OP-ED: The Significance of the Civil Rights Movement

By Rev. Willie A. Douglas, Civil Rights & Social Justice Advocate

The Civil Rights Movement was never intended to be a Black-only movement. It was burned from GOD’S heart, in calling a group of individuals led by Mary White Ovington, founder of the NAACP, to be a revival of humanitarian love, in fight of the evils targeting African Americans.

Most of the leadership within several groups and organizations, through various units, has for the most part lost its grounding in the humanitarian love through faith.

Although the Movement lost its way, there’s still hope in the future of leadership through various groups and organizations refocusing on prevalent issues of concerns impacting the less fortunate, poor, and deprived communities. The fight for those who don’t have a voice needs to be revived. There are many issues that require addressing.

The amount of crime, especially among the youth, has been to a point that demands for all community and city leaders to get on the same agenda to stop the violence. Sad to say, the problems of the youth, as in years past, continue to begin at home where many children grow up in one-parent family units. This problem is overflowing into the school system.

There exists a jail-to-school pipeline, in my opinion, violations of federal school desegregation orders, along with a high juvenile crime rate. We need men to step up and be real and true leaders for our youth.

The Biblical verse of Job 14:7-9 declares that “there is hope for a tree, if it be cut down that it will sprout again.”

The Civil Rights Movement forgot that they were a spiritually-led movement, but shifted and became a Black movement. The racial bitterness in the Black community overwhelmed the spirit of reconciliation.

At this time, the tree was cut down. Today, some of the groups are little more than glorified ambulance chasers, trying to stir up something instead of solving something. They’re trying to get on the evening news instead of the tablets of God’s Heaven.

Today’s political parties are dividing righteousness and justice, with the Democrats pursuing social justice and some Republicans holding the line for life and marriage. You cannot have justice without


If you stand on righteousness, then you can reach justice. Only justice based in righteousness is honoring to God, and healthy and beneficial to the creation of people. Righteousness has a vertical dimension, and justice has a horizontal dimension, and it forms the cross of Christ Jesus.

There is hope for the cut-down tree. I see the same spirit from the

early Civil Rights Movement in the transition of the younger generation of youth and young adults. You are on the verge of witnessing something resurrected today and in the future to come – revival, righteousness, and reconciliation in the higher authority of God, Christ Jesus.

When Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said he had “been to the mountaintop,” the civil rights leader was prophesying that, like Moses, he himself would not see God’s promise of reconciliation.

I hope that the leadership of civil rights groups and organizations will return to its original spirit of reconciliation. God is rising up a multicolored Joseph generation.

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  1. John Haymore

    I agree totally with the Rev. Willie A. Douglas, with such in depth truth to the reality of life, in leadership in the various communities. There are too many wannabees i.e. “poverty pimps” claiming to be leaders and representatives of the people, only trying to be in the limelight for self glory, and personal gain, talking rhetoric out of one side of their mouths, while selling the people out on the other side. These so-called leaders are deceptive, deceiving, and deceitful. Just like the Rev. Douglas stated, “there are many issues and concerns, where the less fortunate and deprived needs a voice.” I too believe, not only in the Stockton area, but within communities throughout the nation, that there’s a new breed of young leadership, with new and constructive ideas to solidify and bring true hope of security in truth, and love in the community. We must refocus back on what our true purpose in life, in reconciliation with others, within the boundary of land that we share together as a people. There is definitely the need of the love of God, for us to find our right way in building toward the future. I want to than the Rev. Douglas for his writing in the spirit of truth and understanding of the life of a people with obviously love and passion for what he has been called. Thank you, Rev. Douglas for the truth of words that will set people free. John Haymore

  2. I agree. However, young Blacks encouraged to read this book (linked) should be the first step.

    I never bought into the story of the book/movie “ROOTS.” In fact, I am proud of the fact that my father named me after his and my mothers White friend.

    Real roots starts with the book “what is wrong with Being Black.” Reading this book will help all races come together.

  3. Nancy Sidebotham

    Jobs need to be brought back to the USA or nothing will change as long as the Advertising Media continues to promote what people should have in order to look and feel “successful”.

    Schools need to stop pushing college as the only means to success and bring back shop programs as well as Home Economics.

    We are a diverse society and none of us fall into the molds that a few set up making attainment impossible. Crime will never go away as long as people lack the opportunities for employment at every level.

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