The Civil Rights Movement

Essay by groovytoe4High School, 11th grade November 2002

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Whites in the South were determined to control the South as they had always controlled the South. Although the reconstruction finally ended in the South, laws know as the Jim Crow laws went into effect. These laws were put into effect to keep African Americans from getting jobs and just getting the same rights that other white people received in the South. The Jim Crow laws were a system of legal separation or segregation. Many African Americans were forbidden to use public bathrooms, go to the same school, to stay at the same hotels, or to even eat at the same restaurants. Most whites accepted segregation as a fact of life. Some even believed that if God didn't want segregation than he wouldn't have created two different races. Those you thought it was wrong wouldn't even think about going against the crowd of people who thought it was right, because in the South they were out ruled.

Many African Americans resented segregation but they couldn't do much about it since they had no control over the government, legislature, courts or even the police. Many African Americans just simply tried to live under the Jim Crow laws.

Early Victories

Legal segregation would end, it would end in the courts and the first round was Brown vs. Board of Education. It's decision that separate-but-not-equal was unconstitutional in public schools everywhere was an early victory for blacks. In later years the Courts issued several laws that outlawed segregation in other public places not just schools. The Courts decisions were not enough; they needed to be enforced. Many whites in the South simply ignored the new laws. Rosa Parks was also part of an early victory in the civil rights movement. She refused to move to the back of...