Civil Rights Day 2017 Date - January 16
What is a Civil Right?
Civil Rights are the rights and privileges declared under the laws that govern the nation. In America the civil rights are promised in the Constitution and is constituted in the Bill of Rights and other Amendments.
- The Liberation Decree freed the slaves in 1865 and the 13th Amendment banned slavery. It is guaranteed that black Americans would enjoy equal rights to which all American citizens are entitled.
- But many black Americans in the South were not allowed to use their civil rights.
- Consequently, the Civil Rights Movement was started in the United States to avail equality for all Americans.
- In 1987, a Presidential Announcement declared August 12 to be celebrated as Civil Rights Day.
Why is the Day Celebrated?
- Civil Rights Day is memorialized to honor those who fought against inequality to lay the foundation of an America where all Americans' civil rights are protected. The other aim of the day is to emphasize the fortification of our civil rights guaranteed in the Constitution.
- Some people insist that Martin Luther King Day should be observed as Civil Rights Day to honor Dr. King and others martyrs who dedicated their lives for the good of all of us.
- Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a national holiday in United States as it is the birth date of the Preacher Martin Luther King, Jr.
- It is observed every year on January 15 to commemorate an individual person as Martin was the chief founder and follower of the nonviolent civil rights movement.
- The movement effectively protested racial discrimination in federal and state law. But he was assassinated in 1968.
- A federal holiday in King's honor was soon demanded after his assassination.
- Ronald Reagan signed and declared the holiday into law in 1983. The day was first observed in 1986.
- It was formally observed in all 50 states for the first time in 2000.
- On the civil rights day homage is paid to Martin Luther king and to all those who fought for justice and equal opportunity before the law.
What are the reasons that evoked the civil right movement?
- Racial segregation was a part of the law and public services and government amenities such as educationwere divided into separate and unequal "white" and "Black" domains.
- Disenfranchisement was again followed which should be abolished. When White American Democrats came into power, they made voter registration a complex process.
- Black voters were deliberately not included in the voting lists.
- Consequently, the number of African-Americans favored votes is reduced and they were not elected.
- The Southern states of America constituted laws that disfranchised most African Americans and sometimes even poor White Americans.
- Exploitation was increased including economic subjugation of blacks, Latinos, and Asians, refutation of economic opportunities, and extensive employment favoritism.
- Violence was widespread. Individual, police, organizational, and mass racial violence against blacks became extremely common.
Steps taken to attain civil rights
- All the oppressed racial minorities revolted this regime.
- They denied the partial laws and fought for equality through lawsuits, new organizations, political redress, and labor organizing.
- In 1909, The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) was founded to fight against racial discrimination through legal action, education, and lobbying efforts.
- The major achievement of the association was its legal victory in the Supreme Court decision by the Board of Education in 1954.
- The verdict rejected separate white and colored school systems.
- The condition of blacks in South was worse and comparatively better in most states where they were allowed to vote can educate their children.
- Despite some relief they faced discrimination in housing and jobs from 1910 to1970, African Americans migrated to north and west in very large numbers.
- This huge population movement was collectively known as the Great Migration.
- There are some remarkable legislative achievements during this phase of the Civil Rights Movement.
- The approval of Civil Rights Act of 1964 outlawed the discrimination in employment practices and public accommodations.
- The Voting Rights Act of 1965 retained and safeguards voting rights of blacks.
- The Civil Rights Act of 1968 that declared discrimination in the sale or rental of housing as illegal.