To What Extent Was the Black Civil Rights Movement Successful in Bringing About Social and Political Change for Black Americans Between 1880 and 1990?

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To what extent was the black civil rights movement successful in bringing about social and political change for black Americans between 1880 and 1990? “There must be the position of superior and inferior” was a statement by Lincoln in 1858, a view that formed the basis of discrimination towards black people. Although civil rights for black people eventually improved, both socially and politically, it was difficult to change the view that black people were inferior to white people, one of the main factors why the movement took so long. The period between 1880 and 1945 can be seen as a period of stasis. The civil rights movement had little impact with few significant improvements towards the overall goal of equality. Despite the 15th Amendment introduced in 1870, black people were still suppressed through de jure segregation. The Plessy vs. Ferguson (1896) ‘equal but separate’ decision confirmed blacks to be seen as second-class citizens. With Supreme Court backing, the case showed that there was still endemic racism in the country and institutional corruption in the southern states; two factors which would prove to hinder the movement. The Jim Crow Laws plus direct physical intimidation such as lynching enabled white people to maintain their supremacy through better access to education, higher-paid jobs and good housing, showing the massive social and economic division between black and white people at the time. Even though the 15th amendment had been implemented to give equal rights to all blacks, whites managed to find loopholes to avoid parity and through literacy tests, “southern black voters plummeted.” Nevertheless, some positive changes did occur in this period as pressure groups emerged and began to lay the foundations for the movement. Booker T Washington was a key figure, the President Theodore Roosevelt consulted him on issues, and this was a big
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