Hallie's L. A. & S. S. Research Paper
The civil rights movement's nonviolent protesting is one that people should admire. With their way of telling people they need to change their ways, while at the same time not hurting anybody, it just proves how patient people can be, –Really, how many people can sit in a coffee shop for hours on end, waiting to be served?– who are bent on getting their will done.
Sit-ins, boycotts, and marches were extremely popular during the civil rights movement, but we still use them today to protest. Sit-ins mostly were made up of students just sitting at a lunch counter or café, waiting to be served, as marches were made up of people just waltzing around the cities where segregation was a problem with signs or candles. The point of boycotts, on the other hand, was really not doing anything about the problems they have with society. Including not shopping at places where segregation was popular and not eating at places where whites and blacks have to eat at separate tables and rooms. Not paying attention, not keeping up business, and definitely not supporting society areas that back up wrong ideas, goals, or emotions.
Of course, you have to have the bad things so you can tell where the good things are, which is more than most can say for the protesters. The white onlookers, disgusted by the thought of integration, tried their hardest to break the blacks' spirit with acts of protest towards the protesters. These violent and annoying things, such as throwing open ketchup packets, eggs, using whips, tear gas, and arrest were all things that these protesters risked for Privilege. Many were hurt, sometimes killed, by their acts of peaceful protest. The police in the city decided they were alright with people being hurt by the onlookers, sometimes doing it as well.
Some of these acts earned their fair share of attention without the onlookers' help, such as the Montgomery Bus Boycott, the Green Borough sit-ins, and the March On Washington. The Montgomery Bus Boycott all started when Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat in Montgomery, Alabama, in 1955. After that, many people started to avoid buses and walk to work more and more until bus segregation was deemed illegal. The Green Borough sit-ins were a series of sit-ins at a lunch counter for whites only. The owner of the diner was recorded saying, "It makes no difference to me, they can just sit there." The black students and workers that sat there said that they knew having coffee or food with a white man wouldn't help them digest it easier, or give the food extra nutritional value. They just wanted to carry on a conversation or eat like any other U. S. Citizen.
The March on Washington was an impromptu addition to a political rally to raise awareness for racism and it's effects. Over 200,000 people gathered to protest, and following the rally was Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s famous "I Have A Dream" speech, with these inspiring words woven in; "We can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their selfhood and robbed of their dignity by signs stating 'For Whites Only.' We cannot be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote." Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. did a very good job explaining his hopes for the future solidly and thoroughly.
What life would be like without this nonviolent protesting? Most Negroes in the United States would still not be able to vote, eat in most restaurants, or even go to school in most schools if people didn't come to their senses yet. Jobs, good food, an education, and a say in the government were at risk of loss before the Civil Rights Movement was over. But people stood up (or sat down, for that matter) for what they believed was right. They fought on for privilege. Did they win every time? No, they didn't. Did they persevere? Yes! And that is why nonviolent protesting/protesters were so important. They work. Not necessarily on the first time, or even the second or third. But they kept on going until it did, which helped many underprivileged people new lives.