There were many revolutionary steps in mankind towards making the world a more humane place. Some were violent, a few peaceful but all of them were life-changing. All of these events made the society we live in today. Though inequity is still an issue in many parts of society, we are well aware how some victorious moments in history brought us freedoms we have today.
Society of the Time
In America, the Civil Rights Movement was conducted in the 60s and 70s. It was a mass reaction to the conservative and disappointing 50s. As an answer to the era before them, the second half of the 20th century dealt with issues of racism, sexism, and overall intolerance.
One of the first issues which were addressed was racial segregation and blatant racism. Though slavery was abolished in the late 19th century, the South has remained more intolerant than the North of the US. Slavery was abolished with the end of the Civil War and the ratification of the 13th Amendment. And though, slavery was illegal – discrimination was not. African Americans have gained freedom to a certain extent but they still suffered day to day obstacles other people simply didn’t have. This was amended by the Constitution later on. However, in a number of cases, the racial oppression continued in economic, political, and social aspects of life for African Americans.
The Civil Rights Movement united every social group which was oppressed by the non-marginalized groups. Apart from African Americans, women were affected, too. Many women fought as activists and lawyers to make changes for the discriminated. In this sense, the oppressed played as a team and helped each other reach victory.
Gender discrimination was far more acceptable than today. Sexual harassment was common and people turned a blind eye to it. In order to gain their freedom, women have collectively made an effort to break barriers and invent a new female role in society. This role model had independence, sexual freedom, and rights. Though, the feminist movement started a little later in the Civil Rights Movement it had an irreversible impact on history and women’s rights everywhere.
Another ostracized group is, of course, the group of people who identify as homosexuals. They also emerged as victorious when the decriminalization of same-sex intercourse commenced. Some started in the 60s but some were a couple of decades late. The last decriminalization was done in the early 21st century. Though, it was not done immediately in all states the point is the same. What happened in the Civil Rights Movement was a spark of hope which paved the way for a better future for every social group. The marginalized became central and their issues were thus brought forth.
Today, the price of racism and sexism is steep. Civil rights still need to evolve but they are well on their way. Same-sex marriages are possible, women are becoming more independent every day, and every race is getting appreciation they deserve.