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Describe the impact of World War 2 on America and Black Civil Rights

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Describe the impact of World War 2 on America and Black Civil Rights. The effects of WW2 on America and Black Civil Rights were many and varied, but the main effect was to bring about a great change. There was migration of blacks from north to south and countryside to cities, increases in Black consciousness, Black activism and the number of significant Black leaders. There was also an increase in the amount of federal aid given and a more sympathetic view from the US Justice Department. As well as this, the war meant blacks had a greater bargaining power, that Blacks and Whites came into closer proximity and a strengthening of the nationwide Black community. One important effect and impact on America was the almost mass migration of Blacks from the North to the South and from the countryside to cities. Over 4 million Blacks left Southern farms and half of these moved North and West. For example Chicago's Black population in 1940 was about 270,000 whereas by 1950 it had reached almost half a million. Why was there such widespread migration? ...read more.


At the same time as Blacks were fighting for civil rights, Gandhi was helping free India and the non-violent protest worked extremely well in India. Many individuals in the Black Civil Rights Movement were influenced by Gandhi and tried to use his peaceful protest in America. There were many sit-ins, bus boycotts and marches. But the increased activism in a violent manner also convinced many blacks that this wasn't the way and another needed to be found: non-violent protest. Due to this another effect comes about. As activism increased so did the number of significant black leaders. People like A. Philip Randolph, who threatened to bring a mass protest into Washington unless equality was set up in the armed forces and the workplace, and James Farmer, who established CORE (Congress of Racial Equality), along with many others who went on to become nationally recognised. Although these leaders often disagreed it meant there was more than one black leader, Booker T. Washington, making an impression nearer the top of the scale. With these leaders came more organisations, like the NAACP, which increased its membership from 50,000 in 1940 to 450,000 in 1945, and CORE, as well as the many trade unions. ...read more.


All in all the war brought about a lot of changes in America and to Black Civil Rights. It seems that the most significant change was an increase in Black consciousness. This seems to link together a lot of the other points, such as migration and the closer proximity of Blacks and Whites. But how much did these changes actually benefit Blacks? Although federal aid was given it wasn't given enough to help all Blacks, just a minority, and although the courts and government were more sympathetic they didn't do enough: The FEPC dismissed two thirds of discrimination cases in the workplace and only one in five blacks won their cases. Also, from the evidence, it seems clear that most of the events during and after World War Two seemed irrelevant to most Blacks and not victories or gains for the Civil Rights Movement. One thing that did become clear though was that slowly the Southern White Supremacy was being eroded and the Black Civil Rights Movement was gaining more support from not only the greater majority of Blacks but from a significant number of Whites as well. But, was World War Two a turning point? How much did it actually effect or go towards changing America and Black Civil Rights for the good? ...read more.

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