How far had equality for black Americans been achieved by 1968?

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Jesse Owusu                History

How far had equality for black Americans been achieved by 1968?

Equality for black Americans hadn’t been achieved by 1968. Although, the foundation for change had been set up most noticeably in de jure segregation. The various civil rights acts now had given black Americans equality but strictly only within the law. It would take many more years to change the defacto segregation, which still left African Americans as 2nd class citizens. This is because it’s very hard to change people’s thoughts and opinions, opposed the changing the law, which can be done relatively easily. Before 1968 things were not equal at all there was a significant gap between white and black Americans as 57% of African American housing was judged to be unacceptable, African American life expectancy was 7 years less than whites, African American infant mortality was twice as great as whites, African Americans found it all but impossible to get mortgages from mortgage lenders, Property values would dropped a great deal if an African American family moved into a neighbourhood that was not a ghetto. Although progress was made in most areas of American society like: transport, desegregation, employment, public places, voting rights and public opinion. Nevertheless one area that made little to no progress or had no equality by 1968 was housing.

Firstly, the civil rights campaigners of the 1950’s and 1960’s achieved some major and significant victories in the area of education. The sweat v. painter established that blacks and whites were entitled to equal education resources. The 1954 brown v. board of education went even further establishing that the separate but equal principle was separate and inferior thus segregation in schools was found illegal by a unanimous vote moulded by Earl Warren and then the brown II in 1955 and cooper v. Aaron in 1958 attempted to speed up the integration. This is quite a radical change and a big step toward equality for African Americans. By blacks attending white schools they would now have access to the best if not better recourses that would only advance their education eventually leading to better jobs which would cause a increase in the black middle/upper class and make it more equal to that of white people. Thus education was a big factor in achieving equality for black Americans. Although, these laws were put in place by 1968 58% of black school children in southern states remained in segregated states even though the government now had the power to force integration of education.

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Secondly equality had been achieved in transport by 1968 to a significant extent mainly in de jure segregation the NAACP’s case Morgan v. Virginia in 1946 successfully established segregation on interstate transportation was illegal. However the freedom riders of the CORE in 1961 were necessary for the government to actually enforce desegregation and by 1961 all signs enforcing segregation were removed from interstate buses and bus terminals. Defacto changes across the south were slow to follow. Once again, the civil rights act of 1964 was necessary to give federal government power to enforce desegregation of transport in the south. ...

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