Civil Rights and Black Power
The history of the United States is closely linked to the African-American movement for civil rights. Slavery left a great dent in the society of blacks, but the time period from 1941 to 1970 saw some major changes. African-Americans began fighting for their rights, demanding equal treatment and respect, which they deserved as fellow human beings. However, at the same time, prejudice and stereotypes were present in society, and it made life even more demeaning. Such a situation caused resilience among the blacks. One of the major representatives of the Civil Rights Movement and Black Power was Martin Luther King, Junior with his non-violent protest, which swiftly spread among the African-American population. Margaret Walker’s quote acknowledged that the black population had experienced major hardships through racism and discrimination. Nowadays, despite it, people keep their spirits high. The culture and beliefs brought from Africa are still very much alive in the hearts of those forced to be segregated and ridiculed.
History was filled with tyrants who oppressed people and made others suffer due to authority and power abuse. However, at the same time, some people managed to rise above oppression and unfair treatment. These individuals led the fight against discrimination and inequality. As far as African-Americans were concerned, they were oppressed so much that the tension was the highest they had ever experienced. Martin Luther King became a representative of the people, voicing their demands and supporting them in their fight for freedom. He dedicated his life to the fight for the rights and freedoms of his fellow African-Americans, and the respective period showed major changes in the way the white society treated blacks. It was the time when African-Americans were greatly supporting the non-violent resistance to oppression, as it was the best step to take. It promoted non-violence, a peaceful resolution based on understanding and human kindness, and people realized that they had power due to their strong beliefs and each other’s support (Nojeim, 2004).
The Civil Rights Movement was an active time in the fight for the rights and freedoms of the black community. The American society was involved in it greatly, and African American history became a study on the people and unfair treatment they had been experiencing. Their culture was recognized as a key part of the United States. It was not only a geographical division, but also moral, psychological, ethical, social, economic, and cultural. African Americans had been oppressed for a long time until the major changes started to happen around 1963, when Martin Luther King delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech. That time marked the beginning of an active fight for the establishment of a respected and valued position of African Americans in the American society. Since the education system was one of the spheres where the blacks faced oppression, a number of reforms that limited and regulated any form of discrimination were adopted. The ability of people to refuse to follow the regime was a major way, in which Martin Luther King accomplished changes and respect towards the African American population (Ling, 2002). Social changes made by King and his fellow African Americans have reshaped the present world and enabled the majority of people to see the correct way to treat others who are different.
The Civil Rights Movement was also supported by African American women. Gender discrimination had existed as a category of oppression for a long time, and it was even greater and in relation to black women. The African American society had been subjected to discrimination, stereotyping, and racism since slavery. Many individuals were suffering from the fact that their families and relatives grew up in a segregated and separated America, but the support among the community members was very strong. It helped people to have some joy in their lives and health to fight for freedom until nowadays. One of the greatest problems was a system that treated African-Americans in a predisposed and stereotypical manner, even at the time of the Civil Rights Movement. Very often, law authorities resorted to racial profiling, contributing to the negative statistics and views of the rest of society. The labor market was also slanted to the negative side, so the support of families was the only counteraction that could be taken. Even though things were beginning to change, there was still much discrimination. In addition, at the start of the movement people were faced with harsh living conditions, which deprived them of morale and the desire to fight.
African American communities were filled with crime and corruption, which became a cesspool and were hard to avoid. The reasons for such a situation were unfair conditions that society had created for minorities. Race had become such a factor, based on which even police officers treated black people as of lower status as compared to others. The labor market was also a sphere, where African Americans were oppressed. Employees were less likely to hire an African-American because of constant negative attributes given to the population. Social changes made by such men as Martin Luther King and his followers depict how hard it was to avoid negative influences of peers and society, but, at the same time, they showed hope. The social movement understood that the key to success was the lack of violence. Dr. King convinced people that their rights were just the same as those of whites, and it became a foundation for determination and strong will in order to create an equal and deserving way of life (Dagbovie, 2010).
People were often faced with a challenge how to make sure that their ideas and feelings were understood. In the majority of cases, it was extremely difficult to explain inner wants and goals in a peaceful manner, and as a result, a conflict could break out. Martin Luther King was a great man who understood that violence would never solve anything, and people followed that opinion. They simply did what they were told by the white society and did not fight against it in any way, violently or non-violently. This sort of behavior was caused by a long time of oppression and mistreatment, until Mr. King made it evident that such treatment had to stop. African Americans were accustomed to unfair conditions and pain, which was inflicted by white oppressors. The second important part of civil resistance was a break-out of physical violence. Martin Luther King admitted that sometimes it was hard to find another way out, and there were even cases when a violent conflict seemed to bring positive results. However, the problem with this form of resistance was the fact that evil was fought using evil. Simply destroying something will not create anything new. In order for things to change, there must be a careful consideration of all matters. Moreover, when a violent conflict breaks out, things happen very fast, and people have no time to think, stop, and consider several possibilities. Martin Luther recognized it and taught his fellow fighters to understand this too (Snipp, 2003).
To conclude, since the Civil Rights Movement, the American society has come a long way, and now it is striving for the best treatment of people and equal rights and freedoms for everyone. The goals set are very optimistic, but there are many obstacles in life that can prevent one from attaining them. The African American movement was an example of human strength, beliefs, and perseverance. The dual role of racism and resiliency was that the latter gave hopes for the future. Although people were suffering from unequal treatment and had to fight against discrimination, they wanted to ensure a better life for the coming generations.