GCSE History Coursework – The American Civil Rights Movement

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GCSE History Coursework – The American Civil Rights Movement

Question 1a: What type of discrimination is shown in source 2?

Question 1b: How does source one support what’s happening in source 2?


In Source 2 we see racial discrimination in the form of segregated drinking fountains for white men and black men. Source 1 states “you would eat in a separate place and use a drinking fountain labelled coloured” and in source 2 we see visual evidence of this happening.

Question 2: What types of discrimination are shown in sources 1-5?        

In source 1 Martin Luther King tells us that the black man suffers segregation in hospitals, schools, parks, pools, waiting rooms and are treated unjustly in the courtrooms. We are told this in this source 5. In source 3 we find that vehicles carrying black passengers had to wear a colour different and contrasting to the whites’. We also find that airport facilities were segregated along with seating and betting when concerned with sport. Inter-racial boxing and wrestling was prohibited. In source on the black right to vote was denied and promotion in a job went to your white co-worker, regardless of how much more talent you had. Most blacks could only get jobs concerning menial manual labour. The formation of ghettos of blacks was encouraged and this shows discrimination in housing. In source 4 we are told that a black person fears death because she is black even more than ‘hunger hell and the devil’. This is mental intimidation. In source 5 we are told that a black woman is killed simply because she spilt a drink over a white man. This is intimidation.

Question 3:  How reliable are sources 7-10 as evidence of white peoples reaction to desegregation is schools?

Source 7 is a limited source. This is how I came to this conclusion: The New York Times is a reputable, famous newspaper. It is renowned for its neutrality, and it thinks that segregation is not the way to go. I am forced to ask, did the newspaper cut out a pro-black section from the whole caption of text? If so, why? Would it have been to please the main readers who share the view of the newspaper? Would it have been to curry up support or more readers? (Black readers). Is the newspaper politically biased? Is it voicing its opinion through careful selection of racist sources? Is it an eyewitness account? If so, who was this witness and if not then how long afterwards was this account written and how accurate are the words in the text? Is the text taken out of context? Was this all that happened on this day? The answer is more than likely no because the conversation recorded seems only to last a few seconds.

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        Source 8 is another unreliable source. This is because the photo could have been cut down to focus in on Eckland when something relevant could have been happening outside the frame. Photographers are sometimes biased and they might zoom in on a particular section or area in the photo that has a lesser importance than others etc. Was the photographer biased? We cannot tell for sure whether the helmeted guard is stopping Eckford from entering Little Rock or clearing whites from her path. We also cannot be sure if the people behind her are shouting abuse or support still expressions ...

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