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Leadership of Civil Rights Movements

Coalitions throughout the history of America have been formed to challenge the systems of society (Walton, 82).In politics, groups organize themselves to support ideals and objectives they are striving to accomplish.Within these groups the majority overwhelms the views of minorities, and in the case of United States, ignores most minority groups.By forming coalitions, people who shared beliefs became stronger as a group than individuals.For any group to make progress or gain recognition in the political or national arena; they must be organized and persistent.In order to succeed in a movement coalition, they need an individual who stands out, speaks out, provides an image of what supporting members are representing.It is the leader who gives the coalition heart and expresses their beliefs and values against the current society.
Although Civil Rights Movements have similar objectives, the leadership often determines the route and process each coalition uses to convey its message and represent its cause.The NAACP for example was founded with only one African American representative, W. E. B. Du Bois, and several upper-middle-class white Protestants and Jews on the hundredth anniversary of Abraham Lincoln (Walton, 95).This northern-based coalition is significant because few coalitions were successful with black-white representation.In 1920 James Weldon Johnson was appointed executive director which causes a shift in African American involvement, giving the campaign more support.Leadership of the NAACP used the strategy of lobbying initially (96).It proved to be rather unsuccessful.Significantly for the movement from the NAACP was its litigation
strategy from 1930 to 1950; this movement effectively saw two important cases in Brown v. Board of Education, and Smith v. Allwright.Continuing to be more conservative, the NAACP has been criticized often for its reservation towards more forceful changes (Marable…

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