African Americans And The Civil Rights Movement Essay

1006 Words Apr 8th, 2015 5 Pages
The end of the 1st Reconstruction brought new laws of segregation and institutional racism that, to black outrage, would not be challenged until the civil rights movement of the mid-1900s. At first, African Americans relied on white leaders to take action on desegregation decisions including Brown v. Board of Education, but these decisions failed to gain momentum. Exasperated, black people started the process on their own with boycott movements, yet these actions were still reactive and passive in respect to Jim Crow racism. It took a new generation of young black students taught not to accept discrimination to actively resist and finally secure the attention of an entire nation. Thus, William H. Chafe argues in his essay “The Civil Rights Movement” that the desire for equality was constant, but the manner in which African Americans sought this justice changed due to a shifting social context.
Blacks initially went with white decisions about their civil rights; however, these decisions were never carried out entirely. Chafe uses the Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision in 1954 as the primary example for this assertion. Brown abolished separated educational institutions, ending the “separate but equal” dogma and requiring admission of black students into previously all-white public schools (Chafe 453). At first, the black community responded positively, with hope that more change would come from this landmark decision. Even the white South gave in to the Court…

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