Assess the extent to which equality was achieved for Blacks in the 1960's

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Sarah Whiteway

Assess the extent to which equality was achieved for Blacks in the 1960’s

The Civil Rights Movement of the 1950’s and the 1960’s was one of inspired leaders such as Martin Luther King Jnr, but it was also a movement of public outcry and public involvement in which individuals put themselves in harm’s way for their beliefs. It was a time of enormous change and struggle for social, economic and political freedom and equality for the black population, and this was achieved to a large extent during the 1960’s by the Civil Rights Movement.

Martin Luther King Jnr emerged to successfully unite divisions within the black civil rights movement and mount a unified, non-violent stand against unjust laws. Together, they fought against segregation and discrimination in many areas, adopting passive resistance and civil disobedience as tactics in their plight. Such examples of this tactic can be seen in the Montgomery Bus Boycott in which 50,000 Negroes refused to catch segregated buses for 381 days, instead opting to “…walk the streets of Montgomery until the walls of segregation were finally battered by the forces of justice”- in King’s words. This protest resulted in the Supreme Court decision that segregation on buses was unconstitutional.

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Another example of the non-violent tactics used during the 1960’s was the Freedom Summer Negro voting registration drive in Mississippi, 1964. This ‘invasion’ by thousands of college students and supported by Blacks all around the South, aimed to allow Blacks the right to vote. This heavily influenced the decision by Congress in 1965 to pass the Voting Rights Act which gave the federal government power to take over the registration of voters in states where officials ignored Amendment XV and tried to bar Blacks from voting.

Earlier protests such as the Lunch Counter Sit-ins in which hundreds ...

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