Was the Civil Rights Movement Really Necessary?

“But then there’d be no story.”

That was my mother’s singsong refrain whenever I’d complain that some film we were watching made no sense.

To this day, my biggest movie beef can be distilled to one inelegant, juvenile question:

“Why don’t they just kill That Guy?”

  • A few days ago I saw for the first time the musical “Hairspray” (the original version with Ricki Lake). I didn’t know it was so political – a bunch of constantly dancing young people were fighting the segregation in Baltimore, confronting the “old bigots” like Sonny Bono’s character. It’s hard to escape the irony – the city was desegregated, the blacks took over and now the progressive characters are not sure whether they’ll get home alive at night.

    • It’s a sad parody of white liberal self-righteousness.

  • Norman_In_New_York

    I feel that the civil rights movement was as necessary as the Biblical Exodus. In the Exodus, the Children of Israel had to wander in the wilderness for 40 years until the old generation that was not ready for the responsibilities of freedom died out and a new generation rose. It was the same with the civil rights movement. Blacks needed a Moses to lead them to the promised land after the civil rights laws were passed, but not even Martin Luther King could fill Moses’s shoes and in any event didn’t live long enough.