Assignment due 4/13

Leave at least 2 comments in response to this post discussing the portrayal of the African-American civil rights movement by Foner in “The Age of Affluence” chapter.  Were things getting better or worse for African Americans between 1945 and 1960?  Why or why not?  Who fought to improve equality and who opposed them?  Read the comments that came before you and contribute something new to the conversation.

55 thoughts on “Assignment due 4/13

  1. For civil right movements, things were slowing down during the era of Cold War. Because the general population was very eager to brand any dissent in the community as anti-government and pro-communist, even W.E.B. Du Bois, a well-known civil rights fighter, and Paul Robeson, a black singer and actor, were charged of being disloyal to the American government. This paranoia of communism has led to a stagnant age for the civil rights organizations.

  2. During the age of affluence, however, civil rights movements were making great progress. The African American scored victories in the legal assault on segregation, as indicated by the reforms after the “Brown v. Board of Education Topeka, Kansas” lawsuit.

    The civil rights movements also picked up momentum after the Montgomery Bus Boycott, in which a population of black residents boycotted against the Montgomery Bus system in response to the arrest of Rosa parks, who was arrested for simply refusing to give up her seat to a white passenger on the city bus.

  3. Somewhere in this discussion, can someone respond to the unanswered question in class about President Eisenhower’s politics? How conservative does Foner explain him to be? In this context, you could talk about his positions on civil rights.

  4. Foner explains President Eisenhower was unwilling and “reluctant to address the issue.” Unfortunately, he, along with the federal government tried their best to remain seemingly ignorant to the issue. Off the record, Eisenhower was known to consider the situation repugnant. However in 1953, Eisenhower appoints Earl Warren as the new Chief Justice. Warren was a known anti-racist, anti-segregation politician.

  5. Even after blacks fought along side whites during WWII, post war civil rights was still a raging battle in America. The issue of segregation took center stage and played out many acts of violence especially in souther states. Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks and a slue of court cases arduously fought to gain equality.

  6. Following WWII a sense of militancy gripped the nation as evident by the rise of persons such as Marcus Garvey. It had also led many whites to support the rights of blacks. This led to various reforms but many acts were unsupported by congress. As the cold war gripped the nation the civil rights movement changed again. The strategies of organizations such as the NAACP shifted, embracing the verbal war with the Soviet and claiming that this inequality reflects on the US poorly.

  7. However, the real changes came during the 1960s as the United States experienced an economic boom. With the Brown v. Board of Education case overturning school segregation many movements, organizations, and people gained new confidence. Historic people such as Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jr. arose questioning the current status of African-American’s rights. Many states fought against any reform but the dream was set in motion.

  8. I know that we have to speak about the civil rights movement, but I will save that for next post. In this post I want to speak about the way blacks were segregated in society. In the chapter we read about suburbia, and the enjoyment of American freedom. However, we do not realize that this does not include blacks. We see that during the suburban boom, federal agencies were encouraging the whites to keep suburbia white. They were insuring mortgages that barred resale of houses to non-whites. Even in 1960 we see that “blacks represented less than 3 percent of the population of Chicago’s suburbs.” It is important to realize that the American freedom was not being enjoyed equally by all.

  9. Things were slowly getting better for blacks during this period of time. One example of this is the decision in Brown vs. The Board of Education. Prior to this case the rule in America was that “separate but equal” is allowed. However, it was later realized that there really is no such thing as separate by equal. By virtue of separating a group of people you are not making them equal. Secondly, in reality America was not treating the black facilities equally to the white facilities. After this case the Supreme Court decided that “separate but equal” is no longer constitutional, as it goes against the 14th amendment. Although the ruling only referred to public schools it did being to move America in the right direction in terms of civil rights. It inspired a wave of optimism. However, there was still a lot of work to be done in areas of interracial marriage, de facto segregation, and segregation in other institutions.

  10. It just so happens that suburbanization also created a sort of segregation for African Americans. While many whites were leaving cities and moving to suburban areas, blacks were beginning to move out of the south and into northern cities in order to find work. African Americans were still mostly doing hard manual labor while whites held more “white-collar” positions. Foner brings up a good example to mirror the still-existing racism that existed by using a quote from Life magazine. The magazine interviewed a white suburbanite discussing the possibility of having a black neighbor; the white man said having an African American neighbor would bring down his own house’s value.

  11. Martin Luther King Jr. did great things for the advancement of the civil rights movement. He served as a leader and representative for all of the African Americans who wanted freedom and equal rights. The reason Martin Luther King Jr. was different from any other African American fighting for equality was because of the way he presented his arguments; he appealed to the deep sense of injustice that he knew existed among his fellow African Americans and also to the consciences of whites who would listen to him speak.

