The Achievements of Peaceful Protest During the Civil Rights Movement

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The Achievements of Peaceful Protests

By 1968, full racial equality had not been achieved. Nonetheless, significant progress had been made in terms of: • Education
• Transport
• Desegregation of public places
• Voting rights
• Employment
• Public Opinion


• The 1954 Brown case – established that a segregated education could never be an equal one. • Although there were other legal victories which attempted to speed up integration, progress towards desegregation was slow. • In 1957, 3 years after the Brown case which ruled that segregation was illegal in all schools, 97% of black students remained in segregated schools. • Although the Civil Rights Act of 1964 gave the government power to force integration of education, by 1968 58% of black students remained in segregated schools. • President Johnsons Higher Education Act of 1965 increased the number of black students attending college/uni during the late 1960s and 1970s

Important points to remember:
The Brown Case (1954)
Civil Rights Act (1964)
Higher Education Act (1968)


Interstate Transport

• An NAACP court case in 1946 successfully established that segregation was illegal on interstate transport • CORE’s 1961 Freedom Rides – were necessary for a de facto change • September 1961 – signs enforcing segregation were removed from interstate buses/bus terminals

State Transport

• SCLC’s Montgomery Bus Boycott (1955-1956) led to desegregation of buses in Montgomery and the NAACP’s legal case les to the establishment that segregation on buses was illegal (de jure) • De facto change in the South was slow

• Civil Rights Act (1964) was necessary to give the government power to enforce de facto change.

Public Places

• Sit-ins which began in Greensboro in 1960 = effective • But some authorities took measures to avoid desegregation e.g. closed public parks • Birmingham...
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