OPINION: Was the Civil Rights Movement Successful?

Talea Lewis, Reporter

Ignoring what is happening in our country is impossible. Nor should it be ignored. The continued fight that African-Americans and other minority races have to push and strive through every day, is a fight that should’ve concluded a long time ago. Due to current events, understanding where it really all began is helpful.

African Americans have been fighting to get our voices heard for decades. After reading articles and watching videos on the Civil Rights Movement, there is always that lingering question… was it successful?

The Civil Rights Movement in itself was very successful. Though, it still has to be taken into account where we are today as a country. In today’s society, there are still tremendous racial-issues, and various problems in our social equality.

The Civil Rights Movement and the Civil Rights Act of 1964 were major milestones that the original freedom fighters were fighting for. The 15th amendment was passed in 1820 which eliminated the barriers to black enfranchisement that had been erected due to Jim Crow.

The main goals that were accomplished from the Civil Rights Movement consisted of desegregating public schools, gaining the same legal rights as whites and hoping to enforce the rights granted in the 15th amendment. These rights included the right to vote, equal education, and later made it possible for blacks and whites to have integrated school systems.

Though they were accepted systematically and legally, African-Americans were not yet accepted socially. Blacks were looked at as a lower class than whites, like the color of their skin meant they were almost less than human. To this day, many people of color still are judged and looked at in this way.

From reading many different articles regarding the Civil Rights Movement, it was very easy to understand the different methods and tactics the African-Americans used during this fight for equality. Two of the biggest and most known events that took place were the Montgomery Bus Boycott and the March on Washington. There were so many things that the African-Americans did during this time in order to ensure that they would be heard and taken seriously.

This is no different from the current goal that protestors and people of all colors are trying to achieve today. After the death of George Floyd rocked our nation, it really opened up a lot of people’s eyes, especially those who might’ve been sheltered to the discrimination and wrongdoing that black people are faced with every day in society.

The peaceful protests, the voices of those with big platforms speaking out, (Cardi B, Billie Eilish, etc) is what gives me hope that we will all be able to get through the storm and have our hard work pay off. We have come very far as a country. Gaining legal equality was a huge step in our progress. Before the Civil Rights Movement, no one ever thought twice about allowing or giving African-Americans the right to vote. Also, they were able to get the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission created, and to have blacks attend the same schools and receive the same kind of education as the whites.

Not ignoring the milestones, there is still much work to be done regarding our country’s racial issues, and social equality. Well… inequality I should say. From seeing our current day and age in 2020, I am disappointed to say that it honestly feels like we’re going backwards. It is no secret that our world is diverse in so many different ways, not only speaking on race. In order for our country to solve our racial and social equality issues, everyone needs to accept the fact that everyone is different and that’s okay. If not? We will not be able to move forward as a country.

The Civil Rights Movement was successful. There is no doubt that without the strength and courage that the African-Americans demonstrated at the time in order to do what they had to during the movement, and to gain their rights… we would not be where we are today. Without their bravery to fight, we might’ve never gained the rights that we did as a race.

Though this movement was remarkable in success, it doesn’t mean that we don’t still have things to work on today as a country. It is time for change. A time to let our differences unite us. The Civil Rights Movement should be an organized inspiration to how we fight for our change in our current society. This is why we have to keep in mind that there is a difference between protesting, and taking wrong advantage of a situation that is bigger than them. Looting and stealing is a crime. There is no going around that. We need to realize that if we want people in charge to see that we are here for real change, then we need to all be mature, smart, rational, and realize that we can’t and won’t be taken seriously if we aren’t taking it seriously. Do your part, take a stand and don’t let racism divide our nation.