Africa Americans in the North and South

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  • Created on: 16-02-16 09:23
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  • African-Americans in the North and South - 1940s
    • WWII
      • Irony of opponents- a brutal, idealogical enemy committed to ideas of racial superiority- many were used to that in the south.
        • At home, demands of wartime economy- 'Great Migration' of black workers to north- variety of industries.
          • Detroit
            • Steady jobs, good wages concentration of black families
            • Race riot in Detroit involving 100,000 people, 34 killed (1943)
          • Chicago
            • Black newspapers- the Chicago Defender- active in their capaigns- Double V campaign- Victory over nazis and Victory over racism at home
              • Increased political awareness+ growing wealth of some african american= rise in membership of the National Associtaion for the Advancement of Coloured People - founded 1909.
                • By the time Eisenhower was in power it had reached over a million members and provided funding for ambitious legal campaigns.
                  • Second civil rights group- Congress of Racial equality- CORE- founded in 1942
                    • Focused on the North, along with Philip Randolphs Brotherhood of the sleeping car porters, began to adopt a peacefull and procative approach to civil rights
                      • Philip Randolph (1889-1979), politicall magazine the Messenger, black trade union(brotherhood), pushed FDR to found FEPC, and Truman to desegregate the army, co-organised the march on washington.
          • Cleveland
      • Before 1940 army units had been segregated- African-American soldiers served as logistics rather than frontline
        • Red Cross wouldnt accept blood donations. Segrgated in brithish towns before D-Day. Frequent fights, british locals would join black soldiers side.
          • Black servicemen astonished by warm reception in Europe- they were liberators
      • Adam Faircloth-'No breakthrough'. Robert Cooke-'did more than any other event'
        • led to extensive shifts in wealth and demographics- proved tempory and no change in attitudes
    • Under Truman.
      • SOUTH- rural towns- agricultural occupations or menial service always under watch of white people and under the jurisdiction of the JIM CROW LAWS
        • Education was segregated, African Americans were kept from voting using a variety of borderline illegal methods
          • Church was a very powerful force- black preachers had more respect from the white people- many content with segregation
            • Threat of violence from 1920s and 19302- lynching. Standing up against segregation= harassment and violence for whole family- possible loss of jobs.
      • NORTH- prejudice existed- not from Jim Crow but from a combination of economic segregation, ghettoization and social pressure.
        • Black people only recently in the North. 8% not in south from 1900- 'Great Migration' increased the dislocation of southern black population.
          • Caused by several factors: Great depression, agricultural mechanisation, huge number of factory jobs in the north.
            • In the 1940s 1.4 million black citizens moved, 1950s a further 1.1 million.
              • Lived in cramped apartments in the centre f cities. High rent, neglected by landlords- demand always exceeded supply.
                • Although many working- prevented from moving out by 'restricted covenants' and DE FACTO segregation from real estates operators.
        • Jobs were available to- although mainly poorly paid, except from the automobile industry in Detroit.
          • However black sportsmen and artists could gain recognition and wealth.
            • Billie Holiday
            • Louis Armstrong
            • Joe Louis (boxing Champion)
            • Jackie Robinson (baseball)
      • Relations with white people were tense
        • Especially in the Police- would often resort to violence when dealing with Black population
          • Justice system was far harsher on black people to white people- Malcom X- 8-10 year sentence for Burglary
    • The Campaign For Civil Rights.
      • immediate post war period saw an increase in proactive approaches from major civil rights groups.
        • Urban League and Nation of Islam in the north, CORE and NAACP in the south.
          • NAACP was the most successful civil rights group in the Truman Years- tactic of seeking to challenge segregation through courts.
            • Many of the cases focused on undermining the supreme court decision 1896, Plessy vs Ferguson
              • Plessy vs Ferguson- declared that Homer Plessy was not being discriminated against when he was asked to sit in the coloured carriage of a train- established the 'Separate but equal' facilities- legitimising segregation in any state that chose to enact Jim Crow Laws
              • Established the Legal Defence fund in 1939- the NAACP began to raise money to take on cases that would challenge the principle of Plessy vs Ferguson
                • With the money they could hire the best black  lawyers
                  • Robert Carter ,Charles Hamilton Houston and his protégée Thurgood Marshall
                    • Thurgood Marshall- a lawyer for the NAACP who won a series of cases before the supreme court- Brown vs Board of education 1954- desegregated schools- Kennedy promoted him to the United States Court of Appeals. President Johnson nominated him to the supreme court in 1967
                      • Brown v. Education = PIVOTAL
                • 1944- smith vs Allwright- allowed African American in Texas to vote in primaries
                • 1946- Morgan vs Virginia- made segregation on interstate buses illegall
                • 1948- Shelley v. Kramer- estate agents could not refuse to show and sell property to a black client if the seller had placed a 'restrictive covenant' on the property
                • 1950- Henderson v. US- segregation in railway dining cars was illegal
                • 1950- McLaurin v. Oklahoma state- George McLaurin was allowed to enter the University of Oklahoma to pursue a PhD but was kept segregated from other students
                • Sweatt v. Painter- ruled that the provision of a  separate but equal law school for Heman Sweatt and others to attend was not equal to the White university of Texas Law School
                • Brown v. Education = PIVOTAL

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