1.What incidents prompted the Civil Rights movement in the 1950s?

As Eric Foner (2011) states, in 1952, the American society put an end with lynching completely (p. 968). Nevertheless, in 1951, African American Students went against their unequal conditions compared to the whites’ ones in the educational establishments of Virginia. The NAACP supported them in it, and five cases of segregation in the educational system were united in the case of Brown v. Board of Education, which was considered in 1954. In 1955, the Montgomery Bus Boycott took place, when African American girls Claudette Colvin and Rosa Parks did not want to give their seats to passengers with white skin color in public busses. In 1957, nine African American students could not attend the Little Rock Central High School because of the racist decision of the Arkansas governor, Orval Faubus.

2.What groups participated in the movement and what strategies did they employ?

The Human Rights Movement united the whole African American society. All social groups took part in its action. Students, unemployed, women, and businessmen joined various fraternal societies or organizations, and as volunteers protested against racial segregation. Moreover, churches supported its movement. In the course of time, the strategy of direct action replaced strategies, used by the Civil Rights Movement in the early years of the twentieth century: the public education and defense in courts the civil rights. Such organizations, as the Regional Council of Negro Leadership (T.R.M. Howard), the Montgomery Improvement Association (Dr. Martin Luther King), the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and the NAASP organized and took part in non-violent actions to abolish racial segregation. They conducted boycotts, demonstrations and marches, set-ins, actions of non-violent civil disobedience, and Freedom Rides.

3.What were some of its major achievements?

The case of Brown v. Educational board, which considered Chief Justice Earl Warren, began the process of desegregation of all educational establishments of the United States. As Eric Foner states, though African Americans got an opportunity to study in all public schools, “it inspired a wave of optimism that discrimination would soon disappear” (Foner, p. 1021). The Montgomery Bus Boycott ended with the recognition by the Supreme Court of segregation in busses and other public transportations as unconstitutional. In 1957, President Eisenhower supported nine African American children to attend the school in Little Rock. Of course, it was victory of African Americans in their struggle against racial segregation, though about two percent of African American children were going to desegregated school in the 1950s.

4.What contributed to the emergence of?

In the 1960s, a series of political, social, and cultural changes took place in the United States. In the result, a political ideology of African Americans emerged, which was called as Black Power. This term was used by Malcolm X, after conducting by Stokely Carmichael a march in Mississippi. Malcolm X disputed with Martin Luther King concerning methods of the political struggle for African American civil rights. He supported violent actions in reply on murders of African Americans, committed by whites. Black Power was an expression of African American nationalism, traditions, culture, and ideology. At the same time, Martin Luther King united both African Americans and whites in the March on Washington in 1963. In the result, the Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act, and Immigration Reforms were passed by the government.

5.How did Civil Rights movement inspire women, minority groups, and students in the 1960s?

The Civil Right Movement of African Americans influenced deeply on the further development of the struggle for their civil rights such social groups, as women, students, and minorities. African American women took an active part in the Civil Rights Movement. One of them, Rosa Parks, became a symbol of the national liberation of African Americans. Therefore, the Feminist Movement started in the United States in the 1960s, from the emergence of a work The Feminine Mystique of Betty Friedan. She described discrimination and racism at American enterprises. Friedan drew attention of public to the national problem because thousands of talented women had to be imprisoned into homes, working for their husbands. In the result of success of the Civil Rights Movement, the government passed the Equal Party Act in 1963. It influenced the students’ movement, who supported the Civil Rights marches. Sexual minorities demanded their rights after the Civil Rights Act was adopted.


Foner, E. (2011). Give me liberty. New York: W.W. Norton & Company.

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