Civil Rights Movement Narrative Analysis

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Bernice Johnson Reagan wrote (1981), “The Civil Rights Movement was simply a continuance/ or more complexly a continuance.” The traditional Civil Rights Movement narrative starts in the mid-1950s and ends in 1965. The traditional Civil Rights Movement narrative is headed by men like Malcolm X and even more prominently, Martin Luther King Jr. The traditional Civil Rights Movement narrative portrays Rosa Parks as a meek old lady who was too tired to give up her seat on a bus. The traditional Civil Rights Movement narrative is centered on civil rights such as voting and integration. While the traditional Civil Rights Movement narrative is true, it lacks depth, breadth and simply describes something very complex, leaving the narrative incomplete. …show more content…
In July, 1942, Ella Ree Jones boldly refused to move seats, due to the fact that she felt unwell and able to stand. (McGuire, p.41). Viola White refusal to move occurred in 1946. In retaliation against White, police maliciously raped her daughter, though this was not the only incident of rape by the police, though this was not the only rape perpetrated by police officers. (p. 45). Teenager, Claudette Colvin refused to budge when asked to move in March of 1955 and was arrested. (p. 69). Mary Louise Smith was arrested for not moving from her seat in October of 1955. (p. 75). The famous incident that sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott was not even Parks’ first stand against the city bus segregation laws since she refused to board from the rear of the bus in 1943, but it was the first time she was arrested for resisting. (p. 12). These women, with the exception of Rosa Parks, have been forgotten. In some cases, especially in the later years not causing extra publicity was intentional. The NAACP had to find the right person to be the face of a boycott. Many of the women were looked over for this position because they were less respectable. Rosa Parks was an older woman, which made her less threatening and more likely to gain sympathy. She also had no …show more content…
In many cases, it seems that white people simply didn’t like African Americans and thought that white people were inherently better. While this is true, sexuality also played an instrumental role. White Americans thought that the push for integration was pushed by the African Americans insatiable lust for white women. In situations where white people and African Americans did mingle such as those working together in The Movement, racists accused these relationships of being purely sexual. African American men were punished more harshly, and were sometimes even accused of rape in interracial relationships that were consensual. The claim of rape allowed some of the white women in these relationships a safe “out” so that they could still be considered respectable members of society. Of course, this whole idea of African American men being brutes who could not control their sexual feelings and causing the potential for race-mixing was ironic seeing as this sentiment basically summed up the attitude of white men toward black women throughout

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