I choose to write about James Meredith. He stood out to me from the rest because he was not a group of people, a movement, or an act. James Meredith was one man who is remembered and changed America. What James accomplished was huge and it was taken on by one man, not many and not controlled by the government. James Meredith is a Civil Rights Movement figure as well as a political adviser, an Air Force Veteran, and a writer. One of his most known accomplishments occurred in 1962. He was the first African American student to legally attend the segregated University of Mississippi.
Interesting Сivil Rights Facts
The Universal Declaration of Rights was created in 1948 and includes 30 articles. They held that human rights are inalienable-they can not be taken away from anyone, regardless of age, gender, race, religion or nationality. The enthusiasm to create the declaration stemmed from the sheer determination from the United Nations that never again would the world experience events as despicable as World War Two. The Universal Declaration of Rights officialised discrimination, forcing people to recognise the discrimination and segregation taking place in their country. This led to the Civil Rights movement, which began in the US of A. Renowned activists include Rosa Parks, who sat on a bus, Martin Luther King Jr who led multiple protests, the Little Rock Nine, nine African-American students brave enough to attend a previously all-white school, and the Freedom Riders, who ventured across America, openly challenging segregation. Australia caught on, resulting in protests such as the Australian Freedom Ride, the Yirrkala Bark petitions, the Wik decision, Eddie Mabo and the Wave Hill walk-off. The US Civil Rights movement greatly influenced civil rights activism in Australia, inspiring many to begin protests of their own throughout the 1960’s, resulting in significant changes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples’ voting and land rights.
Several Topics in American History
The Civil Rights movement began in the US, the very first protest being the Montgomery Bus Boycott. In 1955, on the first of December, Rosa Parks sat on a bus. More specifically, she refused to get up. During that time, in the US, segregation was everywhere. One rule was that African-Americans were required to stay at the back of the bus, white Americans at the front. If there were no seats available, African-Americans were required to stand for a white-American. Rosa Parks inherently refused to give up her seat, and was arrested as a result. Around this time, African Americans had begun to assert their demand for equality, which resulted in the Montgomery Bus Boycott. It lasted for 381 days, until the City of Montgomery was ordered by the US Supreme Court to stop the segregation of African and white Americans. This was followed by the Little Rock Nine, in 1957, when a group of nine African American students enrolled in an all-white school, Little Rock Central High School. Many argue who will win in the battle of civil rights vs human rights, I think this discussion does not make sense. This tested the 1954 Supreme Court ruling of the desegregation of schools. The Freedom Riders were civil rights activists, a mix of African and white Americans, who rode buses together through the American South in 1961. Finally, in 1963, one of the most renowned activists, Martin Luther King Jr, led a march in Washington D.C. 250 000 people marched, travelling to the Lincoln memorial. The American President, John F. Kennedy, invited King into the White House to discuss civil rights. The Us government created the Civil Rights Act to ensure equal rights for all US citizens and give everybody the chance to vote.
1. Brown v. Board of education: December 9, 1952- May 17, 1954[This is a supreme Court Case and was ruled unconstitutional to segregate children in Public schools. They unanimously voted in favor of Oliver Brown]
Сivil Rights Books and Documents
2. Thurgood Marshall: 1954 [He was active in the movement and an American lawyer on the case of Brown v Board of education and stopped because of his death. Became the first black man on supreme court and served there for 24 years]
3. Rosa Parks: December 1, 1955[She refused to give up her bus seat to a white man and died of natural causes in 2005]
4. Montgomery bus boycott: December 5, 1955- December 20, 1956[Started because of Rosa Parks and ended because of the district court’s ruling stating that segregation public transportation was against the law. This protest was brought to the U.S Supreme court and was rules unconstitutional]
5. Martin Luther King Jr: 1955- April 4,1968 [He started and became involved in the movement of civil rights because of the bus boycott and stopped because of his death/ assassination. He was also a minister]
6. Tallahassee bus boycott: May 28, 1956- December 22, 1956[Citywide boycott in Florida in hopes to end racial segregation, just like in Montgomery]
7. Southern Christian Leadership Conference: January 10, 1957[stages bus boycotts and successfully had a 381-day bus boycott in Montgomery; focused on black rights]
8. Sit-ins: February 1, 1960- July 25, 1960[civil disobedience; people would take a seat where they were not allowed and would refuse to leave; protest]
9. Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee: April 1960[Involved students enrolled in college to get involved with civil rights movement]
10. Freedom Rides: 1961[Was when a group of people who rode the buses to prove that it was against the law to segregate them on public transport]
11. Freedom Riders: May 4, 1961- December 10, 1961[Group of people who rode the buses to prove that it was against the law to segregate them on public transport]
12. James Meredith: 1962[First black man to attend a segregated school; protected by government; shot by a sniper on way back from a march]
13. Fannie Lou Hammer: 1962 [Found the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party; wrote Jesus is my only friend; connected to religion]
14. March on Washington: August 28, 1963[Organized by Bayard Rustin and advocated for black jobs and freedoms; JFK and civil rights bill]
15. Freedom Summer: Summer/ June 1964[Tried to get blacks to vote; project called Mississippi summer project]
16. Civil Rights Act of 1964: July 2, 1964[Outlawed jobs that discriminated against someone for their race, sex, place of origin, or religion]
17. Selma Campaign: March 7, 1965- March 21, 1965[Protest by marching from Selma to Montgomery; face police brutality]
18. Voting Rights Act of 1965: August 6, 1965[Signed by President Lyndon B. Johnson and it prohibited racial discrimination in voting]
19. Civil Rights Act of 1968/ Fair Housing Act: April 11, 1968[Signed by President Lyndon B. Johnson and it prohibited discrimination concerning the sale, rental and financing of housing based on race, sex, or national origin.
This was dangerous, so much that President Jhon F. Kennedy had 127 deputy marshals from the county had to put their lives at risk to allow and to stop riots while and because Meredith was enrolled at that school. Violence soon took place and took the lives of 2 people, one of which was a French journalist and injured 300. This was caused by The Ole Miss riot of 1962/ Battle of Oxford, September 30, 1962. Any university research paper history example can give you basic facts and a list of important books on civil rights in the United States. Change was occurring that others did not like or enjoy, so they decided to take out the threat, James Meredith. A white man, Aubrey James Norvell shot and wounded James Meredith because of what he represented. Meredith was proof of something unwanted and rarely seen, blacks living with whites. He wanted blacks in Mississippi to overcome fear of violence but unfortunately became a victim of one. James Meredith was a step closer to what we hope to one day live in. Unfortunately, there are still segregated schools, such as in Mississippi and statistically shown that the percentage of segregated schools have tripled. Although James Meredith’s and other’s dreams and goals have not been accomplished or met, he allowed some schools to have both races. This has affected may citizens, like me. I was able to meet and be friends with people of other races without being criticized by others, society or by any illegal means. I do not find it right to segregate but the schools I have attended since I was born were not segregated. Some of my best friends in Georgia were African American and that would not have been possible in other times. I could never imagine my life and memories made without them and I am so grateful that change is occurring and hopefully stopping what should have never happened in the first place, segregation. Others had to step up and be the first to. One of those people was James Meredith. His impact was huge and forever changed America, which us why we remember him. Some lives of others after him did not experience and live through what he had to and had to fight to change. He lived to see out his goal and hopefully it will be seen out.