Civil Rights

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1945 ­ 55 - Progress
Economic:
Pay not the same for Blacks and Whites ­ average wage for African American around $3.00
an hour ­ for Whites much more.
Whites more likely to be employed ­ in 1945 in New York City ­ 12% of African Americans
unemployed compared to 6% of Whites.
Black unemployment dropped throughout the period from around 900,000 to a little over
100,000
Proximity of African Americans living near Whites caused house price fluctuation throughout
the period
Social:
Presidents Commission on Civil Rights set up in 1946, led to `To Secure these Rights' in 1947,
which recommended vast changes in the way society was. However recommendations were
poorly implemented by Truman ­ such as clearing of Slums ­ that was never properly
completed. Although this could be contributed to the nature of opposition by congress.
40% of housing for African Americans in Washington substandard in 1945 ­ compared to just
12% for Whites
Segregation began to falter ­ first desegregated Inauguration ceremony held in 1949
Armed Forces desegregated in 1947
Lynching of Emmett Till (1955)
Political:
Voter Registration increased in the south from around 2% in 1940 to 15% in 1945
In some areas of US ­ like Selma less than 100 African Americans registered to vote up to the
1960s
First two African American Congressmen elected in Dawson and Powell (in 1943 and 1945
respectively)
Truman was the first President to be elected on a Civil Rights platform
In the North ­ in some areas African Americans were beginning to be a political powerbase ­
15-20% of the vote could easily swing an election for Congressmen.
Legal:
Brown v Topeka ­ 1954... wasn't effective led to Brown II in 1955 and eventually Little Rock
Sweatt v Painter ­ 1950 ­ challenged doctrine of Separate but Equal in education. Done in
conjunction with McLaurin v Oklahoma State Regents 1950
Sarah Keys v. Carolina Coach Company (1955) ­ removed legal loophole that bus companies
were using to have their own segregation rules.
Morgan v Virginia (1946) ­ got rid of interstate segregation rules ­ but there was a legal
loophole left and no de facto change

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­ 1968 ­ Progress
Economic:
Montgomery Bus Boycott demonstrated economic power of black citizens, but still not
strong as they clearly relied mainly on public transport ­ not cars
In towns like Birmingham ­ African Americans did not do jobs such as being a police officer or
Bus Driver ­ the kind of which that were higher paid than what most African Americans
received ­ meant they could not easily economically better themselves in some parts of the
South
Authorities reluctant to invest in addressing…read more

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Political:
Selma lead to Voting Rights Act of 1965 which removed the `grandfather clause' and
removed literacy tests used to prevent registering to vote for Africa Americans ­ 230,000
African Americans registered to vote across the south in the year immediately after Act was
passed. But four of the southern states still had fewer than 50% of AAs registered to vote.
Number of Black Voters in America jumped from four million in 1960 to six million in 1965.…read more

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Factors:
Divisions in Civil Rights Movement
During 1960s ­ there were a series of ideological splits within the Civil
Rights Movements, relating to things such as methods ,collaboration with
whites, de jure v de facto, and levels of integration
Media presented groups as moderator or radical ­ NAACP and NUL seen
as moderate due to work with Whites and through work with Courts.
Meanwhile ­ CORE and SNCC were radical because they agreed with
self-defences.…read more

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Black Panthers founded in 1966 with a ten-point programme of aims ­
wanted unrealistic things ­ eg full employment for our people, release
of blacks in jails. Meant very difficult to succeed. Used number of
methods ­ `Patrol the Pigs' ­ where Black Panther patrols would
observe police patrols and watch them arrest ­ tried to watch for police
abuses ­ but also made them a target of arrests themselves. Got media
attention after California tried to ban the patrols.…read more

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My Montgomery Bus Boycott (1955-56)
Little Little Rock (1957)
Green Greensboro Sit-Ins (1960)
Frog Freedom Rides (1961)
Always Albany (1962)
Buys Birmingham (1963)
White Washington (1963)
Socks Selma (1965)
Who? Where? What? Why? Outcome?
Brown v. Topeka (1954) ­ Supreme Court decision that challenged segregation/separation of
schools. No de facto change occurred. Lead to Brown II in (1955) and Little Rock (1957). More
schools closed to prevent desegregation than actually happened.…read more

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