During Reconstruction, there was a significant increase of African Americans holding positions very close to white people. They had the right to vote, they held public office, and they sought legislative changes. Jim Crow Laws were a collection of state and local rules that legalized racial segregation, just after all of the progress that was made for African Americans and their rights. Some states that acted like this even went as far as to limit the voting power for blacks.
These laws set a general strict rule that said all African Americans in America were separate but equal. This saying was first set by the Supreme Court in the Plessy vs. Fergurson case, a case where a train passenger by the name of Homer Plessy refused to sit in a train car for blacks. This single incident created the saying separate but equal, leading to the significant restraints that very much affected the speed at which African Americans in our country got their full, true freedom.
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is America’s oldest and largest civil rights organization. First established in 1909 by people such as Martin Luther King Jr, W.E.B. Du Bois, Oswald Garrison Villard, and many more, it was formed in New York City by both black and white activists, in response to the spike of violence against African Americans. The organization’s first major focus was actually a silent protest that they put together in 1917. Titled the Anti-Lynching Campaign, this early NAACP project protested lynching and other violence against African Americans.
It is said that some 10,000 people participated in this silent protest, naturally making this the organization’s main focus for the first few years of its life. The NAACP also had several progressive victories for what they represented. One of their first major victories was that they successfully got the Supreme Court to rule the grandfather clause unconstitutional. This little event was just the beginning of this organization and their constant fight to getting the full freedom they deserve. It is easy to say that without the NAACP; The Civil Rights Movement would not have been so successful in the upcoming years after its formation.
The Civil Rights Act was passed on July 2nd, 1964. The act created a gateway for all African Americans to a better life by taking away segregation from the country, after decades of always being treated worthlessly by the majority. Without the Civil Rights Act, we most likely would not be where we are today in regards to equality. The act was the result of many events in prior years where African Americans were segregated and treated poorly only for their skin color.
It is incredible that some African Americans were brave enough to stand their ground, because of how long before the Civil Rights Movement began where it was normal to segregate people with darker skin tones.
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