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Friday, April 5, 2013

Separate, but Equal?

Jim Crow Laws were laws that declared that blacks and whites remain separate, but equal.  You should know that although that was the motto, it was NOT in the slightest bit equal.

White boys protesting school with African Americans.

Jim Crow Laws.

Separate yet equal? 

Even Public Officers had to remain separate.

White men didn't want to go to school with African Americans.

Knowing that this was how African Americans were treated, how does this make you feel? Was it really equal?

Gandhi and India

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, better known as Mahatma Gandhi, was an inspirational leader in the Civil Rights Movement in India. Gandhi was the the leader of a nonviolent civil disobedient act, leading to the freedom of India from Britain's reign. Like the Civil Rights Movement in the United States in the 1950s and 1960s, the Indian Civil Rights Movement was a way for people to get their rights and freedoms without resorting to violence. In both cases, both the struggles of African-Americans and Indians paid off. African-Americans gained rights and freedom in American while Indians gained freedom, rights, and a whole new society for the simple reason that they stood up for what they believed and remained nonviolent. The key factor in both cases is that both parties remained nonviolent. This proved to be important because it proved to the abusers that these people (the African-Americans and Indians) were humane and civil, just like them.

An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind.

Big Moments of the Civil Rights Movement

There were many important moments that we all know about that took place during the Civil Rights Movement. 

Click here to read about them in depth. 

What did the African American Civil rights movement look like?

African Americans protesting for their right to vote.
Police treating the human worse than the dog.

African American rights sit in.

Police beating African Americans

People against African American rights set the cars on fire.

Police dragging an African American.

Protests against African American rights.

Jim Crow laws.

Protests for African American rights.

Jim Crow Laws.

Fighting segregation of schools.

Segregation today??

It's scary to think that we live in a world that contains segregation still today. But yes, it is true. Still today, we are facing segregation.

So today we are asking YOU, how does it make you feel to know that for years and years we have been battling over Civil Rights to African Americans and it's still not over? When will it end? Will it ever? 

Misconceptions about Civil Rights

The most common misconception of this time is that many people think African-Americans suddenly began fighting for their rights and freedoms. In reality, African-Americans had been fighting for these rights and freedoms since being captured and brought to the United States. African-Americans did not suddenly decided in the 1950s and 60s  to begin fighting for their freedoms, it had been a long term fight that finally caused national eruption at this time.


Another misconception of this time was that white people believed African-Americans had different diseases. For this reason, many whites did not approve of sharing bathrooms and public places with African-Americans. White people had the fear that they would pick up new diseases if they came in direct contact with African-Americans but obviously this is clearly a misconception.

A few myths and misconceptions about slavery and the Civil Rights Movement


Prejudice doesn't just fall out of the sky and into your brain. So where does it come from? 

Well... prejudice starts usually from stereotypes, which are usually just made up and not true about the specific group. Prejudice can start from the people around you. People usually just go along with what their family and friends think. Prejudice also starts from personal experiences. For example if someone of a specific race does something wrong to you, you might think that the whole race is like that. 

Prejudice still exists today. People say it is even worse today than it was in the past. They say that it is worst due to mass media. 

Prejudice can be avoided though. Read this article to find out how.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Pop Culture

Pop culture incredibly influenced the Civil Rights movement. Many African Americans needed a way to let out how they felt about being treated unfairly. This caused many of them to put their feelings into the arts. They would right songs, poems, and books about what was going around them. This also influenced the African Americans to create visual representations of their feelings and the events that were occurring. 

Listen to Sam Cooke's song "A Change Gonna Happen" 

The African Americans would also take part in movies. It wasn't very common to have a black filmmaker or a black actor but they made it common. Many movies were made that went against the typical black stereotype. These movies drew large audiences, mostly filled with African Americans. 

A big event that took place during the Civil Rights movement, influenced by pop culture, was the desegregation of African Americans and white people in professional sports. The most known person for this is Jackie Robinson. He was on the baseball Negro League, a team known as the Kansas City Monarchs. In 1946, he broke the division between the two different leagues and was signed by the Brooklyn Dodgers. A year later, Larry Doby was signed by the Cleveland Indians. Both of these men ended the Negro Leagues and Major League Baseball became desegregated. How would you have felt if you were on an all white team and an African American joined? How do you think you would've felt if you were in Jackie's or Larry's shoes?

