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Describe the methods used by Civil Rights Protestors in their fight for equality in the southern states of the USA in the years 1954- 64

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Introduction

Describe the methods used by Civil Rights Protestors in their fight for equality in the southern states of the USA in the years 1954- 64 During 1954-64 Civil Rights Protestors used a variety of methods in the fight for equality. All methods wanted to encourage Government intervention. Some Civil Right Groups were specialised to use a specific approach. The NAACP used the legal approach and wanted to gain equality through the Supreme Court. The NAACP had their own legal team and concentrated on challenging lynching and educational segregation. The NAACP had many legal test cases, which they hoped would eventually lead to desegregation. One of these was the 1944 case Smith V Allwright. The NAACP convinced the court to strike down a Texas practice, which excluded blacks from participating in primary elections. However, in 1954 NAACP won its landmark Brown V Board of Education that was led by Thurgood Marshall. The Supreme Court declared that schools, which were segregated, were unconstitutional. ...read more.

Middle

The Montgomery Bus Boycott lasted a year and effected whites economically. The boycott caught the attention of the whole of USA. The boycott was influential, as it showed non-violent methods of protest was effective. However, the limitations of Montgomery Bus Boycott were that blacks still had to resort to the Supreme Court to make a decision to desegregate the buses. From the incident at Little Rock the Civil Rights Protestors learnt a new tactic. To attack white racists who they knew would react violently as this would expose racism in the south and thus lead thus the Government would be forced to take action. An example of this is the Freedom Rides, which took place in 1961. Civil Right workers (CORE/SCLC/SNCC) travelled from the North to the South. The Freedom Rides were testing Supreme Court rulings against segregation on interstate buses. The Freedom Rides showed the viciousness of the whites. When the Freedom Riders reached Anniston, Alabama buses were stoned and set fire to. ...read more.

Conclusion

During the beginning of the 1960's a "youth led phase" was being formed. Many sit- ins were organised by SNCC and the aim was integrate lunch counters. Blacks would sit in the white area of a lunch counter and refuse to move. The protestors were often met with violence and verbal abuse. In 1960 in Greensboro, N.Carolina the most famous sit-in took place in a Woolworths lunch counter. One of the effects of the sit-ins were that they led onto jail-ins, kneel- ins, swim-ins etc. However, during the sit-ins internal disagreements were beginning to show between different civil rights groups. Finally, another method used for the fight of equality was the role of Martin Luther King. King emphasised ideas of non- violence, mass action and unity between blacks all over America. In conclusion in 1954 to 1964 many changes were made in the methods to gaining equality. Groups were beginning to become more unified in events e.g. Mississippi Freedom Summer, March on Washington. The approaches to gaining equality were combining different methods e.g. Birmingham, Alabama 1963. Also Civil Rights Protestors deliberately wanted to expose white extremism so then this would encourage Govt Intervention. Sharon Chahal ...read more.

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