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Justice And Civil Liberties

             The idea of justice and civil liberties has plagued the minds of man since the beginning of civilization. Questions such as, why aren't we all equal, why is one race of peoples better than another, and should both sexes be equal have been on the minds of people for centuries. The ideas of equality and liberty began showing up before America was a country. Some of these issues were addressed in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, but many unsolved issues remained and still persist to this very day. Throughout the struggle for equality and justice many prominent figures arose. Two of these individuals were Susan B. Anthony and Martin Luther King Jr. Susan B. Anthony was a very strong believer in equality for all and especially in the equality between men and women. Susan B. Anthony was born in 1820 and grew up in a Quaker family with strong abolitionist beliefs. From an early age Susan fought for equal rights for women, she was an advocate of equal pay for women teachers and coed education. She helped pass a bill in the New York legislature that gave women some control over their children and their earnings. In the 1872 presidential election Susan decided to test whether the 14th amendment of the Constitution, equal protection under the law, applied to women. She tried registering for voting and was arrested. Anther strong opponent of justice and civil liberties, particularly equality amongst African-Americans and Caucasians was Minister Martin Luther King Jr. Martin Luther King was born in 1929 and was the leader of a nonviolent civil rights struggle. Born into a family of ministers, King became a public figure while still in his twenties when he led a bus boycott in Montgomery, Alabama. He was frequently threatened or arrested due to his extensive leadership in sit-ins and marches in segregated southern towns and cities, particularly Birmingham, Alabama.

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