Social Issues


Many people forget about the past and not know about our history. Many issues went on in the past that should be recognized. We have had many heroes that people should be grateful to because thanks to them we have rights and freedom now. In the 1950s there were several movements by strong people. This is a research about large movements that started to fight injustices that affected people of color. Some of the most known movements are the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Another event of the movement that occurred was Brown vs. Board of Education. In addition the Little Rock Central High School was a major event back in the 1950s also.


On December 1st of 1955 an injustice was done to an African-American woman named Rosa Parks. This would be the day that gave birth to a fight for justice. Rosa Parks a forty-two year old seamstress boarded a city bus and sat in the first row of seats in the black section of the bus. When some white men got on the bus, the driver, James F. Blake ordered Mrs. Parks to give up her seat and move back. She refused to move, and Blake called the police to have her arrested. When Rosa Parks was arrested, the leaders in Montgomery’s black community saw the incident as an opportunity for staging a protest against the city\'s segregation laws. Over the weekend of December 3 and 4, the Reverends Ralph Abernathy and Martin Luther King met with Jo Ann Robinson and E. D. Nixon. The purpose of their meeting was to plan a large scale boycott against the Montgomery city bus lines. Forty thousand hand bills were printed and passed out among the members of the black community. In addition, on December 4, Black ministers throughout the city conveyed the message from their pulpits. The boycott began on Monday, December 5, and it was an immediate success. According to the bus company receipts, about 90 percent of the blacks who usually rode the buses joined the boycott and found other means of transportation. Later that evening, the black leaders of the community held another meeting and formed the M.I.A. The Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. was elected as president of this organization. The Montgomery bus boycott continued into 1956. Finally, in November of 1956, the US Supreme court declared that segregation on public buses was unconstitutional, and the boycott was brought to an end.


In Topeka, Kansas, another terrible injustice was done to an African American third-grader named Linda Brown had to walk one mile through a railroad switchyard to get to her black elementary school. Even though a white elementary school was only seven blocks away. Linda\'s father, Oliver Brown, tried to enroll her in the white elementary school, but the principal of the school refused. Brown went to McKinley Burnett, the head of Topeka\'s branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and asked for help. The NAACP was eager to assist the Browns, as it had long wanted to challenge segregation in public schools. With Brown\'s complaint, it had "the right plaintiff at the right time." Other black parents joined Brown, and, in 1951, the NAACP requested an injunction that would forbid the segregation of Topeka\'s public schools. The Board of Education\'s defense was that, because segregation in Topeka and elsewhere pervaded many other aspects of life, segregated schools simply prepared black children for the segregation they would face during adulthood. The board also argued that segregated schools were not necessarily harmful to black children, great African Americans such as Frederick Douglass, Booker T Washington, and George Washington Carver had overcome more than just segregated schools to achieve what they achieved. The request for an injunction put the court in a difficult decision. On the one hand, the judges agreed with the expert witnesses; in their decision, they wrote: Segregation of white and colored children in public schools has a detrimental effect upon the colored children...A sense of inferiority affects the motivation of a child to learn.


In 1954, it became law that school districts at least attempted to integrate following the Supreme Court\'s Brown v. Board of Education decision, some school districts, particularly those in the Deep South, actively avoided desegregation. Though