Kyle Johnson Mrs. P American Literature 3 April 2009 A Time of Change in America The Civil Rights Movement was a time of changes in America. It has changed the way society has acted towards each other and improved the lives of minorities. The Civil Rights Movement has also helped racism in America even though racism is still a problem it has become much better. It has helped other countries around the world and changed the way people think towards each other. The way people treat each other has improved and made the country stronger.
The Civil Rights Movement was prolific time period for America because it gave minorities and the underprivileged equal rights and must continue if society wants the ideal future for all children. In the past there were many problems that involved racism and discrimination towards different races and less fortunate people. In the book The American Civil Rights Movement by Linda Jacobs Atman she states: The U. S. congress passed three new constitutional amendments that directly affected African Americans.
The thirteenth amendment, which was ratified, or approved, on December 6, 1865, utlawed slavery everywhere in the United States. The Fourteenth Amendment, ratified on July 28, 1868, gave African Americans the rights of U. S. citizenship, and the Fifteenth Amendment, ratified on February 3, 1870, specifically protected their voting rights (8). The Thirteenth Amendment outlawed slavery and helped African Americans become free. It also made a huge impact on society because they were able to earn money to support their families without working for their owner.
The Fourteenth Amendment made African Americans become U. S. citizens which gave them the same rights as a white person. This made a big impact in the lives of African Americans because they are able to do anything that a white person could do. The Fifteenth Amendment was good because African Americans could vote for and make an impact on the voting polls. They were capable of voting for laws and improving their lives. “Blacks make-up 8% of major league baseball players today and only 3% of players on the NCAA Division 1 baseball teams” (Early 49).
Some spots have a greater population of blacks because not all blacks grew up around baseball. People are more likely to be good at sports they grew up around. Baseball games were expensive and most blacks couldn’t afford to buy tickets” (49). Since most blacks were slaves they didn’t have money so the children grew up playing football and basketball in their neighborhoods. They couldn’t watch baseball because televisions weren’t a household product like they are today. “Black codes for what they were: attempts to get around the law and reduce African Americans to a condition as near to slavery as possible.
The federal government suspended the codes” (Atman 8). White southern farmers didn’t like the new amendments because it gave blacks qual rights and they couldn’t have slaves to do their work for cheap anymore. Since they wanted the cheap labor of slavery back they tried to make African Americans them. This paved the way for the Civil Rights Movement to take affect in American history. The way minorities and the less fortunate were treated was tragic and unethical. “Lynching occurred mainly in the rural South, while race riots were more common in the cities of the North” (Atman 8).
People in different parts of America treated African Americans differently but they were still unethical and disreputable acts towards hem. African Americans couldn’t get away from the hatred and race acts no matter where they went in the United States. “Department-store and neighborhood luncheonettes refused to serve food or drinks to any black customers. The plan was to send several black volunteers to luncheonettes to sit down and wait for service” (Hasday 46). The way department-stores treated minorities was unethical and no one should be treated that way.
People showed no respect towards African Americans which is unacceptable because no matter what race someone is they should still be treated with respect. Lynching and race riots were all over the United States and were immoral to anyone no matter what race. The way African Americans were treated had a huge impact on society. “[T]he Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, since for the last 12 years, the agency’s leadership has demonstrated a lack of commitment to enforcement of the law’ (Drinan). They didn’t try to get minorities Jobs so they could support themselves and their families.
Since they didn’t have Jobs they couldn’t afford household products so that caused them to become thefts and increase the crime rates. “Jackie Robinson broke organized baseball’s color barrier with a characteristic bang, homering and scoring 4 runs in his historic first game for the Brooklyn Dodgers top farm team” (Sailer). Jackie Robinson made a huge difference in the equality for minorities. He proved that no matter what color a person may be they can still achieve anything they put their mind to. There were many historic people that influenced society to change for the better.
Racism is unethical and unjust and it cannot continue because if people don’t learn to deal with their differences it will go back to the way it was. In Gary G. Yerkeys article, “From Alabama Civil Rights Tribute, Higher Hopes for Race Relations”, he states: In Selma this past weekend, people gathered to honor the leaders and achievements of the civil rights era of the 1960s, paying homage to a movement that, many here say, laid the foundation for an African American man to become president of the United States less tha[n] half a century later. The Civil Rights Movement has made an incredible impact on the United States today.
At least 50 years ago one would never consider an African American to become President of the United States. The U. S. has made great strides and must continue on this great path. In Peter Wallsten and David G. Savages’ article, Noting Rights Act Opponents Point to Obama’s Election As Reason to Scale Back Civil Rights”, they state, “The America that has elected Barack Obama as its first African-American president is far different than when (the Voting Rights Act) was first enacted in 1965, argued Texas lawyer Gregory Coleman, whose client is challenging parts of the law’. Gregory Coleman is saying that times have changed since 1965.
People back then didn’t believe that an African American could even have a position with such power. The United States needs to and unjust behavior will happen again. There have been many changes in American history over the past century. Slavery has been outlawed, minorities have been given the right to vote and became citizens of the United States. Nevertheless, what happened years ago will never be forgotten because it has made such a great impact on America today. Martin Luther King Jr. , Rosa Parks, and many other African American leaders made great changes in America.