for black students remained overcrowded and grossly inferior to those that their white counterparts enjoyed. The second incident that captured the eye of the public unfolded in Montgomery, Alabama, where a seamstress named Rosa…show more content…
Picketing, boycotting, and other forms of resistance spread rapidly to communities throughout the south. Meanwhile, King emerged as the movement’s leader. His adherence to the nonviolent tactics used by the Indian nationalist Mohandas Gandhi would largely characterize the entire civil rights movement and inspire large-scale participation by whites as well as
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