CIVIL RIGHTS


Describe the ways in which discrimination against black people in the USA society was reduced in the years 1945-1955.


After fight for freedom, peace and equality in the Second World War, black people thought it was time for them to have the same in their own country. It was only fair that they get their freedom and equality when they were risked their in the war. Brown verses Board case also gave reasons to reduce discrimination. President Truman made some official and legal changes that helped the black people. Decisions against desegregation were made that helped the black people to be seen as human. Big groups like NAACP, black group, helped in local and national movements. Black people’s lives have changed because the economy changed; they started to get better-paid jobs, which required some skills. There were black middle class people, who went to school, had a good education, and became lawyer, doctors or accountants. There were different kinds of black groups, more radical, but they came in the 1960s. In the 1950s, a peaceful group called the NAACP helped the black people get what they deserve; the NAACP used law to prove them. However, they also used other peaceful methods to get their point through to all the white people in America.


When America joined the Second World War, they were told that they were fighting for freedom, peace and equality. Black people joined in the Second World War because they felt that they had a duty to defend their country. Black people were not treated well even though there was a higher enlistment of black people. They were treated the same when it came to going to the front line, but other wise they were seen as the second class citizens. The blacks and the whites were separated, so they eat at different times, they went to church at different times and the military parades were held segregated. Some journalists even compared the USA to the Nazism, USA was treating the blacks that same way Hitler was treating the Jews. When it came to blood supply, the Red Cross was told not to mix white and black men’s blood together. This was hard on the Red Cross, if a man was dying because he lost too much blood and there was only blood from the wrong race then that man would have to die.


Segregation was kept in the navy by building separate training grounds, but it was hard to be segregated in the navy. They tried to give the black men the lowest jobs, but they navy was getting tight with recruitment so the black men had to be given promotions. Therefore, in the navy, they had no choice but to mix the two races, which was why they were the first of the service to be desegregated.


The Second World War also provided a lot more work for the black people. When the Second World War started black, people stared to move north to the industrialised areas, because there was a high demand for artilleries. A quarter of 13.5 million black people moved north. Black people had semi-skilled work, which meant that they would get better pay and working conditions. That was why during the 3 and half years of war another 500,000 black people migrated north. Even though it may seem like an improvement, they were still discriminated when it came to applying for work, when they do get the job, they would not get equal pay. “They were often ‘the last to be hire, the first to be fired’” (1). Trade unions did not like the black people because, they were afraid that the black people would settle for lower wages, it was much higher then the wages they used to get in the south, then the white people thought was reasonable. The union were afraid that actions like this “would depress wages” (1).


After fighting for what was right, the black people thought that they would be treated equally when they get back to their country; they believed that they too would be celebrated and be seen as heroes. However, that could not have been further from reality. The racial inequality still was still strong. Nothing had changed, but the black people