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The Second World War and the development of the civil rights campaign of Black Americans.

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Introduction

a) Freedom riders were a group of civil rights activists working for the Congress Of Racial Equality who were determined that the supreme courts decision of desegregating buses, waiting rooms and bus terminals were enforced as buses in the Southern states were still being segregated. b) The Second World War was important in the development of the civil rights campaign as Black Americans were given the opportunity to press for the equality of civil rights. Before the war Black Americans served in separate units to white Americans, they were not allowed to become airforce pilots, Black Americans blood could not be given to White Americans for transfusions and also black nurses could not look after white soldiers, and American companies would not employ blacks. ...read more.

Middle

As black people's expectations for change rose they became more active in campaigning for civil rights. The arrival of large numbers of Black Americans from the South created racial tensions in some cities during the 1940's. c) In the 1950's and 60's Martin Luther King used peaceful protests and non-violence in order to try to improve the position of Black Americans as he believed in taking direct actions such as sit-ins to challenge the law on segregation. MLK also set up an organisation called 'The Southern Christian Leadership Conference' which was to set up to fight against racial segregation by using peaceful protests. It ran conferences and civil rights protestors. Sit-ins were influenced by Ghandi. In 1965 Selma, Alabama, protests were organised to end segregation in public facilities. ...read more.

Conclusion

Although segregation had ended in the South there was racial discrimination in the North which hadn't been addressed by the Civil Rights movement. By 1965, 50% of all black Americans lived in the North and most of them lived in ghettos were there was high unemployment and extreme poverty. The average black families income was half of a white family. Stokely Carmichael was elected chairman of SNCC who said "I am not going to beg the white man for anything I deserve, I am going to take it, we want black power". This excited many black people with the idea that they should control their social, economic and political lives. Blacks began to abandon the non-violent approach influenced by MLK as they believed that King's method was never going to work. So they thought why not fight back? The Black Panthers founded in 1966, urged blacks to arm themselves and confront white society in order to force whites to grant them equality. ...read more.

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