I really was interested in Zinn’s chapter, “Or Does it Explode?” The civil rights movement was a topic in which I was very excited to hear the details that were “left out” through Zinn’s eyes. Black culture throughout the 20th century had further pushed the idea that a rebellion would be coming soon. If this was through poetry or music, these artists hinted that enough was enough, and change needed to happen. What I never knew was that the government was influenced by their image perceived by the rest of the world to start trying to obtain racial equality. This was also very noticeable when the government did not protect the protestors as the violence got worse. It took the death of five protestors to finally get the government to intervene. Laws were passed promising certain rights that were never enforced. This further shows me that the government was still hesitant in helping to obtain racial equality.
Another part of the chapter that I found extremely important was the divide that Zinn puts between MLK and Malcolm X. Everyone in school was taught about how MLK believed in non-violent protesting which became the norm for civil rights movement. What I did not know, or forgot, was that there were many cases in which black people did not agree with MLK and thought that the more violent approach was better before Malcolm X. What I never realized was that these ideas came before Malcolm X started the Black Power Movement. I wonder if there was a period of time in which blacks were fighting about the proper way to go about the civil rights movement before Malcolm X started the Black Power Movement. Did the black people that did not agree with MLK’s approach stand in his way? I just found it interesting that some people pushed away from the idea of obtaining equality for the idea that there could be even more separation between races, even though this is the problem that they are fighting in the first place.