Readers' Corner

Top Student Movement in the United States that Have Received the Most Coverage in Fiction

Students as a young generation always have huge power and desire to change the world. This segment of the population is not afraid to show dissatisfaction with the political, economical, or educational problems in the form of social movements. Most of such demonstrations are usually peaceful and include occupations of university offices or buildings, sit-ins, strikes, pickets, etc. Coming back to USA history, in the 1920s, at Fisk students expressed their concerns about the issue of the rules against the black identity. These events caused a wide shock wave and became the beginning of the student’s activism. This social movement finds a response in the broad masses as students fight for the resolution of collective issues, and a lot of writers cover these subjects in their works. In this article, you can read about the top student movement in the US that were discussed in the fiction.


Student Radicals and America’s First Mass Student Movement, 1929-1941

The era of depression touched one of the first mass student movement in the USA. The international tension, economic crisis, the threat of the world by fascism, and mobilization become the main factors that caused discontent among students. Robert Cohen in his book “When the Old Left Was Young” drew the portrait of the political life of that time. His novel is the result of in-depth research along with fascinating individual stories and the history of the first mutiny.

Starting from the 1930s, the social movements among students became really popular due to the wars, political and economic unbalance, absence of equity, discrimination, etc. Consequently, student activism was initiated as a demonstration of the desire to fight for the rights and freedoms of less protected population groups. A lot of research papers and essays are devoted to this subject as it is an interesting topic to investigate. You can find out from essays on social movements by GradesFixer that the main goal of all the protests and actions is to fight evil and injustice. The ideology of making the world better is what inspired students to find power and use their voices to protect themselves, their communities, and their country.


The First Earth Day, 1970

One of the biggest environmental movements that went down in history had the aim to increase public awareness of the planet’s pollution by chemicals, oil, and other industrial materials. More than 1,500 college campuses took part in the first Earth Day. The University of Michigan that previously held the protests to the Vietnam War was a perfect setting for this action. Paul Pete McCloskey described the events in his book “The Story Of The First Earth Day 1970: How Grassroots Activism Can Change Our World” and sheds the light on the action that is still celebrated in the United States.


Battle of Seattle, 1999

A series of protests surrounding the World Trade Organization Ministerial Conference in 1999. Over the 70000 protesters with the huge number of students transformed the meeting of ministers into the “party” and revealed the injustices from global trade and mass globalization. Sunil Yapa has discussed the Battle of Seattle in “Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of a Fist” in which the events are сovered from several perspectives, including the dramatic story of 19-year-old Victor who is biracial without any purpose for life, and use the protest to sell weed, his father Bishop who is the chief of police, two medics and delegate of the conference and the others. In his novel, Yapa covers the questions of the ideal world, equality, and justice.


Step it Up, 2007

The national demonstration dedicated to the subject of global warming is one of the biggest in American history. The idea was laid by the six graduates of the Middlebury College in Vermont and took over 50 states. The main goal was to call Congress for passing climate change legislation with the help of cutting carbon emissions. One of the masterminds of the Step it Up demonstration published the collection of essays “Bill McKibben Reader: Pieces from an Active Life” in which he told not only about this demonstration but about the relationship between all of us and the environment.

As history shows, students have the strength to discuss subjects that influence society and really matter. The power of voice, courage, and willingness to make this world a better place for living is what drives the rising generation on their way to the bigger goal. It is therefore not surprising that so many writers, journalists, and historians described the student’s activism movement as an act of bravery. While reading all the previously mentioned works, all of us must think that our lives are in our hands, and we can do something to change it for the better.

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