Civil Right Movement

8 August 2016

During the 1950’s and 1960’s the United States of America called for a change in society. This change led to the Civil Rights movement1. The Civil Rights movement was movement in which black people urged for equality with the whites. While the Civil Rights Movement was in full stride, Black Power came to be2. The Black Panther Party took on the idea of “Black Power” believing in a pure black society and used violence to do so3. The Black Panther Party thought that violence was the way to gain equality however other activist had completely different thoughts of getting equality such as Martin Luther King.

Martin Luther King was one of three biggest Civil Rights Activists, his nonviolence teaching that resembled Gandhi inspired thousands to do the same4. Martin Luther King preached nonviolence, to integrate the blacks with the whites however another activist thought otherwise. Malcolm X was one of the other three major activists in the Civil Rights movement.

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Malcolm X believed since white people treated the black people so badly that they should go and create their own country, after changing his religious views Malcolm believed that the white people were not all that bad5.

Malcolm X however did think it was okay to use violence if forced to6. Even though his nonviolence campaigns took a long time to have an effect on the movement, Martin Luther King was the most successful because nonviolent campaign ended segregation in cities all over the south and marches such as Washington help push through the Civil Rights Act of 1964. African Americans have been fighting for equality years before the 1950s and 1960s but it was not until 1955 when a woman by the name Rosa Parks stood up for what she believed in that America called for social reform.

On December 1, 1955 a woman named Rosa Parks would not give up her bus seat to a white man, this was against the law at that time7. Rosa Parks would soon be sent to jail and this would become one of the major sparks of the civil rights movement8. Parks jailing led to the Montgomery Protest where black people would boycott busses9. The Montgomery boycott would soon end segregation in busses and would become the start of something much greater, also the Montgomery protest is also known for the upbringing of Martin Luther King10.

The civil rights movement took a big stride forward with the passing of the Civil Rights Act of 1957 which intended to increase black voters11. The civil rights movement had many activists but three played a major role Martin Luther King, Malcolm X and the Black Panther Party. Martin Luther King had his mark in the civil rights movement from the beginning while other like Malcolm X and the Black Panther Party did not come in major effect until the late 1950s and early 1960s.

Martin Luther King led many marches such as the Birmingham and the Washington march, the Birmingham march was the cause of Kennedy trying to push forward a new civil rights legislation12. The march on Washington occurred on August 28 and over 200,000 civilians came to the march, it was the final push for the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which ended segregation in public facilities such as pools and restaurants13. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 also ended racial discrimination for jobs and education also it did not only apply to blacks but to anyone who has been discriminated such as women14.

The civil rights movement would soon end segregation and discrimination almost all over southern America. During the civil rights movement a new term came to be 1960s, it was known as “Black Power” which was considered to be a way to revive “Black Pride”15. Americans thought it was a cry against whites who had all the power16. However, black people did not want “Black Power” to be associated with white people, the blacks believed that whites were untrustworthy and they could lead themselves and build up the black status in America which would lead to a black only society17.

“Black Power” caused some disturbance and gathered the attention of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People who was against “Black Power”18. The NAACP believed if a Negro supported “Black Power” they were not supporting civil rights19. “Black Power” also gathered the attention of Martin Luther King who quoted saying “Unfortunate because it tends to give the impression of Black Nationalism, black supremacy would be as evil as white supremacy. ”20. American Vice president was also against this “Racism is racism- and there is no room in America for racism of any color.21” The 1968 Olympics in New Mexico also show cased “Black Power” for the whole world to see. Smith and Carlos were winners of the 200m dash winning gold and bronze, during the ceremony the two came dressed to protest, they wore black socks and carried their shoes to represent African American poverty22. The two men also wore black gloves to show black strength and unity, when the national anthem played the two men bowed their heads and raised their hands and formed a fist, representing black pride23. “Black Power” caused disturbance to the civil rights movement and it would be pick up by a new group the Black Panther Party.

