How Important Was the Supreme Court in the Development of African-American Civil Rights in the Years 1950 to 1962?

Montgomery Bus Boycott, Oliver Brown (civil rights), Brown v. Board of Education

(A) Use Source A and B and your own knowledge

Explain how far the views in Source B differ from those in Source A in relation to President Eisenhower and the desegregation of education.

Both sources illustrate Eisenhower’s negative opinion on desegregation in schools. Both criticise and portray Eisenhower’s intolerance of black people as Source states Eisenhower’s comment that white people ‘ are concerned about is that their sweet little girls are not required to sit in school alongside some big overgrown Negroes’ . Eisenhower’s ‘sympathises’; the south as he originates there himself, the intolerance could be considered to be part of the South’s culture and behaviour to be intolerant of the black people, it is arguable that this effected Eisenhower’s political judgement . The fact that Eisenhower came from military background after spending 44 years of his life in service, would have influenced his decisions and opinions on desegregation as military camps were segregated and Eisenhower would have been use to this system. He once again agues from the South’s point of view in Source B, ‘I don’t believe you can change the hearts of men with laws and decisions’ this once again supports the point I made before. Evidence of his intolerance was regretting appointing Earl Warren as chief of justice ‘the biggest damn fool mistake I ever made’ he obviously was very against the decision and never wanted desegregation.

The similarities continue as both sources shows the reluctance of helping the black people through desegregation. Source A comments that he didn’t show a clear support for the Supreme Court decision to desegregate schools, ‘his silence encouraged massive resistance’. His political and personal opinions were colliding with each other making his actions limited. Source B shows proof of his reluctance also as it stated three years later he finally protects the little rock 9 with a federal army in 1957. This was the first time Eisenhower...
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