how far do you agree that the years 1945-55 saw only the limited progress in improving the status of african americans?
Life had only improved to a small extent. There was only limited progress in solving the problem of segregation, the violence continued, new employment opportunities and voting rights were not readily available and whilst there was de-jure change in the areas of transport and education, de-facto change was lacking.
One of the areas that changed were segregation, Truman established a committee to investigate race relations and to safeguard the rights of minorities. The report of this committee published in 1947 was called ‘To Secure These Rights’. It called for many drastic changes to be made to the law e.g. to secure …show more content…
The area that showed least improvement was violence, specifically lynching. Lynching continued unabated in the south. In 1946, several war veterans were killed in rural Georgia for voting whilst a soldier in South Carolina was blinded because he did not sit at the back of a bus. The Brown Case caused a revival in the activity of the KKK and the Emmett Till case followed a year later. He was a 14 year old black boy who was lynched and murdered. The two white men were found not guilty by an all-white jury.
As regards to employment, this area showed some improvement as Truman used his power as President to appoint African Americans to important roles; most notably Ralph Bunche who was appointed American Ambassador to the United Nations., he mediated between Israelis and Palestines and thus won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1950. William Hastie was also appointed as the first black federal judge. Truman also used government power to ensure that lucrative government defence contracts would not go to companies that discriminated against black Americans; the Committee on Government contract Compliance enforced this. Yet Truman’s achievements were limited. The FEPC was underfunded and the CGCC could not force defence companies to adopt fair employment practices.
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