The Effect of Television on Black People's Gain of Civil Rights

The Effect of Television on Black People's Gain of Civil Rights
There were many different aspects of factors that helped Black people gain Civil Rights. Television was one of these factors but also it was down to other types of technology to help black people get their views across to people. Two of these people are Martin Luther King and Malcolm X, these men are known as two of the most devoted and influential people in black history. The blacks of America craved basic civil rights, as they couldn?t have any view for themselves without it. The civil rights movement started in the end of the 1950s and various protests broke the pattern of racially segregated public facilities in the South and achieved the most important breakthrough in equal-rights legislation for blacks in America. Civil rights are freedoms and rights guaranteed to a member of a community, state, or nation. Freedom of speech, of the press, of religion, and of fair and equal treatment is the basic civil rights. Black protestors like Malcolm X and Martin Luther King made many important speeches on TV that would have helped the nationwide campaign for civil rights. By putting their speeches on TV they are broadcasting their view on how blacks are being treated to a wider audience. Martin Luther King believed that the whites and Blacks should be able to live with each other in the same company comfortably and without any stereotypical views hindering people?s lives. He felt that blacks had waited ?more than three hundred and forty years for our constitutional and God-given rights?. Martin Luther King protested peacefully for the rights he felt like blacks deserved. He believed that if he organised non-violent protests then it would make the county respect black?s needs and so they would gain the freedom they all wanted. He thought that if he showed blacks in a loving way towards the whites in the community then they would feel bad and regret how they have treated the blacks. King started many different protests during the years when blacks were trying to achieve civil rights, some of which was in the Birmingham protests again segregation. King made many of his speeches on TV to insure that the public were able to watch his views. One of his most famous speeches was his ?I have a dream? speech, which is one of the most remembered speeches of all time and is still quoted to this day. Without TV many people would not know who he was. When he was arrested in April 1963 for his protests many people, black?s and white?s, were angered and many went on protest as they couldn?t find any reason why he was doing wrong. The reactions of people after that is one of the most enduring images of the Civil Rights Movement is that of Birmingham firemen and policemen using water hoses and police dogs against African-American demonstrators in 1963 Birmingham. The episode came during the first week of May, following a month of peaceful demonstrations by Birmingham?s African-American community against the arrest and the segregation issues. ?Bull? Connor tried to stop the growing demonstrations, and gained lasting infamy when he resorted to using the water hoses and dogs. Televised reports of police dogs lunging at African-American citizens and people being washed down the streets by water from powerful fire hoses dramatized the plight of African-Americans in segregated areas. Around 3,000 men, women and children were arrested and attacked, all because of their peaceful protest against his arrest. When the protesters were arrested the pictures and stories of all this anger were over the front pages of newspapers and on the TV where many people watched the way Blacks were being treated and attacked my whites. Whites watching this media were then able to analyse black peoples views and why the protestors don?t mind campaigning for a cause that might mean they will be arrested for it. We also know that King knew that if the media were involved it would cause more of an uproar and have more effect. We know this because he was the one who invited media crew?s along to the marches he was leading so he always had them on his side. King knew that the Blacks would be portrayed by the television as being peaceful compared to the whites and how they were being wrongly and ferociously attacked by Whites. Another protesting Black American was Malcolm Xwho was a minister and national spokesman for the Nation of Islam, he wanted the same rights as King did in the way that he felt that there should be more ?Black power?. The difference between these two men was that Malcolm X was angrier at the whites than King was therefore instead of holding peaceful demonstrations he protested using violence. His reason for being violent was that: ?I don?t go along with non-violence unless everybody?s going to be non-violent. If they make the Ku Klux Klan non-violent, I?ll be non-violent." This type of demonstrations meant that many young urban blacks saw Malcolm X?s message as inspiring, even more so after his murder in 1965. Malcolm X even educated the children of Islam to hate white people. Malcolm utilized newspaper columns, radio and television to communicate the Nation of Islam?s message across the United States. His charisma, drive and conviction attracted an astounding number of new members. Malcolm was largely credited with increasing membership in the Nation of Islam from 500 in 1952 to 30,000 in 1963. The crowds and controversy surrounding Malcolm made him a media magnet. He was featured in a weeklong television special with Mike Wallace in 1959, which was called ?The Hate That Hate Produced?. It was because of this television special that Malcolm was able to put forward all his views across to whoever was watching. Yet another discussing display of the way White?s treat Blacks was in Woolworth?s café. Many students at that time went to these café?s to sit down and eat but when a black person wants to sit down in the restaurant they are not served but instead they have Whites tipping their food and drink over the Blacks. During this is happening we see the black?s just sitting there, not reacting to the way they were being publicly humiliated but instead just taking all the abuse that was being thrown at them. It was not only black protestors that helped the fight for civil rights as some of the American Presidents themselves are known to take action to help the blacks in America. We know that naturally presidents influence the country?s thoughts more than say a Black protestor would. Both President Kennedy and Eisenhower were for Civil rights. Examples of their private fights for the blacks are when at Little Rock Central High school, President Eisenhower sent federal Troopers to insure the safety of 9 Black students who were making their way into the ?white? school. Such measures needed to happen because Eisenhower knew that if they went unprotected they would get attacked and mugged for attempting to learn in the same surroundings as whites. The Troopers stayed with the black students to protect them throughout the school day. President Kennedy also fought for desegregation as he felt that it was wrong to have different facilities for different coloured skinned people. It was most probably in his honour that civil rights were passed after he was assassinated in Nov 1963. Both of these presidents were featured in the media regularly so all different types of people in the country would have taken their views into account. Another reason why Blacks gained Civil Rights were that they were given the right to fight for their country during the Second World War. At the start of the war Black?s could only work at chefs and cleaners or other petty jobs that were undermining. As the war lost a lot of young soldiers the country found that they needed to recruit a lot more men so they turned to the blacks. This meant that even though the Black?s were being used just because they were running out of fit white men, they still proved that they can do other jobs and that they were loyal to a country, which they felt they belonged to. This was important because it showed people that even though the blacks are put through an ?American Nightmare? they still were willing to fight and keep the honour of the country. Another factor that helped blacks gain civil rights was the peaceful protests such as the Montgominary Bus Boycott in 1955. Where a black woman, Rosa Parks, was arrested for refusing to move to the Negro section of a bus in Montgomery because blacks knew they had to give up their seats to white people if they wished to sit down. Rosa was fined $10, which was a lot in those days for an old black woman. The blacks were enraged with this, as she was an elderly woman so they decided to stage a one-day local boycott of the bus system to protest her arrest. In the end the bus company found themselves in a difficult position because Black?s made up 75% of the buses customers, as they didn?t have enough money to own a car or any other means of transport. If the bus would have charged Rosa and fined her then they would loose most their customers. After a protracted boycott of the Montgomery Bus Company forced it to desegregate its facilities, This type of victorious demonstration was heard around the country and was seen as a break though in black history as they were able to achieve something without using and type of violence. Striking and boycotting spread rapidly to other communities. During the period from 1955 to 1960, some progress was made toward integrating schools and other public facilities in the upper South and the Border States. In conclusion I believe that television media was an important aspect of Black people achieving Civil Rights but it couldn?t have been achieved without everything else I have explained. Without people such as Malcolm X, Martin Luther King and the American Presidents television wouldn?t have been used to aid Black people in gaining civil rights. These people used the media to its best advantage as it showed peoples protests and emotive speeches, which gave them the rights they had fought for as well as deserved for so long.

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