The fight for equal access


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During the 1950’s all the way through the 70’s people were fighting for equal rights. The Civil Rights Movement spread into  and across the deep south in the 60’s, pushing to end legalized segregation and disenfranchisement, which was ultimately ended in 1965. While a big part of the Civil Rights Movement was fair treatment for African Americans, they were not the only group fighting for their rights. This movement also included women’s rights, LGBT equality, as well as other minorities.

There were many instances of Civil Rights protests in the 1960s. One of these was the Freedom Summer. This was an attack on white supremacy in Mississippi. Two white Jews and a black man volunteered to inspect a church that the Ku Klux Klan had burned to stop a school from being built by CORE – a civil rights group. The three disappeared and a manhunt was started. This was the start of the Freedom Summer. During this summer, the Civil Rights Act was passe, banning segregation in businesses open to the public. Some other big milestones were the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and “Freedom Schools” which taught African American children about their history and encouraged pride in their heritage.

The Women’s Liberation Movement was also in effect during this time period. Women during this time were attempting to break free from gender norms of the time and explore their womanhood. This meant exploring their sexuality, and using their “womanhood” to gain a leg up where they usually have a disadvantage. It also encouraged them to challenge the notion that they should build their lives around homemaking and creating a family. The movement gained a large following, but there were not really any legal changes made.

While the Civil Rights Movement included various groups, I think that one saw the most change. African Americans gained the most rights and made a lot of progress. This movement brought them the right to vote like everyone else, and also ended segregation in public businesses. While there was still a long way to go, this movement brought in many more supporters and paved the way for even more change to come.

8 thoughts on “The fight for equal access

  1. I agree that the African Americans saw the most change with the civil rights movement. They were given the right to vote and segregation was abolished. These were major turning points for African Americans and started giving them the equality they deserved. Even more change was to come in the future but these were some of the major turning points for African Americans.

  2. I think that it’s truly sad what African Americans had to fight through to gain the rights that they earned during the civil rights era. The disappearance of the 3 men volunteering to inspect the church, the start of Freedom Summer seemed to be one of the unfortunate events. Fortunately, good came out of the suffering and the ban on segregation in public businesses along with voting rights for African Americans were put into effect.

    1. I agree that it’s sad what African American’s had to endure in the past. The KKK burning down the old church and the men disappearing afterwards truly shows the lengths people will go. It was a sad and crazy time, but I’m thankful for these movements because they helped abolish discriminatory beliefs.

  3. With all those groups facing discrimination, it makes me wonder if there were more that weren’t able to speak up, or didn’t, that faced the same cruelties. I feel that Freedom Schools were a turning point for African Americans as I’m sure it wasn’t easy to have pride when everything seems to be telling you not to. I found it interesting how there were so many differing opinions for what the women were fighting for.

  4. I think I do agree that African Americans did see probably the most amount of change during this time. After all there is a reason why the 60’s are mostly remembered for Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights Movement. But I think Women I think also saw huge amounts of change. After all with groups like NOW and the ‘bra burnings’ and the like did heavily empower women. Although both sexism and racism are still rampant throughout the world. However I feel that both of these movements 50 years ago have reshaped not just the laws that govern our lives but the common attitude of Americans. Today racism and sexism are nearly universally appalled.

    1. Women did see a huge advancement as well as the African Americans, both I would say could still be changed more for the better but those things cannot just change over night. As long as we all are aware that discrimination is wrong period, then I think we are making progress and one day we wont have to worry about these things.

      1. I find it interesting that a goal of the women’s liberation movement was to be able to use their sexuality to get a “leg up” on the competition. It differs so much from today, where women are asking for reform to stop having their sexuality be a deciding factor in anything, and that they be viewed as no different than men. Its interesting to watch enormous cultural changes in society. I agree that African-Americans achieved the most goals of their agenda, which I suppose, can be contributed, in part, to them having literally the most to gain, as they weren’t even considered citizens in the true sense of the word. The goals set forth by the founders of these large social movements have changed quite alot since their beginnings, but the importance of these groups, is still extremely relevant in todays culture, in its own forms, such as BlackLivesMAtter, and NOW; the National Organization for Women.

  5. The Civil Rights Movement was successful on the outside but was it successful on the inside? Yes and no. Yes because, there are new generations of people that don’t have the deep seated hatred of the 1960s. No, because some people from the older generations passed the hatred on. Racism can’t be defeated by passing laws; it has to be defeated by changing the minds and hearts of people for the better.

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