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The History of the Civil Rights Movement

Throughout the 20th century, the Civil Rights Struggle fought for the American guarantee of equality and freedom. The Civil Rights Era firmly rooted its pleas for freedom and liberty in the Charter and Declaration of Independence from the early struggles of the early 20th century to the icing accomplishments of the Civil Liberties and Voting Power Acts that transformed the legal position of Black in the U.S. The campaign pushed for America to uphold its inclusive pledge that “all men are created equal,” instead of opposing a Nation that segregated against a particular race. Instead of working against American institutions, it promoted American values within them. This essay explores the tactics they employed, the reasons they stepped up their quest, and the relevance of the movement.

Discrimination was a political and social power that was powerful and tenacious. Even with the attitude predominated in the 1950s, Jim Crow persisted, and its demise would be complex and gradual. Black Tennesseans were now more doubtful of their expected standing in society than ever. When faced with unfair treatment at work, they occasionally left their jobs or protested. They sued local governments and private individuals for claimed wrongdoings and pushed the government to repeal racial discrimination legislation. The Supreme Court’s ruling in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka (1954) gave black Tennesseans even more confidence because it not only required desegregation of the public schools but also dismantled the mechanisms that supported discriminatory practices in general. The lawsuit that overturned Plessey and eliminated the legal precept of racially segregated promised to cause more societal upheaval than any other recent event[1].

The Civil Rights Struggle used a variety of strategies to tackle various issues. For instance, a peaceful demonstration was essential in the fight against racial discrimination in public spaces. The existing system was upset by direct action, which made it challenging for individuals in positions of authority to disregard the problem of racism. The sit-ins and liberty rides are the best illustrations. Numerous direct action demonstrations eventually resulted in the 1964 Civil Rights act being passed after the sit-ins, in some cases immediately changing local policy. Due to the freedom movement, two Supreme Court rulings (concerning interstate travel) disregarded by white southerners had to be implemented by the previous administration and the Federal communications commission.[2].

The protest was not very proactive in resolving the deprivation of voting rights. The organizing committee and allied forces used this less noticeable strategy of campaigning door to door and trying to meet and speak with people—to combat this. They created connections, offered opportunities for practice using voting devices, and offered transport and support to individuals willing to try. Mass gatherings, Civic Education programs that taught individuals how to pass the reading exams (designed to keep Blacks from voting), and political indoctrination sessions that explained essential laws and the responsibilities of elected representatives were used to support their outreach efforts. The movement’s diverse educational initiatives allowed people to learn more about patriotism and democracy and hone their leadership abilities. This whole process took a long time, was laborious, and initially yielded few noticeable results. Even when people attempted to register to vote before the Voter Rights Act was passed, they have frequently turned away and had few options.

Even though mostmost white residents were disturbed by the case, they responded to the ruling tentatively. The town of Knoxville was a reliable indicator of the sentiments of white people in the state at the time. In 1954, Knoxville had a black population of little less than 10%, and some investigators thought it was the least racially divisive of the state’s major cities. However, according to a 1958 poll, 90% of white citizens firmly disagreed with racial integration. In addition, it revealed that out of the 167 white respondents surveyed, not a single one would consent to enroll even a single American child in a black school, and approximately 72 percent would be against enrolling a black child in a white school. Eighty-four percent of respondents disagreed with mixed-race and sexuality categories. Such data provided a potent critique. The irony is that in a nation that purportedly upheld the legal system, these same whites who had tried to defend Plessey as the legal system now found themself backed into a constitutional corner.

Around May 14, 1961, the Black Communities were met by enraged mobs in Alabama. Black and white representatives of the Equal Justice Initiative were transported aboard mixed Greyhound buses without any significant problems to Washington, D.C. However, when the vehicles reached Alabama on Mother’s Day, a first bus was attacked, its tires were cut, and it was completely burned by a pipe bomb. Some other riot in Birmingham intercepted the second bus when it arrived, and the subsequent violence left one passenger crippled. The first Reformers returned home by plane because the bus operator chose not to take a chance by extending the trip. However, when the second group of Civil Rights activists embarked on the journey, they encountered mob violence once more in Montgomery. The instances compelled the Kennedy government to speak with state governors about upholding federal anti-segregation legislation[3].

Tennessee led the way in this initiative. Tennessee had the first interracial public high school in the South. In an effort to pressure local officials to give people the freedom to vote, black residents of Asheville and Fayette towns lived in tents. Through non-violent demonstrations that started with a sit-in at Nashville fast food joints and continued with Freedom Movement and voting registration campaigns in Louisiana and Mississippi, youths at historically black colleges in Nashville set the pace. From 1945 to 1975, no Tennessee activity was more spectacular than that of the Civil Rights Struggle. It took time for the campaign toward inclusion and fairness to take hold, and not all demonstration actions were productive. But by the conclusion of this period, discriminatory buildings and banners were vanished, and the majority of public institutions in the state were unified[4].


In conclusion, after Congress approved the Civil Rights Legislation of 1964, African-Americans were able to reap the rewards of their protracted fight for equality. All public amenities were required to end discrimination following the Civil Rights Legislation. The bill had to defeat a Southern blockade in the Senate as well as the conservative party from both houses’ concerns it was an unlawful infringement on federal power, community affairs, and private companies by the federal.


Barkan, Steven E. “Legal control of the southern civil rights movement.” American Sociological Review (1984): 552-565.

Franklin, J. L. (2018, March 1). Civil Rights Movement. Tennessee Encyclopedia. Retrieved July 20, 2022, from

Morris, Aldon D. The origins of the civil rights movement. Simon and Schuster, 1986.

[1] Morris, Aldon D. The origins of the civil rights movement. Simon and Schuster, 1986.

[2] Franklin, J. L. (2018, March 1). Civil Rights Movement. Tennessee Encyclopaedia. Retrieved July 20, 2022, from

[3] Barkan, Steven E. “Legal control of the southern civil rights movement.” American Sociological Review (1984): 552-565.

[4] Franklin, J. L. (2018, March 1). Civil Rights Movement. Tennessee Encyclopedia. Retrieved July 20, 2022, from


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