To what extent was the impact of WW2 the most important factor in helping black lives improve between 1945-55?
The impact of WW2 played a pivotal role in helping blacks improve their lives. Some of them experienced true segregation for the first time, and others heard of the difference between the North and the South of America. For the first time in their lives, some blacks came home as heroes in their local towns, but some came home as the same ‘negro’ they were before the war. However, other factors were equally and if not more important in helping black lives improve between 1945-1955. Certainly the impact of WW2 proved to be a sound springboard for black Americans to improve their lives, as the black soldier’s experienced non-segregated life in Europe. Seeing European countries such as Britain and France being non-segregated, blacks were radicalised and started to wonder why they were fighting against racism in Germany but back home in America the population was racist too. Furthermore, northern blacks found out what life for southern blacks was like. Northern blacks had life much easier compared to southern blacks in comparison, as southern towns such as Birmingham being racist up to the head of police, Eugene ‘Bull’ Connor. The attitude towards blacks from the perspective of white soldiers also changed. When fighting on the front lines, many white soldiers realised that blacks were just as brave as themselves. Similarly, when white soldiers saw the situation in the concentration camps, they could see what violent racism can lead to, and the horrors of the Jews changed many white soldiers’ racist views. Back home in America, the war factories created in the south were made to hire black workers by law through the ‘executive order’ in 1941, made by Roosevelt. This lowered the unemployment of blacks, and from 1941-1944 the unemployment of blacks dropped from 937,000 to 151,000. Many black’s living in the south decided to leave the segregation down south...
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