Sunday, September 19, 2010

"Eyes on the Prize"

The film, Eyes on the Prize, is a documentary of African Americans fight, in the south, against the white man’s prejudice. African Americans have struggled for years to achieve the same equal rights and opportunities as white Americans. Ethnic groups have common cultural characteristics that separate them from others within a given population. The film, Eyes on the Prize, portrays the struggle of a specific ethnic group, African Americans, within the American population. Racism refers to explicit beliefs in racial supremacy such as before the civil rights movement in the United States. Eyes on the Prize show racism in the United States
The main factors that lead to the emergence of this movement at this time were; The Supreme Court rules on the landmark case Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kans., unanimously agreeing that segregation in public schools is unconstitutional. The ruling paves the way for large-scale desegregation. The decision overturns the 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson ruling that sanctioned "separate but equal" segregation of the races, ruling that "separate educational facilities are inherently unequal." It is a victory for NAACP attorney Thurgood Marshall, who will later return to the Supreme Court as the nation's first black justice. The Fourteen-year-old Chicagoan Emmett Till is visiting family in Mississippi when he is kidnapped, brutally beaten, shot, and dumped in the Tallahatchie River for allegedly whistling at a white woman. Two white men, J. W. Milam and Roy Bryant, are arrested for the murder and acquitted by an all-white jury. They later boast about committing the murder in a Look magazine interview. The case becomes a cause célèbre of the civil rights movement. An NAACP member Rosa Parks refuses to give up her seat at the front of the "colored section" of a bus to a white passenger, defying a southern custom of the time. In response to her arrest the Montgomery black community launches a bus boycott, which will last for more than a year, until the buses are desegregated Dec. 21, 1956. As newly elected president of the Montgomery Improvement Association (MIA), Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., is instrumental in leading the boycott. Martin Luther King, Charles K. Steele, and Fred L. Shuttlesworth establish the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, of which King is made the first president. The SCLC becomes a major force in organizing the civil rights movement and bases its principles on nonviolence and civil disobedience. According to King, it is essential that the civil rights movement not sink to the level of the racists and hatemonger who oppose them: "We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline," he urges.
The main factors I’ve learned about the civil rights movement throughout my school years and outside of school were topics such as NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People).  Segregation between African Americans and white people, African American couldn’t sit near Caucasian’s by any means necessary or chastise them or there were serious consequences African Americans had to pay. Everything was separate and not equal, from using the same water fountain or restroom to segregated schools.  African American students couldn’t attend the same school institutions with Caucasian’s students.  I also learned about famous supporters and activists who were involved with the civil rights movement such as Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks and Thurgood Marshall. I also learned about the famous court cases such as the Emmett Till case and Brown v. Board of Education case as well.
I will like to learn more on the struggles about the protest of the civil rights movement.  And learn more in-depth and behind the scenes of the civil right movements and the famous court cases that were taken place around this era. And hear more survivor’s stories on the movement and what the movement really meant to them.