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In what ways did black Americans secure improved civil rights in the years 1945-63?

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In what ways did black Americans secure improved civil rights in the years 1945-63? During the years of 1945 - 1963 many black Americans began to work their way into securing their equal rights in America. They went through a lot, and many risked their lives as they demonstrated against the public segregation imposed on all blacks on services such as the public transport, toilets, restaurants etc. After the second world war not much had improved, although there was slightly more integration, and a few black americans had been given higher positions. However, the government refused to abandon segregation in the Army. President Roosevelt ordered an end to discrimination in defence industries, refusing to give them government contracts if they did not follow the order. Thousands of white workers rioted in a shipyard after a dozen black workers were employed. President Truman's Fair Deal was his 'catchphrase' for a series of social and economic reforms. He declared that "Every segment of our population, and every individual, has a right to expect from his government a fair deal." ...read more.


However, the boycott continued, and the protesters took their case to the courts. On the 13th of November 1956, the Supreme Court announced that segregation on buses was illegal. In Little Rock, Arkansas, it was decided that schools would be integrated slowly. The Central High School would take in its first black students on the 3rd of September 1957. On the night of the 2nd of September, Governor Orville Faubus announced that it would be impossible to keep law and order if black students started at the school. 75 black students applied, and 50 were rejected. Only nine students turned up on the first day, led by Elizabeth Eckford, and they were barred by a large crowd of whites. Faubus sent state troopers to make sure the children did not get in. Black people in Little Rock then took Faubus to court and he was ordered to remove the state troopers. President Eisenhower sent 1,000 paratroopers to protect the black children on their way to school. James Meredith, a southern black, was qualified to go to the University of Mississippi, and they offered him a place for September 1962. ...read more.


Martin Luther King was arrested on Good Friday during a march, and wasn't allowed to contact anyone. His wife was so worried she phoned Kennedy. President Kennedy then phoned the Birmingham police chief and a week later, King was released. On the 3rd of May, Bull Connor, the chief of police ordered his men to turn water cannons on a crowd of young protesters, who then started throwing missiles at the police. Dogs were set on the marchers. A week later the Ku Klux Klan held a big rally, lit crosses and made racist speeches. However, the protests still went on. Kennedy demanded that the Birmingham Council should end segregation, and the council gave in to the protesters' demands. Kennedy announced that he was asking Congress to pass a Civil Rights Bill that would make all forms of racial discrimination in public places illegal. Some politicians promised to fight the Bill. On the 20th of August 1963, Martin Luther King organized a march on Washington. Nearly 500,000 people marched into Washington and gathered at the Lincoln Memorial. There, King gave his most famous speech of all. In 1964, President Johnson managed to get Congress to pass the Civil Rights Act. The long battle for civil rights had been won. Turner 4 ...read more.

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