How Successful Were Black Americans in Achieving Their Civil Rights in the Period of 1950 – 1970?

Topics: Martin Luther King, Jr., Civil disobedience, African American Pages: 3 (973 words) Published: July 24, 2008
During the period of 20 years between 1950 and 1970, black Americans were able to improve their level of civil rights. Therefore, it is logical to say that they were at least partly successful in achieving their civil rights. This was accomplished through a variety of ways, two commonly used techniques being legal strategies and non-violent direct action. However, because they were unable to attain complete equality, there must have been factors that worked against the civil rights movement. One of these factors was the use of violence as a means of protest.

Legal strategies contributed greatly to the amount of success that the Civil Rights movement achieved. This was for several reasons, one of the main ones being that they provided integration in specific areas of life, for example, education and transportation. This meant that, for the first time in modern American history, black Americans were protected from racism and segregation by the law. This was seen in the Brown v. Board of Education (1954) ruling and the subsequent Little Rock incident in Alabama, 1957. This was significant because the students attempting to exercise their newly awarded rights were, when confronted with the resistance led by the Governor Orval Faubus, supported by the President and the Supreme Court Topeka decision he represented. Consequently, the resistance caved in and the students were able to go to Little Rock High School. This proved that black students were now able to attend the same schools as whites, something that would not have been possible prior to 1950’s. Therefore, it is evident that the legal strategies were able to provide integration in regards to education. This was also seen in other areas, such as transportation. As a result of the Browder v. Gayle (1956) case, the segregation of seating on buses was outlawed. This allowed black Americans to keep their seats, something, which again, would not have happened prior 1950 and without legal strategies. This...
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