Black America Civil Rights History Essay
Black America Civil Rights History
How far do you agree that the Black Power movement hindered black civil rights in the 1960s?
The Black Power movement significantly hindered Black civil rights in the 1960s to quite a large extent; however other factors contributed to hindering black civil rights in the 1960s such as failure of MLK, White opposition and Civil rights divisions. Black Power clearly hindered the black civil rights movement in the 1960s due to the black panthers which were formed in 1966 and involved around 5,000 members. They were very much influenced by Malcolm X and they wanted to defend their communities from the police. They wanted to bring equality for the working classes; here they hindered the black civil rights movement because they tried to get their message across through violence which led to the blacks gaining an even worse name for themselves due to this group. Black panthers also hindered the black civil rights movement through police brutality. They followed police cars in the ghettos in order to expose police brutality. Black panthers therefore did hinder the black civil rights movement significantly due to their violent ways and giving a bad name for the blacks so people’s views did not change about blacks, if anything got worse.
The failure of MLK was another factor which hindered the black civil rights, less significantly than Black power however. In Chicago MLK protested against poor ghetto conditions of poor urban blacks. MLK was also not as popular in the north of America as the south and he failed to bring about social and economic change. During 1964/65 there was De Jure segregation but no change to De Facto. MLK’s peaceful protests hindered the black civil rights less so than Black Power due to MLK bringing about awareness through the protests of the harsh treatment of blacks, making many feel sorry for them and some change their attitudes to the blacks who were being treated unfairly. For example, the sit ins in Woolworths with four black students, made them desegregate their lunch counters which raised awareness and meant lack of business for them showed just how harsh blacks were treated. White opposition contributed to the hindering black civil rights, the KKK for example continued to use violence and bombed a black church after the Birmingham campaign. White citizen councils still held strong. White opposition tried their best to make blacks out to be non equal to them and for blacks not to deserve civil rights.
Until 1964, white citizen councils prevented integration in schools in Mississippi. As school desegregation increased, in some white communities the white citizen councils set up schools privately for white children. Civil Rights Bill was also weakened by congress meaning it hindered the black civil rights movement, however white opposition on slightly contributed to hindering black civil rights because the decisions in congress however didn’t affect the going forward of the acts. Similar to white opposition ,Civil rights divisions also slightly hindered black civil rights movement. Civil rights groups disagreed over tactics (mainly violence or non violence), black and whites working together and integration or separation. In 1967, MLK part of SCLC were against the war, however NAACP continued to support the war and Johnson in order to keep federal support so there was a major clash amongst civil rights groups here. NAACP also refused to work with SNCC and CORE after Meredith was shot. Civil rights divisions therefore slightly hindered the black civil rights movement because even though they all wanted their own, different ways to bring about civil rights for blacks, they all aimed to get civil rights for blacks whether non violent or violent or through separation or integration. They all contributed to bringing about the civil rights movement but in different ways therefore one could say that civil rights divisions only slightly hindered civil rights movement.
In conclusion, Black Power was by far the significant factor which hindered black civil rights movements, however the failure of MLK and peaceful protests also hindered black civil rights but to a much less extent. White opposition and civil rights divisions hindered the civil rights movement the least however did contribute to hindering black civil rights as a whole. How accurate is it to say that peaceful protests were the most important reason for the improvement in the civil rights in the years 1955-68? MLK’s policy of peaceful protest was fairly important for the success of the civil rights movement in the years 1955-68, however there were other factors which contributed to the success of the civil rights movement such as Civil Rights groups, Black Power and media. It is therefore accurate to say that MLK’s peaceful protest was not the most important reason for the success of the civil rights movement as the most important reason is civil rights groups and media. MLK’s peaceful protests were fairly important in the success of the civil rights movement in the years 1955-68, however not the most important reason. It is safe to say that the protests were fairly important because SCLC concentrated on the specific racial problems that needed addressing in the south, which was the place where there was the worst racial equality. MLK set up SCLC group in 1957. Some would say that MLK’s peaceful protests were fairly important because King’s main strategy was to attract national attention to racial inequality.
This started in a March in Washington in 1963. King demanded the vote for all blacks in front of a crowd of 20,000 outside Lincoln memorial in May 1957. However, MLK’s peaceful protests were only fairly important in the sense that SCLC achieved little in the 3 years after Montgomery with sit ins and wasn’t entirely impactful other than gaining publicity, for the civil rights movement a big success was not made with the peaceful protests. On the other hand Civil Rights Groups were clearly the most important reason for the success of the civil rights movement in the years 1955-68. Other peaceful protest groups such as SNCC, CORE and NAACP were more successful during the civil rights movement. Much of their work was more impactful than MLK’s peaceful protests. For example, during the Montgomery Bus Boycott 1955, NAACP wanted to challenge segregation on the buses and Rose Parks started the Boycott. Without this group MLK wouldn’t have been able to start his peaceful protests. NAACP were more impactful durwing the civil rights movement especially when James Meredith tried to enter the University of Mississippi but was barred. The NAACP then forced a Supreme court decision to overturn the South state. The governor let Meredith in but without protections, this led to white mobs shooting 2 people and JFK sent federal troops in to protect him.
This raised more awareness than MLK’s peaceful protests did and was more impactful which led to a greater improvement in the civil rights movement between 1955-68. Another factor which contributed to the success of the civil rights movement, but contributed less significantly than civil rights groups was Black Power. Black power drew a lot of attention during the 1960s which contributed to the civil rights movement. Economic situation of the blacks during Black Power improved in the first half of the twentieth century, however the ghettos remained centres of poverty, unemployment, poor housing and schooling and constant violence. This is why Black Power only contributed to the success of the civil rights movement in a less significant way than civil rights groups. Black power brought about Black Panther group who had more than 5000 members, and their 30 chapters were mostly in urban centres on the West Coast. They won a great deal of respect in the ghettos, especially for their emphasis on self help. They also set up ghetto clinics to advise on health. Black Power, however was not the most important reason for the success of the civil rights movement due to them being held back by white’s reacting badly.
Media also contributed to the success of the civil rights movement and was very much important in helping the civil rights groups publicise events to raise awareness in the years 1955-68. At almost all of the protests and events involving gaining greater equality for blacks there was media coverage which brought attention to the harsh treatment of blacks. For example, during the Freedom Rides of 1961, protestors faced fierce white reactions which brought about publicity and showed pictures of KKK setting fire to the buses which was very impactful as it showed the public a real life pictures of how badly the blacks were being treated. Media however only contributed partially to the success of the civil rights movement as even though it bought about awareness, it did not however make impactful change to how blacks were being treated.
In conclusion, it is not totally accurate to say that MLK’s peaceful protests were the most important reason for the success of the civil rights movement in the years 1955-68 because Civil Rights groups were more impactful and gave a greater chance for blacks to gain equality. Both media and Black power brought about awareness for civil rights movement however did not have a great impact in changing lives for blacks. MLK’s peaceful protests however did start the civil rights movement and events such as the Montgomery bus boycott were successful partially and contributed to the success of the civil rights movement between 1955-68.