Struggle for Civil Rights

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Africans Americans were accorded second-class citizenships in most of the countries. This had become a trend and they became tired of all of it, fighting against racial discrimination and segregation. They used strategies such as boycotts, marches, nonviolent resistance, civil disobedience and rallies. To end racial inequality, all attention was captured by the newspapers, radio, television reports and camera operators as they documented each and every moment of the protest. After the struggle, success was crowned where Civil rights act of 1964 and voting rights act of 1965 were enacted. Fight for equal rights for Native Americans, Latinos and women began as they were influenced by the blacks.

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Native Americans are citizens of tribal nations and the United States. The Native Americans were discriminated against and not treated equally as other citizens. A group called American Indian Movement was founded by Dennis Banks, George Mitchell, George Wellesley, Harold Goodsky, Eddie Benton-Banai, Vernon Bellecourt and Clyde Bellecourt. The movement was formed to address all the issues that Native Americans were going through. There was unequal education where they formed National Indian Education Association to get equal schooling rights. They wanted to have media protection and stop the persecution of journalists. Religious practices and beliefs were also compromised where most were forced to join Christianity. Their travel was controlled and limited and they were against it. White settlers complained that Native Americans travelled without permissions and on railroads. AIM main objective was to create economic independence for Indians. The movement engaged in The Longest Walk and The Longest Walk 2 to support tribal sovereignty and bring attention to the legislation that had been passed limiting the water rights. They also participated in the Northern and Southern route protecting traditional tribal sovereignty, Native prisoners as well as children protection.

AIM remained committed and confronted the government until almost of their demands were met. In 1968, the Indian Civil Rights Act also known as Indian Bill of Rights was passed which granted the Indians the civil rights they were fighting for. The Act supported the following:

- Equal protection under due process and law.

- They had the right to hire an attorney in criminal cases.

- They were protected from unreasonable seizures and searches.

- Right to press, free speech and assembly.

- They were protected against self-incrimination.

- They had the right to jury trial and protection against cruel punishment such as high bail.

Latinos are any people from Latin America. Similar to the native Americas, they faced unequal rights in the U.S. They were living in hardship where poverty was high and they struggled to feed themselves. The conditions they lived in were poor and unconducive. They only got employed in low paying unskilled jobs. They faced racial discrimination and education was impossible. They wanted fair treatment in almost all aspects of their lives. Those who fought for social justice named themselves Chicanos commencing a movement known as Boricua movement started by Puerto Ricans. After years of unionizing farm workers and movement philosophy, Latinos achieved what they wanted. Their children were allowed not only to attend school but the same schools as other white settlers kids. They gained equal protection to all races. There was no more equal treatment for some and others unequal treatment; they were treated as one family. They were also allowed to own land and farm to earn capital to support their family.

Susan Anthony was a womens right activist who reinforced women to fight for their right to vote. Women were never allowed to vote. They signed petitions, marched in the streets and made arguments on why they should win that right. Rosa Parks was another activist who was arrested for not excusing a white man on a bus seat. She fought for equal rights for women. In 1848- 1998, a movement known as The Womens Right Movement was formed. This was to fight certain laws that stipulated that:

- Married women were considered dead by the law.

- Divorce and child custody were for men

- Most employment opportunities were closed to women but available to men

- Women were forbidden to vote

- Married women had no right to any property

- Women were regarded as dependent on men

Colorado became the first state to allow women to vote. The National Womens Trade League was formed to bring women together where they advocated for improved wages and working conditions. Voting of women was signed into law in August 1920, showing that the women had achieved their main objective.


Houck, Davis W., and David E. Dixon. 2009. Women and the civil rights movement, 1954-1965. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi.

Johnson, Troy R. 2007. Red Power the Native American civil rights movement. New York: Chelsea House.

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