Suffragists picketing the White House, Photograph courtesy of the Library of Congress Women's status during America's grand experiment as the world's first democracy has undergone dramatic changes over the generations. The religious doctrine, written laws, and social customs that colonists brought with them from Europe asserted women's subordinate position.
Innovative thinking about a global world Tuesday, January 20, Was the Civil Rights movement a revolution? African-American newsman attacked by mob in Little Rock, link I think of the results of the civil rights struggles of the s and s in the United States as the second American revolution, though a slow-moving one.
And it is tempting to think of MLK as one of the founding fathers of this revolution. Is this an exaggeration or a legitimate historical and sociological judgment? Was this struggle comparable in any way to the experience of France inCuba inor Teheran in ?
It is true that this period lacked some of the common attributes of a revolution -- in particular, it did not lead to regime change or fundamental change in the system of government. But it resulted in a fundamental realignment of power in the United States nonetheless.
It profoundly changed the terms of inequality embodied in the race regime of the United States in the first half of the twentieth century. It decisively closed the door on the idea of second-class citizenship for African Americans in the United States, and ultimately for other social and ethnic groups, and it broke up forever the foundations of white power and white supremacy through which this subordination was maintained.
It is important to remember the brutality and comprehensiveness of the system of Jim Crow relations between white and black people that prevailed in much of the United States in the s into the s.
The photo above captures this system for me: Jerrold Packard provides a detailed and graphic inventory of the code of the Jim Crow system in American Nightmare: This system of subordination extended to virtually all forms of ordinary life: And it was a durable system, reproducing itself through generations of assertive displays of white power.
The civil rights movement challenged every dimension of this system.
African Americans of every level of society demanded equality and rights of access to all of the crucial activities of ordinary life: And many thousands of black men and women showed their courage and commitment in standing up to the violence that enforced this system.
This includes the famous -- King, Parks, Abernathy, Lewis, Malcolm; but it also includes the many thousands of ordinary people whose names are now forgotten but who accepted beatings to register to vote or enroll in segregated schools. So if a revolution may be described as a fundamental change in the power relations in a society, brought about by the concerted effort of a large-scale collective movement, then indeed, the civil rights movement brought about a revolution in America.
Doug McAdam's fine sociology of American race relations and the civil rights movement is right to call this an insurgency in Political Process and the Development of Black Insurgency, It was an insurgency that was broadly based, passionately pursued, supported by effective regional and national organizations, and largely successful in achieving its most important goals.
It barely needs saying that this revolution is not complete. Tom Sugrue found a good phrase to capture the story in the title of his recent book, Not Even Past: Barack Obama and the Burden of Race.
But further progress will build upon the cultural and structural changes brought about by these courageous and committed ordinary men and women in waging revolution against an oppressive social order.In "African-American Religious Leadership and the Civil Rights Movement," Clarence Taylor reminds us that we must look beyond the charismatic leadership of the African American clergy to understand the role of the church in the movement.
By Xiaohan Yi. The American Civil Rights Movement is a brilliant chapter in the history of African Americans’ long-time struggle for freedom. In order to end racial inequalities and segregation, since the s (and even before), African Americans have fought for their equal rights against violence, exploitation, disfranchisement and discrimination.
The era’s final major piece of civil rights legislation reflected the changing emphasis of the civil rights movement itself: Having secured a measure of political rights, black leaders now emphasized the importance of equal economic and educational opportunity.
Women's Movement s The Seneca Falls Convention in inspired many more women's rights conventions and associations. s-The Civil War led to a minor set back in the women's rights movement. The Civil Rights Movement spanned 25 years. It was the largest mobilization of Blacks, and one of the biggest movements in US history.
In one way or another, it influenced the lives of every Black American. A champion of labor rights, women’s rights, racial equality and other civil rights causes, Huerta remains an unrelenting figure in the farm workers’ movement.
Biography adapted from City University of New York’s “ Women’s Leadership in American History ” and the National Women’s History Museum.