A Levels

Topics: African American, Black people, Martin Luther King, Jr. Pages: 13 (2830 words) Published: May 16, 2013
Revision essay plans

1. To what extent had African Americans made progress towards equality in the period 1945 to 1957?

• Education and actions of NAACP and Supreme Court
- Brown decision 1954 – overturned Plessey v Ferguson - Actions of NAACP in other education cases (eg Sweatt v Painter) - Role of Thurgood Marshall, main lawyer in NAACP

- Supreme Court more favourable to civil rights after appointment of Earl Warren as Chief Justice • Military and other actions of Truman
- Executive Order to desegregate military 1948
- Truman commissioned report ‘To Secure these Rights’ 1947 with recommendations for improved civil rights - Generally Truman helped to awaken USA’s conscience to civil rights issues • Transport

- Montgomery Bus Boycott (explain why this was successful) - Browder v Gayle 1956 (court case which confirmed that segregation on Montgomey buses was illegal)

Lack of progress
• Limits to progress in education and continued segregation - difficulties in enforcing Brown (in fact, not fully enforced till early 70s) - Brown II – ‘all deliberate speed’

- Little Rock 1957
• Limits to progress under Truman
- report ‘To Secure these Rights’ achieved little concrete change - resistance to Truman in Congress and particularly from Southern Democrats (‘Dixiecrats’) • Continued violence and intimidation towards blacks

- lynchings rose after Brown decision – eg Emmet Till 1955 - Southern Manifesto
• Continued discrimination in other areas, especially voting rights

2. Why was progress towards civil rights for African Americans slow in the period 1945 to 1955? • Opposition to progress from Congress – remember that progress was dependent on all 3 branches of government supporting change (ie President, Congress and Supreme Court) - Southern Democrats (Dixiecrats) and Strom Thurmond

• Distraction for President Truman
- Start of Cold War
- Korean War (1950-3)
- Need to win racist white votes in South
• Lack of Presidential will – especially with Eisenhower - little sympathy – explain his background (eg Republican) - lack of enforcement of Brown
- only reluctantly intervened in Little Rock
- weak civil rights Acts (1957 and 1960)
• Effect of the Cold War and McCarthyism
• Atmosphere of violence and intimidation in the South - led to fear in black community in the South and lack of willingness to protest for change - eg Emmet Till
• Shortcomings of the civil rights movement
- no mass movement for civil rights
- strategy was court based and therefore unlikely to win popular support - no inspirational black figurehead
- unlikely to gain positive media coverage

3, Why was the civil rights movement able to achieve success between 1954 and 1965? (NB this is a crucial question which could be asked in a number of different ways and you need to have really detailed knowledge on it) • leadership and role of Martin Luther King (see feedback from mock) • tactics of non-violence leading to positive media coverage and increasing public support - explain King’s strategy

- give examples of successful campaigns – Greensboro sit-ins, Birmingham, Selma • Presidential support
- actions of Kennedy: helped get King released from jail in 1960; promoted civil rights bill in 1963 - actions of Johnson: concerned with JFK legacy; pushed for 1964 and 1965 Acts • Support from Congress (so, now all branches of government were supporting civil rights – contrast this with 50s) • Increased unity of civil rights movement in this period - black and white involvement (eg March on Washington) - before the emergence of Black...
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