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Sunday, August 14, 2011

Essay on Other Civil Rights Movement

The African American Civil Rights Movement was the most famous and the most powerful movements in the 1960s.  Through the efforts of the African American community, laws were passed recognizing their rights and giving protection on these rights.  However, the African American Civil Rights Movement was the not the only social movement that existed during the 1960s.  One of these civil rights movements was the Anti-War Movement.  The Anti-War Movement refers to the movement against the government’s decision to send hundreds of thousands American soldiers in Vietnam. It can be recalled that in furtherance of the Containment Policy, the United States participated in the conflict in Vietnam.  To avoid the spread of Communism in Asia, the United States became deeply involved in the conflict in Vietnam.  Initially, the protestors involved isolated groups of individuals.  However, as the war dragged on for months and as the bodies of dead American soldiers continue to pile up, civil unrest started. 

Another civil rights movement in the 1960s was the women’s rights movement.  The women’s rights movement refers to the movement that fought for the recognition of the rights of the women in the society.  One of its more famous leaders was Susan Anthony who fought for equal pay for women teachers, co-education and college training for girls.  Through mass demonstrations and actions they fought for the recognition of their rights to vote which was granted to them.  They also fought for equality in terms of employment, wages, and education.

Another civil rights movement was the Native Americans Rights Movement.  This movement was composed of Native Americans who were displaced from the lands which they had lived and transferred to reservations in cities.  Because many of them could not adjust to the lifestyle in the cities, they suffered from poverty and deprivation.  The movement sought for the return of their lands that were taken away from them illegally. Among its leaders were Clyde Bellecourt, Dennis Banks, and George Mitchell.

Another movement was the Chicano Movement which sought for the recognition of the rights of the Mexican-Americans.  The movement sought the empowerment of the Mexican-Americans and the removal of the discrimination against them.

Though the other civil rights movements were as significant as the African American Civil Rights Movement, there is no question that the latter was more successful than the other civil rights movement in effecting changes.  It was also beyond question that the African American Civil Rights Movement was given more attention compared to the other civil rights movement.  Perhaps, one of the many reasons for the same is that the African American Civil Rights Movement was more organized.  They used a number of strategies to make sure that their grievances will be heard.  They engaged in various kinds of civil protests such as sit-ins, marches, mass demonstrations, and even freedom rides. 

At the same time, they knew that the courts played a vital role in effecting social change. Thus, they went to courts so that the Jim Crow Laws may be abolished.  It can be recalled that the African Americans initially challenged the segregation system in schools which led to the decision in Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka.  In the said decision, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People argued segregating black and white in schools has the adverse effect of making the black students feel inferior.  They argued that segregation affects the students’ self confidence and delays their development. 

Moreover, its leaders knew that equality could not be achieved overnight so they concentrated their efforts on focusing on specific institutions.  They were hoping that once they succeed in changing a specific institution they could later on use the momentum and seek for bigger changes and challenge the other institutions. 

In conclusion, the African American Civil Rights Movement was not the most important movement during the 1960s.  Yet it was able to produce the desired changes because of its strong leaders, organized movement and effective strategies.  

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