Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Ain't Scared of Your Jails

Jordan Dunlea
English 1110 10:10am
Mike Lohre
Exploration 3- King’s Dream
            Martin Luther King Jr. was such an inspirational figure in history that even today we set aside one day every year in memory of his life and accomplishments.  The actions that made him famous were his strides towards equality for black people and an end to racism/segregation.  Direct action was one of the methods he employed to achieve his goals but it is important to note that his form of direct action was non-violent.  Direct action is when people take action to shed light on a problem and then work towards an end to said problem.  It involves clear goals that the participants strive for and the entire group must be very unified or else the strategy is bound to fail.  In the case of the Civil Rights Movement direct action was seen in demonstrations such as the bus boycotts, the sit-ins and the freedom rides.  I felt the most memorable moment in the Nashville movement was when the activists first started their sit-ins and nobody really knew how to react.  I felt this was important because people had never seen such behavior before and it left a big impact on the way people felt about the issue which caused a lot more people to flock to the movement.  I thought the mayor of Nashville was a good source of info in the film as he provided a political perspective and the perspective of a white man.  Possibly my favorite line in the film is when he says “Sometimes a man has to answer, and not a politician” which was referring to questions asking if it was morally right to segregate/discriminate, and at that point he sided with the civil rights activists.
A lot can be learned from this movement that can still apply to modern life.  One is that violence is not the solution to our problems.  Another lesson is that people can accomplish so much when they are unified under one just cause, especially a cause they are willing to suffer and die for.  I thought a lot of the interviews with activists like John Luis stood out because he provided a perspective of what it was like on “the front lines” of the movement.  He is also an interesting person to look into because he is now a senator which is quite a jump in political power from somebody who didn’t even have equal rights with white people only 50 years ago.  I enjoyed this film, as it gave a unique perspective on the civil rights movement and was full of useful information.

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