By: Jackie Glodener
After feeling like you’ve travelling back in time to experience tortures faced by Freedom Fighters in the American Civil Rights Movement, it is easy to understand how health was affected by discrimination, such as in non-violence training. You can imagine the emotional and psychological distress after sitting down at the “Lunch Counter” exhibit. Personally, I could not sit through the full length of the audio recording, and I had to open my eyes to bring myself back to reality. I saw that others felt emotional afterwards- one lady was crying, and a museum guide offered her a tissue.
If we can put ourselves in the shoes of the men and woman who fought for equality, we can understand the physical and psychological health effects that resulted from participating in the movement . The “Lunch Counter” gives us an idea of the external stress experienced by activists. Fighting for equality was a demanding task, and activists often suffered physical and verbal abuse. Looking back on participation in the Civil Rights Movement and racism in the United States, researchers have found that discrimination can have deleterious long-term effects on health .
Although the Civil Rights Movement was taxing on activists’ health, its success cannot be forgotten. While the focus of the Civil Rights Movement was mainly about voting rights and desegregation of public places, consequentially, healthcare was improved . Activists succeeded in their fight for equality- discrimination was banned from the United States for good.