The following essay by Kevin Perry, grade 9, is the second place winner in the Stuttgart Community African-American/Black History Month Essay Contest. The contest asked submitters to describe how they feel the Civil Rights Movement has helped unify and strengthen the community.
How the Civil Rights Movement Influenced our Community
By Kevin Perry
The Civil Rights movement has been one of the most unifying acts in the American history. It not only made us stronger as a country but it made us stronger as a people. Because of it many people have succeed great heights, such as General Ward. Without that movement our culture would not have such diversity. In my mind, that’s one of the best things that came out of the Civil Rights movement, Diversity. That is one of the things that has changed our community the most, and for the best.
As a result of the movement, people have come to live in peace with each other. Peace and harmony are one of the greatest and hardest achievements one could make, and to see a whole community achieve this is spectacular. Even as one walks through the halls of the school, one not only sees great friendships being made, but long lasting experiences. I believe that the Civil Rights movements cause this. It has given people a chance to know somebody from a different family, life, background, and ethnicity. Although people might not get along, when it comes down to it we are all brothers and sisters.
As people, we tend to think of different as bad. I believe that after the Civil Rights movement the American people changed their look on that a little. We have come to accept people no matter what they look like. Just as Dr. Martin Luther King jr. said “ I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” I think that as a community, we are the ones that can either make this happen or not. We have the power to either judge people on looks or character. After the Civil Rights movement we as a people chose to judge others on character.
Our civilization is based on what the people of our country would like done with our country. After the Civil Rights movement was the only time when this really was true. It was the only time when American citizens saw something wrong and came together to fix it. That is one of the reasons our country is so great. The fact that if one sees something wrong, that person has the power to fix it. That’s what the Civil Rights movement was about. Fixing a problem that the people saw necessary to fix.
After the Civil Rights movement African Americans in our country got more rights and were equals. Even though that’s what people said, it still wasn’t like that all the way. We are still growing as a country. And because we are growing as a country, we are still growing to bring equal rights to everyone. Not only equal rights, but equal opportunities. We now have a African American president roughly 50 years. I believe that we will keep growing to achieve even more equality in our country. I believe this will be achieved and it is thanks to the Civil Rights movement.