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Oscar reflects continuing struggle from Freedom Movement

The struggle for equality during the Freedom Movement in the 1950’s continues in this year’s Oscar nominations that have been criticized for lacking diversity. The Oscar nominations should be a representation of actors who are honored for the differences that defines them as individuals.

Racism is one of the biggest social issues society has faced throughout history. Although the fight for equality is ongoing, progress in race relations improves every day. In the 1950’s, most people were afraid to speak out and stand against discrimination because of segregation between the races. The African American Civil Rights movement captured the struggles of an important social movement in the United States.

The goal of the Civil Rights movement was to outlaw racial discrimination against black Americans. The struggle against racism and segregation infiltrated mainstream American culture through images of police brutality, which included assault by batons, attack dogs and water cannons. In Montgomery, Ala. in 1955, Rosa Parks started a revolution. She was arrested after refusing to give up her seat at the front of the bus, which was reserved for white passengers, and moved to the back of the bus.

According to RosaParks.com, Rosa Parks said, “People always say I didn’t give up my seat because I was tired, but that isn’t true. No, the only tired I was, was tired of giving in.” In an article by the History Channel, her action triggered the American Civil Rights movement of the 20th century.

Today, African Americans are still fighting for their rights like Parks did. Recently, Hollywood has had to make some adjustments because of the lack of racial diversity in this year’s Oscar nominations. A-list directors and actors like Spike Lee, Will Smith and his wife Jada Pinkett-Smith have decided not to attend the Oscars ceremony later this month. The decision is an act of protest over their concerns on the lack of diversity in the nominations.

The Oscar nominations are just one representation of where we have come to as the world is evolving today.

“The Oscar nominations are representing the potential it has to grow because the Oscars want to represent people who work the hardest to be where they are now,” said Nessa Westbrook, a health administration major on the Clarkston campus.

“If the boycott didn’t start this year then no one would see the lack of diversity it lacks, said Melat Tezera, an arts major on the Clarkston campus.

It is clear to see that progress has taken place since the Freedom Movement. The public is gaining awareness and becoming more educated about the social issues in the world. In the 1950’s that is what Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks did- speak up and spread awareness of racial injustice in America. In today’s society, people are more accepting of diversity due to the history that is behind the Freedom Movement.

The struggles of the Freedom Movement led to the progress that we enjoy in diversity today.

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