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How fully do the sources explain the role of individuals in improving the position of African Americans between 1900 and 1980?

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Introduction

How fully do the sources explain the role of individuals in improving the position of African Americans between 1900 and 1980? mr Daniel Shaun Bimpson of Form Group 13-8 The sources, although short, contain analytical content that gives a good introduction to the work of two of the most important 20^th century US civil rights protestors. Source B mentions Booker T Washington's main political achievement, which was the establishment of links with the white house, and also mentions Washington's emphasis on education and economic factors. Similarly, source C mentions Garvey's psychological achievement of encouraging Afro-Americans to become involved in the movement. Both sources imply more than is stated above, but the above is all that can be stated for sure, with no extra knowledge. For example, source B describes Washington as being not an "out of touch" leader. His policy of primarily wishing to give afro-Americans work skills (as opposed to "less economically useful" academic education), was seen by many as being in tune with afro-American wants and needs. ...read more.

Middle

This, coupled with the above mentioned non-explicit division of improvements means that further explanation is required for a full overview. During the said period, a number of great advancements in the political position of afro-Americans were made, as well as the establishment of links with the Whitehouse by Washington in the early 20^th century. It was the work of individuals such as William E.B.DuBois and Martin Luther King, who campaigned for equal voting rights that enabled afro-Americans to be able to have, at least in one sense, equal political footing as their white counterparts. Later individuals, notably Jesse Jackson, would work to encourage afro-Americans to actually take advantage of this right- Jackson doing so by running for a presidential candidacy. Thurgood Marshall was able to use his position as Solicitor General and later a Justice of the Supreme Court, to alter the political position of afro-Americans. Being himself a black man, his appointment is evidence of the success of his predecessors. ...read more.

Conclusion

Neither quote sets out that that this is the case and that this is in contrast to other individuals in the period. For example, de jure segregation was challenged by Du Bois' challenging of the Jim Crow laws and Marshall's outstanding legal record in a number of important civil rights cases, as well as his stance in the Supreme Court. It was schemes such as Jackson's rainbow coalition that aimed to bring about de facto equality. However, historian Maldwyn Jones suggests that Washington's apparent aim was a cause of the circumstances in which he was in- that he perhaps believed that separate was the only way equality could, but not necessarily should happen, and uses Washington's private contributions to cases challenging de jure segregation as evidence. The fact that Malcolm X was to change his stance from separatist to integrated could also be used as similar evidence that overall individual's roles have been important in improving the position of African-Americans, but also the context in which the individuals have worked have been a large influence in doing so- economically, politically, and socially, in the period 1900-1980. ...read more.

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