Watch Jackie Robinson steal home!! 

Civil Disobedience

What is civil disobedience? Civil disobedience is a purposeful way of refusing laws and anything the government says. In short, civil disobedience is a way for the people to resist the government without being violent.

Why is this important you may ask? Well looking at the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s, we can see African-Americans participating in civil disobedience. This is important because in order to obtain the freedoms they deserved, African-Americans had to resist the laws that continued to segregate them. African-Americans had to basically go against the government which put their lives on the line because they were breaking laws and upsetting many of the white people. As the white people got more and more upset and violent, the African-Americans had to remain nonviolent if they wanted to prove that they were as humane as the white people, if not more humane than them.

Civil disobedience proved to work very well as it would eventually lead to the complete equality of African-Americans. Because African-Americans stood up for their rights by breaking laws and getting the attention of people all over the United States, they earned their right to equality. One of the key factors of this movement was the fact that the African-Americans remained nonviolent, proving to everyone that they were not animals and therefore, they deserved the rights that the white people had.

One of the most powerful of the civil disobedience acts was quotes and speeches. Simple quotes had such a big impact on the perception of African-Americans and many African-Americans gave speeches that lasted a lifetime.

Ruby Bridges

Most of you know who Ruby Bridges is. But do                                    you know the reality of what she faced?
"Every morning, as Bridges walked to school, one woman would threaten to poison her; because of this, the U.S. Marshals dispatched by President Eisenhower, who were overseeing her safety, only allowed Ruby to eat food that she brought from home. Another woman at the school put a black baby doll in a wooden coffin and protested with it outside the school, a sight that Bridges Hall has said "scared me more than the nasty things people screamed at us"

"As Bridges describes it, "Driving up I could see the crowd, but living in New Orleans, I actually thought it was Mardi Gras. There was a large crowd of people outside of the school. They were throwing things and shouting, and that sort of goes on in New Orleans at Mardi Gras."[5] Former United States Deputy Marshal Charles Burks later recalled, "She showed a lot of courage. She never cried. She didn't whimper. She just marched along like a little soldier, and we're all very very proud of her."

Roles and Responsibilities of Citizens

In order to affect change, the citizens had to step up and do something so their voices would be heard. Instead of actually using their voices or fists to make a change, they would stay silent and would not use violence. If the African Americans fought back, the white people would say that they're "animals" and don't deserve to be equal. 

The African Americans had many different ways to protest silently. One of the ways were sit-ins. They would sit in segregated restaurants and not order anything. As they would get yelled at and spit on, they still had to remain calm and friendly. They had to sit straight and face the counter at all times. They could not talk to anyone in the restaurants, not even to each other. The African Americans felt that if they went against any of these rules, the white people would not take the protest seriously. 

Another one of the ways the African Americans protested was freedom rides. These people were known as freedom riders. They would get on segregated interstate buses and ride them into segregated parts of the U.S., especially the South. The freedom riders would get beat up and their buses would get set on fire but they continued to ride the buses. 

Both of these tactics were extremely successful in affecting change. The fact that they continued to keep protesting after getting called terrible names shows how strong they were and how much they wanted the change. 

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

What are Civil Rights??

The literal definition of civil rights is, "the rights of citizens to political and social freedom and equality." 

But, what does this mean to us?  

When people hear "civil rights" they generally think of the African American Civil Rights Movement. This is where groups of people banded together to fight racial discrimination. This is most well known because groups of people were able to come up with the strength and integrity to have non violent protests. For more information on this civil rights movement go to  -                              

We should know that this is not the only example of civil rights. Even today, we are facing civil right movements. The most common one today is gay rights. Check out this awesome source!

Another common case today for civil rights is the Immigrant Rights Movement.  Check out this great source for more info! -
Take time out today to ask yourself what some common civil right movements have done for you. Where would you be if it weren't for the brave few who silent protested for African American Civil Rights? Is there anything you could do to join in on a movement of today?