To What Extent Was Grass Roots Activism a Significant Reason to Why the Civil Rights Movement Grew in the 1950s and 1960s

1402 Words Mar 15th, 2013 6 Pages
To what extent was grass roots activism a significant reason to why the Civil Rights Movement Grew in the 1950s and 1960s

The civil rights movement grew for a number of reasons during the 1950’s and 1960s. Prior to this select time period America were fighting in the Cold War and many black soldiers battled in the name of ‘freedom’. This was ironic as these black soldiers were fighting for something that they didn’t even have back home. Often Black soldiers talked about the ‘Double V Campaign’; this was referring to victory in the war and victory for civil rights back home in the USA. Many historians believe that world war two planted seeds in the growth of the civil rights movement as it raised the question to black people, in the
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The fact that prejudice and discrimination still existed meant that the fight had to continue and relative success resulted in continued motivation. A good example of this is the Montgomery bus boycott, when the Montgomery bus company finally decided to desegregate a year boycott began, Martin Luther King and black protesters didn’t settle at that, they tried to desegregate the rest of the still segregated bus companies in Alabama. In one sense a legal victory was gained here in the desegregation of the bus company however in another sense a moral victory was gained as it showed the economic power black Americans had if they united together. In addition, because Blacks wanted to continue to desegregate bus companies in other cities this shows Black Americans were trying to grow the CRM rather than just being contempt after one city was desegregated. Thus proving the CRM was growing due to grass roots activism and small successes maintaining belief amongst blacks.

The growth of the CRM was also due to the variety of opinions, tactics and views of different black leaders and organisations. A wide range of beliefs were covered so most black Americans had a leader that suited their own beliefs. For example MLK and the SCLC supported non- violent protests, such as the Montgomery Bus Boycott, The Freedom Rides and The Sit-Ins. These methods appealed to many blacks and whites too who supported non-violent methods and the whole concept of MLK ideology. However blacks who did

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