The Decline of Civil Rights Movements

The Decline of Civil Rights Movements

The Decline of Civil Rights Movements

Type of paper

Research Paper

  • SubjectOther
  • Number of pages7
  • Writer qualityPremium
  • Format of citationChicago/Turabian
  • Number of cited resources5

Why the movement is considered an event of the 1950′s and 1960′s and not a work in progress. Points to make: 1. What were the goals of the civil rights movement. 2. African Americans had different experiences, the movement reached different parts of the country at varying moments. 3. Legislative victories were achieved – voting rights act, civil rights act, fair housing act, and the justice department established commissions. 4. The approach to how to gain ′rights′ varied non-violent vs. violent Dr. King/Malcolm X. 5. the countries focus shifted to international matters and the Vietnam war. 6. Leadership slacked with the assassinations of prominent figures. 7. As African Americans gained success those that were better off did not view the movement the same as those that did not achieve the same level of success. See attached writings I have completed. A few of your essays are good starters – violence versus nonviolence and decline in civil rights after 1965.

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Amid the 1960s, the Civil Rights Movement nonconformists battled racial isolation and separation expecting to accomplish break even with financial, training, lodging, business, and insurances under the Constitution and government law. Be that as it may, the exertion is characterized as a crossroads in history as opposed to a continuous work in advance. This proposition extends the veritable end of the development through the stun, misery, and anger that resulted in the traditionalist record taking after the death of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. All that went before is dealt with as coincidental to, if not decay or bypass from, the radiance days of the battle. This paper additionally looks at and thinks the move to the new stage in which the changes the development won and the proceeding with obstacles it went up against in another and more intricate territory of battle. The examination demonstrates that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, was the pioneer of the development; that alone amid the 1960s were major authoritative triumphs won. African American Civil Rights Movement utilized an assortment of peaceful techniques, extending from boycotting to sit-ins. The King versus Malcolm debate ‘brings into sharp concentration the immense gap’, that Brown versus the Board of Education preeminent court choice, the Nation of Islam[1], and people in general race riots transforming affability into savagery. Additionally, this paper is keen to highlight other key points that contributed towards the decline of the Civil Rights Movements. These outcomes show that the Civil Rights Movement have diminished, to some extent because of a void in administration, however, collectivity because of various moving conditions. Although Civil Rights Movements majorly contributed towards the liberation of the people of color, their decline is quite significant.

The birth and goals of Civil Rights Movements

The Civil Right Movements were a result of the urge and efforts by the grassroots activists and leaders to help the African Americans obtain the basic rights assured to American citizens in the Constitution. The activities were keen to push for rights to due process, “equal protection of the laws” and the right for the people of the color to vote. Although the movements gained great heights between the 1950s and 1960s, the activists had sought for the basic rights since before the Civil War.

Following the Civil War in the nineteenth century, the fourteenth amendment (1868)-granting equal protection of the laws and the fifteenth amendment (1870)-allowing voting rights across all races were ratified to ensure the abolition of slavery. However, southern whites again took control of the South of the country passing laws that discriminated by race[2]. The laws which were referred to as the Crow Laws or the black codes segregated the Whites and the Blacks in sensitive sectors. The segregation was mainly in education, housing, and use of both the private and public facilities. The laws denied the Blacks voting rights, freedom of movement and the rights to marry Whites. Any attempt by a Black to break the laws resulted in prejudicial practices, and in most cases, murder was a common weapon of judgment upon the individuals. In the early twentieth century, these practices and laws were a reality in the United States life.

The Africans Americans were focused on gaining their civil rights a motive that led to combining efforts demand equal treatments. The discrimination of individual Blacks in the ‘50s resulted in protests and boycotts inspired by the words of the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. King went ahead to make a case for peace and nonviolence contrasting the violence methods used by the racist and terrorist Ku Klux Klan. The Black community was tired of the segregation that had dominated in most cities. For instance, the laws demanded the African Americans to sit in the back seats of the city buses and cases the White section was full; they should surrender their seats to the Whites. The Black community could not tolerate these indignities of segregation deciding to begin a boycott of city buses. Boycotts, demonstrations, and rallies formed the basis of the Civil Rights Movements. The African Americans implemented the Civil Rights Movements with the following goals:

  • Ending segregation
  • To be able to get access to jobs and housing
  • Reserving “separate but ”
  • Desegregating schools and use of other public facilities
  • Provide equality in general.

The Decline of the Civil Rights Movements

The Differences in the activists

After the assassination of activists among them being Martin Luther King Jnr and the rise of opportunities by the Black community, the Civil Rights Movements begun to lose momentum. The loss of momentum of makes many people regard Civil Rights Movements as a past agenda. Although the movements majorly contributed towards the reformation of the American society, the traditional method has lost popularity compared to the 1950s and 1960s era. The following points are a clear prove that the American society is no longer in need for the Civil Rights Movements.

Various groups of individuals and activists were the main players in the Civil Rights Movements. However, the activists implemented different strategies and methods when implementing Civil Rights Movements in between the 1950s and 1960s. The variance in movements’ methods weakened the Civil Rights Movements contributing towards its decline in the following years. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X were prominent individuals who led the way in fighting equal treatment individuals in the country despite the race differences. Martin Luther King Jr., a Christian, was always against violence throughout his ministry and strategies. In contrast, Malcolm X, a Muslim believed in fighting back physically using his famous line “By any Means Necessary.”  The two activists’ different perspectives on attaining freedom displayed distorted images of the actual basis of Civil Rights Movements[3].

A march in Washington in 1963 portrayed the differences between the two prominent individuals. Martin Luther King Jnr. Described the Civil Right Movements as a forum for all races to come together in an attempt to end violence and hatred. On the other hand, Malcolm X had a different view on Civil Rights Movements describing it as a forum for the Blacks to help each other and give each other self-respect. Malcolm X did not value the racial integration as advocated by Martin Luther King Jnr. The different equality approaches by both Martin Luther King Jnr. And Malcolm X raised questions on whether the Civil Rights Movements were focused on ensuring a harmonious American society or it would lead to more division. Some African Americans supported the nonviolent strategies by Martin Luther King Jnr. while others were in support of the violent approach by Malcolm X. Although the two activists wanted equal rights for African Americans, their differences majorly contributed to Civil Rights Movements losing popularity among the Black community.

Changes in the Law

In 1973, the Supreme Court ruled in the Brown V. Board of Education that any form of school segregation was illegal and unconstitutional. The ruling was as a result of the Fair Housing Act of 1968 that banned racial stratification. The act stated “in the United States intended to protect buyers and renters of a dwelling from seller or landlord discrimination. Its primary provision prohibited the refusal to rent, sell, or negotiate with any person because of that person’s inclusion in a protected class.”[4]. The ruling was among the first acts that aimed at fighting segregation that was one of the Criminal Rights Movements’ goals. Additionally, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948 acknowledged the presence of inhuman acts in the globe including in the United States of America. The act was keen to highlight that all human beings deserve the freedom of to believe, speech and freedom from fear. The document aimed at ensuring that the community is global. The declaration which, made on tenth December 1948 set human right by educational, cultural, social and economic principles which were the main focuses of the Civil Rights Movements of the African American community.

Additionally, the declaration solved another of the Criminal Rights Movements’ goals which were to offer equal voting rights to the people of the color. The declaration warned the rebellion against any attempt of tyranny and oppression if the law of the land did not protect human rights. The document was keen to promote civil relationships between nation-states and all people. The universal right platform aimed at maintaining the dignity of all human rights and equality of both men and women in promoting progress and standard life for every race. The legislative doctrine of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 states that “enacted to overpower legal barriers at the state and local level that prevented African-Americans from exercising their right to vote under the 15th amendment to the Constitution of the United States[5]. The offloaded the Civil Rights Movements’ its main objective of demanding for equality. The laws above ensured that the pre-stated goals of Civil Rights Movements were attained without them being practically active.

An additional impact of the introduced laws over the Civil Rights Movements is the fact that the laws went beyond the Black community into areas such as women’s rights, immigrant’s rights and the economic status of individuals. The Civil Rights Movements could preclude the effects of international agreements other imposed laws impacting segregation, housing, and voting rights. The inability by the movements to deal with these effects contributed their popularity declining with many people opting to rely on the protection of the law. The law was able to offer protection ranging from individual acts of discrimination to racist institutional practices indicating the fight for civil rights was over.

Change of Focus

Another contribution towards the decline of the Civil Rights Movements is the diversion of concentration away from the issues of the African Americans to those other issues affecting the United States. Particularly, the media less invested in Black people’s concerns giving much attention to conflicts such as Vietnam, Watergate scandal and the Arab-Israeli war which were dominant in the traditional times. In the 1970s, the American Society gained a perception that the Civil Rights Movements were associated with ‘death’ and should be avoided completely. The perception was as a result of the assassinations of top activists including Martin Luther King Jnr. And Medgar Evers Day. Shifting attention from Civil Rights Movements majorly contributed towards many Americans losing their trust in it.


As illustrated above, the African Americans used the Civil Rights Movements to demand for the rights they missed since the nineteenth century. However, with time, Civil Rights Movements evolved due to achievements about civil rights. The forum which was originally introduced to help the people of the color was faced with differences in strategies by its leaders. The differences contributed to the Civil Rights Movements losing popularity. The introduction of various federal laws has ensured that all the goals that the Civil Rights Movements aligned were accomplished. The law offered better security for the individuals who were seeking for justice in a much-advanced method than the Civil Rights Movements did. The shift of focus from the African Americans concerns played a major role towards the decline of the Civil Rights Movements. Although the Civil Rights Movements was a weapon that ensured and fought for legal reforms and pursuit for the Black people, the advancements were achieved through a continuum of international doctrines, social evolution, and federal laws. In the present day, individuals follow legal proceedings to seek civil rights over using the traditional use of Civil Rights Movements The decline by the Civil Rights Movements cannot be overlooked[6].

[1] Hoffman, Elizabeth Cobbs, and Edward J. Blum. Major Problems in American History. 4th ed. Vol. II. Boston, MA: Cengage Learning, 2015.




[2] MacLean, Nancy. “The Civil Rights Movement: 1968—2008.” Freedom’s Story, Teacher Serve©. National Humanities Center. DATE YOU ACCESSED ESSAY.

[3] Jonas, Gilbert. Freedom’s Sword: The NAACP and the Struggle against Racism in America, 1909–1969. New York: Routledge, 2005.

[4] Staff. “Civil Rights Act.” January 1, 2010. Accessed November 13, 2016.

[5] “Fair Housing Act.” U.S. Department of Justice. Accessed November 13, 2016.


[6] Lehman, Christopher Paul. Civil Rights in Twilight: The End of the Civil Rights Movement Era in 1973. Vol. 36. Sage Publications, Inc., 2006.