The Fight for Equal Access

The Civil Rights Movement aimed to remove barriers that confined and degraded minorities. It is important to understand that this movement was not simply based upon race. Women and members of the LGBT community were also fighting for equality and still are today. These groups wanted to change, they wanted equality and freedom. Although they weren’t supported by everyone, racial minorities, women, and many others fought for their freedoms because they wanted equal access to all aspects of American life.

In order for change to occur minorities had to make their voice heard, they had to fight for what they believed in. This fight was made through boycotts, sit-ins, marches, and much more. In Birmingham specifically, protests took a more civil approach. Civil rights activists developed a strategy to use television and news coverage to their advantage. The Southern Christian Leadership Conference(SCLC) began a campaign to desegregate Birmingham, Alabama, which at the time was the most segregated city in the nation. A Birmingham SCLC leader said, “We were trying to launch a systematic, wholehearted battle against segregation that would set the pace for the nation”(P.825). The SCLC’s demonstrations caused controversy. Store owners wanted to stop the demonstrations because they were drawing customers away and they feared the government would become involved. The white business owners initiated private discussions with SCLC leaders but this only caused the activists to raise the pressure. The acts in Birmingham brought recognition to civil rights cause.

Furthering the racial desegregation movement was the March on Washington which was “ a massive demonstration in the nation’s capital that would demand passage of a federal civil rights act”(Pg.828). The march received the national media’s attention. After the march, Martin Luther King Jr. gave a closing address in front of the Lincoln Memorial, his ‘I Have a Dream speech’. There were several other significant leaders who lead protests for change. People like Rosa Parks and Malcolm X also led the fight. African Americans were most definitely the most segregated group in America, they were also probably the most motivated to make a difference for future generations. Not all of their protests were effective but they brought about significant change. From these protests schools slowly became desegregated, along with public restrooms and facilities, they gained the right to vote and many other freedoms which they never experienced before.

Women were another segregated group who fought for equal access. They wanted the same rights as men, as they still do today. Women today are still fighting for equal access, for equal pay, for equal treatment, and for overall equal freedoms. Men had different views, they believed men and women were in separate boxes and men were superior. Many women played important roles in the Civil Rights movement. They led local civil rights organizations, served as lawyers on school segregation lawsuits, and helped lead protests. Their fight for equal access, though, was a different battle. Women were overshadowed by men in every aspect, they were the weaker, more unable gender, who should rely on men and never lead them. The women’s suffrage movement was of the most significant battles for women’s rights. Women fought for the right to vote and eventually, after 100 years of fighting, they gained this freedom. They fought for equal treatment in jobs and for equal pay, although they saw some changes they weren’t as significant as the ones African Americans experienced.

Although they weren’t supported by everyone, African Americans, women, and many others fought for their freedoms because they wanted equal access to all aspects of American life. African Americans fought for equal access and fair treatment, as did women. The African Americans during the 1950s-1970s had the hardest battle and saw the most significant changes. Other minorities fought with and for African Americans against segregation. They also fought for their own freedoms. The Civil Rights Movement was a period of significant change for American citizens.

Keene, Jennifer D., Cornell, Saul, and O’Donnell, Edward T. Visions of America: A History of the United States, Volume2, 3rded2019.

15 thoughts on “The Fight for Equal Access

  1. Good post! I like that it is very detailed and you used quotes to help support your argument. It’s crazy that the boycotts, marches, etc. made so much controversy. It is unfortunate that minorites fought so strongly during the Civil Rights Movement, but are still facing many struggles in today’s world. Not much segregated, but African Americans are still discriminated against. Even gender roles and double standards still hold women back from having their voice heard. I wonder what America would be like today if minorites did not demand equality during the time of the Civil Rights Movement. Would things still be the same today as they were back then?

    1. Thanks for your feedback! I also wonder what America would be like today if minorities did not demand equality during this time. I believe many things would be different. If minorities were not willing to voice their opinions their may never have been a change and if there was it mat nor have been far later. Good questions:)

  2. Learning about the Civil Rights movement is still very important because the LGBT community is currently trying to earn equal rights. There are many similarities between both movements, the major similarity being that neither group received ample support. Both also create “uncomfortable” discussion pertaining to the situation. Most people avoid conversation about these topics because they are afraid of going outside of their comfort zone. Those in pursuit of equal rights are extremely brave and are creating a better future for those who come after them.
    Great post, Madison!!

