The Early 1950s

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  • The Early 1950s
    • Segregation and discrimination in the Southern states
      • Racist 'Jim Crow' Laws were used to segregate black and white Americans
      • The law stated that it as legal to segregate as long as services were 'separate but equal'
      • Segregated public facilities and services included cinemas, toilets, schools and transport
      • In reality, services for black Americans were often inferior to those for white people
    • Discrimination and violence in the Southern states
      • The majority of white people viewed black Americans as racially inferior
      • Racist white officials, including police and judges, were often members of the Klu Klux Klan.
      • The frequent assaults and murders of black people were not properly investigated or prosecuted
      • Black people were not allowed to sit in on juries in a court of law
    • Voting Rights
      • White gangs physically stopped black Americans from voting, and sometimes attacked them for trying to register
      • Some Southern states passed laws making it harder for black people to vote (e.g.unfair literacy tests)
      • Some Southern states introduced the 'grandfather clause' whereby voters had to prove their forefathers had voted (impossible for descendants of slaves)
      • White employers would sack black workers if they registered to vote
    • Civil rights organisations
      • NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People
        • Set up in 1909
        • Fought for civil rights using legal system and courts
        • Defended black people who were unfairly convicted of crimes
        • Focused on overturning 'separate but equal' ruling
      • CORE (Congress of Racial Equality)
        • Set up in 1942
        • Smaller membership than NAACP
        • Used non-violent direct action; trained local activists in this technique
        • Operated mostly in Northern states
        • Early years of the organisation - most members were white and middle class


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