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Civil Rights question 5

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The author in source I believes that television played a crucial part in ending segregation in the USA. Use sources and your own knowledge, to help you explain whether you agree with this view. In source I, an NBC representative says that TV had, 'made it impossible for congress not to act', referring to the issue of segregation. I will say whether I think this statement is true, and to what extent. During the time of the civil rights movement and the time leading up the end of segregation, there was a rapid increase in the amount of TV ownership, as the following shows: > 1951: 12% of US homes had TVs > 1955: 67% > 1963: 90% > 1968: 95% Around this time, especially around the 60's, there was an increased awareness about black people and the problems they suffered. This could be linked to the increased number of TV's, on which people could have seen the torment blacks went through in the US. And as it was easier to get information faster from the scene to the screen than papers, and had more effect on a person than sound from a radio, TV could have made people sit up as they saw these pictures, and (like today) ...read more.


With the efforts made by the leaders and their supporters, the civil rights movement was able to pick up support and publicity, and the ensuing publicity is what got the media, including TV, interested in the civil rights movement. Individual efforts also helped promote the cause of the civil rights movement, because these usually involved the person resisting in some way against an establishment, the media coverage of these events promoted the public awareness of the civil rights movement to a wider global audience. Though they would still get some coverage in local areas and even in surrounding states by protesting and doing local events, TV helped spread this further afield. Also, the leaders of these events may have used their great speaking skills to attract vast audiences and give speeches to them like the ones in sources D and E, which could enchant the people there and show the government how determined they were to get change. An example of this is the march on Washington, where MLK gave his famous 'I Have a Dream' speech to a quarter of a million people near the white house. This would have defiantly affected the way the senate would have thought about suppressing the black population, if it could manage to get so many people to one place to one man to listen to a speech. ...read more.


My conclusion is that even though TV had an important role in helping the civil right movement and the end of segregation, it wasn't critical to its success. The combination of the changing attitudes towards blacks in the wider world pushed the US to becoming an equal nation, and the threat of negative propaganda from the USSR which would tint the US's image as 'the land of the free', and also affect its chances of being able to peace keep as it seemed it couldn't look after it's own people, let alone another countries'. Also, the part of civil rights leaders played an extremely important part in it, as if it weren't for them, there wouldn't be a movement to report. But they also helped organise the events, the speeches and the protests which made the world, as well as America, of the problems blacks faced in their own country. Also, surprisingly, the brutal authorities helped sway people towards supporting the black's because. As JFK said about a police chief's actions, "Eugene 'Bull' Connor has done more for the civil rights movement than any protesters". These factors combined with the power which TV has over a person's mind and judgement, help bring about an end to the injustices of segregation in the US. ...read more.

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