African-American cruelty goes back from the 1900s until the late 1960s. The opportunity to gain freedom was not easy and took many years. The African-Americans have been mistreated by white-Americans their whole lives and fought every way possible to gain respect from whites but it has been a real bumpy bus ride. It has taken the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, Rosa Parks, Jim Crow Laws, Little Rock Nine, Woolworth’s Lunch Counter, March on Washington, Bloody Sunday, World War II and Civil Rights, and etc… just to accomplish a common goal: for the African-Americans to have equal rights and be treated like the children of God. All of these obstacles took many sacrifices but it was worth it. During the Affluent Society, civil rights began to become a real issue because of African-Americans who realized that the separate but equal doctrine was not being effective. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) were the ones who focused on the separate but equal doctrine in the 1940s. They started by suing segregated colleges and universities, that is how African-Americans gained the right to enter into some colleges. During this time, Elementary and Middle Schools still remain segregated.
The difference between an African-Americans school vs. white-Americans is horrendous. African-Americans didn’t have desks, paper, pencils, books, and etc. Education was very limited because of segregation, once African-American males reached a certain age they would go to work in the fields but you wouldn’t see any white males work in the fields after a certain age. As I discussed in my last paper, the Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka had changed the separation. This case was brought to the supreme courts attention because Oliver Brown’s daughter, Linda Brown, was denied access to Topeka’s all white elementary school that was closer than the colored school which was miles away. This was one of many cases brought to the supreme court. In September of 1957, there was a group named Little Rock Nine who wanted to test the Brown v. Board of Education landmark. This group consisted of nine African-Americans students who had enrolled in all-white Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. This was their way of saying we can go to school together and not hurt each other with words or physically, but that was an understatement. On September 4, 1957, the first day of classes at Central High, Governor Orval Faubus called in the Arkansas National Guard to block the black students’ entry into the high school. Later that month, President Dwight D. Eisenhower sent in federal troops to escort the Little Rock Nine into the school, the students nor the governor were accepting of those nine students(“Little Rock Nine”, 2018).
The kids who participated in this act were: Minnijean Brown, Elizabeth Eckford, Ernest Green, Thelma Mothershed, Melba Patillo, Gloria Ray, Terrence Roberts, Jefferson Thomas, and Carlotta Walls, these kids were brave and determined that this would act would (“Little Rock Nine”, 2018). These nine kids had to take classes or should I say counseling sessions to be prepared for the intense situations that they would go through in the school. They were taught how to respond to negative situations. On September 2, 1957, Governor Orval Faubus announced that he would call in the Arkansas National Guard to prevent the African-American students’ entry to Central High, claiming this action was for the students’ own protection. In a televised address, Faubus insisted that violence and bloodshed might break out if black students were allowed to enter the school. The Mother’s League held a sunrise service at the school on September 3 as a protest against integration. But that afternoon, federal judge Richard Davies issued a ruling that desegregation would continue as planned the next day, not only did people try to stop this movement but the Governor came up with an excuse to kick the nine kids out of the school in public to protect his true opinion about desegregation. Even though the nine students had a good experience the first day, the rest of the year was full of harassments and thousands of white protestors outside of the school daily. The group has been widely recognized for their significant role in the civil rights movement. In 1999, President Clinton awarded each member of the group the Congressional Gold Medal. The nine also all received personal invitations to attend the inauguration of President Barack Obama in 2009 these nine kids truly made a difference and were given an award for their acts (“Little Rock Nine”, 2018). Rosa Parks was a leader of the NAACP and she knew what she was doing on the Montgomery bus. The Montgomery Bus Boycott was a civil-rights protest during which African-Americans refused to ride city buses in Montgomery, Alabama, to protest segregated seating. The boycott took place from December 5, 1955, to December 20, 1956, and is regarded as the first large-scale U.S. demonstration against segregation. Four days before the boycott began, Rosa Parks, an African-American woman, was arrested and fined for refusing to yield her bus seat to a white man, Rosa Parks was not tired from work or anything, she knew that she was going to get in trouble with the white-Americans but did it anyway (“Montgomery Bus Boycott”, 2018). Most of the people that rode the bus were African-Americans and since they protested that caused issues in the bus company. If African-Americans stopped taking the bus then that would mean no business for the Montgomery bus company. Rosa Parks was fined for her actions (that was not her first rodeo) but that didn’t stop her from her determination to end segregation. She continued her acts, other African-Americans continued her acts also. There is no point in having whites in the front and blacks in the back, it’s ridiculous and unnecessary. But on June 5, 1956, a Montgomery federal court ruled that any law requiring racially segregated seating on buses violated the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. That amendment, adopted in 1868 following the U.S. Civil War, guarantees all citizens”regardless of race”equal rights and equal protection under state and federal laws, the 14th amendment was violated many times in the past (“Montgomery Bus Boycott”, 2018). White-Americans didn’t take it seriously nor followed the law. But African-Americans have to follow the law and if they don’t they get lynched? No. But Rosa Parks, while shying from the spotlight throughout her life, remained an esteemed figure in the history of American civil rights activism. In 1999, the U.S. Congress awarded her its highest honor, the Congressional Gold Medal, Rosa Parks will never be forgotten (“Montgomery Bus Boycott”, 2018).