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Political and Legal Strategies of Civil Rights Movement

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The civil rights movement that dates back to the 1960s is one of the most significant social events of the century. Its success is to a large extent determined by the right political and legal strategies that its leaders have chosen. The work of activists demonstrated how civil disobedience can be effectively combined with using courts as an efficient tool of democracy and change.

In the 1950s-1960s, when civil rights movement progressed in its struggle, there were several legal cases, which fastened the liberation process. Since the beginning of the twentieth century, the principle of “separate but equal” was applied. It was the basis for segregation. Instead, the idea of equal opportunities for black and white population within the same institutions began to be promoted in the 1950s (Lowe & Ginsberg, 138). Brown v. Board of Education was a legal case that could be considered the first significant victory of civil rights movement. It excluded an opportunity for the United States of America to take legal decisions based on discrimination (Lowe & Ginsberg, 140).

Legal strategies did not work in most cases. Therefore, activists resorted to political actions such as demonstrations and civil disobedience. It is remarkable that back in the 1960s, the leaders realized how media could be an effective strategy in achieving their political goals. As a result, school desegregation was fulfilled not only as declaration (Lowe & Ginsberg, 144).

Other significant steps were taken in the 1960-70s that concern voting rights; hence political changes took place in the local authority institutions (Lowe & Ginsberg, 145). Discrimination in employment was another area where efforts of activists were needed to introduce new policies. This was made by means of series of legal cases, including Supreme Court Case.

To sum up, the strategies used by the activists of civil rights movement, were a combination of legal and political ones. Courts prepared juridical ground for those changes, which were timely in the society. Marches, demonstrations and boycotts supported these legal actions.

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