Obstacles To The Civil Rights Movement

Better Essays
Federal legislation and court decisions aided and encouraged the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960’s. Racial turmoil was building in the early 20th century, illustrated clearly by racial riots nationwide. The Civil Rights Movement was sparked by the Supreme Court’s decision in Brown vs. Board of Education in 1954. Deeming the decision of Plessy vs. Ferguson unconstitutional, “separate but equal” was no longer allowed, and a foreseeable end to the harsh years of segregation became plausible. This decision caused a societal upheaval reminiscent of the years following the Civil War. The growth of the Civil Rights Movement correlated with the demand for federal legislation to protect and enforce the rights of African Americans. The first obstacle …show more content…
The next obstacle was enfranchisement. Election officials had, for nearly a century, denied African Americans the right to vote through devious methods such as forced literacy tests, to which failure was inevitable as a result of oppression and poverty, and difficult “prerequisites”, including the recitation of the entire Constitution, which was enforced entirely based on race, lest few whites would have been permitted to cast their votes ("Civil Rights Act"). Congress took the first step eradicate these discriminatory practices with the adoption of the 24th Amendment. This addition to the Constitution abolished poll taxes, another method bent on restricting the voice of the African American population. However, it was quickly evident that this alone would not be enough to end voting discrimination. As a result, a year later, the Voting Rights Act was passed. Literacy tests were banned and federal oversight was required for certain “problem areas,” mainly those in which a majority of the nonwhite population did not register to vote ("Voting Rights …show more content…
For centuries white societal status was determined in comparison to African Americans. As a result, in the 1960’s, blacks were belittled as much as possible in order to ensure white racial supremacy in the face of a turbulent time period of race relations. Blacks were stereotyped as unclean and unintelligent, leading to heightened racial tensions that provoked another wave of riots (Sokol). In the Watts Riot of 1965, police brutality led to a widespread protest, which ended with the arrest of 4,000 people ("Watts Riot begins"). Clearly, the Civil Rights Movement was not a universal solution to the racial plague that swept the nation, as the rioting became even more large scale and far reaching than any riot following the Reconstruction legislation. Although deep-rooted hostility led to extreme racial repression, the legislation passed during the Civil Rights Movement led to small but important gains for blacks. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 led to an immense improvement in African American voter turnout. In Mississippi, an increase in black voter participation from 6 percent in 1964 to 59 percent in 1969 showed the direct impact of the Voting Rights Act on the American social landscape (“Voting Rights Act”). This rapid

Related Documents

  • Decent Essays

    Activist from many black churches and organization everywhere joined marching for equality. The sit-ins movement of 1960 had changed the civil rights movement, where it had successfully “lift the white-only policy”. Again, this movement also faced white intimidation, in which the protesters were harassed by white racist, and some were even killed. There were not only the southern states and white’s legislature, but there were also many President who were not willing to promote racial equality, unless they were forced to do so. President Kennedy was referring freedom rider as, “…Pain in the ass”’ threatening to embarrass him and the United States in the eve of his summit meeting with Soviet leader” (1090).…

    • 881 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Blacks effectively began to destroy anti-communist and their efforts. Following the judgment in the Supreme Court’s case Brown vs. Ferguson in 1954, white southerners began to fear the worse, and the red scare reached its strong point. “This resulted in anti-communist forming groups of their own such as the HUAC (House Committee on Un-American Activities) and the FBI as models, southern nationalists in every state in the region converted and constructed law enforcement and legislative agencies to pursue subversives in the civil rights movements”. (Woods, 2004). Poll taxes and literacy tests were placed in effect to attempt to prevent blacks from voting, and Jim Crow laws were placed in effect to further restrict blacks.…

    • 784 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    The CRA was significant to African Americans because on paper it ended segregation in public places and in the employment process. The CRA impacted the African American community greatly by increasing minority protections and considerably influenced the ratification of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Fair Housing Act of 1968. The CRA influenced the presidential election of 1964, and the momentum of the African American civil rights group through bringing light to African American Civil Rights Activists and what they represented. The consequences that surfaced from the Civil Rights Act of 1964, was the uproar of upset minorities because the act did not include poll tax to be banned, and increased countless riots of the tired and upset African Americans due to the unacceptable living conditions and/or fees and the access of jobs and homes. The current status of the African American group is that they remain fighting for their…

    • 1456 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    African American Freeing

    • 957 Words
    • 4 Pages

    President Abraham Lincoln issued both the emancipation proclamation and the 13th Amendment, which freed African Americans from slavery. There were still problems after the end of slavery like, segregation and racism. The freeing of African Americans in 1863 was a major change to America because it caused many thing to happen to America,…

    • 957 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    In Ida B. Wells excerpt Southern Horrors, she states that “nobody in this section of the country believes the old thread-bare lie that Negro men rape white women.” Both sides of the community, white and black, were growing increasingly worrisome. White citizens were becoming exhausted and fearful of the African American community, because they had begun to unify and enforce their racial equality through any means necessary. The black community felt more stigmatized because the more they tried practicing their rights and equality, the more white community would hinder their progress by further…

    • 1028 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Race Riots- many black leaders stressed nonviolence. Since the mid-1950s, King and others had been leading disciplined mass protests of African Americans in the South against segregation, emphasizing appeals to the the white majority. Reconstruction, which transformed the role and status of African Americans, energizing every other cultural movement as well. At the same time, southern white resistance to the ending of segregation, with its attendant violence, stimulated a northern-dominated Congress to enact 1957 the first civil rights law since 1875, creating the Commission on Civil Rights and prohibiting interference with the right to vote African americans were still massively disenfranchised in many southern states. A second enactment 1960 provided federal referees to aid African Americans in registering for and voting in federal elections.…

    • 329 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Unfortunately, after Turner and fifty-six other slaves who participated in the rebellion were executed (“Nat Turner”), white southerners feared what people of color were capable of doing, and toughened laws o make sure revolts like Turner’s weren't likely to happen again. But even though, Nat Turner influenced the Civil War in 1861. Nat Turner is the most influential and most controversial slave rebel/abolitionist…

    • 1228 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    This type of racist discrimination was evidently obvious in the United States throughout WWII. African Americans were treated both unfairly and discriminatorily during the war, leading to escalation in racial domestic affairs such as the 1943 Detroit race riot. However, in terms of employment, African Americans improved and took advantage of the flux of available labor that came as a result of the war and overall received some benefits following the war’s conclusion. As the war progressed on, over 700,000 African Americans migrated North to take advantage of the large amount of defense jobs. Opportunities that were not readily available to African…

    • 1182 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    To keep the African-Americans in control, there was an increase in the amount of mob violence against African-Americans. Many were publically lynched so that other African-Americans would be intimated and scared to defy the segregation laws put in place by the Jim Crow laws (Bailey 507). However, the advent of World War I in Europe played a major role in bettering the lives of African-Americans. European immigration to the United States came to a standstill after World War I erupted in Europe. The government issues the Immigration Act of 1917, which greatly reduced the amount of Europeans allowed in the US (USCIS OL).…

    • 924 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Voting opportunities in the north suddenly made the black vote matter. Case in point, it was the black vote that turn the 1932 Presidential Election in Franklin D. Roosevelt’s favor and has an even greater impact with the electoral shift towards the Democratic Party. Fear over communism in America also forced the American public to critique the status of racial equality in America as racial inequality became a platform for communists to gain support in Western capitalist states. Favorable government action also created new protest opportunities. Beginning in the early 1930s McAdam recalls that Supreme Court decisions began reversing earlier, narrow interpretations of the Fourteenth Amendment.…

    • 1164 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays