African-American Civil Right Movement

Institutional Affiliation’
African-American Civil Right Movement
African-American Civil right movement (1955-1968), denotes the social
movement by people of the black race, which aimed at outlawing racial
discrimination, as well as restoring African-American voting rights,
which had been withdrawn in southern states (Lawson & Payne, 1998). The
civil movement had significant results, whereby, by 1968, laws had been
passed banning racial and religious discrimination and restored
universal suffrage rights across America, the major concern of the
movement at the time. After the movement, African-Americans had attained
economic freedom, political relevance and the much required freedom from
white oppression (Lawson & Payne, 1998). Different forces combined to
ensure success of the movement, among them, charismatic leadership, self
empowerment of the African Americans, political relevance of the group
among others. This paper, exemplifies the major reason for success of
the African-American movement.
Though many factors contributed to success of the movement, it was the
charismatic leadership by of Martin Luther King Jr. that saw to the
success of the movement (Lawson & Payne, 1998). Luther used his oratory
skill to convince African- Americans to fight for racial emancipation,
through social protests and other non-violent mean, among them, the
Montgomery Bus Boycott in Alabama and the influential Greensboro sit-in
(Lawson & Payne, 1998). Under his leadership, African Americans staged
social strikes, which brought significant impacts in the fight for
racial emancipation. Though there were laws that banned racial
discrimination in the U.S. by 1964, African-Americans still suffered
under white racists, until the movement, under Luther’s leadership
gave them racial pride, enabling them to stand against racial
discrimination (Lawson & Payne, 1998). His famous speech “I have a
dream” gave hope and will to all African-Americans to fight for
Luther’s dream of equal America. Additionally, his death in 1967, made
Americans of African linage take to violent social strikes to force
total ban on racial discrimination (Lawson & Payne, 1998).
As aforementioned, it was the charismatic leadership of Luther that
finally saw to the success of the African-American social movement
against racial discrimination. Other factors such as economic and
political empowerment of African-Americans came after attainment of
racial equality and universal suffrage.
Lawson, S., & Payne, C. (1998). Debating the Civil Rights Movement, 1945
– 1968. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield.