The Civil Rights Movement In The 1960's

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The Civil Rights movement was a period in American history starting in the 1950’s and extending through the 1960’s. More than that, it was an important phase in the lives of African Americans at the time, in that it saw an outbreak of sorts in favor of racial equality. While the majority still had a separate but equal mentality, especially in the deep south, the tide slowly turned toward equality for African Americans. While this wave of activism was a slow one, it was accomplished effectively in energetic bursts. These bursts were made possible partly because of the leadership of the activists that history has given us. It was the likes of Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks and Malcom X that motivated masses of people to stand…show more content…
The leaders that were mentioned in the previous paragraph were only a few examples of the activists that were integral to the movement. Each one represented a different way of thinking, a different ideology, and maybe even a different goal. It is not to say which was more effective, or who did more to further the cause because each one did their own share to end racial inequality. I would like to focus on the various types of protests that occurred during the early part of the Civil Rights Movement, focusing not on just the leaders, which history has done already, but focusing on the populous that followed such trailblazers. I intend on analyzing how various historians focus on or not focus on the people that initiated and participated in such demonstrations. The power was in numbers for certain, and I would like to explore how historians articulate the protests and how people of all colors began to join such efforts. I find it interesting how such a large number of people pledged their allegiance to this cause, even as it was a warranted cause. I would like to further explore the creativity and the hurdles…show more content…
I will be looking at several questions through the lens of several historians. Research questions that I will specifically explore are: 1. What did it take to change the system and the society? What were some of the tactics used by civil rights activists to bring about these changes? 2. What combination of factors converged to expand and focus the civil rights movement of the 1950s? 3. What was more effective during the civil rights movement, popular protests and activism or government action? 4. Is violence or non-violence the most effective means to achieve social change? Freedom Riders: 1961 and the Struggle for Racial Justice by Raymond Arsenault will be an essential monograph in the research for this essay. Arsenault’s use of over 200 interviews, archival material and other effective methods of primary research will aide in a thorough analysis of my research questions through the perspective of Arsenault. In his book review that focuses on Arsenault’s monograph, Stefan Bradley of Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville, states that this work, “Portrays the Freedom Riders as the main characters of the early

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