From the Open-Publishing Calendar
From the Open-Publishing Newswire
Indybay Feature
Related Categories: Education & Student Activism
The Importance of the Civil Rights Movement
by Andrew Elsonbaty
Monday Dec 10th, 2012 10:37 AM
The civil rights movement wanted to change society for better treatment for black people.
Andrew Elsonbaty

November 4, 2012

Sociology 382

The Importance of Civil Rights Movement

Black people wanted to change the way they were treated through

the Civil Rights Movement. Black people wanted to be able to sit where

they please on the bus instead of in the back like the law suggested.

Also they wanted to be able to use any bathroom, school, drinking

fountain, or restaurant they desired. They also wanted to have equal

rights to have the same chance as a white person would receive for

applying for a job. This all means they wanted to stop being treated

inferior by Jim Crow Laws. Jim Crow laws segregated black people.

Civil Rights Movement shows through Montgomery boycott, little rock

nine, and freedom ride that black people wanted a change to the way

there treated by changing society.

Rosa Parks is a 42-year-old black woman who boarded a

Montgomery city bus from work on December 1, 1955. She sat near the

middle of the bus, behind ten seats that are for white people. All the

seats soon became filled and when a white man entered the bus, the

driver told Mrs. Parks to give up her seat for the man. She refused to

give up her seat. “When I made that decision ” she said later “I knew

that I had the strength of my ancestors with me.” (pg.1 from henry ford

article) She was arrested and convicted by Jim Crow laws. Once this

happened, local civil rights activists boycotted the Montgomery bus

system. Black people made up seventy percent of the riders in

Montgomery; the boycott is a threat to the economy. The boycott lasted

381 days. On December 1956, the U.S. supreme court ruled that

Montgomery buses is integrated. The Montgomery boycott pushed for

change on the way black passengers were treated on the Montgomery

bus system and Rosa Parks started the change.

The U.S. Supreme Court made the decision to desegregate schools

in the Arkansas nation on May 17, 1954. In 1957 nine black students

enrolled in Little Rock Central High School, which is an all white school.

There were protests that physically blocked the nine black students

from entering the school. The entire Arkansas National Guard had to

protect the black students from entering the school. The nine black

students were verbally and physically abused. One of the black students

had acid thrown into her eyes. Another student said, “I was one of the

kids approved by the school officials. We were told we would have to

take a lot and were warned not to fight back if anything happened.”(pg.

2 from wiki website) The little rock nine pushed for change in the way

public high schools treated black students.

In December 1960, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of integrated

travel on interstate travel on buses and trains. On May 4, 1961 the

freedom riders were formed who planned to ride through Virginia, the

Carolinas, Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi. Their final destination is

New Orleans, Louisiana. The riders were attacked when they reached

Alabama by an angry mob. Windows were broken, tires were slashed,

and the mob set the bus on fire. The next day the freedom riders tried

their mission again. The police escorted them through Alabama, but

when they reached Montgomery the police disappeared and they were

attacked again. The cops made no arrest that day. A freedom rider

William Barbee said, “As soon as we’ve recovered from this, we’ll start

again.”(pg. 4 from freedom rides of 1961) More people joined freedom

riders in Montgomery and they continued their journey to Mississippi.

They stopped in Jackson, Mississippi to use the restrooms for whites

only, and they were arrested to a brutal prison. The prison tried to

break them down, but they emerged from prison unbroken. The

freedom riders shows that they wanted to change the treatment they

receive from white people for being part of an integrated bus. It showed

courage toward this change to face a violent mob and be held in brutal

prison while not being broken. The freedom riders challenge

segregation in the Deep South.

The Civil Rights Movement changed the treatment received to

black people by changing society. Rosa parks ended the segregation

against black people on the bus. Little Rock Nine began the beginning

for black students attending all white schools. The freedom riders

showed the first group that is integrated for inter state travel on trains

and buses. Black people began a change in the treatment they received

because of these events, which changed society. Jim Crow laws became

abolished in 1975, which means that the Civil Rights Movement gave the

change in society black people wanted. This wouldn’t have happened if

it weren’t for the Civil Rights Movement changing society for black


My name is Andrew Elsonbaty. I attend Sonoma State University. I’m a sociology major that wants a profession as a social worker. I enjoy many hobbies such as making music, karate, lifting weights, reading, and dancing.

Andrew Elsonbaty

November 4, 2012

Sociology 382