Many people would agree that the Supreme Court was the most important branch of the federal government in assisting African Americans achieve their civil rights between 1865-1992. For example, the Supreme Court overturned African American convictions in the Powell vs. Alabama Case in 1932 and the Brown vs Board of Education case of 1954 proved to be a milestone in the strive for equality for African Americans. However, the roles of the Presidency and Congress cannot be overlooked as they also proved to be influential in the fight for equal rights as proved by the Emancipation Proclamation of 1865 by Abraham Lincoln and The Civil Rights Act which was passed by Congress in 1875. It may appear that the Supreme Court was the most important aspect of the federal government in assisting African Americans achieve their civil rights, but it is important to consider the roles of the other parts of the American federal government.
In 1932, the Powell vs Alabama Case reversed the convictions of nine black men who were accused of raping two white women. All the defendants, apart from one, were sentenced to death after a series of one-day trials and they were given minimal access to their lawyers before their trials which meant their defenses weren’t precisely planned. The convictions were reversed because the Alabama Supreme Court ruled that they weren't given a fair trial, they were denied legal counsel, and the juries excluded members of their race. This was a significant ruling because the Supreme Court had recognised that African Americans were being treated unconstitutionally, and the little rights that they did have, had been violated. This evidence shows that the Supreme Court was important in assisting African Americans achieve their civil rights because the Courts had accepted that African