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Assignment 1; Civil Rights in the USA

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Introduction

Assignment 1; Civil Rights in the USA Nikki Robinson In 1950, America had come out of World War Two and was once again one of the richest and strongest nations but there still was a group of people who didn't have the freedom and the equal rights that most Americans had. This group of people had been slaves for the American people until 1865 and had always faced discrimination and violence despite there help in the war effort. The blacks of America had a dream that things would soon change for them and that they would have the same opportunities and the same rights that the white Americans had but this seemed an impossible dream due to segregation, the "separate but equal" rule in which white and black people of America were separated in public places e.g. Toilets and buses. "Jim Crow" laws were also in place in the south, this allowed discrimination against blacks. The laws were named after a white comedian who gave abuse to the blacks threw comedy. I will look at Civil Rights Movement in America and how the Blacks dream began to become reality when the system of having separate schools for black and white children in the South began to change. ...read more.

Middle

On May the 17th 1954, the Supreme Court declared, "segregated schools are not equal and cannot be made equal, and hence they are deprived of the equal protection of the laws", due to Thurgood Marshall, director of the NAACP's Legal Defense and Educational Fund. Brown V's board of education helped change America forever. The blacks didn't get desegregation that easily though and it became a major problem for them. There was lots of resistance in the south and one of the main reasons for this were the politicians as they started to act dictatorially. Whites stared to realise that if they could start become violent at schools then they had a reason to say no to them desegregating schools. Whites were afraid that blacks would advance socially and economically challenging white supremacy and that integration would lead to a "mongrel race" of people. If there was going to be violence between the whites and blacks wasn't it better to keep them apart? Whites were afraid that blacks would gain supremacy in the south if they were to become equal. ...read more.

Conclusion

Films of the events at Little Rock was broadcast all over the world which shamed the whole of white America but was good news for the Blacks who could show how they didn't go as low as the whites, kept out of any violence and didn't fight back no matter how tough it was for them. In conclusion, I believe that on one hand the blacks didn't make much progress because even by early 1960's only 10% of blacks went to desegregated schools and Universities were still preventing Blacks attending but on the other hand they let the world know how badly treated they were, had shamed America and damaged their image but it was still not enough to "open the gates of opportunity". Segregation in Education aroused such emotions as blacks were threatening white supremacy. It was hard for whites to get used to the idea of them all being equal after so long but the blacks made some progress due to their determination not to fight back and their will to keep trying. The main reason for white hostility to integration though was the issue of States Rights vs. Federal Power. ...read more.

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