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History Civil Rights Coursework Sources Questions

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History Civil Rights Coursework Sources Questions Question 1: In September 1957, Elizabeth Eckford had applied to go to an all-white school, and she had been granted a place, but she still had a battle to fight. The evening before she was to go to the school, the governor of Arkansas announced that with black children in the school, it would be impossible to keep law and order. When she tried to gain access to the school, along with about 8 other black children, a crowd surrounded her and stopped her from getting in. Even the guard refused to let her past. In the end, she did not manage to get to school, and finally, she was escorted in by paratroopers sent by J.F. Kennedy. In source A (written by Elizabeth Eckford), racism is clearly shown. There are seemingly 'normal' people, but they are acting in a very strange way - going hysterical just because someone of a different race is trying to get into their school. They are chasing a 15 year old girl away from a school just because of her colour, something that if Elizabeth had been born white, she would never have had to experience. No one in the crowd would help her, as it says in source A: 'I looked into the face of an old woman and it seemed a kindly face. But when I looked at her again, she spat at me' and when she tried to get some help from the guard: '...he raised his bayonet...' This passage also shows that laws can be changed, to allow Eckford and her friends to go to school, but attitudes are not necessarily changed overnight because they were unable to get into the school because of the crowd of angry protestors around the entrance, blocking the way, and even the guard took no notice of the laws, never mind trying to protect her, nearly shooting her! ...read more.


Malcolm X was also an excellent Orator, and many young people were attracted to his pro-active methods and leadership, and he also gave blacks some pride, he made it seem great to be black - 'Black is beautiful' - and he helped make black culture how it is today - embraced by all races. However, he never clashed with King's followers, and they probably needed each other to get what they did, Malcolm X to scare whites in respecting blacks in the short term, and Martin Luther King to change laws for the long term. Question 6: I think that the Civil Rights movement up to 1970 has been very successful, but not without its drawbacks. Source J shows the number of people below the poverty line in the USA. The figures reveal a lot about society. Although there are a larger number in total of white people below the line, 28,500,000, that it still only 11% of the white population. However, the percentage of black people below the poverty line is 56%, showing over half of blacks are below this poverty line, and most of them would probably have been poor anyway, most of them just above this line. This is a huge inequality, and it is reflected in the other factors to do with poverty. Crime rates are higher for blacks than for whites, probably due to the fact that blacks cannot get decent jobs, because employers are more likely to want to take on a white employee, and also the fact that blacks have a worse education. This is to do with the fact that few blacks can afford to go to college, due to them not having not very much money, because of poor jobs, and everything goes around in a viscious circle. Therefore, blacks are more likely to turn to crime to earn some money. Another reason for the civil rights movement being a failure is that all the important people involved in the movement are now dead. ...read more.


blood-bath when police turned on the peaceful protestors and used anything they could on them, many blacks died from being beaten in the head with batons. Source I says that the black beatings were 'fully reported by the national press and television and many whites who were previously indifferent to the campaign were now sickened by this brutality.' This shows that people were shocked into acting and took an interest after watching the events on television. Martin Luther King was released with the money raised after the footage of policemen hitting blacks was shown on television, and Tommie Smith and John Carlos at the Olympics in Mexico were shown on television making 'Black Power' salutes as they listened to the national anthem, showing publicly that they were Malcolm X supporters. Because so many people saw the pictures, they sent money, which helped funds for keeping the movement going, and support to America. It also meant that more pressure was put on the government to change laws to stop blacks being racially assaulted, and to also sort out their police force. It was free publicity for King and X and everyone saw the pictures, read about it in the newspaper, or heard about the movement in someway or another, so many more people who believed in the cause could send their support. Overall, I think that television was very influential and played a large part in the civil rights movement, because people in other countries could see what was happening and pressure was put on to get things changed, but it was not the only factor in getting to where the civil rights movement is now, as source L seems to suggest, because most blacks and some whites did not have a television, so they would have relied on newspapers, and other factors also assisted the success of the movement. Therefore, I agree with the view of the author of source L, but not totally, because there were other factors involved. Page 1 of 10 ...read more.

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