Omar James Mendoza
October 27, 2014
During the 1890’s in the south African Americans had their votes essentially taken away and under a Supreme Court decision Plessy Vs. Ferguson segregation was implemented. This decision was very controversial because it wasn’t deemed to be a moral decision, though the Supreme Court said that it is not racist because the facilities were separate but equal and no discrimination was involved.
African Americans thought they had no way to change the situation until Booker T Washington and W.E.B. Du Bois came into the picture, though they had different outlooks on how to fight this “war.” Washington believed that the black community must accommodate this bad situation by “emphasizing economic development” to show everybody, the white community, that they are in fact worthy of receiving civil rights. If earned equality then would be true. Du Bois believed that the Supreme Court decision of Plessy Vs. Ferguson should be detracted. Dubois created the NAACP, The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, which will later play a huge role in the Civil Rights movement.
The NAACP wanted to protect it community but they cannot go to congress because most of the cannot vote due to the Grandfather clause, Poll tax, and Literacy Test. Also, once the law allowing African Americans to vote was passed lynching escalated. However, Legislative and Executive branches were out because they were not interested so the only way to detract these laws was through the supreme court by seeking to make these laws declared unconstitutional. Little by little changes occurred but it wasn’t until after the Second World War that real changes began.
In the beginning there was a discussion of whether or not African Americans should join the war, but they thought of this opportunity as a chance to show their loyalty to the union. War broke out and they enthusiastically volunteered (i.e. Tuskegee Airmen). If they fought gallantly, and they did, the states would have to respond to their demands about discrimination and disenfranchisement. Once the war was won the Cold War started. During the cold war USA became a super power along with the Soviet Union and a lot of colored independent countries emerged and having this problem, policies about the colored, at home would compromise the USA’s reputation. Soon the government realized that it was wrong to maintain these policies after what African Americans did in the war.
The NAACP saw this as a chance to increase the effort to integrate society, particularly through the Supreme Court. They push the issue of segregation and succeeded in reverting the decision of Plessy Vs. Ferguson through another court case, Brown Vs. Board Of Education. It was unprecedented when 9-0 voted for ending segregation. This decision helped a lot in ending segregation. Now they had a task wherein they had to find a way to end all aspects of African American related issues and everything related to the civil rights movement.
In the beginning Lawyers were the face of the Civil Rights Movement but by 1955 it took a huge turn. Though the southerners were ready to do everything and anything they could do to maintain status quo and stop this movement. When Rosa Parks refused to get up from that bus seat resulting to a boycott