Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights Movement in the USA A) Outline the segregation policy that existed in the USA in the 1950s and 1960s B) Describe the role of Martin Luther King in the civil rights movement C) Discuss the achievements of the civil rights movement The civil rights movement in the United States has been a long, primarily nonviolent struggle, mainly in the southern states, to bring about full civil rights and equality to all Americans. It has been made up of many movements, though the term is often used to refer to the struggles faced between 1945 and 1970 in order to end discrimination against African-Americans and stop racial segregation. After the abolition of slavery in 1865 and with the Civil War now over, it seemed that black Americans in both the north and the south could hope for a better future. But in fact their struggle had scarcely begun. A) With segregation firmly established as law due to the Plessy Vs Ferguson (see Appendix A) case in 1896, segregation was allowed to continue for the next 60 years. Prior to the 1950s and 1960s, black Americans had endured separation in almost every area of life. Having separate schools, transportation, restaurants, parks, drinking fountains (see Appendix B), public facilities, movie theaters and places of entertainment were all part of the white mans attempt to achieve supremacy over blacks. Some whites were so violently opposed to blacks that they joined the Ku Klux Klan. This sinister organisation, which terrorized and murdered blacks even had the support of some policeman and politicians. Jim Crow (see Appendix C) signs were also put up which constantly reminded blacks of their inferiority. Jim Crow laws also included the denial of voting rights. Southern states passed legislation requiring blacks to qualify for the right to vote through poll taxes, property ownership, residency requirements and literacy tests. But since many blacks were poor and landle…
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