How accurate is it to say there was significant progress towards racial inequality in the period 1945-55?

Authors Avatar by jchambers12 (student)

How accurate is it to say there was significant progress towards racial inequality in the period 1945-55?

Racial inequality in the USA was an extensive and significant issue before, and controversially after this time period. What is crucial to say is that progress still needed to be made - this is despite the colossal step forward predominately in the legal frame work of federal government, but economic and social steps too, for example - voting rights in the southern states. Arguably though these so called steps forward both helped and hindered the fight for black equality. An example of this hinderance would be the rise in white opposition due to African American protests.

One major problem in American society before 1945 was the lack of expression the black population had on American politics, and crucially if they could vote the amount of affect they could make.One effective section of American society that was positively changed by primarily Truman's government was political appointments, and political change. Perhaps interestingly you could say, limitedly that political viewpoints and acceptance had been altered. On one section we look at political appointments. Under Truman’s government we see an attitude change to black people in politics. Before 1943 we have no African Americans in senior political and federal positions. However the change begins in this year when William Dawson and Adam Powell were elected to congress - successively in 1949 we see William Haist become a Federal Judge. This arguably indicates a crucial change in viewpoints, or at least a step forward to this. Activism due to the war also heightened in1945. This point is crucial as its direct consequences allowed direct action to influence political agenda. For instance the Morgan V. Virginia case in 1946, arguably wouldn't have appeared before the war. Irene Morgan with the help of the NAACP targeted supreme court, consequently ruling the segregation in interstate busses was illegal. So here we have a pathway. Increased black activism, increased direct action and political judge appointments - alongside government change of tactic leads to the conclusion that significant progress with various court cases have vastly improved the racial equality, in 1945-55. In hindsight we see a consequence of CNO’s direct action campaign in Arkansas. In 1945 1.5% of black people could vote, however as a result of increased activism in 1947 17.3 voted. This was crucial as it shows the phenomenal change the war brought on activism and equality and more interestingly how the apparent change in political viewpoint changed how Black people were able to express themselves politically, arguably this suggests its highly accurate to say this time period was significant.

Join now!

Another example of how significant progress was made was how various economic impediments were overcome. Before 1945 Huge restrictions, even in the North were upon Black workers - however under Truman’s Government and the ‘Secure these rights’ agenda things were about the change. ‘Secure these rights’ was a committee set up by Truman to highlight inequality and changes to be made in America. There are several main examples that were helped by this scheme, arguably the most significant were the various proposals and departments set up in 1949 which were consequently proposed to congress. One main section would be ...

This is a preview of the whole essay