Answer questions all together in 200 words

timer Asked: Apr 30th, 2017

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After reading the articles, answer the following questions: What do you believe are the most important successes of the Civil Rights Movement? What were/are the major failures of the movement? What can we learn from the successes and failures? Where is the United States in the Civil Rights movement now? Do you have a personal connection?

Article: Tallying civil rights successes, failures Tallying civil rights successes, failures at March on Washington’s 50th anniversary 1957 By Dan Balz, Washington Post, August 24, 2013 In the way history can be conflated, the March on Washington has been reduced to a few vivid images. One is the size of the gathering, with photos showing a crowd flowing from the foot of the Lincoln Memorial and stretching the length of the Reflecting Pool and beyond. The other and most iconic by far is the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. delivering his “I Have a Dream” speech, which continues to echo powerfully 50 years on. But history plays tricks, for there was much more to the march than those sharply etched memories. For the Life magazine issue published right after the event, the editors chose neither King nor the crowd for the cover. That distinction went to two of the march’s principal organizers, labor leader A. Philip Randolph and civil rights organizer Bayard Rustin. The peaceful march drew more than 200,000 people to Washington on a sweltering summer day. It is rightly remembered as one of the most uplifting moments of the civil rights movement, and as others have said, it is the most famous mass rally in U.S. history. But as the nation prepares to commemorate the event, it is useful to recall its origins, ambitions and legacy and to remember which of the organizers’ objectives have been fulfilled and which have not. The country has made significant racial progress since the March on Washington. When President Obama gives an address Wednesday on the 50th anniversary of the event, his presence will speak volumes about the racial barriers that have been broken. As he has acknowledged, he owes a debt to those who fought for the rights that made his presidency possible. Some of those gains began with the passage of legislation in the years immediately after the march. That included laws banning discrimination in public accommodations and housing and protecting voting rights for African-Americans, although other events contributed much to the climate that brought about passage of those measures. But for all that progress, sizable gaps remain between white and black America, especially in areas of wealth, income, poverty and economic opportunity. Those challenges, as much as the successes of the civil rights movement, are likely to be brought back to the forefront this week. Whether that stimulates renewed debate on the causes and possible cures remains in question. The 1963 march was the result of the confluence of two ambitions. The idea for it originated with Randolph, who led the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters labor organization and had pressed for decades to improve the economic plight of an impoverished black population. But the event took shape in the aftermath of demonstrations led by King and his Southern Christian Leadership Conference, in the spring of 1963 in the segregated city of Birmingham, Ala. Although the rally was called “The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom,” the cause of civil rights would quickly overshadow the focus on economic parity. And King’s remarkable speech has eclipsed almost everything else that was said that day. The gathering proved to be a brief, but hopeful, interlude between outbreaks of violence and expressions of racial hatred. Within weeks, a bomb exploded at the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, killing four young girls. A little more than two months later, President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas. President Lyndon B. Johnson took up the cause of civil rights in part to pay tribute to Kennedy’s memory. Article: Tallying civil rights successes, failures In the half-century since those tumultuous days, progress has been evident in many places. AfricanAmericans now vote in percentages nearly as high or in some cases higher than whites, including in some of the states of the Confederacy. Education levels for blacks have increased demonstrably, although they still lag behind those of whites. A thriving black middle and upper-middle class has expanded significantly. But economic divisions remain. “We talk about income inequality,” said Signe-Mary McKernan of the Urban Institute, “but the racial gap is much larger.” White families have accumulated wealth worth about six times that of black families. White incomes top black incomes by an average of 2-1. Over the past two decades, those gaps have changed little. Unemployment differentials are largely unchanged from the 1960s. Whether in good times or bad, African-Americans are about twice as likely to be unemployed as their white counterparts. Blacks raised in middle-class surroundings are far more likely to slip down the economic ladder than are whites. Meanwhile, there are new conflicts over voting rights. Earlier this summer, the Supreme Court neutered the most important section of the Voting Rights Act. Section 5 required many states and local jurisdictions in the Old South, and some others, to gain pre-clearance from the Justice Department before changing voting laws. The court said discrimination has not ended but ruled that the criteria that determined which states were covered under pre-clearance were out of date. At the same time, many African-Americans, and others, view efforts by a number of state legislatures to enact voter identification laws and other new regulations as aimed directly at their community.
EWTH: Nonviolence and Racial Justice Nonviolence and Racial Justice by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., The Christian Century, February 6, 1957 It is commonly observed that the crisis in race relations dominates the arena of American life. This crisis has been precipitated by two factors: the determined resistance of reactionary elements in the south to the Supreme Court's momentous decision outlawing segregation in the public schools, and the radical change in the Negro's evaluation of himself... Once he thought of himself as an inferior and patiently accepted injustice and exploitation. Those days are gone... ... the basic question which confronts the world's oppressed is: How is the struggle against the forces of injustice to be waged? There are two possible answers. One is resort to the all too prevalent method of physical violence and corroding hatred. The danger of this method is its futility. Violence solves no social problems; it merely creates new and more complicated ones... Alternative to Violence The alternative to violence is nonviolent resistance. This method was made famous in our generation by Mohandas K. Gandhi, who used it to free India from the domination of the British empire. Five points can be made concerning nonviolence as a method in bringing about better racial conditions. First, this is not a method for cowards; it does resist. The nonviolent resister is just as strongly opposed to the evil against which he protests as is the person who uses violence. His method is passive or nonaggressive in the sense that he is not physically aggressive toward his opponent. But his mind and emotions are always active, constantly seeking to persuade the opponent that he is mistaken. This method is passive physically but strongly active spiritually... A second point is that nonviolent resistance does not seek to defeat or humiliate the opponent, but to win his friendship and understanding. The nonviolent resister must often express his protest through noncooperation or boycotts, but he realizes that noncooperation and boycotts are not ends themselves; they are merely means to awaken a sense of moral shame in the opponent. The end is redemption and reconciliation. The aftermath of nonviolence is the creation of the beloved community, while the aftermath of violence is tragic bitterness. A third characteristic of this method is that the attack is directed against forces of evil rather than against persons who are caught in those forces. It is evil we are seeking to defeat, not the persons victimized by evil. Those of us who struggle against racial injustice must come to see that the basic tension is not between races... A fourth point that must be brought out concerning nonviolent resistance is that it avoids not only external physical violence but also internal violence of spirit. At the center of nonviolence stands the principle of love. In struggling for human dignity the oppressed people of the world must not allow themselves to become bitter or indulge in hate campaigns. To retaliate with hate and bitterness would do nothing but intensify the hate in the world. Along the way of life, someone must have sense enough and morality enough to cut off the chain of hate. This can be done only by projecting the ethics of love to the center of our lives... ... it means understanding, redeeming good will for all men, an overflowing love which seeks nothing in return. It is the love of God working in the lives of men. When we love on the agape level we love men not because we like them, not because their attitudes and ways appeal to us, but because God loves them. Here we rise to the position of loving the person who does the evil deed while hating the deed he does. Finally, the method of nonviolence is based on the conviction that the universe is on the side of justice. It is this deep faith in the future that causes the nonviolent resister to accept suffering without retaliation. He knows that in his struggle for justice he has cosmic companionship. This belief that God is on the side of EWTH: Nonviolence and Racial Justice truth and justice comes down to us from the long tradition of our Christian faith. There is something at the very center of our faith which reminds us that Good Friday may reign for a day, but ultimately it must give way to the triumphant beat of the Easter drums...

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