A Comparison of the African-American Civil Rights Movement and Women's Suffrage

This historical analysis and comparison  was completed by a student of American History utilizing resources available through the Google Cultural Institute (GCI) and other internet resources. The origin of the source if not from GCI is given in respective captions and additional details are available upon request.

African-Americans strived to have the same rights as white people and end discrimination. Here, an African-American is protesting the Jim Crow Laws, which discriminated against African-Americans (especially in the South).
African-Americans wanted to have equality and freedom. They wanted to end discrimination in the workplace and other public places, and protection from the law. The Civil Rights Movement took place during the 1950's-1960's.
Schools used to be segregated, and African-Americans wanted to integrate public schools. Colored schools were dirtier and did not have the same resources as white schools, so African-Americans wanted to have the same access to good education as white people.
Rosa Parks was a civil rights activist who refused to give up her seat to a white person on a bus. This historic bus is located in the Henry Ford Museum. Her actions started the Montgomery Bus Boycott, which lasted 381 days. (Crash Course - Civil Rights and the 1950's)
Rosa Parks was then arrested for refusing to move to the back of the bus.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was an important civil rights leader. He was a reverend from Atlanta who became the first president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). (The History Learning Site)
The goal of the SCLC was to abolish segregation and advance civil rights of African-Americans. (The History Learning Site)
Malcolm X was another civil rights leader who joined the Nation of Islam and was appointed to be its national spokesman. Malcolm X had slightly more radical ideas than Dr. King. (Malcolm X)
The Little Rock Nine were nine African-American students who were the first to integrate Little Rock Central High School. Elizabeth Eckford was one of those students. (The Ernest Green Story)
The Little Rock Nine's integration caused some controversy and resulted in federal troops being called in to escort them to school. (The Ernest Green Story)
The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom occurred on August 28, 1963. A couple hundred thousand people gathered in Washington D.C. for the rally to support civil rights. This is where Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his famous "I Have a Dream" speech. (History.com)
The Civil Rights Act of 1964, signed into law by Lyndon B. Johnson, outlawed discrimination and segregation in jobs, schools, and public places. (History.com)
In 1965, the Voting Rights Act became law, and allowed African-Americans to vote. (History.house.gov)
The Fair Housing Act was passed in 1968. It outlawed the discrimination of race, sex, and religion when it came to selling or renting housing. (History.house.gov)
During the early 1900's, many women focused on gaining the right to vote and access to public education. This is called First Wave Feminism, or more specifically, the Women's Suffrage Movement.
Alice Paul was a famous suffragette who was arrested many times during the early 1900's. Her and Lucy Burns started the National Woman's Party. Much later, Paul helped push the Equal Rights Amendment through Congress in 1970. (National Women's History Museum)
Members of the National Woman's Party held signs in front of the White House, campaigning for women's suffrage. Many of those suffragettes were arrested.
The suffragettes in front of the White House held up flags such as this one.
Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Stanton were suffragettes who established the National Women Suffrage Association (NWSA).
The NWSA believed in suffrage for everyone in America. It also focused on equal pay and ending workplace gender discrimination. (Historynet.com)
The Fist was sculpted by Alice Morgan Wright, a suffragette. It was sculpted a year after women gained the right to vote. The fist represents the long struggle for women's suffrage and equality. (AlbanyInstitute.org)
The Nineteenth Amendment was passed in 1920, which granted women the right to vote.
There were many more people involved in the Civil Rights Movement than in the Women's Suffrage Movement. During the 1960's, technology was more advanced and allowed people across the country to learn about injustices happening. Women's suffrage occurred during the 1920's, and poorer communication/technology resulted in less people hearing about it and getting involved.
The Women's Suffrage Movement included mostly all females, while both men and women were involved in the Civil Rights Movement. The Women's Suffrage Movement was more about the rights of women, so not as many men were involved.
By the 1960's, white women (who were a part of the suffrage movement) had more rights than African-Americans. White women have been allowed to vote since 1920, but African-Americans were only granted the right to vote in 1965.
The goals of the Civil Rights and Women's Suffrage Movements were similar - they both were fighting for equal rights, the ending of discrimination, and greater access to education/jobs.
Even though First Wave Feminism/the Women's Suffrage Movement fought for equal pay and ending gender discrimination, it mainly focused on gaining women the right to vote. The African-American Civil Rights Movement focused on numerous other things, such as the integration of schools, ending discrimination, and protection from the law.
Both movements resulted in the legislation passing for each group to have the right to vote (the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment for women and the passage of the Voting Rights Act for African-Americans).
Even though both groups were successful in achieving their respective goals, I believe the African-Americans were more successful in their endeavors.
First, more people supported the Civil Rights Movement. Suffragettes would have never been able to have as many women gathered together for a march in Washington, D.C. More supporters allowed for more leaders and organizations to help further the group's goals.
African-Americans had more to work towards during the 1960's than women in the 1920's. African-Americans strived to have full citizenship and integration, which is something that women already had. Even though they had more to work towards, they still achieved their goal of gaining full rights and ending segregation.
The suffragettes mainly focused on one thing - gaining women the right to vote. They achieved that goal, but African-Americans were focusing on so much more. They wanted to end discrimination in public places, have protection from the law, integrate into public schools, and have voting rights. All of those goals were achieved by the end of the Civil Rights Movement.
African-Americans have come so much farther regarding citizenship than women. Even though women were not treated equally, they were never lynched or ignored by the police. African-Americans were thought to be a lesser race than white people during the past 200 years, and they have come as far as gaining full rights and ending discrimination by the end of the 20th century.
Much more legislation was passed that allowed African-Americans to achieve their goals. Some of the legislation includes the Equal Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act, and the Fair Housing Act. The Civil Rights Movement had many more goals, and it was still successful in achieving those goals.
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