The Civil Rights movement had three different leaders Martin Luther King, Malcolm X and the Black Panther Party each with different aims. Martin Luther King aimed towards ending segregation by convincing young people to get involved, when young people got involved like students it led to sit-ins which ended segregation is 26 major cities in southern America24. Martin Luther King wanted black people to be considered equal with white people and he did with his nonviolent protest which did not strike fear into white people25. However, other activists like Malcolm X and the Black Panther Party did not approve of the idea of nonviolent protests.

Malcolm X aimed towards having black people separate from white people, creating their society26. Malcolm X tried doing this by preaching in using violence if forced to, this appealed to a majority of city black people26. Malcolm X was not the only activist that used violence, the Black Panther Party also used violence but much more. The Black Panther Party believed that nonviolent campaigns would not work, it would take too long to change their life styles or may not happen27. The Black Panther Party preached for a “Revolutionary War” where they would use violence to get whatever they wanted28.

Martin Luther King, Malcolm X and the Black Panther Party were three of the biggest activists but for different reasons. The Civil Rights movement were led by many people but three had a crucial effect on the movement, the three activists were Martin Luther King, Malcolm X and The Black Panther Party but they had different methods of reaching to the people. Martin Luther King had methods that were much different than Malcolm X and the Black Panther Party. Martin Luther King took the teaching of Gandhi and applied to the southern blacks in America, he preached for a nonviolent approached29.

Martin Luther King did man marches such as the March on Washington in which over 200,000 people attended and where he gave his famous “I have a dream” speech30. The Selma to Montgomery March also had a great effect on the movement, it helped pass the Civil Rights Act of 1965 which increases black voters greatly in southern America31. Malcolm was known for being a great speaker, he brought a lot of new faces to the Nation of Islam32. Nation of Islam took on the same beliefs of Malcolm X’s father and also believed that blacks should be segregated from whites33.

The Black Panthers wanted equality but had different methods of getting it, they believed having a “Revolutionary War”34. However, the Black Panther Party did do things that were good to everyone, they fed the poor and set up medical tents providing basic free health care. Malcolm X, Martin Luther King and the Black Panther Party each had different methods of attaining their goals weather they were good or bad. The Civil Rights movement had great leaders, Martin Luther King, Malcolm X and the Black Panther Party but Martin Luther King was the most successful.

Martin Luther King is the most successful because he had start from the beginning of the movement. Martin Luther King was considered the leader of the Montgomery Boycott35. Martin Luther King`s idea of nonviolent protest appealed to people, student got involved and did sit-ins which were nonviolent protest36. Martin Luther King fought segregation in the south where it was much more in common than the north and people in south did not know what was happening in the north due to lack of media while the north knew what was going go on down south37.

Martin Luther King was more exposed all around America while Malcolm x and the Black Panther Party were mostly only known up north38. Martin Luther King also did not strike fear into the white man while Malcolm X and the Black Panther Party used violence and caused disturbances in the streets. Martin Luther King won the attentions of both white and black while Malcolm X and the Black Panther Party one won the attentions of black people while striking fear into the white man and that is why Martin Luther King was the most successful.

Martin Luther King’s march on Washington which helped pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964 were one his methods of his nonviolent campaign that help end segregation in the south. The civil rights movement was sparked in 1955 and called for change, with the upbringing of “Black Power” the civil rights movement took a step back. “Black Power” emerged in 1960s during the civil rights movement and was supposedly a way to revive “Black Pride”, whites thought it was an outcry while blacks did not want it to be associated with white people.

Activists like Martin Luther King were against “Black Power” thought it was totally against the meaning of the civil rights movement39. The civil rights movement were led by Martin Luther King, Malcolm X and the Black Panther Party all within the same time but each had different aims towards the movement. The methods used by Martin Luther King, Malcolm X and the Black Panther Party were very different from each other, Martin led marches all over America while Malcolm X held speeches all over Boston and New York and the Black Panther Party relate to the black people helped them with medical centers and feeding the poor. The goals of these activists were somewhat similar but not entirely, Malcolm X believed in segregation until his trip to Mecca in which he did not hate the white people as much, Martin Luther King goals were to end segregation all over the south and gain equality. The Black Panther Party had four goals equality in education, housing, employments and civil rights40. All of these activists played a pivotal role in the movement but none were more successful than Martin Luther King

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