Although there was a significant amount of progress for African American civil rights by 1960, there were still problems to be dealt with: only 800,000 out of 20 million black people were registered to vote in 1963, although it was a slowly rising number; in 1962, President Kennedy signed an executive order to end discrimination in federal housing construction, but there were still black ghettos in cities such as Chicago, Detroit and New York.
Firstly, despite the high enlistment rate of black people in the army during the second world war, they were not treated well. Segregation was enforced in nearly all aspects of military life, from military parades and church services to being transported and when in the canteens. The Red Cross
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In 1954, the landmark case of Brown vs. Topeka Board of Education took place. The case involved Linda Brown, the daughter of Oliver Brown (who brought the appeal forward). All all-white school was around the corner from the Browns’ home in Topeka, Kansas, however Linda had to attend an all-blacks school which was over a mile away. The case reached the Supreme Court, where Thurgood Marshall argued against the constitutionality of segregated education. He did not believe that ‘separate but equal’ was good enough; he argued that segregation itself created low self-esteem amongst black people. The new Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Earl Warren, agreed with Thurgood Marshall’s analysis and gave a verdict in Browns’ favour, however he did not stop at saying that black people had not had equal educational chances; he agreed that segregation itself was not acceptable. The Fourteenth Amendment stated that all children should be admitted to public (state) schools on equal terms.
Although this Amendment was a breakthrough in black Civil Rights, the progress was not fast. By 1957, less than 12% of the 6300 school districts in the south had been integrated due to the considerable resistance to the idea in the south. In 1955, the Supreme Court issued a statement that came to be known as Brown 2, in which Warren urged proceed ‘with all deliberate speed’. The President at the time, Eisenhower, did not take substantial action to enforce