New Equal Rights for African Americans

New Equal Rights for African Americans


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In the 1960’s, the civil rights of people started changing, especially for African-Americans. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People started challenging segregation in court. Thurgood Marshall who later became the first black Justice of the Supreme Court was part of the legal defense team for the N.A.A.C.P. The Supreme Courts decision on Brown v. Board of Education desegregated schools in 1953 because it was unconstitutional. It violated the 14th Amendment because separate was NOT equal.  There were many cases because of this but many in the south resisted this court ruling.  Virginia closed public schools and established private schools so they could remain segregated.  This was called “massive resistance“.

Martin Luther King Jr. helped influenced the public to support civil rights legislation by doing mass protests of non-violence. He encouraged people to peacefully break the unjust laws and get arrested so that judges could help decide the cases of civil rights injustice.  This was called civil disobedience . Many African Americans started riots for their rights. The police would arrest and sometimes injure people that disobeyed the laws.

The Voting Rights Act of 1965 resulted in more African American voters having an equal chance to vote without unfair “literacy tests”. They outlawed literacy tests and sent federal registrars to the south so they could vote. President Lyndon Johnson  made a lot of compromises for the 1964 Civil & Voting Rights Acts. One of them was his decision to not run for re-election in 1968 because he had lost his southern base of supporters.

After African Americans started gaining their rights, the roles of women were also changing and this formed a new modern America. Today the struggle continues but we are making progress towards the ideal of “We the People” for ALL AMERICANS.