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Civil Rights has evolved over the last couple of decades. Though segregation ended in 1964, racism continued to be an issue. Since the civil rights movement, there have been several unfortunate events that sparked racial controversy. Although there’s still racial tension, many people of all races have united across America to protest in an attempt to spread the idea of equality. Dr. Martin Luther King was an esteemed civil rights activist who made a monumental impact on American society in the 1950s and 1960s. As a matter of fact, some of his tactics were so influential they’re still being used today.
Racism continued to be an issue after the civil rights movement. Black and white people were legally equal. Yet, Some people still believed things should remain the same and did not wish to accept such a drastic change. On March 3, 1991 African-American Taxi driver Rodney King was brutally beaten during a routine traffic stop by 4 white police officers. All officers were eventually acquitted and not charged. This horrendous event caused an outrage in the black community. The Los Angeles Riots lasted for 6 days during which 63 people were killed. Unlike Dr. King’s protests the riots were not peaceful. Yet, similarly the African-American community banded together and their voices were heard. Unfortunately this was not the last time such a crude act plagued our society.
On February 26, 2012 17 year old Trayvon Martin was fatally shot by George Zimmerman on his way home from a store run in Sanford, Florida. Trayvon had just purchased a bag of skittles and a can of Arizona Tea and was walking back to his family’s home, when George Zimmerman approached him. The two had an altercation which resulted in Trayvon being shot in the chest and dying shortly thereafter. On July 13, 2015, Sandra Bland, a 28 year old African-American woman was found hanged in her cell 3 days after her problematic arrest. Her demise was followed by several protests. Her arrest was protested against. Protesters also disputed her cause of death and alleged racial violence against her. These events were extremely sorrowful, and abhorrent, yet they also created something beautiful. The black community united for Trayvon, Sandra and anyone else who had fallen victim to racism.
Black lives Matter is an international activist movement created in the black community. The movement campaigns against violence and racism against black people, much like Martin Luther King, whom pushed for equality with peaceful protest. These two movements are half a century apart yet they have a plethora of similarities. Martin Luther King’s movement and legacy is also manifesting through other movements such as March for Our lives. March for our lives was a student orchestrated demonstration for tighter gun control. Between 200, 000 – 800, 000 people marched in support of this cause. Martin Luther King led a 5 day 50 mile march. These marches were organized to demonstrate the African – American citizens right to vote.
Civil Rights movements today have adopted quite a few phenomenal tactics from Martin Luther King. Maybe one day these movements will have as immense as an impact Dr. King had on society. Only time will tell.
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