The Civil Rights Movement in 20th Century America
Until the 1950s, African Americans had experienced discrimination in all aspects of their lives. They were no longer slave, but they were definitely not equal citizens.
During the 1950s and 1960s, African Americans, along with a number of other racial groups, embarked on a campaign to change this situation. This campaign challenged discrimination and fought to achieve the objective of equality that the American constitution promised for its entire people. It composed a number of significant groups, individuals and events to fulfil this vital objective. It was known as the Civil Rights Movement.
The National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People (NAACP) was founded in 1909 by WEBB Du Bois. Along with Booker T Washington, an ex-slave, Du Bois was one of the early crusaders for equality. The NAACP published its own newspaper and set out to defeat the ‘Jim Crow’ laws. They defeated laws that segregated housing in Louisiana and helped establish the right for African Americans to sit on juries. The NAACP paved the way for future groups, such as CORE, to end racial discrimination. WEBB Du Bois and Booker T Washington were both for ending racial discrimination although they had conflicting views. Booker T Washington believed African Americans needed to prove they were worthy of equality by becoming economically independent. WEBB Du Bois did not agree with this. In the words of Dudley Randall (source 4), ‘For what can property avail, if dignity and justice fail? Unless you help to make the laws, they’ll steal your house with trumped up clause.’ This presents the conflicting views that would have caused dispute amongst the African American people of the time.
The Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) was an American Civil Rights organisation that played a vital role in the Civil Rights Movement.
They were motivated through the belief that ‘all people are equal’ and the methods of non-violence preached by Martin Luther