Change In The Modern World – Civil Rights (USA)

Grade: HSC
Subject: Modern History
Resource type: Notes
Written by: Jade Gear
Year uploaded: 2021
Page length: 25



Resource Description

Civil Rights in the USA 1945–1968

Survey- The position of African Americans at the start of the period

  • The impact of World War II on the circumstances of African Americans in the United States

Experiences of AA’s in the Military:

  • In Europe, blacks were welcomed
  • The outbreak of WWII US military was segregated 
  • Navy accepted limited numbers is non- combat positions such as cooks, US Marine and Army Air Corps barred enlistment of blacks
  • Early 1941: President Roosevelt banned racial discrimination in defence industries to ensure production needed for WWII.
  • African Americans gained more jobs, more access to education, and witnessed how minorities were treated in Europe = better pay, literacy, economic independence, higher expectations
  • Serving in the armed forces, many blacks noticed a huge gap in pay and working conditions.
  • WWII = inspiration for black people to fight for equality and justice = groups such as CORE and NAACP.

Experiences of AA’s on the Homefront:

  • Blacks left the South in search of work and opportunities in North
  • 1940- half a million AA’s were in search of a job 
  • African Americans serving in the war served to heighten the awareness of civilian blacks of the gap between their reality and a typical USA 
  • African Americans found work in the years of WWII, however, employment preference was given to whites 
  • 1940- 100,000 workers employed in aircraft industry, 240 were black (1% to 3%) 
  • Pearl Harbour increased participation in the workforce 
  • Women- the war gave black people opportunities to work in jobs they never had before 
  • Although, Jim Crow Laws were still existent in the underlying racism 
  • The integration of workers for the war effort increased tensions and therefore sparked rioting and violence
  • For African American civilians, the impact saw economic progress and the first opportunity to vote

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