How accurate is it to say that the status of black people in the US changed very little in the years 1945-1955?
I would agree with this statement but I would also think there are aspects of the status of black people that did change in these years and the impacts of which could be debated.
In 1945, the Second World War ended. Black people's status hadn't changed but their attitudes had. They started to question why they were fighting for freedom in other countries, against the Nazi oppression of minorities (mainly Jewish), when they didn't even have it at home? The war provided a basis for the civil rights movement to argue their case for equality. However, the threat of communism to the Americans was very real, they feared it would take over their capitalist government and traditions of 'freedom'. The threat was very serious to the USA as can be seen over the next decade, with the Korean War in 1953 where the country was split in half between communist and capitalist and the whole of the Cold War (1947-1991 approx). This fear of communism was used against groups such as the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People) and as a result they were banned in Alabama in 1956. Using communism to dirty the reputations of black organisations was common and quite effective due to the fear of it, heightened thanks to Joseph McCarthy. McCarthy was a senator who accused members of the United States government of being communist or being Soviet spies. It could be said that they were gaining enough influence/importance to be considered a threat and banned which, in turn, could show some progress.
Education was a major part of the civil rights movement. Schools were segregated and discrimination was current throughout most of the southern states. Cases like the Brown vs. Topeka case in 1954 could challenge the 'separate but equal' idea easily and had a good chance of winning, and of proving discrimination. Black schools were vastly different to...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document