African- American History 320
Writing Assignment #3
Chapter 21 Question 2: What key issues and events led the federal government to intervene in the civil rights movement? What were the major pieces of legislation enacted, and how did they dismantle legalized segregation?
“The Jim Crow regime was a major characteristic of American society in 1950s and had been so for over seven decades. Following slavery, it had become the new form of white domination, which insured that blacks would remain oppressed well into the twentieth century.” (Morris) Civil rights and segregation were the two main issues during the 1950’s and 1960’s. While the Supreme Court case Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas was in progress the National Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) established the Legal Defense and Educational Fund (NAACP-LDEF) in 1940. It was ran under the leadership of Thurgood Marshall to provide legal assistance to poor African Americans all while, bringing greater justice to everyone. The LDEF fought for civil rights, equally, segregation in education and politics. (Hine Et. Al, 2010:574) Constance Baker Motley was a NAACP-LDEF lawyer who fought for the justice of African Americans, race exclusion, and black professionals. Her actions made remarkable contributions to cases including: State of Missouri rel. Gaines v. Canada, Sipuel v. Board of Regents of the University of Oklahoma, and Sweatt v. Painter. All of these court cases were key elements for civil rights and segregation laws to become enhanced. In 1955, after the Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas, the Supreme Court ruled against "separate but equal" principle of Plessy v. Ferguson for public education. The new policy was ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, and required the desegregation of schools across America. The white people hated this new policy of desegregation and fought back through violence, hate crimes, and lynching. Chapter 21 Question 3: What were the ideologies, objectives and tactics of the major civil rights organizations and their leaders?
Many African Americans during the civil rights era were tired of the horrific living conditions and treatments from their Caucasian counterparts. Although the United States government declared all citizens equal, African Americans were still put through hell because of the color of their skin. Empirical support for challenges to classical collective-behavior theories come from revolutionist studies of the civil rights movement. (Killian) The civil rights era was a time for change, respect, and most importantly, dignity. (Killian) In 1946, Chairmen of Alabama State College English Department, Mary Frances Fair Burks founded the Women’s Political Council (WPC) after being turn down as a member of a majority white League of Women. The objective of the (WPC) organization was to encourage professional women to fight the institutionalized racism of Montgomery, Alabama by having the willingness to stand up to powerful white people. In addition, this intellectual organization provided leadership and job opportunities for women of color. The WPC was the first group to officially call for a boycott of the bus system during the Montgomery Bus Boycott which helped to revitalize the strength of the African American community. After leading the NAACP and the Alabama chapter of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, E.D. Nixon founded the Montgomery Voters League in 1943. The ideology of the organization was to guide African Americans through Alabama’s gruesome voter’s registration process. Their helpful tactic was designed to help blacks succeed through the various tests that had been set up by white people to make it more complex for them to register as voters. In 1955, Martin Luther King Jr, who was twenty-six years old, led the Montgomery Improvement Association (MIA). This improvement association was the key element for the Montgomery Bus Boycott because it...
Cited: * Gordon, Jacob. "Black Males in the Civil Rights Movement." Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 569 (2000): 42-55.
* Hine, Darlene Clark, William C. Hine, and Stanley Harrold. The African-American Odyssey. Vol. 2 4th Edition. Pearson Prentice Hall, New Jersey. Chapters 21 and 24.
* Killian, Lewis. "6. Organization, Rationality and Spontaneity in the Civil Rights Movement." American Sociological Review 49 (1984): 770-83.
* Morris, Aldon. "7. A Retrospective on the Civil Rights Movement: Political and Intellectual Landmarks." Annual Review of Sociology 25 (1999): 517-39.
* Sullivan, Rachel. "Rap and Race: It 's Got a Nice Beat, but What about the Message?" Journal of Black Studies 33 (2003): 605-22.
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