the events that produced the modern Civil Rights Movement

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The modern civil rights movement in America spanned the late 1950's until the 1970's and essentially reenacted the various aims of the original civil rights movement, known as the Reconstruction, after the American Civil War. There were various factors at play that eventually united African-Americans into the struggle for their own rights, freedoms and social status free of discrimination, and primary among these are the murder of 14 year old Emmitt Till, the Montgomery Bus Boycott launched by Rosa Parks and the activism and subsequent murder of Martin Luther King Jr.


The case has never been perfectly clear, but it seems that Till had told several of his African-American friends in Mississippi that back home in Chicago he had a white girlfriend - they did not believe him and so dared him to speak to a white woman while out in public. Whether Till actually spoke, or whether he whistled at a married white woman while in a grocery store in unclear, but the repercussions are unambiguous (Ownby 151). The boy was murdered because of his apparent audacity in addressing a white woman, and the death shocked people all over the country.
Mere months later, Rosa Parks found lasting fame and reverence because of her refusal to give up her seat on a city bus to a white passenger. At this time, segregation existed on buses and an African-American was not allowed to take the front seat of a bus, particularly if there was a white passenger who needed to sit down. Parks' civil disobedience led to the formation of the Montgomery Bus Boycott, which lasted for months and ultimately culminated in the 1956 decision of Alabama courts to rule that bus segregation is unconstitutional. ...
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