• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

How united were African Americans in the struggle for Civil Rights in the period 1865-1980?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

How united were African Americans in the struggle for Civil Rights in the period 1865-1980? The struggle for civil rights in America for African-Americans is to say the least, a long painful one. The American Civil War lasted from 1861-65 and was between the North Unionists states against the South Confederate states. One of the key reasons behind the war was the emancipation of slaves. It was not until after the war that many African-Americans realised what they could demand for. This was due to the years of slavery, control of the Whites and also the lack of education they had. Under slavery, the experiences of shared adversity created a sense of community and common identity. This was characterised by religious beliefs and practises, language and music. As liberation started after the war, the African-Americans was able to set up self-help organisations and institutions and also church groups. These church groups aided the promotion of self-awareness. The African American soldiers who fought in the Civil War also spread the message of self-awareness amongst the black community. During the Reconstruction period (1865-77) it was mostly the White Northerners who campaigned and helped the African Americans in achieving equality. ...read more.

Middle

Self-awareness also questioned the standard of living of blacks- 9 out of 10 Southern blacks lived in poverty in 1910. This suffering was reflected in the works of artists and writers in the Harlem Renaissance during the 1920's. Even though their inspiration came from suffering, they were still able to form a type of unity by connecting with the masses and understood their difficulties. During the 1920's the Jazz Age started as well. This was a spread of black music throughout America. Even though this cultural explosion did not affect civil rights, it did project a positive image of African-Americans to na�ve whites as it showed that they could be their equals, even though it was just performing. Another example of self awareness came from the returning 360 000 black soldiers who had fought in Europe, in the First World War and saw the injustice of their own homeland. During the 1920's there was hardly any advancement in civil rights. In the beginning of this decade the philosophy of Marcus Garvey 'black is beautiful' spread rapidly. It glorified African roots and emphasised on being proud in being a black person. It was done through the expanding black press, such as Blackstar. ...read more.

Conclusion

The Black Muslim community taught its followers that all whites were devils. Other more militant organisations started as well, such as the Black Panthers in 1966. The main rift in the unity of African-Americans emerged when the Muslim leader Malcolm X started to preach to thousands on the ideology of 'Black Power'. At this crucial stage of civil rights, there were two opposing sides, which therefore led to nothing being achieved through legislation. There is not a measurement of how unified African-Americans were in their struggle for civil rights as African-Americans went through periods of unity and disunity. During the periods of disunity little was achieved as opposing leaders or organisations were confused over what was to be done. In the early years of the period 1865-1980, more was achieved due to the actions of the more liberal whites. Self-awareness then aided the process and informed many African-Americans on what could be achieved and what should be achieved. The civil rights movement during the latter of this period seemed to take on a faster pace this was because African-Americans were now aware and also the message was spread through press and television. Influential leaders were no longer scared to express their views and were prepared to take action. This physical action included events such as the bus boycott and the March on Washington, involved thousands and therefore shows unity within the black community. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE USA 1941-80 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE USA 1941-80 essays

  1. Peer reviewed

    The NAACP was the organisation that achieved most for African Americans during the 20th ...

    4 star(s)

    Its success was such that, despite angry reactions from white racists, the movement spread across the USA, particularly the south. Other groups such as the SCLC, for example, were to be become involved in the sit-in movement, and CORE's involvement extended to other areas of public life- such as parks, swimming pool's etc.

  2. Did life Improve for Black people after 1865? The Civil war finally ended in ...

    place; in 1893, a man named Smith was stood for all to see when he had a scorching hot iron stuck down his throat and left for 2 hours when he was set alight. Recordings and photographs were taken of his piercing screams and whines and could be bought weeks after in Texas.

  1. Blacks were substantially better off in 1877 than they had been in 1863.' How ...

    With no money to travel and racial prejudice stopping them getting a job in the north, the only other option for the African-Americans was to stay in the ruins of the south. Here, all they could do was farm. However, as I have just stated, they have no land.

  2. social stratification of african americans

    This is the result of racial profiling that is the result of extreme prejudices existing in the country. Profiling is commonly defined as the "practice of viewing certain characteristics as indicators of criminal behavior." (Barovick, 1998) It is now an established practice especially in law enforcement circles that makes use

  1. History Civil Rights Coursework Sources Questions

    their speeches, and the number of people in the crowds, so they would have had to rely on newspapers. Malcolm X and Martin Luther King were amazing people to be able to get what they did for civil rights, and they were fantastic orators, which made their speeches amazing to listen to, and they struck awe into their audiences.

  2. The Civil Rights Movement Project

    More than 250000 people attended the march, including over 50000 white supporters. The colossal gathering in Washington DC is where Martin Luther King delivered his legendary `I have a dream` speech. Malcolm X and Black Power Civil rights campaigners slowly but surely brought results, however for many Black Americans the laws were being passed too slowly.

  1. The USA 1941 - 80 : The Divided Union.

    * Nixon was an arrogant politician, full of self-belief. In the end suffered what many politicians suffer, the arrogance of power: a belief that they were above the Law and indispensable. * Nixon forged an electoral grouping to win in 1968 and 1972.

  2. Civil Rights in the USA 1945-1975

    When he lost to John F. Kennedy, he surprised even some of his closest associates by accepting second place on the ticket. Johnson was riding in another car in the motorcade when Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963. He took the oath of office in the presidential jet on the Dallas airfield.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work