Relative Deprivation Theory Of The Civil Rights Movement

1225 Words 5 Pages
In the United States Constitution, our founding fathers declared, that all Americans and people should be guaranteed civil rights. This entails the right to vote, protection under the law, freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, and so on. African Americans however did not receive any of these rights, they were deemed to be inferior. This helped the white Americans justify their dreadful treatment towards African Americans. Throughout history, it is evident that African American people suffered a great deal and endured countless acts of racism, prejudice, and unequal treatment. Nothing was being done to help their situation, so the African American people united and together they led way to the Civil Rights Movement (African American Civil …show more content…
The theory suggests that people are likely to join a movement when they feel they have been deprived of something that is rightfully theirs, or they feel that they are experiencing some sort of inequality (Mejia 2016). In this case that could explain how African American people felt. That white American people (specifically the U.S. government) weren’t allowing them to receive the basic rights and privileges that were owed to U.S. citizens according to the constitution. This was a very unjust inequality that the African American people experienced and were frustrated about. The theory also suggest that the participants of the movement become frustrated because they want the power, economic resources, or status that others have, and they will try to get it (Mejia 2016). African Americans did just that when they decided to come together and unite for the cause of equal treatment. As follows, a social movement such as the Civil Right movement, need to mobilize in order to become successful. They have to get organized, and develop a strategy, find resources (such as money, flyers, etc.), find people to be a part of the movement, and have a clear end game. They have to find political opportunity and make sure there is some sort of political process in order to avoid any legality issues, and also to be progressive in legislation, especially with the civil rights movement, …show more content…
Harris illustrates some of the things that were out of reach for people of color. Many of the things he mentions like the access to use public restrooms, the right to vote, and housing opportunities, are things so many of us take for granted. He mentions the hardship endured during the civil rights, and the hardship being endured now by African American men in the United States. He talks about the similarities of the Black Lives Matter Movement to the Civil Rights

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