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“The life of American Blacks has undoubtedly improved since the 1950’s” - Using all the sources and your own knowledge, how far do agree with this interpretation of the changes in the life of American Blacks?

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Introduction

"The life of American Blacks has undoubtedly improved since the 1950's." Using all the sources and your own knowledge, how far do agree with this interpretation of the changes in the life of American Blacks? I feel that the life of American Blacks has undoubtedly improved since the 1950's. Although, there is still evidence today of bitterness and discrimination against Blacks in America. I do not think that true equality has been achieved. In sources 1-4 we are shown discrimination in a variety of forms. We can see how the Black people were treated as an inferior race. Martin Luther King tells us in source 1, that many facilities would be poor for the Black community for example, the park allocated for use by the Black children was "absolutely inadequate." Today this would not happen because in the majority of places Blacks and Whites share the same, usually sufficient facilities. We are also made aware of the employment situation. Jobs were menial and badly paid and it was highly likely for a White employee to be promoted rather than a Black person "regardless of their comparative talents." ...read more.

Middle

Examples of these include, Muhammad Ali, Mike Tyson and Lennox Lewis. Source 5 alludes to institutionalised discrimination. It shows the murder of Hattie Carroll- a black kitchen maid, by William Zanzinger, a young, white man with high office relations in the politics of Maryland. The fact that he only received a six-month sentence shows discrimination and injustice against the black victim. Unfortunately, this is still the case in some instances. The case of Rodney King in 1991 is a classic example of this. Rodney King was brutally beaten by six police officers. These six police officers were later acquitted and this racial injustice sparked the L.A. riots causing mass injury and destruction. Sources 6-10 show forms of discrimination and desegregation in schools. We are made aware of the attitude of the Whites and the feelings of one black girl, Elizabeth Eckford, who was the subject of racial discrimination. She recalls being heckled and shouted at. She tells us that she was subjected to abuse such as, "no nigger bitch is going to get in our school! ...read more.

Conclusion

In source 18 we can see that only the 'elite and fortunate' Blacks have reached the 'American Dream.' The majority of the black people remain in the same social and economic position and most of the time they attend all black schools. Ultimately, we have no background information on the author but it can be assumed that this is reputable and the source is indeed useful. We are told that some problems still exist, for example, low paid, menial jobs. There is still a perception of inferiority against the Blacks of America. We can say that undoubtedly, the life for American Blacks has improved as many laws have been put in place to stop discrimination in the US. Examples of these are the 1964 and 1968 Civil Rights Acts. Although, these laws have been passed, racism and discrimination is still a problem in the US today. It is fair to say that life has improved for black Americans but racism is still a part of life today for many black people. As Judith Harkham Semas said; "Blacks, even in an era of rampant, racial hostility from World War 2 on, began a steady march towards equality. But the pace is still slow." ...read more.

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