Segregation Deep South During World War II Essay examples

Segregation Deep South During World War II Essay examples

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Political protesting within today’s society is often relegated to mass marches, social media usage, and other large acts. Unfortunately, small and simple everyday acts of protest are often overlooked or deemed useless in the long run. Sadly, this diminishes most of the protests that take place within America. However, this is not a new trend, but one that can be seen throughout American history, specifically within Jim Crow laws and segregation Deep South during World War II. Within Robin Kelley’s “Congested Terrain,” the way lower and middle-class black citizens fought for their rights to the public spaces within Birmingham Alabama are explored. Because the space in buses was much less defined that other public, segregated spaces, black riders had a much easier time contesting their rights to it. Riders used a mix of either direct or subversive protesting, however, these contentions were usually unorganized and often varied among differing classes and genders.
The lack of clear division within the public space of the bus undoubtedly made it easier for blacks to resist segregation within it, and as a result, it became one the most important theaters in the struggle for equality within the Deep South. Because there were no permanent dividing lines on the bus, blacks could resist in ways that would have been unsafe anywhere else, such as a waiting room or sidewalk. Most black riders used direct forms of resistance to stake their claim to public space. The most common forms were passengers “refusing to give up their seats or sitting in the white section,” as well as moving the color boards, and occasionally resorting to physical violence to ensure they could get onto or remain on the bus (Kelley 1994). Despite the non-viol...


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...her thesis in both clear and concise tones, while still proving the reader with enough anecdotes that it does not merely feel like an abstract piece.
Within “Contested Terrain,” Kelley posited that because of the fluidity of the bus space, black riders had an easier time of resisting segregation than in other public spaces with more defined boundaries. Both direct tactics, like refusing to move, and subversive tactics, such as cursing were used by both men and women to challenge the status quo. However, women would often use their higher class, white employers to gain more agency and make more progress. Even with the protesters, notions of class were still very important, especially with servicemen, who felt they deserved an elevated status because of their sacrifices, this resulted in them often being more emboldened than their civilian counterparts. {ADD MORE?}

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