The Civil Rights Movement significantly influenced American history in the 1960s and 1970s (Kendi et al.). African Americans made a great effort to advance their cause and secure the freedom to live with respect and dignity. After decades of oppression and injustice, the civil rights movement was a powerful example of how concerted group work can produce long-lasting change. The Civil Rights movement will be examined in this essay, focusing on the decades from 1964 to 1969, which saw a dramatic turn toward Black Power. I will discuss how the essays “1964-1969 Black Power” by Peniel Joseph and “2014-2019 Black Lives Matter” by Alicia Garza influenced the movement. I will argue that while the movement for Civil Rights made significant strides in the fight for civil rights, it also paved the way for the current Black Lives Matter movement, which has persisted in seeking complete justice and equality. The Civil Rights Movement made important strides toward legal equality and civil rights (Kendi et al.). The Black Lives Matter movement, which has continued the battle for justice and equality and promoted racial and economic justice, was made possible thanks to this movement.
Numerous African Americans came together during the civil rights movement of the 1960s to defend their civil rights and combat racial persecution. The civil rights struggle during this time successfully brought about enormous changes in African American life and culture, according to Peniel Joseph’s article “1964-1969 Black Power.” He asserts that the civil rights revolutions enabled “great economic and political successes for African Americans” (Joseph 331). This includes the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, both of which improved African Americans’ access to the legal system and their legal protection (Kendi et al.). The civil rights movement also changed the public’s perceptions of and attitudes toward African Americans. The movement of civil rights, according to Joseph, “was a tremendous cultural, psychological, and spiritual force that transformed the [American] perspective on race” (Joseph 340). Proof of this may be found in the resounding support for the civil rights movement, which saw Americans of all colors come together to advance the civil rights of African Americans.
In addition to Joseph’s writing, a New York Times story that claims that the civil rights movement “brought about profound changes in American culture, from the end of formal segregation to the passage of civil rights laws” also lends weight to this claim (Kendi et al.). This article also emphasizes how overwhelming nationwide support for the civil rights movement shows how the campaign successfully changed public perceptions and attitudes toward African Americans (Kendi et al.) The civil rights movement in the 1960s successfully brought about several significant changes in African American life and culture.
As stated by Alicia Garza, “2014-2019 Black Lives Matter” was created in response to decades of racialized governmental violence and cultural oppression (Garza 381). According to her, the movement is “founded in an understanding of the need to center black people” (Garza 386). This is evidenced by the movement’s broad support base, which has recruited ardent supporters of many races. According to a post from The Guardian that supports this statement, the movement “has sparked a conversation about police violence and structural racism.” (Clayton et al. 450). This article also underlines how the movement’s widespread support demonstrates how it successfully transformed prevailing attitudes toward African Americans. Therefore, the movement of the 2010s was able to draw on the successes of the movement of civil rights of the 1960s to develop and impact change further.
The writings of Peniel Joseph and Alicia Garza make it abundantly evident that the Civil Rights Movement significantly impacted the fight for equality and justice in the United States (Clayton et al. 450). Joseph’s research indicates that because the Black Power movement provided a strong framework for battling racism and economic exploitation, it significantly contributed to the struggle for civil rights (Kendi et al.). Black Lives Matter seeks to increase racial and economic fairness while advancing the accomplishments made possible by the Civil Rights movement. Garza’s essay, in contrast, demonstrates how the movement is a continuation of the Civil Rights Movement.
The Civil Rights Movement has long-lasting influenced the struggle for justice and equality. The movement for Civil Rights was a pivotal era in American history (Kendi et al.). It has helped prepare the way for the movement, which has continued the struggle for justice and equality and made tremendous strides toward civil rights and legal equality. While acknowledging and celebrating the successes of the movement of Civil Rights is vital, it is also crucial to realize that there is still much work to be done in the battle for justice and equality (Kendi et al.). Black Lives Matter also serves as an important reminder that the fight for justice and equality is never-ending, firmly emphasizing this.
The Civil Rights Movement was successful; therefore, the movement of Black Lives Matter is superfluous and redundant and could be a potential rebuttal to this claim. However, this argument ignores that the movement for Civil Rights made significant progress toward civil rights and legal equality (Clayton et al. 471). The underlying structural racism and economic disparities that affect African Americans, however, were not addressed. The Black Lives Matter movement was established to address this injustice and advance greater racial and economic justice. Thus, the movement is a necessary component of the Civil Rights movement to achieve true justice and equality. Thanks to their dogged efforts, African Americans could attain legal equality, educational opportunities, voting rights, and the protection of civil liberties (Clayton et al. 456). The underlying structural racism and economic inequalities that African Americans experience yet persist despite these accomplishments. This is shown by the fact that African Americans in the United States consistently experience poverty, illiteracy, and incarceration rates proportionally greater than those of their white counterparts.
In conclusion, it is clear that the Civil Rights Movement was a pivotal moment in American history and that it had a profound, long-lasting effect on the nation’s struggle for justice and equality. The movement for Civil Rights achieved major strides toward civil rights and legal equality, as essays by Peniel Joseph and Alicia Garza demonstrate. It also led to the movement of Black Lives Matter, which has continued the battle for justice and equality (Clayton et al. 450). The fight for justice and equality still has a long way to go, so it is important to recognize and celebrate the achievements of the civil rights movement. The movement, which also serves as an important reminder that the fight for justice and equality is never-ending, firmly emphasizes this. The civil rights movement of the 1960s and the movement of Black Lives Matter of the 2010s have both been important and defining moments in the history of the United States, and they will continue to have a lasting impact on African American life and culture for generations to come.
Clayton, Dewey M. “Black lives matter and the civil rights movement: A comparative analysis of two social movements in the United States.” Journal of Black Studies 49.5 2018: 448–480.
Kendi, Ibram X., and Keisha N. Blain. Four hundred souls: A community history of African America 1619-2019. Random House, 2021.