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Civil Rights Notes

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Civil Rights Revision

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AMERICAN HISTORY SINCE 1865 THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT Why was the Civil Rights Movement Successful? What did it achieve and what did it leave undone?
Introduction Objectives of the movement De jure / de facto Education Bus boycotts Sin-ins Voting rights Radicalisation Economic inequality Conclusion The Struggle for Black Equality: H. Sitkoff
- Membership of the NAACP multiplied nearly ten times over the course of the Second World War, reaching half a million. The CRE was established in 1942 and began exploring non-violent methods of opposition to the Jim Crow laws.
- Black membership of labour unions reached 1.25million by 1945.
- The number of Southern blacks registered to vote in the South reached 1million by 1950, but the majority remained unable to exercise this right.
- Economic growth during the post-war years accelerated black advancement; their median income doubled between 1940 and 1960; life expectancy and educational attainment grew with economic progress.
- These gains justified the NAACP's approach to race relations. Led by Thurgood Marshall, the NAACP pressed cases in the Supreme Court, hoping for significant rulings against segregation, namely, Plessy v. Ferguson.
- When the Warren Court found against the South in Brown v. Board of Education, Topeka it refused to set a timeline for compliance; aware of the potential difficulties in implementation, the court's hesitance nonetheless created new problems. Eighty-percent of white Southerners opposed school desegregation.
- Eisenhower hesitated to support the ruling, fearing not only a loss of Southern votes but also outbreaks of violence or non-compliance. Many Southern states sought to drive out the NAACP, and by 1958 it had lost 246 Southern branches and half of its membership.
- In 1957, Congress enacted the first civil rights legislations since the Reconstruction, formally declaring illegal the disenfranchisement of black Americans.
- However, by 1964 less than 2% of Southern blacks were attending desegregated schools, and much of the social and economic framework of segregation remained in place.
- The Montgomery bus boycott, lasting 381 days, served to galvanise the civil rights movement once again, and saw the emergence of Martin Luther King as a new leader. The Supreme Court judged segregation on the buses a breach of the 14th Amendment.
- Emerging from prison in 1952, Malcolm X became the head of the Nation of Islam's mosque in Harlem; he insisted that African-Americans create their own separate society, and that they should not seek integration.
- Sit-ins - By August 1961 an estimate 700,000 Southern blacks and whites had participated in sit-ins.
- Kennedy won the 1960 election by only 100,000 votes (out of 69million cast) and he was wary of agitating the South.

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