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1) write a 200 word response to the students You can amplify on a point made, raise a related point, discuss the issue in relation to other documents, agree or disagree with supporting evidence, and/or raise new informed questions that we should all think about. Length of response essay: at least one thoughtful, well-developed, and well-supported paragraph. These are response essays, not “good job” notes- show us that you’re thinking deeply about this material and that you’re making additional connections to our material.

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Students essay:

In the film, “Rise! The African Americans- Many Rivers to Cross”, we learn about the segregation of the schools in the south in the 1960’s. During this time period, the African American students and the white students were seperated when it came to their education. The white Americans really did not enjoy having the African Americans in the same schools as their own children. In the 1960’s there was a “Seperate but Equal” doctrine put into effect. Separate but equal was a legal doctrine in United States constitutional law according to which racial segregation did not violate the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, adopted during the Reconstruction Era, which guaranteed “equal protection” under the law to all citizens. With this, the white folk were able to claim that intergrating schools would be against their own civil rights, so with a majority rule schools were kept segregated.

On November 14th, 1960, Ruby Bridges was the first African American child escorted to a Souther white school that would soon be the first intergrated school. This event caused many outburts among the community. Parents of the school pulled their children out of school because they were so disgusted by the thought of having their children enrolled in an intergrated school. With the Brown V. Board of Education of 1954, the Seperate but Equal law was deemed unconstitutional, but it was still 6 years until the intergrating had begun. For example, in 1957 nine African American students attemtped to desegregate a high school in Little Rock, Arkansas. Arkansas National Guard had blocked their way, and children in the high school were forced to withdraw for their own safety against the “Little Rock Nine” The Ku Klux Klan was there to threaten these nine students who just wanted to get an education like everyone esle was (Schaller 930). With these event in the past, many people were afraid for the day Ruby Bridges took a stand as a six year old and was the first successful intergrated student in the south.

Source 28.3 demonstrates the intense power of a simple gesture. Two athletes of the 1968 Mexico City Olympics raised their fist in the Black Power salute after winning the gold and bronze medal (Schaller S8-5). This was an iconic moment for the U.S because we had African Americans on our Olympic team for one of the first times, so that makes what these two olympians very acceptable. This was a time where there were still some people who did not want to see African Americans succeed just like everyone else could succeed. When these two athletes did their strong gesture, they were immediately expelled from the Games because it was too powerful for such a hated race to do.

This photo does not show any actions that need to be punished. This shows pride, which can be shown differently by different races, but because of all the prior protests and riots about the African Americans, this was seen as almost an act of defiance. We can assume that people thought the Black Power salute was a sign of disrespect to the rest of the country, and that it was something that was needing to be punished immediately for. Although, when other races showed their pride, there was not as much backlash on them as there was on these to athletes. Officials reacted the way the did because they believed that these two thought they were more powerful and important than everyone else, and because of the color of their skin, they were instantly punished for being happy of their accomplishments.


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