How was the 1960's considered the decade of greatest achievement for Black civil rights& how were the 1940's&50's periods of important gains? essay

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Most of the gains in the forties and fifties were legal ones. The most important societal gains came from fighting alongside one another in the war and on the home front. Both legal and societal gains came in earnest in the sixties during the Civil Rights Movement.
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This answer will take on many forms.  I think that one potential avenue to explore will be the leaders of the movement that emerged in the 1960s who called for a change in the way that Black Americans are thought of and how they think of themselves.  Leaders such as King, Malcolm X, and Carmichael would be focal points for this discussion.  Being able to articulate how these leaders emerged in the 1960s can help solidify the case as to why this decade was so vital for Civil Rights in America.  Essentially, leaders like they were the ones who laid the groundwork and vocabulary that lasted to the modern day setting.  No doubt, they stood on the shoulders of giants and I think being able to talk about these predecessors who came in front of them such as Rosa Parks or Thurgood Marshall might also be of vital importance.

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I would say that an important gain for civil rights occurred in 1948 when President Truman signed executive order 9981 declaring:

"It is hereby declared to be the policy of the President that there shall be equality of treatment and opportunity for all persons in the armed services without regard to race, color, religion, or national origin."

An important gain that was made during the 1950's was the Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka Kansas. This is when the Supreme Court ruled that segregation in schools was unconstitutional. In addition, 1955 was the year that Rosa parks refused to give up her seat on a bus to a white person. This launched the Montgomery Bus Boycott which lasted over a year until buses were desegregated in 1956.

The 1960's was a great decade for Civil Rights. Here are just a few of the things that happened:

  • In 1962, James Meridith was the first black student to enroll at the University of Mississippi.
  • The "March On Washington" occurred in 1963 and this is when Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech.
  • President Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
  • Congress passed the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
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I suppose it depends on how you define achievement, but the 1960s saw major legislation passed in the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act, which finally made concrete the gains that blacks made constitutionally back in 1865.  Also notable in the 1960s was Freedom Summer, where not only did black voter registration in Mississippi alone rise from 5% to 25%, but white resistance to this progress and the civil rights was televised and publicized across the country, which gained the movement more support, and brought in the federal government to back them up.

The 1940s and 50s were very significant in making the 1960s progress possible.  People tend to forget about important events in the 40s especially that should be part of the civil rights timeline, such as:

* Executive Order 8802 that gave blacks equal pay in defense industries during World War II

* The Tuskegee Airmen, and other African-American heroes of World War II

* President Truman desegregating the military in 1948

* Brown vs. Board of Education in 1954

* A successful boycott of the Montgomery Bus system in 1955

* Federal troops enforcing integration in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1957 -  58

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The 1960s are seen as the decade of greatest achievement because that is the decade where the major rights were won by the Civil Rights Movement.  Some very important gains during that time included the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and in my opinion, the case of Loving v. Virginia, which struck down Virginia's law against interracial marriage.

The '40s and '50s were periods of important gains because they laid the groundwork for the '60s.  In the '40s for example, many government programs were integrated.  In the '50s, the Brown decision outlawed school segregation.  These things gave blacks greater hope and helped make whites more ready to allow basic rights to blacks.

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