  12. In the era of the Affluent Society, I believe the situation for African Americans was slightly better. The oppressed group now more visibly displayed their discontent with the implied norms and written laws targeting against them in America. For instance, the Montgomery Bus Boycott Movement is an example of how the the African Americans were fed up with the unfair treatment and thus, began to voice out their objections and unsatisfaction of the Jim Crow laws. As a result, their perservering passion eventually let the Supreme Court to rule segregation in public transportation unconstitutional.

  13. As mentioned above, the Affluent Society saw the emergence as civil rights leader, Martin Luther King, Jr. This is another reason how this period demonstrated an overall better change for African Americans. Martin Luther King rose to the occassion and guided African Americans into the right direction to successfully attain their rights. Besides Martin Luther King, many influential men came about as well, including Thurgood Marshall. Marshall represented Oliver Brown, in the historic case of Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas. Marshall questioned the constitutionality of the “separate but equal” principle, since he believed it could not be achieved. Eventually, the Warren Court deemed the doctrine of “separate but equal” was unconstitutional. This is a great accomplishment as the African Americans were finally able to strike it down.

  14. The civil rights movement progressed at a snails pace during the age of affluence. Hurdles, such as Brown vs Board of education, were overcome legally and set the precedent for future obstacles to come down. Although legally the government tried to slowly stop segregation, in reality African Americans were still being ostracized in their communities. It took, and is still taking, decades to change the minds of society. Like mention above, activists like W.E Debois & Paul Robeson and many others were targets for speaking out against injustices.

  15. Going off of what @Michael Erdos was saying, it is important to note that even though the American society began booming and flourishing in suburbia and creating more factories in cities, African Americans and other non-white cultures were left out of this. There is no such thing as “Separate but Equal”. Why separate in the first place? Nevertheless, because of this separation and unfairness African Americans voiced their opinions through protests, boycotts, and other non violent outrages to let America and the government know that we will not stand for inequality.

  16. During the civil rights movement, things got better for the African Americans between 1945-1960. In Foners book, “A segregated Landscape”, it says that the new communities build by William Levitt refused to allow blacks, including army veterans, to rent or purchase homes. After a lawsuit, Levitt finally agreed during the 1960s to sell homes to non-whites.

  17. Segregation was the predominate way to establish white supremacy. Even after civil war when 13th,14th,15th amendments changed life of African Americans, the case of Plessy vs Ferguson made the sepreate but equal doctrine which mentioned earlier. This doctrine basically was followed with widespread of segregation afterwards that discriminated against African Americans.

  18. I agree with Melanie & Jarita about Martin Luther King. Martin Luther King played a huge role at that time to help blacks to attain their rights. He led the African American using non-violent methods. Martin Luther King became a civil rights activist early in his careers. He now established his reputation as one of the greatest speakers.

  19. Education played an important role during the civil rights movement. The Supreme Court established the ruling of “separate but equal” during 1896, however this never actually applied entirety in the south. One case that brought attention to the civil rights cause was the Little Rock High incident in Arkansas during the 1950’s. When nine African American high school students were escorted into the school by police; riot, protest, and violence broke out. The following day President Eisenhower dispatched federal troops to escort the nine students to school.

  20. Continuing from my post above, the incident at Little Rock’s Central High School was a major factor that contributed to the resolve of enforcing black civil rights during a time of massive resistance for many years following the Brown vs. Board decision. The Brown vs. Board of Education ruled out “separate but equal”, which in turn required desegregation of schools, resulting in the integration of public schools.

  21. I think the situation was getting better during 1945 -1960 when more African Americans recognize the problem of segregation and stood up to fight for their rights. One mention from the previous post was Martin Luther King Jr who was a civil rights activists. I would also like to mention Rosa Parks who was also a civil rights activist. She was arrested for refusing to give up her seats to whites and was arrested for it. Her situation made many African Americans rose up for demonstrations which many led by Martin Luther King Jr. Civil Rights movement eventually came to effect during late 1960s when president Johnson passed civil rights Act of 1964. Overall, i think the fact that many African Americans came to fight for their rights rose the attention of the government that can bring about changes in near future about segregation. In such case, the things were getting better.

  22. I am here today because of the advancements made during the age of affluence. During this time African Americans began to really try to work together for a better cause, from the changes with education, to the fight for the same civil rights that blacks deserved. These were steps that were easier to make almost 90 years after the abolishment of slavery after the civil war. During this era racial segregation was addressed on a federal level. Leaders like Thurgood Marshall and his aggressive battle against segregation. Rosa Parks didn’t stand up on the bus, and Martin Luther king Jr, had an incredible dream. This era was incredible, because blacks started to really stand up for themselves. It was brave, because there was so much to lose.

