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The Fund’s efforts led to the landmark 1954 ruling in case as the pivotal moment in the history of American race relations and the beginning of a broad civil rights movement that escalated in the 1960s.
One was massive movement of black Americans out of the rural South in order to take defense-related jobs in northern and western cities.
This migration continued in the 1950s and 1960s, and greatly increased black voting strength and the potential for black community organization.
White intimidation and violence, including lynching, remained an ever-present threat.
Outside of the South, blacks had legal rights, but they suffered from widespread discrimination and from de facto residential and school segregation.
Their efforts remind us that civil rights activism has a considerable history predating the 1940s and that it featured largely unsung grassroots workers. Roosevelt acted to end racial discrimination in employment and racial segregation of the armed forces.
Roosevelt agreed to a Fair Employment Practices Committee (FEPC) to investigate employment practices.Although the FEPC had no real power, Randolph’s highly visible advocacy of large-scale, direct-action protest was a sign of militant tactics to come.Other developments of the war years promoted pressure for civil rights.The shift in tactics revived older civil rights organizations like the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) and prompted the formation of new ones such as the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), all dedicated to direct action such as sit-ins and demonstrations.By May 1961, the first interracial freedom rides from Washington, DC, to New Orleans were underway, designed to force southern officials to honor a recent Supreme Court decision that had called for the ending of racial segregation in interstate bus terminals.From the earliest years of European settlement in North America, whites enslaved and oppressed black people.Although the Civil War finally brought about the abolition of slavery, a harsh system of white supremacy persisted thereafter.Two visible developments in 1957 also encouraged advocates of civil rights.One was passage of a Civil Rights Act, the first to be approved by Congress since Reconstruction.These bold protestors risked not only their jobs but also their lives.Homes and churches were burned, and attempts were made to kill African American organizers.