7.2.9 Practice American Lit. Adam Cooper

7.2.9 Practice: Complete Your Assignment
Practice American Literature and Composition
Points Possible: 40
Name: Adam Cooper RHS
Date: 12/3/2018
Hundreds of students protesting segregation were confronted by violence from police, police dogs, and fire
hoses in Alabama. The Birmingham Campaign of 1963-64 was a key event in the success of the Civil Rights Movement
that saw the Birmingham jails full of students. This campaign led to President Kennedy submitting his Civil rights bill to
congress and the achievement of another goal in the civil rights movement. Why did so many young people decide to
become activists for social justice?
Several activists interviewed for the Civil Rights History Project were in elementary school when they joined the
movement. Freeman Hrabowski was 12 years old when he was inspired to march in the Birmingham Children’s Crusade
of 1963. Hrabowski told how Dr. King told him and the other children, “What you do this day will have an impact on
children yet unborn.” He continues, “I’ll never forget that. I didn’t even understand it, but I knew it was powerful,
powerful, very powerful.” Hrabowski went on to become president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County,
where he has made extraordinary strides to support African American students who pursue math and science degrees.
As a child, Clara Luper attended many meetings of the NAACP Youth Council in Oklahoma City because her
mother, Marilyn, was the leader of this group. She remembers, “We were having an NAACP Youth Council meeting, and I
was eight years old at that time. “We were having an NAACP Youth Council meeting, and I was eight years old at that
time. That’s how I can remember that I was not ten years old. And I – we were talking about our experiences and our
negotiation – and I suggested, made a motion that we would go down to Katz Drug Store and just sit, just sit and sit until
they served us.” This protest led to the desegregation of the drug store’s lunch counter in Oklahoma City.
Ezell Blair Jr., 18; Franklin McCain, 19; Joseph
McNeil, 17; and David Richmond, 18, all students at
North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State
University — made their stand on Feb. 1, 1960. Within
three days, they were joined by some 300 others. The
results of the Greensboro sit-ins probably showed more
than anything the power that a small group of students
could have in a non-violent protest. In an interview in
2005 Mr. McCain said, “Inevitably, people ask me, ‘What
can I do?’” “What kind of question is that? Look around
you. Once you identify what you want to do, don’t ask
for the masses to help you, because they won’t come.”
The movement completely altered the lives of young activists. Many of them experienced great success as
lawyers, professors, politicians, and leaders of their own communities and other social justice movements. They joined
the fight to not only shape their own futures, but to also make better opportunities for the generations that came
behind them in a more objective world.
Works Cited:
1. https://www.loc.gov/collections/civil-rights-history-project/articles-and-essays/youth-in-the-civil-rightsmovement/
2. By Maggie Astor https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/05/us/student-protest-movements.html
3. http://www.newseum.org/exhibits/current/make-some-noise-students-and-the-civil-rights-movement/
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