Why African Americans Rioted in the 1960's

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History Extended Response.      

In the 1920’s, there were many reasons why black people rioted in many American cities. The reasons included that 40% of black American’s still lived in poverty. Blacks lived in ghettos which were places of crime, gangs and drugs. Many blacks were either in low paid jobs or had no jobs at all. These reasons and more will be discussed in this essay to explain why black people rioted in many American cities in the 1960’s.

        By the 1960’s, the main aims of the non-violent black campaigners had been achieved. These aims were to desegregate public places and for blacks to get the right to vote. What the Civil Rights campaigners had not done was tackle the problems that black American’s faced in the northern states. By 1960 half of all black American’s had moved from the south to the north and crowded together in ghettos. They suffered from poverty, high unemployment, lack of health services and high crime rates. Riots were caused in mostly ghetto areas by acts or rumours of police brutality.

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        The most serious riots where in New York, Detroit and The Watts area of Los Angeles. The assassination of Martin Luther King in 1968 lead to riots in 125 American cities. There were shootings, arson and looting in and around black American ghettos. Buildings were set on fire and burned down during these riots, and hundreds of people were injured and killed. Many black American neighbourhoods were burnt out and abandoned by their families and thousands of blacks were arrested.

 In 1968, President Johnson ordered an official investigation called the Kerner Commission in the black American ghettos. The Kerner Commission ...

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