Teaching African Americans to Stand for Themselves

Pages: 4 (1321 words) Published: June 5, 2012
Social Turbulence
Throughout history the United States has been filled with mixed values and ideals. Over time, these values adapt to the pertinent social problems of the given time period. In the 1950’s and 1960’s many Americans believed that consumer culture and individualism was the path to happiness and wellbeing. In this same period, dissatisfaction arose from certain social classes that clashed with these values. This began to alter the attitudes across the nation of the typical American lifestyle. Some of the main groups that added to the social dilemma were women and African Americans. These groups became unhappy with the way America was being shaped and the rights they were. Their beliefs and goals brought up widespread debate and opposition. These disputes were associated with the civil rights movement and the urge for women’s rights. Some of these ideals are displayed through, “Letter from Birmingham Jail”, by Martin Luther King Jr., “Message to the Grass Roots” by Malcolm X, and “The Feminine Mystique” by Betty Friedan.

In the two decades after World War II, leaders began to rise and teach African Americans to stand up for what they believed in. Martin Luther King Jr. was one of these great leaders who raised his voice for all African Americans. He encouraged all African Americans to stand up for their rights and to fight the oppression the “white man” forced upon them. “Thus it is that I can urge men to obey the 1954 decision of the Supreme Court, for it is morally right; and I can urge them to disobey segregation ordinances, for they are morally wrong.” (King Jr., “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” p. 351). This shows he wanted peaceful actions to take place that were morally right and not sinful. King pushed people to avoid confrontation and wanted negotiations to progress so that all people would have equal rights. He was sick of waiting for the action of the Supreme Court case of Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas which...
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