The leaders of the Progressive movement, while preoccupied with their desire of gaining greater democracy for the American people, thought only in the terms of the white population. African Americans were, for the most part, ignored by Progressive presidents and governors. The Progressive era coincided with years of racial tensions. The Progressives during this time period did nothing about segregation and lynching. This was due to the fact that they shared in the general prejudice of their time and because of the fact that they considered other reforms (such as lower tariffs) to be more important that anti-lynching laws.
Malcolm X demonstrated the anger and the struggle, of the African Americans in the 1960s. During his lifetime he influenced many African Americans to stand up for their rights against the injustices set by the American government. Malcolm was criticized for his extremist views and actions while on the other hand he has been praised for his efforts in raising the status for African Americans. The views of Martin Luther King and Malcolm X often collided because of their different methods of fighting for equality. Most of Malcolm X’s views collided with the views of Martin Luther King Jr. King’s philosophy was “turn the other cheek,” meaning violence will not elevate you and bring you closer to your goals.
Following the Second World War which African Americans had played such a large part in, and ended up still coming home to beatings and brutal racism, President Truman felt obliged to commit to Civil Rights for African Americans. Strongly demonstrated through his report titled ‘to secure these rights.’ in 1947, which outlined many of the hardships faced by African Americans and provided recommendations on how to solve them. Following the report several initiatives were pushed through by Truman, such as the signing of Executive Order 9980 and Executive Order 10308. These were crucial in improving the lives of African Americans as they guaranteed fair employment practices in the Civil Services and that defence contracts would not go to companies that discriminated against African Americans, hence empowering them in the workplace. On the other hand it could be argued that the Second World War’s influence was in fact limited.
Although the black power movement could have appeared to slow down the progress of civil rights campaigns like it had done in the early 60s, it created a new wave of radical ideas that forced the nation to react. Within 1965-68, it was not just the Black Power movement that emerged, there were several other events that must also be considered as factors that diminished the civil rights campaigns. The issues however, that the civil rights campaign aspired to were still very much in the minds of politicians and decision makers. African Americans (AA) realised that even though constitutional and legal equality had been attained their lives largely remained unchanged. In 1964 the Civil Rights Act was passed and in 1965 as did the Voting Rights Act.
The Constitution, until recently, did not apply to blacks; blacks feel they deserve payments from 310 years of slavery, destruction to their minds and culture. Dr. Martin Luther King's dilemma in the United States was of a different kind. He was torn between his identity as a Black man of African descent and his identity as an American. He urged Americans to judge based on the content of the character not by skin color and also believed in non-violent protests. Martin Luther King Jr’s main perspective during the fight on racism was equality.
How far is it accurate to say that the growth of Black Power was the most important factor in weakening the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960's? Alex Cameron I do not agree with the claim that the growth of Black Power was the most important factor in weakening the Civil Rights Movement during the 1960's. Whilst the growth of Black Power is a factor to take into consideration. This did indeed lead to divisions within the Civil Right groups and how exactly those groups wanted to approach their ideas, the factor has a smaller effect in comparison to other factors such as the the deaths of the Civil Rights Group leaders Martin Luther King and Malcom X , the loss of presidential support, the failed protests in North America and the attention shift from the Civil Rights Movement to the Vietnam War, in which some seem to be the most important factor for weakening the Civil Rights Movement. The rise of Black Power has led to some important members from different Civil Rights Groups to abandon their goals of integration and leaving their groups which supported that aim, ultimately leaving them at a disadvantage and weakening them as well as the Civil Rights Movement.
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.
The black power movement hindered from the blacks to achieve their aim more then it helped them. Although some campaigns such as the NAACP welcomed black and white members arguing that co-operation would make the movement stronger, there were other groups that prevented the blacks from achieving their aim and gaining rights because black movement groups such as the Nation Of Islam and SNCC introduced the use of self-defence, heritage not to work with whites and criticism which hindered the black civil rights. One reason why the black power movement hindered black civil rights was because of the use of self-defence and violence. Malcolm X believed that self-defence was a more powerful weapon than love and forgiveness. He advocated gun ownership for black Americans.
Some of these groups and people included ‘Malcolm X’, Rosa Parks, and ‘The Black Panthers’. Malcolm X saw King’s campaign as trying to persuade the African American citizens to forget the days of slavery, and forget what the white men had done to their people. His stance was passive/aggressive and wanted equality by any means, including violence. Malcolm X was assassinated by a white supremacist during a speech and died of bullet wounds. Also, ‘The Black Panthers’ were a very violent group and saw King’s campaign as time consuming and feared it being forgotten in the process.
These laws also created environments for African Americans that had a tendency to be inferior to those provided for white Americans. But like slavery, it was only a matter of time before segregation would become a focus within the United States. The desegregation movement brought an abundance of positive outcomes, which were intended to benefit the African American community. Although desegregation was for the overall benefit of the country, it was largely implemented in a way that was demoralizing to the African American community. In his book, Acting White: The Ironic Legacy of Desegregation, Stuart Buck states “that the “acting white” phenomenon was an ironic legacy of desegregation” (637), and that the well-intention policies that were implemented eventually led to a reversal of intention thus having an inadvertent damaging effect on African American students.