Segregation involved separation of people on the basis of their colour where the Blacks Americans were not allowed to share schools, transport networks and other facilities with the whites. These laws which denied Black Americans basic rights were passed starting the year 1865. According to jim crow laws, legislators segregated schools, parking areas, cemeteries, asylums, jails, and workplaces. In 1915, the state of Oklahoma even went ahead and segregated public booth phones (Whorter, 2014). African American's were only allowed to access their own social amenities such as hospitals and schools where they received low-quality services.
Civil rights movement started in the late eighteenth century as African Americans were fighting to end racism, slavery and racial injustice. It is during the civil war that Abraham Lincoln, the president by then pushed for the thirteenth constitution amendment to stop slavery. It is in 1865 that it was passed as a law which promoted equality. Later, racism began taking roots in the society where African Americans were denied their freedom and forced to remain in poverty. African Americans were considered as second class citizens where they were separated from the whites in school, public transport and armed forces. For example, Black American soldiers fought under segregation where they were denied basic human rights, equality, and justice. This resulted in the civil rights movement to fight for the rights of the African American. African Americans were not allowed to use some means of transport. Segregation at Alabama and Montgomery transit system resulted in serious demonstrations which resulted in a ruling in 1965 which declared segregation in transportation was illegal and unconstitutional (Whorter, 2014).
In 1951, Black American students from Moton highschool in Virginia protested against the system of segregation in schools. They protested on the basis that the school facilities were not in good conditions and were overcrowded. National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) leaders joined hands with the students in carrying out peaceful demonstrations. The court ruling was considered an option to stop racial segregation where activists presented their petition to the court for the ruling. A ruling by Topeka board of education declared segregation in schools as illegal. This court ruling was a major victory for the human rights activists (Whorter, 2014). This resulted in protests by the white supremacists who denounced the court ruling and insisted for segregation to remain. Peaceful demonstrations were used to draw authority attention. African Americans were denied their right to vote which resulted in massive protests from Selma to Alabama. Pressure from protestors led to the 1965 voting act which allowed Black Americans to exercise their voting rights (Morris, 2012).
Hamilton Houston who was a black American Attorney believed that segregated education was the biggest denial of human rights by the whites. He fought for equal education and also he was concerned about the low living standards the black Americans were forced to live by the whites. through court, he emphasized that these grievances needed to be redressed (Whorter, 2014).
Demonstrations during this error on segregation based on racism resulted in the amendment of laws which protected their interests. Three different amendments to the constitution were carried out between 1873 and 1883 which allowed African Americans to vote, abolished slavery and allowed them to be legal citizens following mass protests on the streets by civilians (Morris, 2012).
McWhorter, D. (2014). A Dream of Freedom: The Civil Rights Movement from 1954 to 1968. New York, NY: Scholastic.
Morris, A. D. (2012). The Origins of the Civil Rights Movement. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster.
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