Since then the blacks have fought and demanded their rights. These first slaves began the original Civil Rights movement. It wasn’t until 1863 when President Lincoln issues the famous
Emancipation Proclamation that freed all slaves. This was the the Thirteenth Amendment that was passed that abolished slavery. Many blacks and some white were pleased with the new amendment but this also brought new issues. The freed slaves were illiterate and had no money.
There was still a vast majority of people in the South that did not agree with the Thirteen amendment. In order to aid the transition of the blacks into the white society, federal and state government implemented democratic reforms. For example the Fourteenth Amendment protected their equal rights and the Fifteenth Amendment granted them the right to vote.
Despite the measures to guard the rights of the slaves, the promising of the reconstruction era did not last long. The whites employed a variety of means to keep blacks from enjoying any of the benefits of citizenship. Some used harassment or intimidation. The Ku
Klux Klan (KKK) used even more extreme methods to keep the blacks intimidated. Any blacks seeking to exercise their rights would be brutally beaten or even killed.
As the constitutional guarantees of the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth amendments continued to disintegrate, In 1896 the Court ruled in Plessy v. Ferguson that blacks and whites could be legally separated as long as the facilities for each were equal. The facilities were never equal. Most importantly the Separate but Equal doctrine legally separated the blacks from the white. This gave the whites the right to continue to keep the blacks from fully enjoying their freedom. The Supreme Court reinforced the South’s segregation practices, this gave birth to
Jim Crow. Southern customs and laws kept parks, drinking fountains, cars, restaurants, theaters, and other public places segregated. In response to Jim Crow, several leaders in the black community stepped up to debate political strategies to fight injustice and racial inequality. Du
Bois exhorted blacks to fight for the rights they deserved. Du Bois’s crusade led, in part, to the formation of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), a civil rights organization that brought together lawyers, educators, and activists to fight for black civil rights. The NAACP continued a campaign to end segregation. On May 17, 1954, the NAACP The Supreme Courts unanimously ruled in Brown v. Board of
Education that segregation in public schools was unconstitutional. Chief Justice Earl Warren presented the Court’s decision, in which he describes why “separate but equal” in education represents a violation of black Americans’ rights: “Segregation of white and colored children in a public school has a detrimental effect upon the colored children. The impact is greater when it has the sanction of the law; for the policy of separating the races is usually interpreted as denoting the inferiority of the Negro group. A sense of inferiority affects the motivation of a child to learn. Segregation, with the sanction of law, therefore, has a tendency to inhibit the educational and mental development of Negro children and deprive them of some of the benefits they would receive in a racially integrated school system”.
By abolishing the “separate but equal” doctrine that was set by Plessy v. Ferguson, the supreme court had made an uncontestable blow to segregation. Southern racist practices were