To What Extent Was Grass Roots Activism a Significant Reason to Why the Civil Rights Movement Grew in the 1950s and 1960s

Topics: COINTELPRO, Black Panther Party, Martin Luther King, Jr. Pages: 4 (1394 words) Published: March 31, 2013
To what extent was grass roots activism a significant reason to why the Civil Rights Movement Grew in the 1950s and 1960s

The civil rights movement grew for a number of reasons during the 1950’s and 1960s. Prior to this select time period America were fighting in the Cold War and many black soldiers battled in the name of ‘freedom’. This was ironic as these black soldiers were fighting for something that they didn’t even have back home. Often Black soldiers talked about the ‘Double V Campaign’; this was referring to victory in the war and victory for civil rights back home in the USA. Many historians believe that world war two planted seeds in the growth of the civil rights movement as it raised the question to black people, in the words of Mohamed Ali; “Why should they ask me to put on a uniform and go ten thousand miles from home and drop bombs and bullets on brown people in Vietnam while so-called Negro people in Louisville are treated like dogs and denied simple human rights?” A Philip Randolph played a key role in the early civil rights movement as he called for an executive order to stop job discrimination in the defence industry. President FDR eventually issued executive order 8802 stating an end to discrimaination the employment of workers in the defence industries and in government. This proved effective in the growth of civil rights movement as it was one of the first pieces of success blacks achieved and this increase momentum, hope and motivation for blacks in their bid for civil rights. Other factors that influenced effected the growth of the civil rights movement included the increase in media awareness which helped mobilise support from all quarters of the USA. The support they gained due to different methods of black leaders, the shift in president’s attitudes and the Supreme Court, and the momentum gained through small victories which inspired the likes of Rosa Parks.

Grass roots activism managed to gain momentum and maintain belief amongst...
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