Useful Notes Civil Rights Movement Discussion

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09:50:14 AM Mar 5th 2016
Isn't it Older Than They Think ?

Plessy v. Ferguson was precisely a result of the (then) civil rights movement. The only problem was that they lost. The only thing that started somewhere in the late 1940s or 1950s was a civil rights movement that was winning. Now we wouldn't say a sports team started existing once they won stuff, would we?
10:58:40 AM Mar 5th 2016
Well, the civil rights movement of the 1950s-1960s became a mass movement, or rather a mass media movement since it was the first one that wasn't tucked in and forgotten by the white mainstream.

02:30:36 PM Mar 5th 2016
True. So there is a marked difference both in the outcome (the 1950s and 1960s people achieved stuff) and the perception, but we would be amiss not to mention the fact that there were efforts to better the lot of African Americans almost since there were African Americans. It started out as opposition to the slave trade, turned into abolitionism, found a high water mark in reconstruction and ultimately morphed into the civil rights movement that gained traction and success in the 1950s and 1960s and is still far from over.
10:04:57 PM Mar 5th 2016
Well a prologue would be great definitely. And you can mention all that. So yes, Plessy vs Ferguson should go there. More crucial and relevant, IMO, is The Thirties when the American Communist Party went to the South and organized black neighborhoods, funded lawyers in the Scottboro case and so on.

The Civil Rights Movement, to put it quite cynically, managed to have the effect it did because it was the first time since Reconstruction that a large number of the fence-sitting whites felt that black people were worth the fuss to take a stand for them. And of course the African-American community having had diverse experiences from earlier failures became more strategic and tactical in organizing their movement. So yes it's important to write all that.
06:17:06 AM Jun 26th 2012
Before this was in Useful Notes, it had these examples. If anyone wants to make an article about it in YKTTW, feel free to use them.

In fiction:


  • In The Dark Tower series, Susannah was a Civil Rights activist.
  • In The Full Matilda, David is in the Black Panther Party and gets shot at a protest.
  • The Help, a book set in 1962, focusing on the lives of two African American maids and their white friend.
  • Naughts and Crosses depicts the Civil Rights movement, depicting both peaceful and violent acts of protest- while existing in an Alternate Universe where it is the white (the 'naughts') discriminated against by the blacks (the 'crosses').
  • Like many other great historical moments, the Movement is turned on its head by The Onion in Our Dumb Century, especially in the "transcript" of King's renowned speech, "I Had A Really Weird Dream Last Night."

Western Animation
  • Robert (Granddad) Freeman of The Boondocks had an involvement in the movement. He still held a grudge against Rosa Parks for "stealing his thunder" (he was sitting next to her on that bus and likewise refused to give up his seat, but the bus driver was only offended by Rosa's unwillingness to move, not his), and once showed up late to a march because he knew they would bring out the hoses and figured he'd bring a raincoat.

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