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Kennedy in 1963, Malcolm X in 1965 and Martin Luther King in 1968, the 60’s was a critical time or the Civil Rights Movement.In this same year of the March on Washington, the Civil Rights Bill was approved by congress which would strike down discrimination and just two years later the 1965 voting rights act was passed, allowing African Americans to begin voting and standing for congress.
This decade would certainly allow the civil rights movement to become much more established.
By the end of the 1950’s fewer than two percent of black students attended integrated schools in the south, but the modern civil rights movement had begun.
Martin Luther King was in full swing and Malcolm X’s Black Panther Party rose to prominence advocating a more radical and militant approach for the African American population to take. Kennedy even provided crucial support for the Southern Freedom Movement which lead to other pivotal historical events, the greatest being the March on Washington of 1963 with an estimated 250,000 participants – truly an awe inspiring milestone of the Civil Rights movement.
Who could forget Martin Luther King’s call to end racism which his most defining “I have a dream” speech, beautifully referencing the Emancipation Proclamation which lead to the freedom of slaves in 1863.
Although this lead to the first integrated school to open in 1955, unfortunately these events spawned massive resistance in the south, making many schools close instead of allowing integration.
In fact, numerous states appropriated funds for white students to join “private academies”, however a foundation for the civil rights movement in education had nonetheless been laid.However at least Eisenhower played up when forced to, for instance when The governor of Arkansas sent in the national guard in order to prevent the integration of nine black students in a central high school, nicknamed the Little Rock Nine, Eisenhower ordered in the 101st airborne military division to walk African American children to walk children to school for a whole year.Despite the school closing soon after, this act allowed government workers to see that they weren’t entitled to ignore the orders from court and the constitution. Following the Mississippi Riot in 1962, which was organised after a black man wasn’t allowed to attend an all white school, James Meredith became the first man to have a federal court to approve his case allowing him to attend.In this speech, Martin Luther King reminded all that a hundred years later, the “Negro still is not free”.Despite the deeply troubling wave of assassinations of John F.By the 1950’s 50% of black people were living in poverty and when they could get regular jobs, black workers had less ranking in a company than white people, meaning that their jobs were less stable.Rigid segregation was the rule for most of the country, either by law or by custom, meaning that black people didn’t get the same education because of poor standards in their schools.It was certainly not an equal time for all – court cases such as Plessy vs.Ferguson in 1896 introduced a series of deeply oppressive Jim Crow laws which lead to the segregation of everything, from schools to busses – black people were always second class citizens.This paved the way for other landmark trials such as 1954’s Brown vs.The Education Board in Topeka – California’s governor Earl Warren signed a state order that repealed all school segregation in the state.