Civil Rights

“ Movement inthe 1960s”

The events of the 1960s aresome of the most important in the history of civil rights movement.The “civil rights movement in the 1960s”, otherwise known as the“the African American civil rights movement” remains a referencepoint for many human rights activism in the modern era. They includesocial movements that started in the late 1950s and were aimed atending the formal racial discrimination and segregation of AfricanAmericans. The movement aimed at securing the legal recognition ofAfrican Americans as citizens of the United States who enjoys fullrights and freedoms as enshrined in the constitution (Robert, 1963).The civil rights movements were led by eloquent and charismaticAfrican Americans and civil activists such as Martin Luther King Jr.with his famous “I have a dream” address (King, 1963). Althoughthe movements in the 1960s focused on the civil rights of blacks inthe United States, they had phenomenon impacts in the United Statesand beyond (Arsenault, 2006). This paper looks at how the “civilrights movement in the 1960s” impacted on the civil rights ofminorities in the contemporary society.

The African American civilrights movements in the post second world war era were characterizedby civil resistance civil resistance and disobedient to force thefederal government address the formal discrimination and segregationof blacks in the United States. The civil rights leaders organizedseveral nonviolent protests which resulted into crisis that forcedthe federal government to call for dialogue and address the issuesraised. Some of the most published nonviolent protests includesit-ins and protest matches among others (Litwack, 2009). It isimportant to note that the civil rights movements emerged during oneof the most trying times of the United States in the global affairs.First, the United States was dealing the detrimental effects of theSecond World War. Additionally, the United States was faced by theemerging communism powers in the world, led by the Soviet Union whichresulted into the cold war. Therefore, the civil rights movementemerged when everyone in the world was watching the moves taken bythe United States government. Nonetheless, the successes of the civilright era, especially the enactment of the “ Act of1964” have huge impacts on the modern society (Hall, 2005).

The most impact developmentthat resulted from the “civil rights movement in the 1960s” wasthe enactment of the “ Act of 1964”. The legislationwas signed into law in July 1964 by President Johnson. The lawabolished all forms of formal discrimination and segregation based onrace, skin color, gender, nation of origin ethnicity or religion. Although informal discrimination and segregation are still evident,half a century after the law was enacted, the impacts of the law areevident in the contemporary American society (Wolfson &amp Moynihan,2003). The civil rights that were secured in the 1960s remains aheroic episode in the history of African American and minorities inthe society. It gave African Americans the same rights andcitizenship with other residents of the United States (Arsenault,2006). It marked legislative and judicial triumphs againstsegregation and discrimination as well as voting rights. Today,African Americans, among other minority groups enjoy similartreatments in public accommodations, jobs, schools and voting as aresult of the civil rights laws. As a result, blacks have been ableto take advantages of opportunities in the American economy, whichcan explain the massive growth in the number of African Americansjoining the middle class in the modern world. In the contemporaryAmerica, there are numerous African American working as doctors,lawyers, and teachers, which was not the case in the past. This is asa result of the abolishment of the segregation laws that limited theaccessibility of quality education and opportunities to the blackpopulation. Although there are some disadvantages African Americansocieties in the modern America, it is mainly due to differences insocial class rather than formal discrimination (Arsenault, 2006).

Another important milestoneas a result of the “civil right movement of the 1960s” was the“Voting Rights Act of 1965”. It is considered the most importantlegislation related to civil by the senate in the United States.Before the enactment of the law, African Americans did not havevoting rights. However, the new law argued that no individual shouldbe denied voting right because of his or her ethnicity or race. Thecivil right movement also gave birth to affirmative action in theUnited States. The affirmative action has been common in thecorporate America with the aim at increasing racial and genderdiversity by aiding profession advancement among disadvantaged groups(Arsenault, 2006).

Inconclusion, the civil right movements of 1960s had an importantimpact on the civil rights in the United States. They led to theabolishment of the Jim Crow laws. Although it can be argued thatinformal discrimination exists in the society to date, the impacts ofthe civil rights movement in relation to formal racial discriminationis very evident in the contemporary America. Today, African Americansare able to vote, go to school and access public facilities and jobsdue to the laws that resulted from the civil rights era.


Arsenault, R. (2006). FreedomRiders: 1961 and the Struggle for Racial Justice.New York: Oxford University Press.

Hall, J, (2005). &quotThelong civil rights movement and the political uses of the past.&quotJournal of AmericanHistory 91, 4 pp:1233-1263.

Litwack, L. F. (2009). &quotFightthe Power!” The Legacy of the Movement. Journalof Southern History75(1), 3-28.

King, M. L. Jr., &quotIHave a Dream&quot(1963).

Robert C. W. &quotTheNegro as an American&quot(1963).

Wolfson, A., &amp Moynihan,D.P. (2003). The Martin Luther King We Remember. PublicInterest 152(Summer2003), 39-64.


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