The civil rights movement refers to any politically motivated group working to advance the civil rights of a specific group in society. The goal of the most well-known civil rights movement in the US was to uphold the civil rights that black people were constitutionally given but had historically been denied. It impacted the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which included stringent anti-discrimination laws.
The movement has focused on ensuring that the law is upheld since the middle of the 1960s. Others have purposefully modeled their groups after the American Civil Rights Movement. In particular, the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association was established in 1968 to bring the subject of Roman Catholic civil rights into the political sphere.
Jim Crow period in the US
The Union states’ victory in the American Civil War (1861–1865) theoretically ended black people’s position as enslaved people in the country. Black people were declared legally free but remained under oppression. They were not allowed to vote or have legal protection in the south and only received the bare minimum of governmental services.
“Jim Crow” was used in place of slavery. The pre-Civil War minstrel theatre figure after whom the Jim Crow laws were named. Jim Crow aimed laws at perpetuating the segregation and servitude that social norms and unofficial forces had maintained in rural areas of the south.
In Alabama, interracial pools and billiards games were forbidden, mixed-race marriages were invalid, white nurses were banned from caring for black males, and restrooms, restaurants, and transportation were segregated.
Georgia segregated baseball fields by two blocks and segregated public parks, eateries, cemeteries, barbershops, and psychiatric facilities.
Mississippi outlawed interracial unions and made it illegal to print, publish, or spread justifications for such mixing.
In addition, complicated legislation was utilized in every southern state to make it difficult for blacks to register to vote.
Civil Rights Movement in the US
The 1955 Montgomery bus boycott may be considered the beginning of the civil rights movement. The next nine years witnessed a lot of tension as blacks in the south organized a variety of primarily peaceful demonstrations with the assistance of white liberals from the north and under the leadership of dependable clergymen.
Racist whites assaulted the protesters, and the public outrage in America was caused by white violence, the white authorities’ inability to control it, and their apparent complicity in breaking the law.
The 1964 Civil Rights Act, which outlawed discrimination based on race, sex, religion, or national identification, was published by the federal government in 1964. This Act effectively overturned the Plessey v. Ferguson judgment from 1896 by stating that racial segregation had no place in America, stealing essential authority from the dictatorship.
The 1963 Birmingham showdown, which King led, and the tens of thousands of demonstrations it inspired throughout the country were the immediate causes of this momentous Act. President Lyndon Johnson fought for a federal law to give slave descendants the right to vote. Johnson approved the Voting Rights Act in 1965, granting the right to vote to all eligible Americans.
While the primary injustices that had been the focus of the civil rights movement were eliminated, these and other legislative measures did not instantly put an end to racial strife or quickly address black concerns.