These laws denied black Americans the equal rights of white citizens which re-imposed white supremacy and meant they remained as second-class citizens. It wasn’t only the Jim Crow laws but under the Fifteenth Amendment, black people had the legal right to vote throughout America. Nonetheless, the southern states found devious ways to disenfranchise the local black population. For example, some states introduced a grandfather clause, which meant that people could only vote if their grandfathers had been able to vote. Other states introduced literacy tests as criteria for voting.
Even when this was challenged in the Plessy vs Ferguson Supreme Court case the separate but equal principle was found to be constitutional. Similarly the principle of separate but equal in education was also found to be constitutional in the Cummings vs Board of education Supreme Court case. According to the 15th amendment, all African Americans should have been able to vote. However due to high levels of illiteracy and poverty among African Americans this was not possible because of literacy tests and poll taxes, which excluded both African Americans and white people who were poor and illiterate. These voting restrictions were challenged in the Mississippi vs Williams Supreme Court case but it was maintained that the restrictions did not go against the 15th amendment and so they continued.
Even to today, this is still happening, a superior race, we try to say that everyone is equal but no African Americans would believe this, but this is all starting to change now that the US have a African American president. Reconstruction In the Southern states, many African Americans demanded equality in 1865 - they felt they were unequal in economic, social, political and legal aspects. Durings 1865 Reconstruction Confederate style was
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.
The Second World War was a turning point for African Americans in the struggle for civil rights because they gained respect from most whites, but only to a certain extent. It helped them to get the vote, but outside the southern states suffered from de facto segregation, Southern states suffered from De Jero segregation and Jim Crow Laws, but they started to gain respect from some whites. The Second World War was a turning point for African Americans as it showed equality, however, voting rights did not necessarily result in the number of black votes within a constituency boundary. In 1945, there were only two black members of Congress, Representative William Dawson from Chicago, and Adam Clayton Powell, who had been elected to Congress in 1944 because newly drawn constituency boundaries ensured that Harlem’s quarter of a million blacks would be able to elect a black man to the House of Representatives. So, even though they took a step forward in equality outside of the south, it didn’t really help that much as they couldn’t do much with the vote because of the attitudes shown towards blacks from whites.
WW1 was a turning point in increasing racial equality between black and white Americans to a lesser extent. During WW1 black people made contributions to the war effort by moving north to work in factories making war goods. However violence occurred where they moved as competition with the whites for jobs was rife. In the short term with competition and violence intensifying, the Ku Klux Klan restarted in the south and lynchings became common. It would seem that racial equality had not improved, but worsened.
There were many reasons that made the problem of “the color line” more and more definite. In Plessy v. Ferguson “the justices legalized racism by stating that separate spaces for different races were allowable by law as long as they were equal.” (Bowles, 2011) They were, however, anything but equal. The blacks had to endure sub-par schools, churches, hospitals and restaurants. This was a constant reminder that they were considered second class to the white citizen simply because of the color of their skin. Though the fifteenth amendment gave black males the right to vote a poll tax was introduced to eliminate the black vote.
Segregation was seen as lawful due to the Plessy vs. Ferguson case saying that ‘separate but equal’ was how they should live their lives. The social status of African Americans saw almost no improvement throughout the years 1945-55; across the country black Americans were still treated as sub-human. In the North, the situation had been slightly better by 1945 however throughout the period of time, 1945-55, nothing really changed. Although by law things should’ve been equal for all races even if they were to live separately, black Americans lived much harsher lives with their facilities being a lot worse and them being forced to live in ghettos due to the whites not wanting to live near them. Groups such as the NAACP attempted to change the situation in the North through questioning the Supreme Court on cases like Shelley vs. Kraemer where they tried to get rid of ‘restrictive covenants’ to do with real estate however unfortunately, this proved to be ineffective.
First, they wanted to assist in freeing the slaves in southern states. Second, they wanted the opportunity to have equal rights in the United States. Third, they wanted to demonstrate their patriotism for the United States by fighting for their country. However, prejudice delayed African American from enlisting in the Union Army. Once allowed in the Civil War, African Americans actively supported the Union Army.
After the civil rights era’s and all of the bills and supreme court rulings like the transportation equality act, prohibited discrimination In public accommodations, educations and employment, Civil Rights Acts of 1964 and the American Indian Movement just to name a few. These acts were implemented to remove oppression but actually today in 2014 Oppression is still happening especially on blacks and Hispanics. The oppression happens as a bi product from white privilege. People are oppressed because African Americans and Hispanics cannot do certain things that white Americans can do. This can be linked to negative stereotypes about these races.