The Civil Rights Movement gave rise to many great leaders, and produced many social changes that were the results of organized civil rights events that were staged throughout the South by organizations devoted to eliminating segregation, and giving the African American people the ability to pursue the American dream. The most important civil rights leader during the time was Martin Luther King Jr., and the most important event that took place during the movement was the fight to gain equality in voting rights for blacks, which escalated in Selma, Alabama.
During the Civil Rights Movement, Martin Luther King Jr. was the foremost contributor to the African American’s fight to obtain equality. He was a very influential speaker and became the main figure among black civil rights leaders. His idea of implementing non-violent civil disobedience into black marches, sit-ins, and bus boycotts brought about many social changes, that resulted in African-Americans moving closer to their goal of receiving complete equality under the law, and just treatment from Southern segregationalists. This non-violent approach rewarded him with a Noble Peace Prize and gave the African American’s struggle worldwide attention.
One reason why Martin Luther King Jr. was a very important figure during this time was his ability to not only influence black people, but also people in positions of power, including President Kennedy, and President Johnson. During the short time that Martin Luther King Jr. fought for civil rights, the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act were passed; busses, schools, and lunch counters were desegregated; and the EEOC (Equal Opportunity Commission) was formed. His efforts gave the Civil Rights Movement national and worldwide attention, and he lessened the segregation gap between black and white Americans.
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The most important single event that took place during the Civil Rights Movement was the African American’s fight to gain equality in voting rights that took place in Selma, Alabama. The violence that occurred during the marches caused national outrage and received the media attention that put the event on the front page of every newspaper.
The outcry over the event pressured President Johnson into making changes that would further integration. The main goal of the marches was to give Southern African Americans an equal opportunity to vote in elections. This goal was reached on August 6, 1965, when the Voting Rights Act was passed. With literacy testing being abolished, and federal registrars being placed throughout the South, the African American people were finally able to receive an equal opportunity in voting. The results of the Voting Rights Act were immediately noticed when a surge in black voting was recorded throughout the South.
In conclusion, both Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the events at Selma, Alabama transcended the 1960s, and their impact is still felt today. Legislative actions that were made during the Civil Rights Movements are still in effect today, and the social changes that their impact would cause can be seen in today’s integrated and equal society.
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