Several major events took place in the United States and around the world during the 1960’s.
The United States witnessed counter culture and social revolution that ended with abolishment of retrogressive laws that had established social taboos in the country (Beito & Royster, 2009). In this paper I will discuss how my own life could have been different had it not been for the civil rights movements that happened in the 1960s. Secondly, I will show how the same event influenced my choice of career path, and finally, I will describe how the world could have been different had it not been for the civil rights movement.
The civil rights movement (commonly referred to as African American civil rights movements) describes the social movements that took place in the United States to end discrimination against black people and restore their right to vote (Farber, 1994). The majority of the campaigns begun in 1955 and were characterized by civil disobedience. During the 1960s notable achievements were made including the passage of a Civil rights Act in 1964 that outlawed any form of discrimination towards people of a different “race, color or national origin in employment practices and public accommodations”; in 1965, the voting rights of African Americans were restored following the passage of the Voting Rights Act 1965; in the same year, the Immigration and Nationality Services Act of 1965 was enacted (Harrison & Dye, 2008, p. 34). The act allowed immigrants from other regions of the world, other than the traditional Europe to enter the United States (Goluboff, 2007).
In 1968, “the Fair Housing Act 1968 was enacted” to ensure that everyone had an equal opportunity to buy or rent a house in the US (Harrison & Dye, 2008). The achievements that were made following the civil rights movements inspired young people across the country and saw African Americans re-entering politics in the Southern States (Goluboff, 2007). My life could have been significantly different had it not been for these legislative achievements that followed the civil rights movement. The civil rights Act of 1964 basically banned segregation in the US. It gave all the Americans the right to be served equally in facilities that were open to the public including equal access to education (Harrison & Dye, 2008).
I honestly believe that the peace and cultural diversity that we currently enjoyed in the US is as a result of the legislative changes that followed the civil rights movement. Had it not been for this changes I could now be living in a segregated society that is full of mistrust, violence and other social ills. Notably, the civil rights movements did not only ensure equal rights for African Americans but also other minority groups such as Latinos and Asian Americans. In addition, the movements opened the eyes of the majority of the Americans thereby effectively transforming their attitudes. Had it not been for the civil rights movement I could now be part of a conservative society that basically trusts the government on everything.
America could not be enjoying the role model status that it is currently accorded internationally. Through the schooling process I have acquired many friends from different racial backgrounds. The segregation that was predominant prior to the civil rights movement denied Americans the opportunity to freely mix with people from other races. This implies that had the situation remained the same then I could not be having the freedom to associate with people from other races. It’s sad to think that I or some of my friends could have been denied a chance to pursue our dream careers. Prior to the civil rights movements, Americans were not active people and frequently followed the government’s opinion (Farber, 1994). It’s important to note that following the civil rights movements many American citizens opened their eyes, changed their attitudes and begun to press for effective leadership. Everyone realized the need to pursue the American dream.
Since then, Americans have played leading roles in determining the extent to which the government can indulge in international affairs. Not so long after the civil rights movements, Americans were already urging their government to withdraw troops from Vietnam. Others pieces of lSegislations that were enacted following the civil rights movements such as the Voting Rights Act 1965 and the Immigration and Nationality Services Act of 1965 have greatly influenced the American society (Beito & Royster, 2009). African Americans have been politically active since the enactment of the voting rights Act 1965.
Had it not been for the civil movements, I could now be part of a divided society where politics is an exclusive reserve for one race. I could never have lived to see a black president leading our country. The Immigration Act allowed immigrant from all over the world to come to America. This has led to a culturally rich and diverse society that is comparable to none. Therefore without the 1960s civil rights movements I could not be enjoying the benefits of cultural diversity such as foods and festivities.
The events that were happening prior to the civil rights movement showed how human beings can subject fellow human beings to discrimination.
Learning about such happenings gave me the desire to take a career path that can enable me to advocate for the rights of others, particularly those who are disadvantaged in the society. I realized that many of our citizens are involved in epic struggles and really need support from the society in order to make it through (Beito & Royster, 2009). Therefore by selecting a course that offered me a chance to effectively contribute to the society through advocacy, I feel that it will be possible for me to live a fulfilling life that takes into account the needs of others.
The harsh struggles that characterize the American history, including the liberation wars and the civil rights movement have validated my desire to take a course in social sciences and understand how the society functions and how I can be able to assist through advocacy.
The racial conflicts that were taking place in America prior to the civil rights movements were also being witnessed in many parts of the world. Several governments around the world were not keen to protect the rights of their minority citizens. For instance, majority of European nations had colonies in Africa where their representatives were subjecting Africans to exploitation and brutality.
Other countries such as New Zealand and Australia had no formal laws to protect the rights of the indigenous minority citizens. It’s important to note that the United States had portrayed itself as the leader of the free world and yet many of its citizens were being subjected to severe racial discrimination. Back then, Europe was the only important continent to the US as far good foreign relations were concerned. Many communist states publicly lamented the hypocrisy portrayed by the United States. Thus the events that followed the civil rights movements validated the country’s portrayal as a model democracy that observed the rights of its citizens.
The civil rights movement gave America the chance to appeal to many countries in the world without severing ties with its traditional allies in Europe. Since then, the US has been able to play a role in the democratization of many countries around the world (Harrison & Dye, 2008). It has also been on the forefront in urging other countries to enact appropriate legislations that are needed to protect the rights of minority groups. The effects of the civil rights movements played a role in the development of good relationships between the US and other regions whose descendants were initially being racially abused in the US. These regions include South America, Africa and Asia. The good relations have in turn created a platform for globalization. Therefore without the laws that followed the civil rights movement globalization activities such as international trade could not have been developed to the current level.
In addition, the US could not have gotten the voice to call for change in other countries, and thus most countries could still have been in chaotic states.
This paper sought to describe how the scenario could have been without the civil rights movement. It has established that the freedom and diversity currently enjoyed by Americans today could have been a pipe dream. The paper has also shown how the civil rights influenced my career path by inspiring the desire to advocate for other people’s rights. The effects of the civil rights movements also played a role in globalization.
Beito, D., & Royster, L. (2009). Black Maverick: T.R.M. Howard’s Fight for Civil Rights and Economic Power. Illinois: University of Illinois press.
Farber, D. (1994). The Age of Great Dreams: America in the 1960s. New York: Hill and Wang. Goluboff, R. (2007). The Lost Promise of Civil Rights. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
Harrison, B., & Dye, T. (2008). Power and Soceity: An introduction to social Sciences. Florida: Thomson Wadsworth.