This thesis will explore, compare and contrast Occupy Wall Street, Standing Rock Protests, Black Lives Matter, and the Civil Rights Movement in terms of their effectiveness, organization, leadership, and methods. The first three sections of the thesis will discuss and analyze aspects of the three more recent movements, both successes in altering public perceptions alongside the downfalls each organization felt. The final section will study the Children’s Crusade during the Civil Rights Movement and its effectiveness in making progress towards the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This section includes an analysis of Spike Lee’s documentary “4 Little Girls,” which gives a harrowing insight into the realities faced in Birmingham during this time as well as an intimate look into the lives of the four young girls who were killed in the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church. In essence, this thesis aims to place Occupy Wall Street, Standing Rock and Black Lives Matter in stark contrast to the meticulously organized and effective Civil Rights Movement.


Wingard, Leslie

Second Advisor

Atay, Ahmet


English; Global Media and Digital Studies


Arts and Humanities


Protest, Social Movements

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



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