In the United States of America, the 1950s saw the emergence of key individuals in the building of the civil rights movement. The struggle for African Americans against their country’s institutionalized racism was highlighted by moments like Rosa Parks’ refusal to give up her seat on a segregated bus in Montgomery, Alabama. A preacher by the name of Martin Luther King, Jr., spoke of nonviolence in his people’s fight for equality. But at the turn of the decade, the civil rights movement trended a different way.
While the U.S. Supreme Court had already ruled against denying citizens from participation in elections, de facto racism in the country’s South kept countless African Americans from casting votes well into the 20th century. Despite the fact that African Americans represented roughly 70% of Fayette County, Tennessee’s population in 1960, before 1959 fewer than a dozen had voted. In contrast to other southern states, Tennessee had none of the poll taxes or literacy tests that would formally restrict voting. James F.
Led by the nonviolent action organization Operation Rescue, thousands of mostly working and middle class Christians from Evangelical and Catholic denominations waged a massive sit-in campaign between 1987 and 1990 to promote pro-life values. The campaign culminated in a nationally organized multi-year wave of nonviolent blockades of medical clinics. Legal action by women’s organizations and new federal laws put a stop to the campaign.