Essay on The Civil Rights Movement in Tennessee



Essay on The Civil Rights Movement in Tennessee

Tennessee has had a long history of civil rights activists who fought for the rights of African Americans from 1935-1968. The American history is rich in the sense that there were a number of fundamental events that shaped the civil rights movement and the flourishing of the black culture. Similarly, there were a number of noteworthy civil rights movement leaders that emerged and whose ideas and influence has been passed down and is relevant to date. Modern civil rights movements derive heavily from this rich history which formed the foundation of the major reforms that we have seen transform the society today in a bid to ensure that fundamental rights of the African American society are safeguarded (Dusdiak, 2011).Essay on The Civil Rights Movement in Tennessee

The civil rights movement cuts across different eras of American history through the struggle for political and social equality. The civil rights movement has evolved since the era of slavery, the Civil War, the Great Depression and continues to evolve even in today’s modern society. Tennessee has also seen a considerable stride in the evolution of the civil rights movement. The seed of the revolution that changed how the world viewed African American rights were planted by a group of college students in Nashville Tennessee. Among those who rose against the emancipation of the African American community was Congressman John Lewis who had the courage to stand for the rights of African Americans even when their lives were on the line (Lovett, 2006).



Essay on The Civil Rights Movement in Tennessee

Thesis Statement-essay on The Civil Rights Movement in Tennessee

This paper investigates the rich history of the civil rights movement in Tennessee. The national civil rights movement made significant strides in fighting for African American rights. Nonetheless, the foundation of this revolution could be traced not only from the influential activists who voiced out the concerns of the people but also from the unsung heroes in Tennessee who openly revolted against the unequal treatment of the African American communities.

A critical point in the history of the civil rights movement was the revolution against the segregation of white from African American students in schools. In Nashville College a unique group of students under the leadership of Rev. James Lawson led a revolution against the indifferent treatment of black students in the college. On February 13 1960, the students began carrying out sit ins in dinners, stores, lunch cafeteria counters and refused to budge even when assaulted by police officers. These students were assaulted, spat on, and subjected to all sorts of harmful and inhumane assault by whites but remained resolute in their pursuit for equal treatment. The protests escalated when on April 19th 1960 when the house of one of the leading civil rights lawyers, Alexander Looby, was attacked and his house destroyed by a bomb. This protests generated enough pressure to prompt the mayor to order the desegregation of the lunch counters in the college (The Tennessean, 2017).

The revolution against the separate but equal principle that was central to the Jim Crow laws embolden Tennesseans in their resolve to fight against the discrimination and segregations that was characteristic of schools during the nineteenth century. Black Tennesseans would carry out open demonstrations revolutions against unfair treatment by walking off jobs and going on strikes whenever they felt that they were being treated unfairly. They would also pressurize other private citizens and municipalities by moving to court to uphold their rights.  They engaged in campaigns to pressure the state to abolish laws that were racially exclusive such as the segregation laws. The resolve of black Tennesseans to fight for their rights was further strengthened by the Supreme Court’s decision in Brown v Board of Education of Topeka that abolished the principle of separate but equal and in so doing upheld the fundamental rights of African Americans to equality before the law (West, 1998).

Conclusion-essay on The Civil Rights Movement in Tennessee

American history is rich because of the courageous acts of activists who did not fear to stand by what they stood for. The resilience of the Nashville College Africa American students who fought against racial segregation and separates laws was a fundamental part of the national civil rights movement as it planted the seeds of revolution that later on grew to change how the world viewed the notion of racism and the right to equal enjoyment of rights. The heroes who fought for this rights are many and their actions and voices will not only form a fundamental part of American History but will also the present and future of America.










Dusdiak, M. (2011). Cold War Civil Rights: Race and the Image of American Democracy. Princeton University Press.

Lovett, B. (2006). The Civil Rights Movement in Tennessee: A Narrative History. University of Tennessee Press.

The Tennessean. (2017). Complete Coverage of The Civil Rights Movement in Nashville. The Tennessean.

West, C. (1998). The Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture. Tennesseee Historical Society.