Archive for the ‘morebangforyourbuck’ Category

Organizing for Change in the Jim Crow South

Thursday, January 31st, 2013

Just as with many things in life, some people don’t want to get involved in conflicts unless they passionately believe in what they are fighting for and/or if it directly affects them. Even when they become involved, they may disagree with someone who is fighting right beside them in regards to how to go about approaching that fight. The federal government did not become involved in the Civil Rights Movement until the way the African-Americans were being treated in the US began to affect the support that the government was trying to get from other countries during the Cold War. When Kennedy gave his “Report to the American People on Civil Rights” it was broadcast on television and radio to show the world that we were different than the countries that we were fighting to free. Although his motivation to make that speech may not have been for the purpose to advocate for civil rights, it resulted in a “more bang for your buck” situation. Prior to April of 1963, MLK Jr had slowly been losing support in his approach to the Civil Rights Movement. Many of his followers had lost faith because they felt as if he was too passive. After being arrested in Birmingham, AL, MLK Jr wrote the “Letter from Birmingham City Jail” asking for the 8 clergy men to understand the protests and marches of the African-Americans so that they can release their “pent-up resentments and latent frustrations” (157) to avoid them coming out “in ominous expressions of violence” (157). His arrest showed his followers that he wasn’t as passive as they thought and his letter gave them a better understanding as to why violence was not the answer to obtaining civil rights. The approaches that JFK and MLK Jr adopted to fight for civil rights may have been motivated for different reasons but both had the same ultimate goal. (292)

 

the quotations I used could be modified as shown in The Nuts and Bolts of College Writing:

Change:

After being arrested in Birmingham, AL, MLK Jr wrote the “Letter from Birmingham City Jail” asking for the 8 clergy men to understand the protests and marches of the African-Americans so that they can release their “pent-up resentments and latent frustrations” (157) to avoid them coming out “in ominous expressions of violence”

To:

After being arrested in Birmingham, AL, MLK Jr wrote the “Letter from Birmingham City Jail” asking for the 8 clergy men to understand the protests and marches of the African-Americans so that they can release their “pent-up resentments and latent frustrations” (157) to avoid them coming out “in ominous expressions of violence

 

Discussion question:

Why do you think that Birmingham always seemed to be a target of violence that occurred during the Civil Rights Movement?