Davey McKinley Brown HIST 3900 Civil Rights Movements Dr. Thomas Edge October 20th 2014 Pacifism vs Armed Resistance During the civil rights struggle in the late1950s it became apparent that those who supported segregation would go to any length in order to maintain the status quo. Until then, many whites in the 1940s believe blacks were content with the way things were (Shmoop). For the first time, the nation would come face to face to the reality of the violence that African Americans faced on a daily basis. The Brown v. Board of Education decision was a major victory for the civil rights movement. It showed momentum for desegregation in the Jim Crow south. After school integration, it was only a matter of time before Jim Crow laws would be challenged and overturned everywhere. Many segregationists recognized the implications of the Brown decision. It represented a threat …show more content…
Despite this is it important to remember there was still disagreement and tension on what would be the most effective philosophy in driving the movement forward; Armed resistance or Non-violent protest. While Rev. Martin Luther King advocated for non-violent protest and peaceful resistance it is important to remember that participants in the movement were ordinary people. While non-violent protests were politically correct, many participants often put their lives, families and property in danger. Particularly in the south, the KKK and other white supremacist groups gained a reputation for church bombings, lynching and other violent acts against minorities. Despite pacifist idealism in a public protest, it didn’t mean black were willing to let their homes, churches and loved ones go undefended. Many took it upon themselves to arm and protect their communities through any means necessary, and by acquiring as many weapons they could get their hands on. Many black southerners were prepared to meet violence with
The Supreme Court is perhaps most well known for the Brown vs. Board of Education decision in 1954. By declaring that segregation in schools was unconstitutional, Kevern Verney says a ‘direct reversal of the Plessy … ruling’1 58 years earlier was affected. It was Plessy which gave southern states the authority to continue persecuting African-Americans for the next sixty years. The first positive aspect of Brown was was the actual integration of white and black students in schools. Unfortunately, this was not carried out to a suitable degree, with many local authorities feeling no obligation to change the status quo. The Supreme Court did issue a second ruling, the so called Brown 2, in 1955. This forwarded the idea that integration should proceed 'with all deliberate speed', but James T. Patterson tells us even by 1964 ‘only an estimated 1.2% of black children ... attended public schools with white children’2. This demonstrates that, although the Supreme Court was working for Civil Rights, it was still unable to force change. Rathbone agrees, saying the Supreme Court ‘did not do enough to ensure compliance’3. However, Patterson goes on to say that ‘the case did have some impact’4. He explains how the ruling, although often ignored, acted ‘relatively quickly in most of the boarder s...
One of the major debates of the 1950’s was the war on race, specifically the desegregation of schools. Now if someone were to argue that the 1950’s were not based on conformity, than the war on race would be backbone of the argument. The unfortunate thing for the future of the nation as a whole was that despite government efforts to see the importance of equality, many people, including state officials, ignored the demands of the federal government. A key example of this is the case of Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas. In this case the court ruled that “in the field of public education the doctrine of ‘separate but equal’ has no place,” therefore allowing the African American students t...
The Brown v. Board ruling declared segregation in schools unconstitutional, therefore promoting integration. Many viewed this as a turning point, the start of a social revolution. However, there is a view that, although positive, the ruling did not do enough to force real change. It is even possible to argue that it increased white opposition, actually hindering the case of Civil Rights. Overall, however, the positive aspects outweighed the negatives, with the psychological effect and legal backing from the court being most important.
Oliver Brown, father of Linda Brown decided that his third grade daughter should not have to walk one mile through a railroad switchyard just to get to the bus stop before she could even get to the separate Negro school for her area. He attempted to enroll her in the white public school only three blocks from their home, but her enrollment was denied due to her race. The browns believed this was a violation of their rights, and took their case to the courts. This wasn’t the first time that blacks found their constitutional rights violated. After the civil war, laws were passed to continue the separation of blacks and whites throughout the southern states, starting with the Jim Crow laws which officially segregated the whites from the black. It wasn’t until 1896 in Plessy vs. Ferguson that black people even began to see equality as an option. Nothing changed in the world until 1954 when the historical ruling of Brown vs. The Board of Education that anything changed. Until then, all stores, restaurants, schools and public places were deemed ‘separate but equal’ through the Plessy vs. Ferguson ruling in 1896. Many cases just like the Brown vs. Board of Education were taken to the Supreme Court together in a class action suite. The world changed when nine justices made the decision to deem segregation in public schools unconstitutional.
“We conclude unanimously that in the field of public education the doctrine of ‘separate but equal’ has no place. Separate educational facilities are inherently unequal” (qtd. in Irons 163). Many African-Americans waited to hear this quote from Chief Justice Earl Warren after many years of fighting for better educational opportunities by means of school desegregation. African-Americans went through much anguish before the Brown v. Board of Education trial even took place, especially in the Deep South. Little did they know that what looked like the beginning of the end was just another battle in what seemed like an endless war. Brown v. Board of Education was an important battle won during the Civil Rights Movement; however, it did have a major drawback simply because no deadline existed, an issue that author James Baldwin grasped from the moment the decision was made. The South took full advantage of this major flaw and continued to keep its segregated schools with no intention of ever integrating.
Before the Civil Rights Act of 1964, segregation in the United States was commonly practiced in many of the Southern and Border States. This segregation while supposed to be separate but equal, was hardly that. Blacks in the South were discriminated against repeatedly while laws did nothing to protect their individual rights. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 ridded the nation of this legal segregation and cleared a path towards equality and integration. The passage of this Act, while forever altering the relationship between blacks and whites, remains as one of history’s greatest political battles.