  23. Post-1945 African Americana lives were still in a bed condition. Even thought passing 13th 14th and 15th amendments gained their civil rights. However, because of the Jim Crow Law, the idea of “segregation, but equal” had covered the South. They were segregated in public facilities; they could not even share a bus, a restaurant, and a school. This kind of racism was extremely increasing during that time in the South. Therefore, their lives were getting worse.

  24. I believe that things became better for African Americans, there was a lot of great lives lost, but eventually it was for a greater good. This era really helped shape the role of African Americans in the US.

  25. During the time, there were many African American fought for their rights especially Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., he started nonviolent resistance against the segregation and also led Montgomery Bus Boycott at 1955. Finally, the federal district court was compromised and stated that racial segregation for buses was unconstitutional. In contrast, the opposite power, Ku Klux Klan (KKK), practiced in racial activities. They destroyed African facilities and threatened white people who helped African American.

  26. Things were getting better for African American between 1945 and 1960. Industries were opening the door to jobs for many African American at home, and encouraged people to raise their voices for increased right and equality at home.

  27. Brown v. Board of education passed help African American children have the right to go to the school also the leader of the civil rights movement, Martin Luther King, JR. try to fight the right for African American.

  28. During the Age of Affluence, there were many changes to society. As Melanie has stated above, there was a movement of whites migrating to the suburbs while the african americans move to the city. With that, African Americans were slowly earning their equal rights. Many icons such as Martin Luther King Jr led the movement for African Americans to gain their rights. African Americans were rebelling and voicing themselves for once against their oppression such as the Montgomery Bus Boycott.

  29. Another thing that I feel is important to note is African Americans influence were reaching the Supreme court as well. In Brown V Board of Education, Brown fought on the idea of “separate but equal” and how its impossible to attain. I agree with that because in order to be equals, they needed to be treated in same manner. By segregating groups is already a sign of being unequal. Ultimately, Brown won and this case became an important heap to accomplish.

  30. As Jonathan has stated, Jackie Robinson is indeed a American Hero. Not only did Jackie Robinson break color barrier but also opened doors for future African Americans in all other fields. At that time, he was a prime example of a African Americans winning their rights as equals.

  31. In 1957, Governor of Arkansas Orval Faubus wanted to implement the Supreme Courts decision on the Brown case. He used the National Guard to allow nine students into Little Rock High School. The National Guard had to protect them from being hurt and entered into the school. In the end, only one student of the nine actually graduated.

  32. The lives of African Americans had its ups and downs. Beginning at 1945, many African Americans had suffered inequalities that were just customs at the time. For instance, labor contracts linked promotions and terminations based on seniority,often times African Americans were the first to be fired. This was just one of the many issues with civil rights that African Americans had to face. This potentially marked the beginning of later progress to gain equal rights.

  33. There were many advancements made for African Americans to gain the same rights as their white counterparts. They put their lives and families at risk to achieve this. Many of these advancements were not done as quickly as most wanted but they were overcome and still today there is still a fight to bridge the gap. As mentioned in previous comments,legendary icons such as Martin Luther King Jr, Rosa Parks, Jackie Robinson and many other African Americans fighting for this cause helped start a large change in American society.

  34. Segregation was something that crippled African Americans during this time. As mentioned in previous posts, the Jim Crow laws created “Separate but equal”. As we all know and understand today, there is no such thing as having separate but equal facilities. These laws show the baby steps taken to try and tackle a big problem. However, there was still a lot of unfair establishments and African Americans knew they wanted more. They had to fight to get what they believed they deserved. Segregation was by no means established to be fair, it was another way to try and suppress a race.

  35. The Montgomery bus boycott of 1955 was one of the most imortant landmarks of the civil rights movement in the 1950s. which was the first mobilization of a mass movement intended to oppose the city’s policy of racial segregation on its public transit system. This became the organizing base for nonviolent mass protest in the South against segregation. The boycott ended in triumph, which showed the possibility of using nonviolent mass resistance even in the most segregated area in the country.

  36. Supreme Court power played huge role in the civil rights movement. It required a Supreme Court decision for the Montgomery bus boycott to win. In 1957, it required another Supreme Court decision and federal troops being sent into Little Rock, Arkansas, by President Eisenhower to enforce decisions to integrate Central High School. Another great landmark which suggested that outside power was also going to be absolutely necessary if the racial system of the South was going to be overturned.

