Describe and explain the varying situations of black people across the united states in 1945 Essay
In the United States black people were treated differently depending on where they lived. Black people were spread out across the North, the South and the bordering states. The black American people encountered different situations depending on where they lived in America. The North included states such as Connecticut, the South included states such as Mississippi, Georgia and Virginia, while the bordering states included Maryland and Missouri. The black people suffered inequality in four main areas; social, economic, political and legal.
There was social inequality in the North where there was de facto segregation. This occurred in houses, schools, theatres, etc. Black people weren’t well welcome in white restaurants and public places. In the South there were the Jim Crow laws and de jure segregation, which was segregation in schools, parks, theatres and transport, services. The Border States varied between the two types of segregation. In the North they encountered political inequality. This is where they got the vote but were not allowed black senators or congressmen, but occasionally there were black local officials.
But in the South, black people were not allowed to vote due to the Jim Crow laws. The Border States varied between these. Economic equality for blacks in the North included menial jobs and manual labour but more opportunities were made available such as meat packing in Chicago. Soon they would be able to work for Henry Ford in establishing Ford cars in Detroit. In the South the worst paid jobs, such as tenant farmers, maids, bellhops or porter. These were seen as the height of sophistication, so they would feel that they played an important part in their surrounding community.
In the South black people were legally unequal. They had Ku Klux Klan’s against them and many were lynched for doing crimes they hadn’t even committed. In the north there were a few Ku Klux Klan members and some lynchings but it was much better than in the south. The Border States varied in their attitudes towards the blacks. Black migration was on the increase. In 1910 to 1970, 6 million black people left the south to move north to places like New York. In 1910, 89% of blacks lived in the south but in 1970 only fifty three percent lived in the south.
World war one brought about increased political awareness for the black Americans because the Americans were told that they were fighting to make the world a safe democracy this made them believe that they did matter because they were fighting to make the world safe but no one was fighting them so it gave them some security. The Wall Street crash in 1929 was important for the black American’s because from 1933 to 1945 the federal governnt funded the poor this was called the new deal. Thanks to the new deal blacks saw the federal government as a savour. Some white’s tried to intervene and stop the blacks from getting aid.
The NAACP, which stood for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, pressured the senate for anti-lynching bills, they had a committee in 1941 to abolish poll tax. Thurgood Marshall worked in Maryland and Virginia, which are Border States, to get equal wages and opportunities for the black Americans and at the same time trying to erase some of the prejudice towards them. In 1930 NAACP got a Supreme Court ruling saying that blacks had the right to the same quality graduate education. They were aiming this at a minority group of people.
This was so the white Americans couldn’t complain that they were introducing the equal education in at a fast and dramatic rate. Instead they introduced it slowly and eventually it would affect everybody. There was black migration from the cities because they were in demand to work in the defense industries; this meant that they had bargaining powers. The black population in Chicago rose from a quarter of a million in 1940 to half a million in 1950. Chicago was in the North, so the black people realized that they could get an alternative career other than working on the plantations in the South.
In World War two, once the black Americans had migrated from the south, both the races were in greater proximity, so there were often fights between blacks and whites. In 1943, New Orleans in the city of Louisiana, there was a clash on a bus. The buses were segregated. A northern black soldier sat in the ‘wrong place’. He refused to move, and 23 black people were arrested for disagreeing with the bus driver. Another example of a proximity clash happened in Mobile Alabama in 1943 at the Alabama Dry Dock Company. White workers lashed out at black workers with any ‘weapons’.
They had a two-fold motive, which was Sexual jealousy swell as economic jealousy. Black Americans were blamed for everything and were seen as an easy target. Black people had an increased awareness. In 1940 only 3% of black people voted but in 1947 12 % of the black population voted. Awareness is greater but the statistics are still low. The army was segregated into blacks and whites. Black Americans were not allowed to fly planes, even though they were trained to a high standard at the Tuskegee school set up by Booker T Washington. The NAACP membership rose from 50,000 to 450,000 from 1940-45. Most of the new members were from the South.
The new Black members were then seen as uppity in the society. The black people suffered a lot from prejudice white Americans and it took a lot for them to reconcile with them. They were given lots of torture and pain through actions as well as segregation. But things had to get worst rather than better. Many people like Booker T Washington tried to help but not all could. Those who did helped se a foundation for what the Black American people stand for today. Without individuals like Booker T Washington and Theodore Roosevelt, the black people would not be able to stand for what they are today.