How successful had the civil rights movement been by the late 1960’s

In the 1960’s the civil rights movement was becoming successful, however there were some failures; although segregation did end eventually in places such as the south. Public facilities including lunch counters, libraries and buses remained segregated for some time, regardless of court decisions and the policy of the federal government to end segregation. Most laws were not upheld. Housing, unemployment and poor health still existed amongst some blacks. The civil rights movement was becoming successful in the fact that blacks began to gain pride in themselves as the slogan ‘black power’ became more popular.

Many acts and commissions were set up in order to support the blacks. The E. E. O. C was set up, an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Blacks were able to hold jobs with responsibilities. Most importantly segregation did end eventually. In the late 1960’s the blacks had come a long way from the 1920’s, where they had faced racial discrimination in almost every aspect of their life’s. They had achieved a lot. How ever there were still some failures. The successes and failures fell into four main categories: social, economical, political and cultural.

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Socially the successes were: as the civil rights movement which started in the 1950’s gained strength the hope to end segregation and racial discrimination became more positive. Impressive protests such as the Birmingham, Alabama and March on Washington, eventually resulted in the 1964 civil rights act being passed. This act made a big impact on black American lives as it made racial discrimination illegal. The civil rights act outlawed segregation in employment, restaurants, hotels, and amusement areas.

This act also opened other doors for black people, it lead to many more integrated schools with a chance of better education. In the late 1960’s 41% of people agreed blacks could now get a good education for their children. Along side this there were also other acts being passed in favour of blacks. In 1968 a fair housing act was passed, in 1967 a law was passed allowing outer racial marriages. In 1965 a voting rights act was passed, extending equal voting rights for black and white people to the southern states.

This also gave blacks respect mainly because they had the right to vote. How ever although all these acts and laws were issued there was still discrimination to a certain extent. Some whites refused to abide by the laws. There was still violent rioting between 1965-1969 due to the fact that discrimination remained. A riot in 1965 was started by a white police man miss treating some black people, this provided evidence that even police were not abiding by the laws. Whites median income was still higher than the blacks. In 1968, blacks income: $7, 603, whites income: $12, 668.

There was still poor housing in some areas, inadequate health care and unemployment to a certain degree. In 1963 unemployment: 10. 8%, poverty rate 51%, number of discrimination complaints 8,854. The above percentages agree with the statement that discrimination remained to a certain extent, particularly the last percentage. Martin Luther King could also be referred to as a social success as he achieved a lot for the blacks, after he was shot dead there were many achievements but also difficulties for blacks.

Economically the successes were: the civil rights act passed in 1964 lead to the E. E. O. C, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission being set up. The E. E. O. C gave blacks the chance to hold jobs with responsibilities, unlike the menial jobs with low pay they were used to. The E. E. O. C also investigated complaints made by blacks. As education was made better for black people, they were able to understand and learn skills vital for self-improvement; this obviously boosted them with confidence as individuals. Other economical successes were that blacks in the late 1960’s were rightfully entitled to vote.

In 1967 the first black was elected for mayor of the city of Ohio. The fair housing act gave blacks the right to live in suitable houses. This obviously provided blacks with better living conditions, so it improved health and decreased amount of illnesses. There were still some failures, poor housing faintly existed amongst some black people in some areas. The fact that poor housing remained in some areas was agreed with in this survey done by white people in 1969 where only 35% of them believed housing was better.

Another economical failure was that laws were not upheld, but this was always going to be an issue with certain people in certain areas. Politically the voting rights act passed in 1965 shortly after the civil rights act was a major success, this is because it showed that blacks were finally given respect and this was portrayed by them being able to vote! Even in places such as the south where segregation and racial discrimination has been the worst, the numbers of black people voting were increasing rapidly from the early 1960’s.

In places such as Texas in 1960 only 35% of black people living there were voting, however in 1966 over 75% of black people were registering to vote in Texas. In 1969 65% of white people agreed the government were providing better help for black people. In 1967 the first black mayor was elected in a major city. Politically other successes followed, some blacks began to take advantage of opportunities available, large companies began to appoint blacks with senior positions. Colin Powell a black American became chief general in the army.

Although blacks had achieved so much politically there are always going to be some failures: blacks, as a population were still lower than whites. Whites still mainly dominated police forces and courts. Out if 300,000 lawyers only 3,000 were black. Even though there were so many laws passed, some were not upheld as there was still wide spread racism. Malcolm X, a Black Muslim was big success culturally to the blacks in the 1960’s. Malcolm X introduced other approaches to get freedom unlike Martin Luther kings he preached lines such as ‘fight and you will get your freedom! In 1966 the slogan ‘black power’ became very popular and excited many blacks especially young urban blacks. Black people gained confidence, as they began to believe that they should be controlling their own communities. Black people carried guns! The slogan ‘black power’ frightened and intimidated many whites. This idea of black power was obviously a major success, as it was important blacks gained pride in themselves and in their African origins and culture.

Riots in the late 1960’s disgusted many whites, how ever it was a way of the blacks portraying they were no longer going to be pushed around by white people, they showed disrespect to white people by calling them names such as whitey and replacing there slave names (second name) with X. this was an idea thought of by Malcolm X and his organisation. ‘Im not going to beg the white man for anything I deserve – im going to take it- we need power we want black power! ‘ Above is a line spoken by a young militant black leader in a speech in 1967. Many other blacks began to share the same attitude as this young militant leader.

There were not many cultural failures faced by blacks in the late 1960’s. How ever the fact that whites seemed to respond to black peoples confidence boost ‘black power’ by blaming them for their own situation might seem a bit unfair and to a certain extent a failure. In 1969 73% of white people agreed that blacks could have done something about their slum conditions. To conclude in the long term, the civil rights movement bought success for black people. How ever racial conflict still remains a issue the improvements in the 1960’s did have an impact.

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