WHAT PREVENTED BLACK AMERICANS FROM GAINING CIVIL RIGHTS BEFORE 1941? (KKK…
WHAT PREVENTED BLACK AMERICANS FROM GAINING CIVIL RIGHTS BEFORE 1941?
The KKK carried out public beatings and lynching, mutilations as methods of intimidation. They would target white and black Americans who were making progress in gaining civil rights.
This meant that black Americans could not gain civil rights because as soon as someone started to make any progress in gaining civil rights they were targeted by the Klan and killed during a public lynching
Furthermore factor also meant that white Americans would no longer help black Americans because they were scared that they would become a target for the KKK and be killed.
Politicians like David Bobb Graves used the strength of the Klan in the 1920's to boost their own careers.
This was significant in preventing black Americans from gaining civil rights as the politicians that were elected supported the klan and were therefore very racist to black Americans .
Furthermore this factor also meant that there was virtually no chance of a politician supporting Black Rights to ever be elected as the power and size of the Klan outweighed any other potential voters.
Overall this was a very significant factor in preventing black Americans gaining civil rights as they not only intimidated black Americans but also prevented many whites from daring to speak out in favour of Civil Rights.
However, this was not as significant sas the role of widespread racism and prejudice which provided the racist consensus on which the Klan were able to thrive. Furthermore the Klan declined in popularity and influence significantly after 1925, whereas racism and prejudice remained an obstacle for black Americans throughout the period
JIM CROW LAWS
Black Americans could have the same facilities as white Americans but separate so they did not mix. This included public transport, bathrooms, schools, business and sports teams.
This was significant as black Americans could not gain civil rights as the standard of black facilities were much poorer than whites.
Furthermore, this factor also meant that black Americans could not compare the standard of facilities because this was against the law and so they had to suffer in silence, highlighting the impact this had and struggle black Americans faced.
There were also a number of ways to prevent black Americans from voting including a literacy test which was impossible to pass and poll tax which was too expensive for black Americans
This was significant in preventing black Americans gaining Civil Rights as they couldn't vote for a politician who supported and stood up for black rights
Overall this was a significant factor in preventing black Americans gaining Civil Rights as just by having Jim Crow LAws reinforced racist attitudes and made black Americans feel inferior and ostracized, highlighting the emotional and physical effect Jim Crow Laws had on them.
Therefore this is not as significant as widespread racism as it provided the base of which allowed Jim Crow Laws to develop and exist on.
WIDESPREAD RACISM AND PREJUDICE
In 1910 only 10% of black Americans lived in the North
This meant that black Americans could not gain civil rights because only those living in the North could vote, highlighting the little impact this had as only a small percentage were eligible for this. There was not nearly enough black Americans to have an impact on the government, and so this did nothing for those in the north or the problems those in the south faced.
Furthermore, this factor also meant that the problems faced in the south were not tackled and only individual black Americans lives living in the North were improved by the 'Great Migration'
By 1940 this had risen to 22% as black Americans tried to escape the influence of the KKK and Jim Crow Laws. However, racism and prejudice still existed in the North meaning blacks faced difficulty getting good jobs and were forced to live in ghettos
This meant that most black Americans in the North were too focused on merely staying above above the poverty line to devote any time to campaigning for Civil Rights.
However moving north saw the rise of the Harlem renaissance, a flourishing of black culture, playwrights, authors and black musicians. They thrived in the environment of black racial pride creating a very proud positive image of black people; helping the campaign rather than hinder.
Overall this was the most significant factor in preventing black Americans gaining Civil Rights because widespread racism and prejudice provided the building blocks for other 4 factors to develop. The KKK would not have developed or become as socially acceptable as would the Jim Crow Laws.
Furthermore widespread racism and prejudice existed all over America and affected all Black Americans whereas Jim Crow Laws only affected those in the south.
DIVISIONS IN THE BLACK COMMUNITY
In 1922, the NAACP ( who aimed for aimed for full racial equality and an end to segregation) passed an anti-lynching bill to the house of representatives.
This was significant as it reduced the number of lynchings in the south across America.
However, the impact of this factor was limited as the bill was not passed by the senate and so was not passed as a law.
By 1923, UNIA had a strong following of black Americans with 6 million supporters
This was significant as the group spread the message 'Black is beautiful' acheiveing a sense racial pride amongst the black community.
However the impact of this factor was limited as in 1925, Marcus Garvey was arrested for fraud and sent to jail and deported to Jamaica and soon the organisation fell apart
Overall this wasn't a significant factor in preventing Black Americans gaining civil rights because the groups failed to make a big enough impact as however some progress was actually made by these groups towards gaining civil rights.