1963: The Hope that Stemmed from the Fight for Equality

Essay by Michael AbateUniversity, Bachelor's November 1996

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1963: The Hope that Stemmed from the Fight for Equality

There is a desire in every person's inner being to strive for equality. The fight for equalization has existed throughout time. Jews, Negroes, women, and homosexuals are examples of those who have been inspired to fight for equal rights, for justice, and for freedom. The struggle for black equality was the event that turned the United States of America upside down. For over two centuries, Negroes have struggled to work their way up the ladder to ultimate parity. Methods for obtaining this equality differed over the years. Escaping slaves, underground railroads, court cases, demonstrations, sit-ins, and marches all played into the ever-complicating history of this struggle.

The intense hatred of whites for Negroes grew out of the Civil War. One of the reasons for the war was the issue of slavery. When the Confederates lost the war, their position in the political world was taken away.

Any position held by someone connected with the Confederacy was given to a northern man. In many cases, the new man was a Negro. The Negroes did not have the opportunity for equality long. After a few years relations between the north and the south were restored, and the position was taken away from the Negroes and given back to white men. In the time that the Negroes occupied these positions, southern whites developed a deep hatred and animosity for Negroes. From that day forward the strain between blacks and whites grew.

Racial discrimination appeared to be eternally present. Hope looked slim as the years wore on, and little progress was made toward freedom. Tension came to a head in 1963 as Negroes grew tired of silent acceptance of racial discrimination. Demonstrations, sit-ins, peace talks, and marches graced the front pages of the newspapers...