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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