Eyes On The Prize Essay, Research Paper
This week, we saw the documentary Eyes on the Prize: Volume 1 . There was two parts to the documentary: Awakenings, and Fighting Back.
In 1955-1956, there was a boycott of public transportation in effect because of the segregation. On December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks was arrested by Montgomery police for violating a local segregation ordinance by refusing to give up her seat on a city bus to a white man. The goal was to desegregate the buses running in the city. At first, it started out as a very local activity that didn t interest the nation. The end of the 11-month boycott has brought the civil rights movement brought under the spotlight. A very young Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. led the boycott in Montgomery, Alabama. The strike crippled the bus companies, but the white segregationists were very persistent. They would not allow desegregation. Other cities like Dallas, Texas and Little Rock, Arkansas broke down and desegregated under economic and Black pressure, but Montgomery, Alabama wouldn t budge. White women were very sympathetic to Black women and gave them rides in the car. In 1956, the Supreme Court of the U.S declared segregation in buses unconstitutional. Montgomery, Alabama was forced to desegregate.
The infamous Reverend William Carter said, Desegregation is against the Bible . The issue was desegregation of the public school system. The Supreme Court decision of Brown V.S Board of Education in 1954 reversed the earlier decision of the Plessy V.S Ferguson, and stated Separate educational facilities are inherently unequal . This decision sends a firestorm through the heart of both Black and White America. This meant that the public schools had to integrate. In the peaceful town of Little Rock, Arkansas the issue was raised in 1957 when nine Black teens attempted to go to Central High School, which was not integrated and had no intention to integrate. Governor Orval Faubas ordered state troops to stop the nine kids from attending the school. The students and parents went back to court with the help of NAACP. Governor Faubus pulled out the troops and left it up to the city police to protect the kids from the mob. Eisenhower send in paratroopers to bring order to the town and Little Rock, Arkansas public school system had to be forcefully integrated.
The documentary was a very vivid record of the kind of racial violence that occurred during the 1950 s. When I look at this film, it helps me understand that all my rights that I take for granted came at a great price.