Black Rights - Struggle for Racial Equality in Post War America

Topics: African American, Black people, White people Pages: 5 (1938 words) Published: February 25, 2013
Write a full account on the struggle for racial equality in post war America.

During World War II, around one million black men served in the army. They were in different units to the white men. Riots and fights occurred when black men from northern America had to face the discrimination in the south during training. This lessoned peoples opinion of them, in a prejudice way. They were never allowed to join the Marines or the Air Corps, but this changed for the first time during the war due to the military needs. After the war, blacks began to challenge their status as second-class citizens. After their country fighting Nazi Germany, who killed six million Jews, and a fascist Italy, the people of America began to question the racism and many white people felt their main priority as a country should be dealing with their racial problems .

More and more black people began moving from the south up to the more urban areas of the north after the war. It was easier to set up pressure groups against discrimination, some peaceful and some violent, thanks to the large numbers in the cities. When the blacks moved to the cities, a lot of whites moved out to suburbs, leaving the blacks in the inner city. Due to overcrowding black ghettoes emerged, houses were in poor conditions, which also helped to highlight the unfair racial injustice. More blacks started attending universities , improving their skills and raising the chance of jobs. When better roads and train lines were built or improved, the move from the south to cities became easier. The economy in American affected blacks greatly. During the economic boom, more blacks were employed and earned better pay. Now that blacks could earn more money their living standards increased. This led to a demand for blacks and whites to be treated more equally. The media helped. They would highlight the disadvantages for the blacks. Television was expanding, exposing discrimination as it grew. It helped greatly to win over the support of the whites in the north.

There was huge hypocrisy in the US during the cold war. The US were trying to prevent the spread of communism and disagreed with it completely. They thought the communists were treating their people badly and denying them their human rights. Blacks saw the hypocrisy. They were being treated horribly while their country and government fight for rights around the world.

The NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) was a black rights group. Their aim was to defend black civil rights. It became the main opponent of the Klu Klux Klan, a white supremacist group. For decades they had been campaigning for for an end to segregation in schools. They brought cases to court so black students were allowed into colleges.

Linda Brown was a young black girl from Topeka, Kansas. She wanted to attend a local school but wasn't allowed. Because of this she had to go to an all black school further away. The law said segregation was legal as long as facilities were equal. The lawyer for the NAACP, Thurgood Marshall, said that segregation like this denied these black children their rights and that separate schools caused psychological damage. Thurgood Marshall and the NAACP won their case. Segregation was now ruled, by the Supreme Court, unconstitutional and therefore illegal. The schools were declared by the Court, the next year, to become desegregated. This didn't stop racism or the racist acts.

A fourteen year old boy was murdered by the KKK and an all white jury found the murderers not guilty. People said it was a plot by the NAACP. In 1957 the governor of Arkansas tried to prevent nine black students from attending a white school in Little Rock, even though the Supreme Courts had ruled it legal. Federal troops were sent in to protect the nine students so they could attend school safely and to make sure the new laws were upheld. President Eisenhower ordered the troops to remain present at the school for the...
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