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How might the period 1945-57 be described as a period of “Great Progress” for the Civil Rights of African-Americans in USA?

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Introduction

How might the Period 1945-57 be Described as a Period of "Great Progress" for the Civil Rights of African-Americans in USA? Before any conclusion is made about how much progress the civil rights movement made during 1945-57, we must know what the situation was like in 1945. The majority of African-Americans in Southern states had no voting rights and blacks were faced with a considerable amount of racism, inequality and segregation, especially in the deep South. There was discrimination in employment and trade union membership, which resulted in most blacks being employed in low-paid, temporary jobs. In 1946, Truman established a liberal civil rights committee, which was aimed to investigate violence against blacks. He ensured it received national attention for shocking events. In October, 1947 a report was made called "To Secure These Rights". The report criticised the apparently "free and equal" America. As a result of this report it was decided that there would be an end to lynching, poll tax and discrimination in interstate travel and in the armed forces, as well as voting rights for blacks and a permanent FEPC. It also tried to ensure government and judiciary support for civil rights and advocated desegregation with the aid of federal power. ...read more.

Middle

Eisenhower also worked against discrimination in federal facilities in Washington and federal hiring. The president inadvertently appointed Earl Warren to the Supreme Court as a judge, and in 1954 Warren struck a great blow against segregated schools in the BROWN v. THE BOARD OF EDUCATION, TOPEKA, KANSAS law case. The BROWN case took place in 1954, which overturned PLESSY v. FERGUSON by removing all constitutional sanction for racial segregation. The result of BROWN was that all schools were to be desegregated. This gave much hope for the future of civil rights in America. In December 1955 the Montgomery Bus Boycott began, which proved to be a great triumph in the civil rights movement. It was effective for many reasons. It was very organised; students copied and distributed leaflets to get as much support as possible. The Church gave funds, used its services for rallying cries, decreased the chances of black disorder and turned the event into a "moral crusade", which brought more support. Cooperation between the NAACP and the black Alabama State College, and between the NAACP and Martin Luther King was an important factor. ...read more.

Conclusion

The period saw many heroes, such as Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King. The Montgomery Boycott also proved that if mass action was applied with organisation, change was very possible. However, the period also saw victims, such as Emmett Till. There was still no single strong black organisation; after the BROWN ruling the NAACP was persecuted in the south. There was also a lack of cooperation between organisations such as the NAACP and the SCLC. The SCLC lacked massive grass-roots support and an organised infrastructure necessary for success. Even if the Supreme Court demanded desegregation, it was either a very slow process or blocked in some way. Progress with civil rights also very much depended on the president's attitude towards the issue and how much help they gave. Even if desegregation was achieved, African-Americans saw no end to racial prejudice and discrimination. Despite all this, civil rights progress did go forward throughout this era, however slow it went. It made America far more aware of civil rights than it had ever been. Comparing the situation in 1957 to that of 1945, we can see that an increasing number of blacks had more professional jobs. There was now less public segregation than ever before, although in some places it was still a social fact. ...read more.

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