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History of the Civil Rights Movement


The antebellum period of the United States unfortunately saw Blacks as
property. With the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation, slavery ended as
Blacks were guaranteed freedom. However, the implementation of Jim Crow
Laws after the Civil War started the modern civil right movement that aimed to
gain equality for all people.
In 1909, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People,
NAACP, was created to challenge the injustice Jim Crow Laws had towards
Blacks. The NAACP wanted to increase racial equality and eliminate racial
prejudice in the United States. During the Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka,
the NAACP had an instrumental part in the trial, resulting in the start of school
integration in 1955. There was a lot of backlash from White Americans when it
came to the integration of the school. Peaceful protests, boycotts, marches, and
sit-ins were held in efforts of equality for all citizens.
President John F. Kennedy fully endorsed the Civil Rights movement. The
President wrote a bill to eliminate laws that enforced discrimination, which was
approved many who supported the Civil Rights cause like Martin Luther King Jr.
This bill gained more traction and support for the movement. The Civil Rights Act
of 1964 was singed by President Johnson, which eliminated discrimination of all
kinds based on race, color, religion, or national origin. The following year the
Voting Rights Act of 1965 ended the prejudice voting system. This is the change
many fought long and hard; to see the day when every citizen is treated equally.
If Emilie Durkheim watched this video today, he would say the Black
community was held together due to the similar way of life they were living.
Blacks shared similar tasks and values when they were considered property. This
social order of Whites being at the top of the social pyramid and Blacks at the
bottom of the social pyramid help maintain social order and maintain stability in
which Durkheim believed in. During the 1960, when there were peaceful sit-ins,
boycotts, and marches, Durkheim would consider this period a dysfunctional
period in society. This is due to the decrease in social order the Blacks are
creating on the American society. Though public punishment like imprisonment
was enforced, the social order was not restored. Emilie Durkheim believed in the
functionalist perspective, and would most likely be against the Civil Rights
Karl Marxs work was on inequality, social class, and alienation. I believe if
Karl Marx were to watch this video today, he would support the cause of the Civil
Rights Movement. Marx was concerned with the alienation of groups, which the
Black community experienced until 1965. Not only were Black unequal in right,
they were unequal material and social resources. Marx would try to break down
the social structure that helps maintain the privileges of White American by
protesting, participating in a strike, or in anyway that would challenge the social
Auguste Comete believed in using his knowledge to help lead people to
live in a good society. Cometesidea of a good society is one that balances the
needs for social order and provides social change. I believe if he were to watch
this video, he would be for the Civil Rights Movement. This video shows the
struggle and inequality one group of people has dealt with, and shows that
society was not good during this time. In order to balance the social order, Black
would need equality, which falls in line with Cometes beliefs.
The paradigm that is most represented in this video is conflict. Blacks
were denied basic human rights until the Emancipation Proclamation was signed.
Though the bill was signed, inequality between Whites and Blacks were
prevalent. Blacks had an unequal distribution of material resources like money,
land, and cultural resources such as education. Blacks were denied money, land,
and education prior to the Civil War, and it wasnt until the 1960s when these
resources became more available for this group of people. The conflict
perspective is characterized by inequality and conflict between groups, and this
is exactly what this video depicts. Power, coercion, and authority shape people,
while they are maintained through force and coercion. Laws, politicians, and
policemen are examples of the people who maintained the inequality in America.
Inequality and conflict are designed to generate social change. Change occurs by
protest, strikes, revolutions, war, or any way of challenging the social structure.
The March to Washington and other demonstrations were crucial to the social
change of the Civil Rights movement.