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The Civil Rights Movement

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The Civil Rights Movement

The civil rights movement was a period of time when African Americans attempted to gain

their constitutional rights of which they were being deprived. The movement has

occurred from the 1950's to the present, with programs like Affirmative Action.

Many were upset with the way the civil rights movement was being carried out in

the 1960's. As a result, someone assassinated the leader of the movement,

Martin Luther King Jr. Many African Americans were infuriated at this death so there were

serious riots in almost 100 cities. President Johnson then appointed a committee

called The Kerner Commission to study the civil rights movement. They concluded

the following: "We are moving toward two societies-one white and one black,

separate and unequal." Despite their conclusion the whole the civil rights movement has been a success because African Americans are better off now than they were before it began.

Overall the movement was a success because African Americans have achieved more

politically than before they began. Before the movement, blacks had almost no

political power due to laws designed to prevent blacks from voting, like poll

taxes, literacy tests and the Grandfather Clause. Also when some blacks went to

vote, people simply wouldn't let them register. Due to lack of voting ability,

no blacks were elected into office and therefore, African Americans had no say in the

government. Also, blacks were not allowed to serve on juries, yet they were

almost always found guilty in court, even if the evidence was clearly against

them. For example, years ago a boy in Georgia broke into a school to steal an

ice cream. While he should have gotten a few hours of community service, he got

three years in jail just because he was black. A truth to the Kerner Commission

report that occurs today is that African Americans are not being represented proportionally in Congress. While 12% of U.S. citizens are black, there is nowhere near this number in the senate. This is a failure because blacks should be represented better, because it is their right to have a sufficient say in government. However, the civil rights movement was more of

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