Black Lives Matter and the Civil Rights Movement: How a New Generation of Social Activists Empower Previously Marginalized Groups

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In the fifty years between the movements, race relations in the United States changed and racism took on new forms. Not only that, the role of women and the LGBTQ+ community in these movements also changed. This thesis examines and compares the role of women and the LGBTQ+ community in the Civil Rights Movement and the Black Lives Matter movement. The core research question is as follows: How does the Black Lives Matter movement differ from the Civil Rights Movement concerning the role of women, the LGBTQ community, and the issues they advocate for? The relevance of this topic lies in the fact that the Black Lives Matter movement is a temporary racial justice movement, taking on systemic and institutional racism in contemporary American society while also imploring the theory of intersectionality to counter the specific forms of racism that women of color and LGBTQ+ people of color experience. Racism in America today evolved from the racism that the Civil Rights Movement fought against, but the Civil Rights Movement did not devote special attention to marginalized groups. According to Black Lives Matter, African Americans cannot reach true equality without the marginalized in the African American community being regarded as equal. This thesis will shed light on how the Black Lives Matter movement tries to accomplish equality for all African Americans and how this is different from the Civil Rights Movement.
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