  37. Around the time of 1956, Foner had mentioned more and more states began passing laws to block desegregation and this lead to massive resistance. Some states prohibited the NAACP from operation within their borders. Virginia was fairly resistant to desegregation as they executed a strategy to stop integration. Several schools in Virginia closed down and refused to let in black students and even offered funding to white students to attend private institutions. This was part of the reason why the court order integration in Little Rock’s Central High School required troops to escort nine African American students.(posts mentioned above) In a way the equal rights movement moved at a slow rate because of this resistance.

  38. Blocking desegregation was not a one day thing, it took time and the effort of many. In fact, it would be legitimate to credit social activists and those individuals who directed and participated in social protest to get African Americans the rights they deserved in society. The African American civil rights movement created a platform for African Americans today to build on and develop further.

  39. The government has always reflected its weaknesses through legislation, the Jim Crow laws mentioned earlier in conversation similarly crippled the rights of African American citizens. The whole concept of “separate but equal” was fought and eventually closed the gap between white and black American citizens.

  40. Even in the Age of Affluence, when America was experiencing a major economic and technological transformation, it was still a divided nation where non-whites were treated as subordinates. Segregation was most pervasive in the South where restrooms, restaurants, and transportation entrances were divided, one for whites and the other for African Americans. Even in the north where segregation was not legally required, blacks were still not admitted to hotels and restaurants as a norm.

  41. But this inequality did not go unchallenged as the NAACP fought in court to secure legal rights and challenged restrictive housing and employment discrimination against African Americans. They made progress during the era as they won major supreme court cases such as Plessy vs Ferguson (equal higher education) and Brown vs. Board of Education, which outlawed racial segregation in public schools.

  42. During the age of Affluence, there was progress being made to the civil rights movements of African-Americans. It was during this time where Rosa Parks inspired a boycott against the Montgomery bus company which lead to the repeal of segregation in public transportation.

  43. Another case where advancement of African-American civil-rights can be detected during the age of Affluence is the case of Brown v. Board of Education, where the decision of if segregation had a place public schools. The case concluded when segregation was abolished in the public school systeml. Even though segregation still existed in other establishments, this small step gave hope to more social changes yet to come.

  44. As mentioned before I also think that Brown v. Board of Education gave African Americans a reason to believe that their long struggle against racism
    was beginning to pay off. However, white southerners reacted with hostility to that decision and actively resisted Court-ordered desegregation. This resistance led to the crisis in Little Rock, Arkansas,a crisis in which Eisenhower ordered federal troops to prevent violence in the desegregation of the city’s public schools.

  45. Were things getting better or worse for African Americans between 1945 and 1960? Yes for the most part, but they were still being appressed by the white dominated society and haveing to struggle for equality.

  46. In the mid 1900’s many groups especially, Afrian Americans started to gain more freedom cases such as Brown vs. the board of education expanded the rights of blacks as the policy “seperate but equal was abolished and seperated public schools based on race was no longer permitted.

  47. I believe that things were getting better for African Americans between 1945 and 1960, because of important events such as Brown v. Board of Education. Brown v. Board of Education was a milestone in the Civil Rights Movement. This case was based on father who was mad that his daughter had to cross dangerous railroad track in order to go to an all black school, instead of the closer to home all white school. He argued that the idea of “separate but equal” was a lie, and that black students recieved no where near as good an education as white students. The case went to the Supreme Court, who found it to violate the 14th Amendment. Public schools had now been desegregated.

  48. There were also many other events that took place that showed improvements in the rights of blacks and a decline of racism. As the north started to become more and more open to equality, the south was still shaky on the issue. More notably Martin Luther King strived for equality as he led different movements such as the montgomery bus boycott of 1955, and the southern christian leadership conference were king tried and to an extent succeeded to change the civil rights laws in Alabama

  49. Another important event was that of the Montgomery Bus Boycott in 1955. This is when Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat to a white bus rider and was arrested. In response to this arrest hundreds of African Americans gathered together in a local church and decided that to protest they would not ride the public bus until they were able to ride as equals and sit where they wanted. They showed outstanding support for Rosa Parks and for 381 days held to their pledge, when finally the supreme court ruled segregation on public transportation unconstitutional. This shows the strength and willingness to work together toward a common goal. This was an example of the power of the Civil Rights Movement.

  50. I agree with Tsemaye, black people were outcasts. During the Affluent age the quality of life was supposedly improving for everyone except for the people who weren’t white. According to Foner the ‘rigid racial boundaries’ where enforced and preserved by ‘the legacy of decisions by government, real estate developers, banks, and residents’.

  51. I agree with most people who said things got worse for African Americans. It seemed as if everyone were favoring the whites, where as the African Americans did not seem to have equal rights. Education was poor, along with their income. Seems as if African Americans still had boundaries.

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