To what extent do you agree that the lives of Black Americans improved significantly between 1945-52

Topics: African American, Racial segregation, Lyndon B. Johnson Pages: 4 (1212 words) Published: October 9, 2013
To what extent do you agree that the lives of Black Americans improved significantly between 1945-52?

The lives of Black Americans during 1945-52 were shaped greatly by the reconstruction of America following the Civil War a century earlier; the lives of these people were largely dictated, especially in the Southern states, by policies of disenfranchisement and segregation implemented between these time periods, specifically the ‘Jim crow’ laws, though it can be said that certain occurrences, such as Trumans input and the NAAPC between these times, began to combat the oppression Black Americans faced, which in turn began to improve their lives for the better. The movements that occurred provided the platform for the changes that were implemented in later years, but because of society’s unwillingness to accept change, the larger part of what could have happened was merely the catalyst which in time won the support of the majority and allowed Black Americans lives to be changed for the better. “Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.”1 Nearing the end of the 1950’s, the fight for equal rights had gained momentum in relation to the bleak future that paraded itself following the Second World War in 1945, however the implementation of the ‘Jim Crow’ laws in the Southern states rebuked most of Black Americans basic human rights; the legalisation of such discriminatory practices meant that they had been in operation since 1876 and did not fully dwindle till around 1985; the legal confinements of these laws had a direct effect on the lives of Black Americans, leaving them vulnerable to racial hatred and abuse. This haltered the developments that could have allowed Black lives to improve. The 1945-6 post war attacks on Black servicemen during the presidency of Harry Truman effectively translates the dismal reality that many Black Americans suffered during this time. The implications of these discriminating practices...
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