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Published: Friday 25th of January 2013
Civil Rights and the American experienceThe American struggle for civil rights is discussed very frequently even today with particular emphasis on the things the activists did during the 1960s to ensure the equality of rights and opportunities that the black population was lacking compared to their white colleagues. Names that always come up in this discussion are such as Martin Luther King Jr. or Malcolm X. The activist leaders who affected progress by civil disobedience and boycotts. They made sure that the civil rights struggle went all the way to achieve equality before the law for African Americans as well as opportunities comparable to those of their white peers in the economic realm. The high point in the American Civil Rights struggle came on March 1963 as the march called "Jobs and Freedom" arrived in Washington D. C. promoting equality in rights and job chances. At the time, employment rates were one of the most egregious signs of inequality. Two white men held a job for every black man. That meant that the unemployment rate for blacks was 10% while it was 5% for whites. So, there is a side to the Civil Rights achievements that people often ignore: it boosted the economy and brought into the labor force a massive amount of people that had been ignored previously. This shows us that fighting evils such as discrimination, racism, and segregation can help everybody by pushing the economy forward.
Civil Rights in the US brought about the economic advancement of the black American citizens. This movement's achievements created an economic middle class comprised of black American citizens which were previously either unknown or disproportionately small. This was made evident in 1974 when Time magazine published an article entitled "Race: America's Rising Black Middle Class." The article explained how the developments of the 1960's continuously improved the development of the economic status in the American black community. The results brought forward by the Civil Rights movement came in the form of several new enacted laws that replaced previous perceptions and beliefs in the general public in the country. Growth became the new popular priority. Those same new laws expanded economic opportunities and job availability for black Americans that were, at last, well paid, at least comparable in wages with jobs that the members of the white community could obtain. Black Americans started to show up in more jobs than before - jobs like managerial positions that were previously just not available to them. Employers changed as well as they slowly altered their positions to encompass all races and be inclusive. It was also crucial that black citizens gained a way to attain a better quality of education that was also previously unavailable for them and that, in turn, increased their chances for economic well being. These results became apparent in the 1970s as the new legislation and federal actions gave the black community a voice that could be heard just as loudly as the voice of white America.This is why the outcome of the civil rights movement benefited everybody in the country, not only the colored community. The improvement in economic conditions was beneficial and felt by everybody, regardless of their race, because the economy expanded. The most recognized achievement was, of course, leaving behind (at least in principle) the ideas of racial discrimination and segregation. As the national industrial apparatus started taking in more black employees, the American workforce grew dramatically. This imparted extra momentum to the country's economy and fueled unprecedented growth. Black families became able to send their kids to good schools, even to college. South Carolina, for instance, grew its labor market from 5% to 20% regarding the black population joining the workforce in 7 years. This created capital and wealth. The long-delayed entrance of the black workers into the economy created a steady ascent for the whole country's economy. Last but not least, the Civil Rights movement developed the American democracy into a state of strength it never knew before. That opened the way for Indian Americans, Asian Americans, and the LGBT community to move forward and fight for their rights as well as they were now a political entity with a voice, culture and economic influence. That allowed them to express their complaints in powerful ways.
Summing up, the American Civil Rights Movement was the correct way to manifest the opposition of the black community against oppression, racism, segregation, inequality. Job opportunities were in the mix but not the only factor by any means and it benefited the whole country in the end. They achieved a leveling of the field for everybody, they advanced democracy, and they made black citizens, at last, peers to their white compatriots.