    1. I agree. I feel that it is having those uncomfortable conversations that are out of the norm that activate change. Instead of going with flow in society, different groups fighting for equal rights and change, along with supporters of those groups, need to have those discussions and to take action and stand up for what they believe in.

  3. The Civil Rights movement was a very important time in history that changed the lives of many. I agree with your statement that African Americans were very willing to fight for what they believed in even if all their protests were not very successful. It is difficult to imagine how life would be if the Civil Rights movement never occurred. Women hold very important roles in life, and it would be such a shame if they were still confined to their homes like most people believed is where they should be. Equal access is still a struggle in today’s world, but we must all be very thankful to have the freedoms we have. Without the bold people who stood up for what they believed, history would have been a lot different. What do you believe was the most influential change made to the lives of African Americans during the 1960s? Your post was very insightful and well done!

    1. Thanks for your feedback! I believe the most influential change made to the lives of African Americans during the 1960s was their right to vote. This right gave them a voice, it gave them the opportunity to try and change things in a way they could not before. They also gained equal employment opportunities which was very influential and changed their lives significantly.

  4. Great post! You did a good job explaining a very complicated and broad topic. If people hadn’t been willing to stand up for what they believed in and what was right history would be a lot different today. We need more people who are willing to stand up for what they believe in and fight for what is right.

  5. Great post! It was incredibly informational as well as hitting all the main important points. It was a tough time for minorities in the Nation, and the protests symbolized that enough was enough, and it was time for change. Though nonviolent protest turned into violent riots, it was what was thought was right to make change in the nation, and even by one of the rioters, that aftermath to the cities was viewed as now a reason to be paid attention to.

  6. This was a great post! The time of civil rights and racial problems was a large part in American history. Without it, which knows what America would be like today. I can’t imagine life like it use to be where men were superior and everything else. I think that is important that you included that fight for women equal rights and LGBT community are still fighting for these rights even though they have much improved.

  7. That was really good post! I feel very informed, and I am actually shocked that I didn’t know that even back then, they had an LGBT community and I think it is wonderful that you included that. I believe in equal rights for everyone! It makes me wonder, we have been fighting so long for us all to be treated equal, when will it happen? You are right, we all still fight every day, Women, African Americans, and the LGBT community. Although we still have some time for us to go, your quote “The Civil Rights Movement was a period of significant change for American citizens”, has impact. We have come a long way since the 50’s. 60’s, and 70’s. Although I am an old soul, I’m glad I didn’t live in those time periods because I would have been at every march, sit in, and boycott I could find! Then of course I would go to Woodstock!

  8. Seeing how far we have progressed as a country since the Civil Rights movement proves American is a country of change and freedom to be who you are. Nobody ever says what they want in life comes easy in fact most people work to get to where they are. I truly believe that without great leaders such as MLK, Rosa Parks, Malcom X we wouldn’t be where we are today. These people weren’t afraid to stand up for their rights regardless the cost because what they dreamed our world could be was enough to push them forward. Also seeing how much protest occured then to how people still use them today truly impacts who we are as a country. It’s our right as an American to be treated equally so why not stand up for what you believe in!

  9. This was a great post! The Civil Rights truly was a turning point in American history, but it was only the beginning. Civil rights need to continue marching forward even today until equality is reached nationwide, then globally. The quotes you used and also the different main points you hit made this a great post. Good work!

  10. I really liked this post about the civil rights moment. I thought that you did a very good job writing on one of the biggest turning points in Americas history. Civil rights needed to move everywhere and is still moving today. I really liked the information that you pout into your post and I like how the overall post turned out. Good job Madison on your second blog post.

  11. This was a great post on a controversial topic which has become increasingly more relevant in recent years. You did a wonderful job using the book to create a detailed response about the Civil Rights Movement and racial equality. This was a very important time in the United States and it shaped the United States into what standard we see people. Finally, I really like how you included how this affects our lives today with both women and the LGBT.

  12. I liked your post! I liked how you brought in examples and explained thoroughly. I definitely agree with your post I wonder what America would be like today without fighting for equality!

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