Civil Rights Movement

Civil Rights Movement was an organization that was formed with a purpose of protecting human rights of individuals in America. The chairman of this organization was Martin Luther King Jr., who was optimistic that his leadership would help the movement to attain its goal. The main goal of this organization was to ensure that African American citizens were treated equally compared to their American counterparts. The movement centered on ensuring that all Blacks access basic privileges and opportunities just like the Americans did. The main areas of concern of this movement were education, voting rights and social segregation. All African Americans were economically and politically powerless due to the fact that they were not given a chance to vote. Hard work and determination among the members of the Civil Rights Movement greatly contributed to the success of this movement. This paper analyses different methods that were used by Civil Rights Movement in achieving their goal. In addition it addresses different elements that saw success of this movement.

Means that were employed by the Civil Rights Movement

All movements apply different strategies and tactics in ensuring that they achieve their goals. The strategies that were applied by the Civil Rights Movement were mainly geared towards solving major challenges, which faced the black in the whites’ land. The Civil Rights Movement strongly believed that problems of Africans mainly originated from top officials of the government. It further argued that formulators of government policies were ignorant of the type of discrimination that Africans faced (Krochmal, 2010).

This movement decided to apply a reformist strategy rather than a revolutionary method in fighting for the rights of the blacks.  Methods under the reformist tactic were negotiation, petition, nonviolent protests and legal means. Even though this movement applied a reformist tactic it argued that it needed a revolutionary change that would see Africans leading a better life. The first step according to this movement was restructuring of the government. Restructuring is important because it helps in terminating the dominance of the rich who tend to exploit the poor in the society. The tactics applied by this movement had gone through different developmental phases. They include legal action, mass action and electoral politics (Krochmal, 2010).

Legal action was the most preferred method in championing for human rights by this movement. Through this method the movement would be able to persuade and force the legislature and the courts to protect inalienable rights. The main organizations that were formed to apply this method were National Association for Advancement of the Blacks and Urban League. Martin Luther advised his followers to always apply nonviolent protest in championing for their rights. In order to demonstrate this he led a march to Washington that was meant to provide Africans with new hope. He hoped that there will come a day when the whites will appreciate the uniqueness of Africans by allowing them to work together. This march did not seek to address the challenges only of the Africans but also those of the working people, poor and unemployed. It is through this march that Martin Luther became popular all over America. Malcolm X, on the other hand, believed that people rights could only be achieved through a revolutionary method (Griffey, 2012).

Elements that Contributed to the Success of the Civil Rights Movement

Different elements played an integral part in ensuring that the Civil Rights Movement is successful. These elements include the government, movement protest and the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court mainly played a role of promoting neutrality in the society. It ordered that all public facilities be segregated. Even though there was segregation, the Supreme Court demanded that equal rights should be provided in these facilities. The government on the other hand played different roles in promoting success. One of the roles was to protect a mass of nonviolent protestors. Another role included offering executive orders that helped in terminating employment discrimination. The Civil Rights act was provided in order to protect the blacks (Griffey, 2012)

Due to the economic condition of most Africans they were forced to reside in ghetto. Their areas of residence played an important role in bringing them together in order to fight against segregation. It is through these protests that the public and the government could fully understand the living conditions of the Africans. The protestors argue that they meant no harm; all they needed was fairness in the government dealing. Due to the nuisance the protestors caused to the public, the supreme courts agreed to promote integration. This means that Africans were allowed access to public utilities just like their whites counterparts. It is during this period the struggles of Africans which had gone through under Martin Luther leadership started to bear fruits. Africans through the government and the Supreme Court were offered different rights. They were, for instance, allowed to participate in political issues. These issues included voting and airing their grievances concerning the leadership of their time (Griffey, 2012).

Rights that were invoked by the Civil Rights Movement

The level of inequality that existed in America agitated the founders of the Civil Rights Movement; Africans were highly oppressed due to their black race. They were not allowed to access some amenities as the whites. This was evident through schools, hospitals and hotels that Africans used. It was this segregation that led to formation of Civil Rights Movement. Due to Martin Luther’s oratory skills he was thought to be the most ideal candidate to lead this movement. His main interest as a leader of this movement was to come up with a better America. He wanted the whites to view blacks as equal. Martin Luther did not care what he had to lose in the effort of leading Americans towards success (Krochmal, 2010).

Apart from discrimination, this movement emphasized on the need to promote local sanitation and the workers’ welfare. The working conditions of most employees in America were wanting. The Civil Rights Movement under the leadership of Martin Luther wanted to ensure that all workers regardless of their gender and origin were treated fairly. In addition, the movement wanted to ensure that all workers were recognized by the labor union (Perea, 2010).

1955 Montgomery Improvement Association led by Martin Luther urged Africans to boycott Montgomery system. The main reason why this association was formed was due to the level of segregation that existed in the transport system. No African was allowed to secure a sit in a bus before a white. He therefore advised protestors to use nonviolent resistance. Luther wanted decency to prevail in formation of laws that govern a nation (Griffey, 2012). 

The Civil Rights Movement used different international human rights mechanism in communicating the challenges of the Africans. The most common international human rights movement used was litigation. The Civil Rights Movement used this mechanism to ensure that racial segregation was done away with in America. Due to the acknowledgement that the Civil Rights Movement alone was not able to eradicate segregation, its leaders decided to solicit for assistance from the public as well as the federal government. This was important because it empowers this movement to acquire maximum support that enabled it to achieve its goal (Perea, 2010).


Even though this movement tried to do the best to resolve problems of the Africans, some loopholes still exist which makes most blacks to face challenges in America. The movement was not able to accomplish its mission under Luther’s leadership. There still were cases of disparity evident in America. Most Africans are still facing challenges in terms of accessing public utilities. These amenities include housing, schooling, medical care, safe communities and technology access. Another shortcoming of this movement is that they mainly addressed short-term problems that faced the Africans without putting in mind that environmental changes cause a change in the nature of problems. This means that the movement failed to apply a more fluid model that would help in solving long-term challenges that face Africans in the Diaspora. Most people were injured especially during protests. Apart from injury some were jailed due to causing a nuisance to the public. An example of this is Martin Luther King Jr. who was arrested due to leading a boycott for a period of one year.

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