The Effects of the Civil Rights Movement
The civil rights movement of 1964 a crucial milestone and a historic victory although it did not end discrimination, racial inequality, and injustice. Its main goal was to give every African American the same citizenship rights that were taken for granted by whites. Ideally, it was a battle that accrued from different beginnings. For instance, in the 1960s it attained exceptional legislative and judicial victories against discrimination in voting and public accommodations (Hall, 2005, p. 11). It had considerable success in ending housing and job discrimination though less complete. The middle class blacks, doctors, lawyers, and teachers including other professionals had the best chance to take advantage of the new opportunities.
Nearly all black neighborhoods were segregated after these professionals departed. The civil rights movement did not solve issues such as poverty, crime, broken families, and drug menace. However, the Brown decision of 1954 initiated the process of school integration, which is regarded as flop by many as many schools today are segregated as they were decades ago. Markedly, Brown’s main focus was in education and not other areas of social justice. Today, inequality remains and the average income blacks earn below whites. For instance, educated whites earn way above educated blacks. Although the civil rights movement brought considerable change in America, it seemingly did not achieve complete equality, but greater equality. Most importantly, the civil rights movement led to the civil rights act that was passed in 1964. Without this movement, the act would not have been enacted.
On the face of it, the movement played a critical role in shaping the direction of the nation in regard to freedom from oppression, discrimination and injustices, the civil right movement. Since then, blacks have made big strides in education especially in high school and graduation rates in colleges and universities still lag behind. However, the economy of blacks has risen as poverty rates decline. Political power has increased considerably. Black voter turnout rate has significantly increased in every general election. Seemingly, black voters surpass whites and the number of elected black officials rises every year. In regard to principles and attitudes, dramatic changes have been witnessed. In fact, change is today less vivid in authentic behavior.
Indeed, America has experienced more change after the civil right movement than other movements that have at one time taken place in the nation. The main agenda of the movement came to pass after blacks were considered in various forums and initiatives in the country. The middle class has considerably grown and helped in various projects in the government, corporations, and in nation building. Ideally, their voice has now been heard. In all most economic categories, blacks has significantly gained although not enough. Poverty rates have really dropped from 344% in the 60s to approximately 25% today. Markedly, these numbers are glaring and the wealth between whites and blacks is about 5 to 1. In 2014, the average households belonging to whites had close to $850,000 in assets while those belonging to blacks had $160,000 (Klarman, 1994, p. 3).
Ideally, the impact of the civil rights movement is fully defined by one’s position socially, geographically, or economically. Most importantly, the civil rights movement led to the enactment of the civil rights act that greatly helped in changing and improving the education sector. Educational opportunities started taking effect after the movement and today millions of black students who were once discriminated and oppressed are graduating from famous colleges and universities. Racial barriers are constantly being removed in the social, economic, and cultural spheres in America. Blacks also benefited from school desegregation and new voting rights. Additionally, States extended their plan’s measures to include every company and organization that worked on federal contracts. The result of this act was that hundreds and thousands of employees in various organizations were to put aside certain contracts for minorities or meet quotas.
Subsequently, blacks were no longer denied the right to vote, shop, eat, swim and visit where they pleased. Most importantly, they were no longer denied a chance to attend integrated schools. However, the civil rights movement had many setbacks. For instance, many people whether young or old lost their jobs, properties, families, and others lost their lives (Tsutsui, 2004). Some developed psychological trauma, which made them unproductive in the society. However, the economic inequalities that made much contributions in to the maintenance of segregation was left intact by the movement. Lastly, the movement left behind a mixed legacy of tragedy and triumph.
Hall, J. D. (2005). The long civil rights movement and the political uses of the past. The Journal of American History, 91(4), 1233-1263.
Klarman, M. J. (1994). Brown, racial change, and the civil rights movement. Virginia Law Review, 7-150.
Tsutsui, K., & Wotipka, C. M. (2004). Global civil society and the international human rights movement: Citizen participation in human rights international nongovernmental organizations. Social Forces, 83(2), 587-620.