Working Toward a Civil America (Civil Rights Movement)

Essay by hhorinekUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, March 2010

download word file, 5 pages 5.0

This essay will discuss and describe the civil rights movement in America between 1960 and 1968. First, it will briefly touch on the background of the Civil Rights movement in America. Second, it will describe public opinion of the civil rights movement and the media coverage of the civil rights struggle. Third, it will elaborate on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the nonviolent protest movement. Fourth, it will discuss Malcolm X and the changing nature of the civil rights movement in the late 1960s.

America began to recognize the civil rights movement in 1960, although African Americans sought equal rights for the previous 100 years. The Jim Crow laws, constituted in a few southern states, were meant to ensure African Americans and white Americans were separate but equal. The Jim Crow laws enforced the separation of African Americans from white Americans, but public facilities between the two were indisputably unequal.

African Americans who fled the southern states, which enforced the Jim Crow laws, found the northern states to be just as discriminatory even without the laws.

The public opinion of the civil rights movement changed throughout the decade. In the early 1960s when the civil rights movement was just beginning to gain national attention, the public had minimal support for the civil rights bill (Harris). In 1964; however, the Los Angeles Times reported "Despite mounting concern over a Northern white 'backlash' on civil rights and signs of new extremism in Negro demonstrations, dominant public opinion remains overwhelmingly in favor of passage of the Johnson-Kennedy civil rights bill now before the senate" (Harris).

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was an American icon in the 1960s. His speeches and demonstrations inspired African Americans as well as whites in America. Dr. King led several nonviolent protest movements in the southern...