CORE’s Journey of Reconciliation in 1947, was seen as creating limited progress in improving the status of African Americans. The Supreme Court’s decision on making segregation on interstate busses was seen as being ineffective, in cases such as Morgan V. Virginia. CORE focused on emphasising the miniscule de facto change that materialized in the southern states. This was achieved by organising black and white protesters to occupy the ‘white only’ seats of interstate buses in the South. However, all of the CORE activists were arrested, and their campaign gained little media attention. This meant that the rest of the country was unable to acknowledge the dilemma of segregation on interstate buses in the South. Furthermore, the interstate bus companies remained segregated long after the campaign. This meant that there was still little de jure change and CORE’s ambition of interstate bus desegregation failed to materialize. Although CORE’s Journey of Reconciliation was seen as creating limited progress in improving the status of African Americans; some could argue that the Sweat V. Painter court case of 1950 was. Sweat V. Painter was the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured Peoples’ first successful challenge to segregation in education. The course emerged when Hemam Sweatt, a black student, was denied from studying law at the University of Texas. The NAACP’s strong involvement in the case helped it to be funded, and supplied an attorney. The NAACP took the case to the Supreme Court and managed to win the case for Sweatt. The involvement of the NAACP in the case massively helped to persuade the Supreme Court. This court ruling helped to bring de hure change across many of the southern universities. By desegregating many of the universities, the case was seen as significantly improving the status of African Americans. Overall I believe that the success of the Sweatt V. Painter ruling overpowered the little change that emerged from CORE’s Journey of Reconciliation. I believe this as it enabled black Americans to enlist in universities; which were previously stated as being ‘white only’, whereas black Americans were still able to ride interstate buses.
The white backlash to the Civil Rights movement was seen as creating limited progress in improving the status of African Americans. The white backlash increased after rulings from cases such as Sweatt V. Painer and Brown V. Board of Education of Topeka. Many middle-class whites began joining White Citizens’ Councils to help raise money for white state schools. This helped the state schools to become private so that they could avoid desegregation. Furthermore they focused on electing local politicians whom opposed desegregation. This massively worsened the status of African Americans, as a large amount of southerners were against desegregation. Furthermore the Klu Klux Klan had lynched a boy named Emmett Till, who was only 14. This caused a large amount of black Americans to be fearful and intimidated by many white Americans. Furthermore it gave the white backlash the ability to slow down de facto change. Although the white backlash was seen as creating limited progress in improving the status of African Americans; some could argue that the Brown V. Board of Education of Topeka was. After the NAACP succeeded in Sweatt V. Painter, they focused on achieving desegregation of younger students. The case began when Linda Brown, a black American, was denied from attending her local school as it was ‘white only’. This case was taken to Supreme Court and after three years of fighting the NAACP managed to help win it, as the Supreme Ruled out segregation in all schools. This case was the most significant as it helped the Supreme Court acknowledge that segregation had a damaging effect to black children. Furthermore the southern states were seen as lacking proper education for black southerners. This massively improved the status of African Americans, as school integration meant that they had more opportunities. Overall I believe that Brown V. Board of Education of Topeka court case was more significant than the white backlash, as African Americans were now integrated in schools. Even though there was a large amount of backlash, it was not significant to exacerbate the status of African Americans.
Although there was still a lack in de facto change, one can easily come to the conclusion that the years 1945-55 actually saw quite significant progress in improving the status of African Americans. Furthermore the various feats achieved from organisations such as the NAACP, helped exacerbate the white backlash. Additionally, Truman’s Civil Rights policies, such as desegregation in the armed forces, proved effective, and caused a large amount of improvements. Some may argue that the status of African Americans after 1955 still lacked many equal-rights; but I believe that the Supreme Court undeniably improved the status of African Americans in the long run.