You must then read your classmates’ responses. After you have read their responses, you must respond to TWO of your classmates by the last day of the academic week at 11:59 pm ET. These are called your PEER RESPONSES. Each Peer Response is worth 10 points and should be 100 words in length, which is equal to about 0.4 page of double-spaced writing in Arial, Calibri, or Times New Roman 12 point font in a Word document.
1. Discussion question: How did the African American civil rights movement evolve in the late 50s and early 60s? What successes and setbacks did the movement encounter? Why?
Response: African Americans were segregated and discriminated against. There were signs where “color” people signs would only be utilized in specific locations versus the “white” only signs that were more lenient. Thus, the African-American civil rights movement evolved in the late ’50s and early ’60s. The catalyst of the civil rights movement started with students sitting at segregated lunch tables that were a, white-only table at a North Carolina department store. Therefore, these sit-ins became the usual as protestors could make a change by resistance (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2018).
Next were the bus and train rides where African Americans, who were called freedom riders, would sit on segregated transit rides. As a result of this, there was strong opposition from the whites, and members of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) attacked the freedom bus riders, burned one of the buses, and attacked the protesters. Over time, the movement gained more protestors; one successful movement encounter was James Meredith, the first African American accepted to a separated white-only university, which initiated riots (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2018). Hence, this created a setback as there was violence from the rioters, and the government had to get involved to maintain order.
In conclusion, the civil rights movement was becoming more active in resisting the segregation and discrimination of African Americans. Martin Luther King Jr. was one of the civil rights leaders who advocated for the civil rights of African Americans. Therefore, due to their strenuous efforts, today marks a different age where there are civil rights for race, gender, etc.
Samuel Abramson et al., “The Sixties,” Samuel Abramson, ed., in The American Yawp, eds. Joseph Locke and Ben Wright (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2018).
Discussion question: What were the goals of Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society? Assess the goals of one program and compare its status today compared to the program’s origins.
Response 2: One of the lesser-known programs to come out of President Johnson’s Great Society was the Community Action Program (CAP) and yet it was virtually a failure from the start due to Johnson’s inability to work with Congress (Flanagan, 2001). Certain programs are better left to the states and local municipalities to manage. To further this, these were unreal expectations that poverty could be eliminated through government. The Johnson Administrations goals were to eradicate poverty, give job training, upgrade of economic status, and delivery of social services with less control of Congress (Flanagan, 2001). This was just another attempt to follow in the footsteps of the New Deal and the Fair Deal and further pull more Americans into the social welfare system. Instead, it sounded more like a utopia where anyone who is unwilling to work could find a haven in the form of financial and medical benefit while being further entangled in other government handouts. This was evident by Johnson remarks in which he wanted to help people who never had real jobs or are not “equipped” to handle one (Burch, 2017). This to me was the first ingredient in his formula for “eradicating” poverty.
Johnson’s speech to the University of Michigan in 1964 is more of the same rhetoric in which he mentions fixing schools, its overcrowding problem and inadequate learning (“Remarks at the University of Michigan | The American Presidency Project,” n.d.). All well intentioned, but with the creation of the Secretary of Education and more overreach, school issues are just that, still issues with little solution. This is evident in my household and the feedback I hear from my wife who is a teacher and sees the same failed programs or overcrowding. Ultimately there was a suspicious enough Congress unwilling to allow Johnson to have full control over every aspect of the Great Society. Johnsons remarks are still felt across the political spectrum today as more and more politicians talk about how government can help and yet do little to prop up the things that government should already be doing, such as providing emergency services, military, and infrastructure. We all can see just how that is going every time we hit a pothole or must wait even longer for emergency services. And even if not, everyone affirms to the ladder, government should only intervene for a brief period and not meant to be a permanent relationship with the people. What we are left with today from the Great Society are safety nets such as Medicare, food stamps, Head Start and other programs like federal spending for arts and literature (Chapters 2013b). While these programs are safety nets and are needed, I wonder for how long one might truly need them and ask how involved government should be.
Burch, J. R. (2017). “The Great Society and the War on poverty: An Economic Legacy in Essays and Documents.” Greenwood.
Flanagan, R. (2001). “Lyndon Johnson, Community Action, and Management of the Administrative State.” Presidential Studies Quarterly, 31(4), 585–608.
“Remarks at the University of Michigan | The American Presidency Project.” n.d.
2013b. “27. The Sixties | THE AMERICAN YAWP.” June 7, 2013.