Specifically for African Americans, the equality and desegregation under this act of education, the workplace, and voter’s registration has been tremendously empowering. One of the great things about America that many other countries do not have is free education. Under Plessy v. Ferguson, segregation of schools was legalized under the conditions that it was separate but equal. During that time, the schools were definitely separated, but unquestionably unequal. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 overturned Plessy V. Ferguson which not only led to African Americans having better schools, but also allowed them to learn with their Caucasian peers.
In order for racial equality to exist, African Americans must feel as though their needs had been met. They were fighting for economic equality, being able to vote without intimidation, termination of segregated public transport and places, to change attitudes, and the extinction of day to day discrimination on the whole. Although all these factors were covered by the Civil Rights campaign it is questionable as to what extent they were covered; and whether racial equality had been achieved by 1965. Before the Civil Rights campaign came about, the economic and social rights for black American's was almost non-existent. Black unemployment rates seemed to remain constantly higher than the corresponding sums for white people and even if they were successful in finding a job they wouldn't usually receive equal pay.
How far do you agree with the statement that the position of black Americans changes little during the period 1945-1955? It may be argued that during the period 1945-55 the position of the black Americans changed unnoticeable, yet there had been certain factors that in longer term resulted in improving the position of white Americans in a big scale. The improvements consisted of army. Truman desegregated the armed forces in 1948 and appointed the first black federal judge. This meant that the American workers left their jobs to join the army, which created many job opportunities for black Americans, which were needed especially in the defence industries, which now grew in importance as they had to make supplies for the Army such as guns and tanks.
How far did conditions for black Americans improve in the period 1945-56? Civil right was a major issue in America during 1945-56, especially in the Deep South. This was because conditions of African Americans didn’t improve much, it was mainly the start to any change that happened, with some limited progress. The first issue is ‘Jim crow’ laws; this was a law in the Southern states of America that introduced segregation between black and white people, by passing laws which denied them access to white facilities. Many of these facilities were, education, healthcare, transport, cinemas, restaurants and churches and even housing and estates were segregated.
The 15th amendment (1870) gave black men equal voting rights with white men. However they were threatened or physically stopped from voting. It was no good having rights which were not enforced. Yet inequality increased at the end of the 19th century and continued in the early 20th century through Southern states passing the ‘Jim Crow’ laws which increased segregation. WW1 did little in stopping the rising tide of segregation.
I believe that the contribution of Martin Luther King was huge for the Civil Rights Campaign, however many important campaigners were overshadowed by King who possibly got too much credit when it was due elsewhere. King had a giant effect on the progress of the advancement of black civil rights. The first major part he played in improving the social standing of black civilians was in his role governing the Montgomery Bus Boycott between 1955 and 1956. This boycott aimed to achieve, which it eventually did, the desegregation of public buses, which was partly initiated by Rosa Parks refusing to give up her seat for a white man when asked to do so, who was then arrested. King was invited to lead the body which was coordinating the boycott, the Montgomery Improvement Association, so he was not responsible for creating and starting off this successful campaign, however his alluring personality and leadership skills helped motivate the campaign brilliantly.
Although the general position of the African Americans improved, there was still discrimination and segregation of the blacks as they were deprived of basic human rights. Issues like disfranchisement, racism, racial hatred groups and segregation prohibited Black equality. In 1950s segregation existed everywhere in America. In the south it was de jure and in the North de facto. In the South segregation was supported by the Jim Crow laws that made it legal.
Johnson realised that society had changed in a short space of time of just a few years; he wanted change before civil unrest forced through. The march on Washington was a very significant factor to the civil rights act being passed; it showed the strength and support from both the media and the white Americans. The march on Washington drew a massive crowd of over 250,000 people and showed the height of the civil rights movement. It was the largest rally in the US up to that date and was an integrated campaign which demanded that the government enforced the laws equally to protect the citizens regardless of race or colour. As a result of the march, Martin Luther King and others met with president Kennedy at the white house and discussed their views on the issue of segregation.
How far do you agree that the black power achieved little for black Americans Some of the thing that the black power movement wanted to achieve was self sufficiency to reinforce black culture and to have independence from white people, they did this through a variety of different ways and allot of their campaigns involved violent protests however they saw it as self defence. However whether they were successful in their actions is debatable. One way in which they achieved their aims was with the creation of the Black Panthers. Their main aims were to organise the working class black community improve the conditions in the northern ghettos and implement a 10 point program they had made. They had many different methods of doing this such as patrol the pigs, liberation schools and president elections.
A lot of the states’ laws had to be overcome in order for the act to become effective such as Jim Crow laws. These laws made African Americans feel as though they were relegated to the status of second class citizens. Jim Crow laws prevents blacks from voting due to illiteracy, social class, and/or poverty. It did take some muscle from the federal government, the attorney general’s office and executive orders from the president to make sure civil right laws were enacted. But it was all worth it.