Civil Liberties

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Civil Liberties

Civil Liberties


The term Civil Rights is particularly connected to the movement which led to equivalent rights intended for the African-Americans. The struggle for African American rights originated from the era of civil war; however, the modern Civil Rights movement has its foundation in 1910 with the establishment of National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). It accelerated after 1954 when the United Sates Supreme Court passed a verdict for opposition of segregation in educational institutes which was enforced in 1957 by Federal troops in Arkansas. Organizations such as Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and the Students Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) resulted in Civil Rights Act which protected all individuals from discrimination (Joseph, 2006).

The American nation was struggling with anxiety then in many different ways. The position of America in the world was sinking with the Soviet Union bringing competition to the table with their space programs that intimidated the American government. The public, itself, was concerned about the 'visibility of Poverty, the rising frustrations of women,' and most important, besides “other long-suppressed discontents” was the “growing pressures of African American and other minorities” (Brinkley, 2007). The media had a large role on the way the society thought along with Dr. Martin Luther King and Malcolm X's influence that served to change the movement of civil rights in the 1960s (Joseph, 2006).


A Brief Overview of the 'Acts' Effecting the Civil Rights and Black Power Movement

The Civil Rights Act (1866) granted African American citizenship and established civil rights for all individuals born the United States of America except the Native Americans. In 1870, an Act was then approved to reenact the earlier measure which was thought to be of uncertain constitutionality. This law was declared unconstitutional by the United States Supreme Court in 1883 (Shelton et al, 2010).

The Act of 1875 was passed to proscribe the act of discrimination in public places due to the race of prior servitude. This Act was moreover declared unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court (1883-1885) as it affirmed that the Fourteenth Amendment, the lawful basis of the Act, sheltered individual rights against infringement by the States but not by other persons. The 1957 Act recognized the Civil Rights Commission to scrutinize breach of the Fifteenth Amendment. Further on, in 1960 an Act provided for the court appointed Federal officials to defend Black voting rights and therefore, an act of aggression to impede a court order became a Federal level crime (Shelton et al, 2010).

The Act in 1964 recognized as law equivalent rights for all American citizens within the fields of education, voting, and public accommodations and in federally assisted courses. Moreover, the 1968 Act assured equal treatment within the fields of real estate and housing for all the populace. The United States had appointed a Federal Commission which investigated complaints, alleging that citizens were being deprived of their rights to vote because of their race, color, religious conviction, sex or national origin or in the case of Federal elections ...
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