African Americans have helped to end segregation, discrimination, and isolation to bring forth equality and civil rights by producing strong outstanding citizens like Roas Parks and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. While segregation and isolation have completely ended for the African American people, discrimination is still around today. Rosa Parks was an outstanding woman. She spent all day working and had to ride the bus home. When a white man entered the bus and wanted to sit down, in the front, Ms Parks was told to move, she refused.
This led to trouble. Ms Parks was arrested and the boycotts began. Ms Parks should not have had to move just because a white person wanted to sit in the front of the bus. She had worked all day, why did she have to move just for him? “Rosa Parks (1913–2005), whose refusal to move to the back of a bus touched off the bus boycott in Montgomery, Alabama. ” (Bowles, 2011) Rosa Parks was a woman to be admired. She stood up for what she believed was right and did not back down, not even with the threat and happening of being arrested. All Rosa Parks did was say, “No. ” to a white man, and she was arrested.
She worked hard, just like the white man. She raised a family, just like a white man. Was she treated equally, though? No, she and every other African American person was treated as though they were still slaves. In fact, they pretty much were slaves, because they still did not get paid equally, were not allowed the same niceties as a white person. African American people worked hard, harder than most white folks. They got paid, yes, but were still treated as though they were slaves. Why should they have to suffer serving the white man still, even though they were freed?
They were “free” yet not really. There were no more whips and chains, but they did not really gain anything, except to be treated slightly better than before. It was a new kind of suffering for them. Next was Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He was also an African American to be admired during his time. He was able to boycott, rally and march without violence, at least not from him. He wanted a peaceful resolution to the segregation, discrimination and isolation. He wanted equality and the same rights as the white man. He strove to gain this all without violence. Quickly after Rosa Parks was arrested, Dr.
Martin Luther King, Jr. , a 26-year-old black pastor organized the Montgomery bus boycott. (Bowles, 2011) During this boycott, African Americans started to use other means of transportation. This caused a loss of money to the bus owners, as African Americans were their main riders. Not only were the bus owners suffering, stores were suffering because African Americans could not get to the stores to purchase Christmas gifts. They were spending less money supporting the community because of this boycott. (Bowles, 2011) Everyone in the white community was suffering because of the boycotting.
They were beginning to realize how much they depended upon the African Americans to support and help them. Dr. Marin Luther King, Jr. was not only helping his city and his fellow African Americans there, but he began the movement in other cities as well. He was creating change for the African American community. Dr. King was willing to sacrifice himself for this civil rights movement he believed in it so much! King found a bomb on his front porch. King responded with his poetic and deeply felt conviction: “I’m not afraid of anybody this morning. ell Montgomery they can keep shooting and I’m going to stand up to them; tell Montgomery they can keep bombing and I’m going to stand up to them. If I had to die tomorrow morning I would die happy because I’ve been to the mountaintop and I’ve seen the promised land and it’s going to be here in Montgomery. The old Montgomery is passing away and segregation is dying” (King and Carson, 2000). (Bowles, 2011) Dr. King has such conviction for what he believes it is right, that it is hard for others not to follow him. Rosa Parks also believed in what Dr. King did.
Her protest was simple and quiet, which led to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. not so quiet, but just as peaceful as Ms Parks’, protests. Dr. Kings’ protests consisted of sit-ins. A sit-in is a quiet protest where African Americans sit at a booth, table, counter, etc. where a sign says “No Coloreds Served Here” they did not get served what they ordered, but would stay there all day. The sit-ins were effective, but civil rights leaders continued to develop new techniques. One of them was the freedom ride, orchestrated by SNCC and also the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE).
The idea was to try to get enforcement of the Supreme Court decision in Boynton v. Virginia (1946), which stated that segregation in interstate vehicles was unconstitutional. (Bowles, 2011) All of these protests were peaceful on the side of the African Americans. They wanted equality and same civil rights, but wanted it peacefully. There was the famous march in March of 1965 where African American marched approximately fifty-two miles. This march many African Americans were injured by local policemen, but wound up being protected by Army soldiers and Alabama Guardsmen. Bowles, 2011) The public awareness brought pressure to Congress to pass one final, essential piece of civil rights legislation, the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
This ensured that all citizens had the right to vote and eliminated discriminatory “tricks” often used in southern states to prevent African Americans from going to the polls. Johnson and King worked together on these acts. King told Johnson, “You have created a Second Emancipation. ” Johnson responded to King that “the real hero is the American Negro” (Kotz, 2006). (Bowles, 2011) Sadly, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as murdered for his beliefs and ideas. He was shot and killed on the evening of April 4, 1968, while standing on the balcony of his motel room in Memphis, Tennessee, where he was to lead a protest march in sympathy with striking garbage workers of that city, he was assassinated. (Wilson, 1964) The efforts of Rosa Parks and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. were not the sole reason that segregation and isolation ended, though they were very prominent in moving it forward. Other African Americans helped to bring forth the equality and civil rights for African Americans.
It did not happen overnight, but it did happen. While there is no segregation or isolation today, discrimination still remains, though not as heavily as before.