They were willing to break unjust laws to achieve a just law. In John Lewis’ March book One, we see examples of Lewis’s days when he, himself, took part in sit-ins at dinners to be served meals. At the counters of diners, they were rejected by waitress to be served meals. In the book, we witness the brutality and beatings young protesters at counters received as well as in the movie “The Butler”. Both scenes show the consequences protesters faced once in white people’s territory. The goal of the sit-ins was to fight for equality in dining areas and restaurants. With all the violence faced during sit-ins in both book one and two, the protesters continuous pressure to integrate diners and restaurants proved to be effective because a bill was later signed to desegregate diners because of race. In today’s generation, a sit-in would not be effective because this generation’s youth does not have the will and mentality to withstand abuse from whites without fighting back. Violence answers to violence as we have seen recent violence demonstrated by young black protesters in other
African Americans are still facing segregation today that was thought to have ended many years ago. Brown v. Board of Education declared the decision of having separate schools for black and white students to be unconstitutional. As Brown v. Board of Education launches its case, we see how it sets the infrastructure to end racial segregation in all public spaces. Today, Brown v. Board of Education has made changes to our educational system and democracy, but hasn’t succeeded to end racial segregation due to the cases still being seen today. Brown v. Board of Education to this day remains one of the most important cases that African Americans have brought to the surface for the good of the United States. Brown v. Board of Education didn’t just focus on children and education, it also focused on how important equality is even when society claimed that African Americans were treated equal, when they weren’t. This was the case that opened the eyes of many American’s to notice that the separate but equal strategy was in fact unlawful.
The Civil Rights Movement was a series of actions that really peaked in the 1960's. These political actions were aimed at gaining rights for African Americans. However, there were two ways of going about the movement. There were ones who protested peacefully, like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and others who wanted a more pro-active way of fighting, like the black-rights activist Malcolm X. However, which way was more proactive? Even though both had great intentions, Dr. Martin Luther King had a better way of trying to achieve rights for the African American community.
Although the conclusion of the Civil War during the mid-1860s demolished the official practice of slavery, the oppression and exploitation of African Americans has continued. Although the rights and opportunities of African Americans were greatly improved during Reconstruction, cases such a 1896’s Plessy v. Ferguson, which served as the legal basis for segregation, continue to diminish the recognized humanity of African Americans as equal people. Furthermore, the practice of the sharecropping system impoverished unemployed African Americans, recreating slavery. As economic and social conditions worsened, the civil rights movement began to emerge as the oppressed responded to their conditions, searching for equality and protected citizenship.With such goals in mind, associations like the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), which came to the legal defense of African Americans and aided the march for civil rights reforms, emerged. By working against the laws restricting African Americans, the NAACP saw progress with the winning of cases like Brown v. Board of Education, which allowed the integration of public schools after its passing in 1954 and 1955. In the years following the reform instituted by the ruling of Brown v. Board of Education, the fervor of the civil rights movement increased; mass nonviolent protests against the unfair treatment of blacks became more frequent. New leaders, such as Martin Luther King, manifested themselves. The civil rights activists thus found themselves searching for the “noble dream” unconsciously conceived by the democratic ideals of the Founding Fathers to be instilled.
...African Americans were almost always “second-class” to the ones of whites. The ruling permitted state governments freedom when they had to deal with questions of race, and guaranteed states the ability to create separate institutions as long as they were “equal”.It seemed as though the Southern states did not just separate the races but supported differences in the quality of treatment towards blacks. The Supreme Court’s ruling gave the “"constitutional nod" to the unfair and inferior treatment to blacks. The “separate but equal” doctrine characterized American society until the doctrine was struck down during the Brown v. Board of Education case in 1954. The court decided that segregating children by race in public schools was unequal and violated the Fourteenth Amendment. The doctrine did not give blacks the same rights as whites and the court finally realized it.
At the time of the African-American Civil Rights movement, segregation was abundant in all aspects of life. Separation, it seemed, was the new motto for all of America. But change was coming. In order to create a nation of true equality, segregation had to be eradicated throughout all of America. Although most people tend to think that it was only well-known, and popular figureheads such as Martin Luther King Junior or Rosa Parks, who were the sole launchers of the African-American Civil Rights movement, it is the rights and responsibilities involved in the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision which have most greatly impacted the world we live in today, based upon how desegregation and busing plans have affected our public school systems and way of life, as well as the lives of countless African-Americans around America. The Brown v. Board of Education decision offered African-Americans a path away from common stereotypes and racism, by empowering many of the people of the United States to take action against conformity and discrimination throughout the movement.
Segregation was a terribly unfair law that lasted about a hundred years in the United States. A group of High school students (who striked for better educational conditions) were a big factor in ending segregation in the United States. Even though going on strike for better conditions may have negative impacts, African Americans were not treated equally in education because of segregation and the Jim Crow laws were so unfair and the black schools were in terrible condition compared to the whites’.
The next big step in the civil rights movement came in 1954, with the BROWN vs. BOARD OF EDUCATION OF TOPEKA case, where Thurgood Marshall, representing Brown, argued that segregation was against the 4th Amendment of the American constitution. The Supreme Court ruled, against President Eisenhower’s wishes, in favour of Brown, which set a precedent in education, that schools should no longer be segregated. This was the case which completely overturned the Jim Crow Laws by overturning Plessy vs. Ferguson.
The non-violent philosophy was not a movement of pacifism to Martin Luther King, it was one of action. Absolute strength was apparent in its practice, but how? The student movement caused many of its’ participants to be severely beaten, chastised, and arrested, only to continue while never fighting back. Why were they doing this? King felt the answer was that through their actions they would awaken not only the majority, but more importantly the minority to the need for equal rights. Apathy had set in among both groups causing them to accept the current state of affairs, and like the great “gadfly” Socrates, King and the students were forcing both groups to wake up and open their eyes.