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The author of source I believes that television played a crucial part in ending segregation in the USA. Use the sources, and your own knowledge, to help you explain whether you agree with this view.

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Charley McCarthy 11(ii) Assignment Two: Objectives 2 and 3 5. Study all sources The author of source I believes that television played a crucial part in ending segregation in the USA. Use the sources, and your own knowledge, to help you explain whether you agree with this view. In 1964 segregation was banned in public places as part of The Civil Rights Act. Leading on from this, things for black Americans improved until in the 1987 17 large US cities even had black mayors. But before these times there was segregation everywhere, from schools and restaurants to buses and water fountains. Black and white Americans simply did not mix. The decision for desegregation leads from a number of things, with various forms of media playing a central part, including television, and without this, could desegregation really have been obtained at all? By the time of desegregation in the USA, almost everybody had a television and watched it frequently. News programmes were on frequently and viewed by many. These highlighted the problems of racial tension, mainly by the reports ran on real events such as protests and marches and therefore showed the truth, with eye-witnesses being interviewed and photographs being broadcasting. An example of these photographs is in Source G, an image of Birmingham, Alabama in 1963, showing civil rights protesters. It shows great racial tension and the abuse faced by Negroes, which moved white citizens, gaining sympathy and support for the black Americans and the cause that they were fighting for. ...read more.


Books though, such as the extract in Source A, were a way in which civil rights were promoted. The text often related to a specific event, in this case the enrolment of Elizabeth Eckford at Little Rock High School and shows the feeling of the individual, 'I was very frightened and didn't know what to do.' It shows the efforts of the government, in this case Eisenhower, to end segregation, here within the educational system. The main form of literature, newspapers probably had the greatest audience of all, and therefore one of the largest impacts. Newspapers could be exaggerated and over dramatised in an attempt to attract readers and sell more copies, but if anything this could show amplified brutality to black Americans and therefore further increase the sympathy of the readers. We see in Source B the role of newspapers in educating the American public. This shows the extreme reaction of the public to desegregation in schools, 'three girls...wailed hysterically, tears running down their faces.' The daily reports on local and national discrimination- caused events informed the public all over the USA of what was going on, with sympathy provoking articles and images combined. Single key events such as the ones described during Sources A, B and C regarding what went on at Little Rock High School were important to make an impact. These proved that what was being said about the level of racism were true. With no test cases like this it could never have been shown that the hatred towards black people was present and it would not have been believed. ...read more.


Malcolm X made white citizens begin to realize that black Americans could play the same game, and that they were becoming more intimidating. As well as Martin Luther King and Malcolm X, during the 1960s there were more radical groups that believed strongly in black power. Examples of these were the SNCC (Student Non-Violent Co-ordinating Committee) and the Black Panthers. Neither group believed in co-operating with the white citizens and like Malcolm X thought that blacks should be dependant and prod to be who they were. The Black Panthers used a lot of violence however, which caused them to clash with the police. Despite this it got them a lot of publicity, bringing the problem frequently in the public eye and causing people to take notice of what was going on. It was publicity and keeping the issue on the surface that caused the changes to be made, but without the forms of media such as newspapers and television, the country would not have known about the extremity of the racism so the groups would have had no success in anything but provoking their local area. Although, as the author of Source I believes, television played a crucial part in ending segregation in the USA, without the other forms of media discussed backing it up, television would have not made any difference to the situation of racism. It takes the contribution of all media types for any one of them to have any kind of impact of segregation. ...read more.

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