Written by Tiaira Witherspoon

Civil Rights Movement - 2014 Edit

Being an African American living in this world has never been easy. It’s sad that everyday you have to worry about being judged or misinterpret. It’s even harder for African American women who have kids, especially a son because she has to live in fear knowing that her son can be a target just because he may look intimidating to a cop. No parent wants to bury their child and just the thought of not seeing your child who you see every day is tragic. The overwhelming feeling that an African American mother has to go through is a feeling that no one else will ever understand. For one, burying your child is tough as it is. Then, there are questions that need to be answered, such as, “what did my child do to deserve this?” The biggest question of them all is “Will my son ever get justice?”. In the CNN interview with the mothers of the victims Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, and Sean Bell they were each asked the question “will you ever be whole again” and each of them replied by shaking their head saying no and saying “losing my son is like losing a part of my body” and “it feels like a nightmare like a knife is in me and I am walking around in pain”. In the words of Trayvon Martin’s father, “I’d give anything to have him here, even my own life”. From this day forward everyone wants to know why is that African American men, women and even children getting killed by police and why they don’t get justice. Then again there are others that are thinking us as African Americans can’t complain because why is that everyday we can kill each other and there is no problem but once someone from a different race kills us its racism all over again.

Looking at all of the situations that have happened with African Americans getting killed by police starting from Oscar Grant to Michael Brown all tie back to when the Civil Rights movement in 1954-1968. The Civil Rights movement goals were to end racial segregation against African Americans and to secure legal recognition and federal protection of the citizenship rights listed in the Constitution and federal law. With the help of one of the advocates for nonviolent social change, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr organized peaceful protest which created controversy between the protesters and police. Police used police dogs to attack people from trying to stop the protesting and they also used fire hoses and they thought that was going to stop people from marching for what they believed in but they failed to realize that wasn’t going to stop them from spreading the peaceful message that African Americans deserve the same rights just like everyone else. The Civil Rights Movement helped us African Americans speak up for ourselves in what we believed. Before, blacks weren’t able to use the same restroom as whites but now we can. At first we couldn’t even sit in the front of the bus and now we can. Now, looking back from 1954 to 2014 the biggest question is has things gotten better or worse? And if situations are still happening how can we stop it ?.

This has been happening for far longer than we may think. Though from the days from MLK we believe we have gotten better, the recent shootings of African Americans all over America say otherwise. People seem to forget that even though racism isn’t as visible as it was in the 1950’s, it still exists. In order to stop this violence we as people need to come to an understanding and help each other become one. It all starts with the understanding that our actions can and will affect our future and that no one’s son should be buried because of them or because of the color of their skin.