The Collapse of Segregation
Segregation and discrimination due to race was made completely illegal
by 1970. 1954 saw the end to legal segregation in schools; in 1955 it
was made illegal to practise segregation on busses. The Civil Rights
Act was passed in 1957, which outlawed racial discrimination in
employment, restaurants, hotels, amusement arcades, and any facilities
receiving government money. In 1965 the Voting Rights Act was imposed
to prohibit any discrimination with respect to voting and in 1967 the
Supreme Court ruled that laws forbidding inter – racial marriage would
be made illegal under the constitution. In 1968 the Civil Rights Act
was amended to include that discrimination with regards to housing
would also be unlawful.
There are many reasons why these laws were passed to end segregation,
and in this essay I will explore these reasons and see how TV relates
to it all.
I believe that one of the main reasons these laws were passed was due
to pressure groups such as the National Association for the
Advancement of Coloured People and the Nation of Islam.
The opinions of the NAACP were voiced through Dr Martin Luthur King.
He advocated peaceful, non – violent protest; such as speeches,
marches and boycotts. Two examples of these were the “I have a Dream”
speech and the bus boycott. The bus boycott in particular was so
successful that as well as alerting people to the cause, after a year
the bus company found it so damaging that they decided to abolish
segregation on the busses. They spearheaded many protests such as this
that lead to changes in public opinion as well as to the law. Perhaps
the reluctance to give in to oppression scared the government into
changing the laws.
The opinions of the NOI were voiced through Malcolm X. X was in favour
of violent protest; he believed that they should only be non – violent
when the enemy were non – violent also. Groups such as the Black
Panthers even carried guns as a means to defend themselves. This
frightened white people, as they were worried that they would be
attacked for being white the way they had attacked black people for
being black. As a result, riots broke out in many major cities over
the mid 1960s. These may have influenced some of the changes in law
too, as the government would have seen the...