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FinalQuestion1 - Steimel 1 Robert Steimel Social Forces...

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Steimel 1 Robert Steimel December 14, 2007 Social Forces That Shaped America HIST-215.01 Fall 2007 Take Home Final Exam – Question 1 1. The purpose of the Civil Rights Movement by African Americans in the mid 20 th Century was to end racial discrimination and to establish that all men were created equal, thus they should all have equal rights. The majority of the people involved in the Civil Rights Movement were non-violent protesters who believed that no race or ethnicity is better than any other ethnicity. The organization of non-violent protests gave the Civil Rights Movement respectability to enact a social change. The protesters did not want to be associated with any one who was using race as a way to start violence. The violence that was being committed by others eventually led to the establishment of basic civil rights for all people regardless of creed or color. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) was founded on February 12, 1909, the same day as Abraham Lincoln’s 100 th birthday. The NAACP was established by a number of diverse people from different ethnicities, who all wanted to help African Americans and give them the same rights that everyone else enjoyed. W. E. B. Du Bois and William Monroe Trotter founded the Niagara Movement, a civil rights group dedicated to ending racial segregation and the disenfranchisement of African Americans that laid the groundwork for the NAACP, an organization that it eventually joined because of a lack of funding and central leadership. The Niagara Movement was one of the first real groups that stated exactly what they set out to accomplish, which was outlawing segregation, granting suffrage to African American men, as well as civil liberty, equal economic opportunities, decent
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Steimel 2 housing and equal access to education (Levine 136-139). The NAACP wanted to end segregation and they created a strategy to achieve this. Their legal department, led by Charles Hamilton Houston and future Supreme Court justice Thurgood Marshall, decided to get a large number of plaintiffs who would sue the highest level of education possible for admittance to that school. Desegregating professional and graduate schools were less threatening than going straight for elementary schools (Williams 10-11). In 1935, the first step of this strategy was achieved when the Baltimore City Circuit Court and the Maryland Court of Appeals ruled in Murray v. Pearson that the University of Maryland Law School must integrate. This decision only affected the state of Maryland. Almost twenty years later, in 1954, the second step of the NAACP’s strategy was achieved when the Supreme Court unanimously ruled that all schools must be integrated in Brown v. Board of Education ; the entire country was affected by this ruling. Despite this huge victory for the NAACP, money was tight and the organization’s debt continued to grow (Williams 11, 31-34, 44). In 1955, Emmett Till’s death reignited the battle for civil rights. Till was lynched by a
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FinalQuestion1 - Steimel 1 Robert Steimel Social Forces...

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