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Social Change Civil Rights

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September 4, 2003

*Eyes on the Prize*

The Civil Rights Movement was an influential period of social turmoil. Vast social changes occurred not only for the African Americans striving for equality, but for our nation as a whole, as many new ideologies were shaped, formed, and fashioned. The film "Eyes on the Prize" exemplifies the revolutionary amends brought on from this era.

In the case of Brown versus Board of Education, the Supreme Court ruled school segregation to be unconstitutional. This landmark case was a stepping stone in the long fought struggle for equal rights. Following the ruling many issues were left unsettled resulting in immeasurable violence, riots, and mobs. However, the main social problem to overcome is that of racism and inequality. Activists faced many dimensions of defiance in federal law, government, and education systems. This was exhibited in Little Rock, when nine African American teens were met by an angry mob as they attempted to attend their newly integrated school. Furthermore, federal law continued to be defied as the National Guard was sent to keep the students out. However, a development in its own occurred when President Eisenhower sent army officers to assist the students into school.

Social change from the movement begins at the individual level and ultimately concludes at the societal level. It also in different aspects touches upon the group, the organizational, and the institutional levels. For society as a whole to accept ethnicity; attitudes, beliefs, and values must first be shaped on the individual level. On the group level patterns of unity and acceptance are necessary to change. Social patterns and structure are essential at the organizational level in the battle for equality. However, I believe the main direction of the movement first sought institutional change essentially leading to a societal change in politics and social stratification involving African Americans (Vago, 5). For example, during the Meredith versus Mississippi conflict, the University of Mississippi campus seemingly turned into a battlefield as people were wounded and killed in the strive for changes in law, education, and government. Yet the monumental change was societal as Meredith, like the "Little Rock 9", acted as a symbol moving people from all walks of life.

Long-term change is a vital aspect of the Civil Rights Movement. For hundreds of years

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