African American Civil Rights Movement

1732 Words7 Pages
Between 1865 and 1970 leadership; motivating, persuading, encouraging and inspiring the masses to engage with a vision was vital to the progression of the African-American civil rights movement. It is a common notion that individual leaders held dominant roles within the movement and used the power from this to lead the grassroots and make decisions on behalf of organisations. Additionally, it is believed that leaders were the strategists who shaped the methods of the movement; allowing them to win the nation’s allegiance and convince them to make sacrifices for racial justice. However, this traditionalist perspective ignores much of the conditional causes that in fact triggered outstanding leadership accomplishments. More recent historians have suggested that in the long term economic prosperity; having the money necessary to fulfill your needs, was the rightful conditional cause for the movement’s progress. For the reason that it generated access to quality education; which instituted successful leadership efforts, employment opportunities, domination of politics and power to influence legislation. All these outcomes allowed African-Americans to be recognized, have power and a sense of identity, advancing the movement as the desired civil rights were met. This view has become more widespread among contemporaries who believe there was an economic dimension to a majority of civil rights campaigns; showing that economic advancement was highly demanded, and was a fundamental motivation for the civil rights movement. Surely, the prime solution must then have been an economical one. In order to asses this, it is necessary to contrast the extent of influence individual leadership and economic prosperity had on the African-Americans edu... ... middle of paper ... ...t of racism during the early 20th century was very high; a high academic education therefore was an unrealistic aim for the majority of poverty-stricken African-Americans. DuBois strategy was cogent but impractical whereas Washington’s was attainable for all African-Americans. DuBois’ middle class background validates my claim that economic prosperity helped progress the African-Americans position; surely it was because DuBois came from an economically prosperous background, that he received education from an esteemed school like Harvard; it was this prestigious education that enabled DuBois to become an influential Black intellectual. Therefore, without economic prosperity DuBois would not have been as influential. As it was due to economic prosperity that Dubois attained a high intellect; which is what earned him respect and made him influential to the movement.
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