More than a hundred years ago the Europeans brought slaves to North America. The
blacks found themselves in the midst of prejudice whites with no way out. When the blacks came
over Jim Crow laws were incorporated. With these laws it was near impossible for blacks to rise
in the white world. Booker T. Washington was the first black to rise to any prominence in this
time. In the early 1900's blacks however began to fight back. In 1909 black advancement
organizations began to increase all over North America. Unfortunately with the rise of these
groups also came the rise of racist white groups like the Ku Klux Klan and others brutally killing
blacks. All blacks coming into N. America were being brought into a very hostile environment.
The first sign of blacks becoming more equal was the blacks to fight in the World War.
For the first time they were looked upon as war veterans instead of black slaves. Although
progress was beginning a black man named Garvey believed that the whites would never change,
because of this he started an association called "Back to Africa". At the coming of the Second
World War, blacks participating in the war were being more important positions than ever before.
Franklin Roosevelt was the first president to make a strong contribution to the Civil
Rights movement. He had signed a declaration that stated no one could be discriminated in the
work place and other areas based on race. Also the high court passed a law that enabled black
children to have the same education opportunities as white children.
It was in December 1955 that Rosa Parks made a big step for civil rights by doing a very
small but courageous thing. She was arrested for not giving up her seat to a white man on a bus,
which broke one of the many Jim Crow laws. With that one action black activist hired Martin
Luther King Jr. to boycott the bus laws. This boycott of the Jim Crow transportation laws was a
complete success, launching Martin Luther King Jr. into national stardom with the
accomplishment. King often acted on and admired the ways of M. Gandhi. Soon blacks all over
began to non-violently protest many segregated places. In turn many places were desegregated.
President John F. Kennedy was a strong force also in the fight for black civil rights and his
assassination in 1963 did cause setbacks. The blacks in the North felt that they had to do more
than the blacks in the South to make a difference but they didn't have a voice. That was until
Malcolm X joined the voice of Martin Luther King Jr. Malcolm X did make a difference but he
was not liked by many whites and even was strongly disliked by black Muslims. Soon later black
Muslims shot and killed Malcolm X, not much later Martin Luther King Jr. was also assassinated,
and another great voice was silenced.
Jesse Jackson arose the killing in 1965. He started many organizations to help support
blacks and civil rights. Also to show that the equality between blacks and whites was getting
stronger Jackson ran for President of the United States in both 1984 and 1988, not only becoming
a threat in the civil rights movement but as a political icon also. His message was and still is well
liked by both blacks and whites, as he sends the message of true equality and not just power to
blacks. Poverty, education, and racism are still part of today's society and in political battle with
each other, but the efforts of all the blacks are paying off for everyone. The world does seem to
be getting better.