The African American Civil Rights Movement and Social Justice Today
The African American Civil Rights Movement and Social Justice Today
Many social protests have existed since the colonial days, but the Civil Rights Movement that advocated for the rights of the black community is one of the most important of these protests. At the time, there were distinct racial segregation and barriers, and the blacks were beginning to find their place in the country and the community all in the attempt to transform the mentality of the people and open doors for the people of the black origin (Brown-Nagin, 2011). These barriers were deep-rooted due to the days of slavery and, as a result took close to three decades to acknowledge that progress had been made. Regardless, it is though this fight among others that the American segregation tendencies of the black lives subsided and the apartheid period and system known as Jim Crow was abolished (Pace, 2015). This paper will, therefore, look at the activities, leaders, challenges, and successes of the African American Civil Rights Movement and identify the level of social racial injustice that show that black Lives matter today.
It is known that the main reason behind the success of this movement’s initiatives is the availability of a strongly unraveled religious leadership forum. The renowned leaders of the religious entities were some reverends among them, Reverend Martin Luther King, Reverend Wyatt Walker, Reverend Jesse Jackson, Joseph Lowery, and Andrew Young among many others (Pace, 2015). These very religious leaders are known to have spread their strategies, objectives, and methods to shape the defense against further exploitation of lives. Their participation both in the religious and the national leadership is yet another reason that these people were able to develop and adopt quality strategies from their white counterparts and spread the grievances of their people, the black community to leadership bodies and decision sung alternatives. Once the movement was started, therefore, many other black clergy people took up the role and with time, many congregations were addressing the matters and making even greater sacrifices for the course.
The greatest trait in the black society that facilitated this movement was the oratory style, which was charismatic, energizing and bold reaching large multitudes of people and loud enough to attract the attention of more (Pace, 2015). The main message was to use the teachings of the Bible to prove that the African Americans were not different or lesser than their white counterparts were based solely on the color of their skin. The church events and movements were recognized as ‘The Holy Crusade’ and the missions were branded as both an initiative relying on religious and a mission seeking historical balance (Brown-Nagin, 2011). There are some instances that practical measures were taken in that tempt to make America more ‘democratic’ such as mobilizing people by the campaign in New York. Here, the trade unions that mainly dealt with construction were bombarded by many African Americans and Hispanics seeking employment as construction workers led by the notion that they were an important part of the moral and patriotic movement.
The achievements by the reverends were profound especially considering that they would incorporate crowds of up to 6000 people and preach with varying tempo and energies that sought emotional responses of the crowds. In most cases, the performances achieved their desired effects, and more people were recruited as reverends, ministry helpers and participants of demonstrations, boycotts and so on when need be (Brown-Nagin, 2011). The efforts in this movement spread awareness and confidence at a very fast rate, and the white media depicted the large sway of masses that was spreading across America and the world. With time, the leaders began to get an audience of the public through televisions, radios and other shows whether depicted negatively or positively by the media. In fact, these leaders won the affection of certain white leaders or average minded men making the struggle recognizable to many other races going through similar treatments.
Beyond Ministerial Leadership
The efforts of the clergymen were indeed historical and successful beyond expectations. However, being the main spear headers of the movement did not limit the participation of other non-clergy members. This is because the black community was vast and some of them failed to share in the Christianity believes due to the continuation of their cultures and traditions. This is where the non-believers, therefore, sought information and to be enlightened. Black churches at a point in their determination realized that they needed to endorse more than just black preachers and reverends in this case (Pace, 2015). This is because there was a need for representation at the social leadership forefront among other areas. The church, therefore, nurtured more individuals emphasizing on the need to cultivate drive and cooperate avenues that offered training seminars, alliances, conventions, and missionary societies to reach wider areas.
These forums and platforms were important to those interested in understanding the West culture, public speaking, handling of money and creating awareness to the less fortunate (Brown-Nagin, 2011). The involvement of the Laity is unfortunately widely unrecognized even in history, but evidence has shown that they played a pivotal role in the whole process. The overall coordination of the clergy and the laity provided the movement with great support both in the national and local levels (Pace, 2015). Individual efforts are however distinctive, especially that of Martin Luther King and Fannie Lou Hamer. The stories of Martin Luther are widely known, but Fannie was a religious woman that was beaten ad arrested for supporting the movement on numerous occasions. She, however, managed to talk about her plight, those of her fellow activists and foster the goals of this movement further.
The attention and recognition that is currently accorded to the lives of many black youths that face police brutality and other forms of racial segregation are all thanks to the initiative taken by the African-American back in the civil rights movement. This is because the success of the efforts of that time gave the black population and other minorities a voice and the ability to fight and demonstrate democracy (Brown-Nagin, 2011). Today, efforts are being made by not only the black population but the whites as well to ensure that the safety of all people is safeguarded as measures are put in place to prevent injustices.
In addition, the presence of a Black president
in the United States of America is a
dream come true and a sign of a more liberal and democratic country. This was the main
aim of the civil rights movements, and
the continuity of the same shows that there is indeed progress and goal
achievement (Pace, 2015). Similarly, presidential candidates are making efforts
to connect and gain the African-American
votes, which shows that there are important decision makers in leadership when
they cast their votes. The struggle of the civil rights supporters is a great
success today, and the remarkable
distinction of class and social status is
equally gratifying (Pace, 2015). Therefore,
the boost in political representation of the African American has ensured
progress in many fields such as the entertainment industry, employment in
commercial settings, and the improvement in medical care and standards of
Brown-Nagin, T. (2011). Courage to dissent: Atlanta and the long history of the civil rights movement. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Pace, L. (2015). Marching with Martin. The Rosen Publishing Group.