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Civil rights. 1930’s Langston Hugh's-”Lenox avenue mural” Started writing about civil rights even before its prime in the 50’s and 60’s.- secret thoughts (thought of as art) Mask was off for most of the black writers-political stands were imbedded into poetry, novels, speeches etc ! 1937

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civil rights
Civil rights
  • 1930’s
  • Langston Hugh's-”Lenox avenue mural”
  • Started writing about civil rights even before its prime in the 50’s and 60’s.- secret thoughts (thought of as art)
  • Mask was off for most of the black writers-political stands were imbedded into poetry, novels, speeches etc!
  • 1937
  • Autobiography “black boy”-Richard Wright-novelist
  • Gave insight into black communities-

Black communities forced against each other for entertainment.- mentions the White South &its classes and places according to race.

Literature showed clear signs of a society that was unbeaten, but racial set backs.

richard wright
Richard Wright
  • Soon joined the communist party in the south( in his novel he tells the stories of this period in his life, about the disappointment with the party, and the “God that had failed”.
  • The communist party was known for the special attention they paid to the discrimination and equality issues they found-
  • Scottsboro case:
  • 1930’s Alabama->communist party became associated with the defense of the young black men who were imprisoned in the early years of the depression.
  • Southern injustice:
  • The party was accused by liberals & the NAACP to be using this occasion for their own purposes.-> wasn’t entirely out of perspective. They did have motive.
  • The black community wasn’t a stranger to the motives of non-colored people trying to help with an ulterior motive.( Marxism usually promoted equal rights for all races)
  • The other side ->black communist party in the south had earned the admiration of blacks by their organization work against enormous obstacles.( Hosea Hudson organizer for the unemployed in Birmingham)
  • 1932
  • Black youth named Angelo Herndon who’s father died of miner’s pneumonia, who had worked in the mines as a boy in Kentucky, joined the unemployment council in Birmingham organized by the communist party.
  • Later writing that the racial status -> color folk lived by was always to used respectful language even with the person wasn’t respected at all (white community).
  • Herndon was later convicted and sentenced to 5 years in prison until 1937 when the Supreme courts ruled it unconstitutional.
  • (Georgia statue under which he was found guilty.)-> men who represented the establishment (a dangerous militancy among the black community) made it more dangerous when linked with the communist party.-> others made the same connection.-> magnified the danger
  • Lawyer in this case= Benjamin Davis
  • Others involved on Herndon case= Paul Robeson & W.E.B Du Bios didn’t hide support to the communist party in the south.
communist support whaa
Communist support?!whaa?
  • African American's weren’t as anti-communist as the white community was.
  • Political views might be maligned by the country as a whole found admiration for their fighting spirit and what it meant for them.
  • The militant mood, flashed here & there in the 30’s-> then exploded during WW2
  • Maintained segregation in the armed forces,& kept blacks in low paying jobs.( but also military was denouncing racism in its ranks)
  • When the war ended, new elements entered the racial balance of the U.S’s enormous extraordinary upsurge of African and Asian Americans. -> pres. Harry Truman figured with this especially, as the cold war rivalry with the soviet union.-> dark colored revolt of former colonies all over the world threatened to take Marxist form.
  • Bringing up race questions was needed. Not just to calm the African American community at home emboldened by war promises.->frustration that the continuous threat of communist thrust at the most flagrant failure of American society.
  • Thus bring up the passage that Du Bios had brung up way before 1945 only after being greatly noticed->the problem with the 20th century is the problem of the color line.
truman administration
Truman administration
  • 1946
  • Truman appointed a committee on civil rights-> department of justice to be expanded!-> permanent commission on civil rights .
  • Congress was given a lynching law that would stop voting discrimination , and would also try to stop discrimination in the work place.-> committee was blunt about the motivation in making these recommended “moral reasoning”, the matter of conscience. Also the “economic reasoning” discrimination was costly in the country.
  • U.S in a state of outgoingness in the world -> large sakes of supremacy.
  • Committee stated “our smallest actions have far-reached efforts.”
  • U.s went along with the small actions, hoping to make a big difference.
  • Congress didn’t enact the movements and passed them to legislation, who then passed it to the committee to deal with.-> Truman was being pushed to do what no other president had done with his power. But he never did.
  • Truman asked legislation to pass an act that would prohibit discrimination and integrate public transportation.
  • This law was already made in 1887 but was never enforced.-> the constitution amended to establish racial equality to move toward the end.
  • During the war “white primary” was used to exclude black voters-> southern states did not obey the law which was unconstitutional.
  • 1954
  • The courts finally struck down the “separate but equal” doctrine-> that had defended since the 1890’s .
  • NAACP brought a series of cases before the court challenging the segregation in public schools-. Brown v. board of Education
  • Courts decided that school children generate a feel of inferiority … that may affect their hearts &minds in the way unlikely ever be undone.
  • 1 year later segregated facilities became integrated.
  • 1965
  • 10 years after the “all deliberate speed” more than 75% of school districts remained segregated. ->it wasn’t going anywhere->African Americans were engaging themselves in more and more rebellions.
end of 1955
End of 1955
  • 3 months after Rosa parks was arrested-> she explained why she refused to get up from the white section only or the Montgomery law.-> later mass meeting were called to vote and boycott city buses.-> car pools were organized to take blacks to work and some walked.
  • 100 of the boycott leaders were sent to jail. &segregation turned violent.
  • Black churches were bombed and shot through the door of Doctor king’s home.
  • Meetings were described to be as many as 2,000 blacked in a church that would reach 85 degrees, pledging themselves again and again to passive resistance that king stressed. Love non-voilence was a powerful thing among the blacks to the whites.->however there were many blacks who thought the idea was naïve.
  • 2 years after the Montgomery boycott ex-marine and president of the local NAACP Robert William’s who believed in self defense.
  • 1960 4 freshmen at a black college in Greensboro sat down at a whites only counter downtown and they refused to leave for a day. The same boys returned the next day, by the end the boys. 15 people participated in the sit-in’s.
  • A sophomore from Spelman did the same with her sister and were thrown in jail for the next 12 months. By the end the sit-ins had worked and restaurants were now open to blacks.
  • Organized freedom riders! Which allowed blacks and white s to travel together.