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How Far Were The Actions Of The African Americans The Main Reason For The Advancement Of The Civil Rights In The Period 1865 1980?

4828 words - 20 pages

How far were the actions of the African Americans the main reason for the advancement of the Civil Rights in the period 1865-1980?

“Power concedes nothing without demand, it never has and it never will”[1].
Said by Fredrick Douglass in 1857, an escaped slave who had bearded the brunt of the slave years. He had come to the realisation that African Americans had a fountain of “power”; however that power that they possessed would never establish anything without a “demand”. Fredrick Douglass awoke the conscious of African Americans to make them realise that wanting to be free and wanting to achieve full civil rights was not enough, neither was enduring a life under white supremacy waiting ...view middle of the document...

The premise of this study is that African Americans were the main reason for the advancement of African American Civil Rights in the years 1865-1980, as this was a time of consciousness rising in the African American community. They came to the realisation that they had to make the first bold steps themselves to achieve anything. During this period they moved into motion, taking actions using a range of methods to show their desire and as a result setting a movement directed towards the achievement of the advancement of Civil Rights, unravelling the strongholds and led to the achievement of the Civil Rights.

Good things come to those who wait but even greater things come to those who go out and take possession. African Americans adopted the method of direct action which they used to conquer the advancement of Civil Rights. It worked as a sharp sword penetrating through the unyielding laws and attitudes which barricaded the daily lives of African Americans. The wartime industry hiring practice promoted racial discrimination, which was unreasonable as they were working for a common cause to win the war. A Philip Randolph refused to be complacent with the mediocre life that African Americans were made to live and took on the task to fight the battle against the evils of unemployment and discrimination. He encouraged African Americans to stand united against the discrimination as they would to fight an enemy in a battle. This point is supported by Kevern Verny, “Urging African Americans to fight racial injustice at home with the same vigour required in the struggle against totalitarianism abroad”[2]. A. Philip Randolph strived to achieve a level of recognition for African Americans he did not accept the fact that they were to be discriminated against yet were expected to go unto the battle field to fight for the same country which did not acknowledge their value. Adam Fairclough argues “Randolph was a tireless campaigner against racial discrimination in the labour movement, a persistent thorn in the side of the AFL”[3]. Randolph was a “Persistent thorn” as he threatened President Roosevelt with a march of protest on Washington in 1941 against the prejudice in the defence industries. A result of his assertiveness led to President Roosevelt signing the Executive Order 8802 a week before the proposed march. The order was to stop discrimination in defence industries in addition to this the FEPC, Fair Employment Practices Committee was also set up to promote equal opportunities in defence industries. African Americans were the main reason for the advancement of Civil Rights, through the pressure of A. Philip Randolph. On the other hand it also could be argued that the president was the most affective, as he was the one who introduced the New Deal which helped African Americans. However it only helped them economically. Whereas Randolph influenced African Americans making them aware that they had the potential to overcome and could shake the executive....

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