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The Civil Rights Movement: Some Progress Is Better Then No Progress

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438 words
Social Issues

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It is a relentless struggle to attempt to provide equality to all
people regardless of race, gender, age, or disability. We are all different
and therefore can by no means be treated equal, yet nevertheless we should
all be given equal opportunities in life. This ideal of equality although
reasonable, has historically risen great fear among those who believe in
the superiority of one person over another person. Therefore the vision of
equality is presently based more on optimism then reality. Although this
may presently be true, the strength of the people against adversity has
allowed advancement in our civil liberties.
Formerly our nation promoted the belief that African Americans were
property rather then people. This belief dates back to colonial times when
Virginia's colonial leader John Smith implemented poor immigrants into the
system of indentured servitude. This system was used to exploit the poor
immigrants in order to make up for a diminishing labor force in Virginia
until 1619 when African Americans were brought over and treated as
indentured servants. However this African American servitude quickly
progressed into slavery as tobacco became more of the backbone of the
For many years the issue of civil rights for African Americans was
left unanswered. Until slowly African Americans and abolitionists of
slavery banded together in order to resurrect the human rights of African
Americans. At the same time a small women's movement started to arise as
many women became politically active in trying not only to abolish slavery,
but also further their own social status in society. However because of the
vast networks of tobacco, and the reliance of slavery to support the
economy, this was not an easy task. As famous historian Howard Zinn said, "
It would take either a full-scale slave rebellion or a full-scale war to
end such a deeply entrenched system." (Zinn pg. 167) This hypothesis proved
true as the underlining issue of slavery in the United States split the
country in half. The result of this internal dispersion of the country
resulted in the Civil War.
After the Civil War the question of slavery was officially resolved
with the creation of the Thirteenth amendment and the Civil Rights Acts,
however the status of African Americans in society was not. This provoked a
whole new era of racism with the production of the Jim Crow laws and the Ku
Klux Klan. During this era although slavery had been legally abolished, the<...

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