Honors American History II
The civil rights movement had a big impact on racial equality. It made the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act possible. In this essay, I will be discussing the factors which contributed to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. I will also discuss the shift in the civil rights movement towards “black power” and the results of the shift.
There were many factors that contributed to the Civil Rights Act of 1964. In early 1960 a group of black college students staged a sit-in at a segregated Woolworth’s lunch counter in Greensboro, North Carolina. This caused similar demonstrations throughout the South that ...view middle of the document...
The governor of Alabama, Governor George Wallace pledged to stand in the doorway of a building at the University of Alabama to prevent the court ordered enrollment of several black students. His eventually backed down after a visit from Attorney General Robert Kennedy and federal marshals. The March on Washington also helped progression of the Civil Rights Act. Kennedy issued legislative proposals that prohibited segregation in public accommodations, barring discrimination in employment, and increasing the power of the government to file suits on behalf of school integration. In order to support these proposals the March on Washington was organized. In early 1964, after Kennedy’s assassination in 63, supporters of the legislation finally gathered the two-thirds majority necessary to pass the most comprehensive civil rights bill in American history.
With the victory of the Civil Rights Act, the civil rights movement was now able to focus on voting rights. In the summer of 1964, thousands of interracial civil rights workers spread throughout the South, primarily in Mississippi to work black voter registration and participation. The campaign was called “freedom summer.” This resulted in a violent response from a number of southern whites. The “freedom summer” also resulted in the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party or MFPD. The MFDP was an integrated alternative to the regular state party organization. In March 1965, Martin Luther King helped organize a major demonstration in Selma, Alabama. The demonstrators were brutally attacked by local police, causing the death of 2 white northerners participating in the march, one of which was a minister, the other was a Detroit housewife. The outrage of the nation helped to push Lyndon Johnson to...