During times of extreme racial exclusion and inequality, many people of color came together to form a movement to bring up the idea of inclusion and awareness of the struggles of the black community. This movement was called the Civil Rights Movement, and it was lead by some of the most famous activists in history- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Rosa Parks, Malcolm X. The Civil Rights Movement is the most important turning point in US history because it made people of color feel empowered, which they had never felt before. They had always been seen as weaker or lesser than non-black people. The Civil Rights Movement consisted of multiple events that had extreme significance to the history of the United States, and affected it for years to come.
One of the major events of the Civil Rights era was the bus boycott in Montgomery, Alabama, which began in 1955 and ended in 1956. The Montgomery Bus Boycott began on December 5, 1955, when a seamstress by the name of Rosa Parks had refused to give up her seat to a white passenger on a city bus, which went against the law that “black people must be seated at the back of the bus when white people are present,” and was arrested. During the 381-day Montgomery Bus Boycott, African Americans decided to resist the public bus, in an attempt to show how much the companies needed them for sales.
75% of the typical bus riders were African American, and 90% participated in the boycott for the first day. Because of the success of the first day, leaders decided to extend the bus boycott for a longer, but limited, period of time. Many white citizens opposed the boycott- Martin Luther King, Jr.’s home was bombed, and many black people were fired from their jobs. The black community’s sense of unity and perseverance are what supported the civil rights movements in being the greatest turning point in US history.
Another major event of the civil rights movement was the Selma March of 1965. The Selma March began on March 21, 1965, and lasted four days, beginning in Selma, Alabama, and ending in Montgomery, the state’s capital. The march was led by Dr.
Martin Luther King, Jr., and consisted of thousands of non-violent demonstrators and protesters arriving at the steps of the capitol, where they campaigned for voting rights. The 54-mile route was walked by nearly 600 people who were determined to register black voters in the South. Often times throughout the march, the protesters were faced with deathly threats from white vigilante groups.
After walking for three days, morning to night, the group of activists finally reached their goal- arriving in Montgomery, where they protested and campaigned for a change in the government. Because of the Selma march, awareness had been raised of the need for a national Voting Rights Act. The determination of the black community made the Civil Rights era so important to the history of the United States.