Were Black Americans considered second class citizens before the years 1945?

Authors Avatar by sophieh29 (student)

Were Black americans considered second hand citizens before the years 1945?

In the years before 1945, black Americans were targeted by discrimination. To some extent it is accurate to say that they were classed as second class citizens, although they did have a change in society in the years leading up to 1945 as there were some factors that helped their lives improve. But it is also easy to say that they still did not get the same rights as whites even during 1945.
 It is easy to agree that Black Americans where treated as second class citizens before 1945, they where used as slaves, brought over to the US in the early seventeenth century. They where used to work for whites for example they were commonly used on farms in southern states growing cotton or tobacco, after the American revolution, people got their legal protection rights, but it did not extend to all of African Americans especially those in the South. It wasn’t till after the civil war between north and south America that slavery was abolished throughout America, however just because it was abolished it did not stop the south from finding other ways to control the black civilisation.
 There is another example of such discrimination against African Americans,  even after the 13
th, 14th and 15th amendments put in place to improve the rights of American citizens, the south still found ways to prevent African Americans from having such rights.
An example would be the Jim Crow laws which segregated blacks from whites stopping blacks from entering restaurants, cinema’s toilets, bus stations and drinking fountains used by whites. Or the particular characteristics that made blacks different from whites just from the way they sat, stood, ate or walked. It was known as the rules that society knew and wouldn’t break such as how one race would treat the other. And how blacks where stopped from voting and told they were only allowed if their grandfathers had voted previously.
But the most famous known would be the acts of the Ku Klux Klan; they would lynch any black Americans they found to be a threat whether it was disrespect towards whites or romantic involvement with whites. Between 1915 and 1929 the Klan was very powerful and even had the membership of Judges, police and local officials, meaning that there was little justice for black Americans.
It was not only citizens that discriminated against Blacks, the government also played their role; the best example known would be the case of Plessey v. Ferguson in 1896, when he went to the supreme court after he was arrested when he sat in a white only area of a train platform he claimed that it broke the law of the 14
th amendment, which states that all citizens where guaranteed equal rights, and the government claimed segregation was legal if both facilities where equally good.
The government also denied the rights for blacks to fight in World War 2 this shows that in 1945 the rights of black Americans still did not improve towards the war, and therefore still treated as second class citizens, they themselves where disgusted that they had to fight for America but where treated as though they didn’t belong there.

Join now!

However there where factors that helped to improve the lives of African Americans and even better their were ways in which they managed to achieve rights.
Before the Second World War, their were amendments that helped African Americans to get rights. Such as the 13
th amendment which made slavery illegal followed by the 14th amendment which guaranteed rights to those who were formally slaves, and finally the fifteenth amendment which gave all citizens voting rights regardless of their race. This helped the black citizens of America especially those in the north, it ensured them the rights to live their lives as an actual ...

This is a preview of the whole essay