African Americans Struggle For Equality

1851 Words 8 Pages
African Americans and their influential leaders fought in many ways against racism, segregation, and discrimination following the Civil War until present time. African Americans’ struggle to achieve racial equality and full citizenship in the United States forced them to find ways to enhance their quality of life and establish strong political foundations capable of achieving meaningful social, cultural and economic changes. Their fight for equality led them to create durable movements that ultimately helped attain African Americans’ position in today’s society.
The Reconstruction era, 1865-1877, was the time following the Civil War. Freed slaves still had to deal with issues such as social inequality, their right of suffrage, education rights
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It was the time when equality among races became a mass movement. Several African American leaders challenged segregation through pacific protests, freedom rides and sit-ins. One of these courageous individuals was an African American woman named Rosa Parks who lived in Montgomery, Alabama. In December 1955, she refused to give up her bus seat to a white man, which was expected to be done by blacks whenever asked to do so. She was arrested. Following her arrest, African American leaders organized a boycott of the bus system. Martin Luther King, Jr was the leader of the boycott that lasted for a year. African Americans used car pools, took taxis that were owned by blacks, or walked. Whites started attacking walkers and burning black churches, tickets were given to blacks using car pools, even King was arrested and his houses were destroyed. However, King continued to call for nonviolence resistance, which would be the primary approach of the Civil Rights movement. This philosophy of nonviolent activism inspired other African American leaders. Sit-ins were another example of the nonviolent protests led by blacks. In 1960, four college students sat down at a lunch counter in Greensboro, North Carolina. Since they were not white, they were refused service at the counter. Yet, the remained seated as a form of protest. They came back to the lunch counter with more college students the next day and …show more content…
The Freedom Summer included white college students who volunteered to educate blacks living in the rural areas of Mississippi about their right of suffrage and how to register to vote. The Ku Klux Klan, a white supremacist group, and local authorities harassed and assaulted activists, even murdered some of them. A greater division was now seen between nonviolent Civil Rights activists and the ones who after these violent events doubted that desegregation was attainable without the use of

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