In considering the process of change how far can the Montgomery Bus Boycott be seen as the key turning point in African-Americans gaining equality in America? In order for an event to be considered a key turning point it must be a definitive point which causes a lasting and substantial change that last for a very long time. In this instance one that creates the largest step in African- Americans moving towards equality in America.
Equality is defined as the state of being equal, especially in status, rights, or opportunities so therefore the key turning point must be the one which definitively causes the largest movement towards African- Americans gaining better rights and opportunities as well as being regarded the same as the average American. The changes must have the largest widespread effect throughout America and better the lives of huge amounts of African- Americans.
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Although the Montgomery bus boycott did have a large effect in the movement towards equality, as it did unite many towards the cause, it was not the most significant and therefore not the key turning point. The most significant key turning point in the movement towards equality for African- Americans was the creation and works of the NAACP National Association for the Advancement of Colored People). Its aim is “to ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate racial hatred and racial discrimination” .
The NAACP was able, on many occasions, to succeed in these aims and with its huge influence in the legal system plus its many members it is the most significant turning point in the move to equality for African- Americans. As well as the NAACP and the Montgomery bus boycott another, also less significant, cause for the move towards equality was the construction period which laid the foundation through laws for legal equality however these laws were not fully implemented until the NAACP forced them to be.
The NAACP was the most significant key turning point in the movement towards equality for African- Americans as it pursued legal battles and offered support for many which effectively led to the change in social status, rights and opportunities. Without this pressure on the legal system the inequality of Black Americans would’ve continued and there would not have been social equality. Led and supported by many leading intellectuals the NAACP was able to fully support Black Americans as hose influential characters showed support for the work of the NAACP.
As a member of the Princeton chapter of the NAACP, Albert Einstein corresponded with Du Bois, and in 1946 Einstein called racism “America’s worst disease” . William Edward Burgher’s Du Bois was an American civil rights activist, leader, Pan-Africans, sociologist, educator, historian, writer, editor, poet, and scholar and Albert Einstein was a German-born theoretical physicist who developed the general theory of relativity, one of the two pillars of modern physics. With the influence of leading intellectuals like these the NAACP would be respected as a group who could Hereford push for the rights of Black Americans.
This huge influence is one of the reasons why they were so significant in the change towards civil rights. The NAACP, as well as having leading intellectuals, also has many other paying and non-paying members, as of 2007, the NAACP had approximately 425,000 paying and non-paying huge number of Black Americans and pushed for their rights. The fact that they are still working today in huge numbers shows how long lasting their organization has been which is another reason why they are the most significant reason and key turning point for the change towards equality.
They could use this influence to push forward many high profile cases and win therefore raising awareness to the black community that they can gain equality. One example of a high profile victory for the NAACP was the Irene Morgan v. Commonwealth of Virginia court case The action resulted in a landmark ruling in 1946, in which the U. S. Supreme Court ruled 6-1 that Virginians state law enforcing segregation on interstate buses was illegal .
This case inspired some black Americans to ride on buses in other parts of America in 1947 sitting in place with the white Americans therefore showing that the NAACP was very influential on the actions of Black Americans inspiring them so greatly. If they had not won this case then the Montgomery Bus Boycott may never have taken place therefore making the NAACP far more significant. Without the NAACP Black Americans would not have had the support network behind them that they did during times of discrimination and by working through the legal system changes had to occur for them.
This was unique of the NAACP and hugely effective making it the most important factor in the push for equality. The Reconstruction period was a turning point for Black Americans in the push for equality as laws were passed which remunerated the civil rights of freed slaves as the nation abolished slavery when it announced the 13th Amendment to the Constitution. However, as these laws were not implemented until a long time after this period and without the works of the NAACP this racism would’ve continued for even longer.
After the Civil War, the nation ratified the Fourteenth Amendment, which guarantees due process and equality under the law from the states and the Fifteenth Amendment guarantees the right to vote regardless of race. Although Reconstruction was a magnificent step in the march award equality, its promise was regrettably set back in 1876 as the nation had grown weary of Reconstruction and the sharp divisions it brought to America. Immediately following an extraordinarily controversial election in 1876, in which the Republican Rutherford B.
Hayes was eventually declared the winner, federal troops were withdrawn from the South, and Reconstruction ended. Soon “Jim Crow’ laws resulted in the segregation and political disenfranchisement of African Americans in the South. Congress and the Supreme Court stood idly by as the First Principles of unalienable rights and equality were ignored for generations. The fact that the Klux Klux Klan peaked in membership in the mid sass’s, many years after reconstruction, shows that reconstruction was ineffective as hate towards Black Americans continued to grow.
ASK membership peaked at four to five million in the mid-sass’s . Although the Klan still reverted to burning crosses, torturing and murdering those whom they opposed, the organization became a powerful political force in the sass. Many state public officials throughout the nation were members which shows how a huge amount of Americans who did not have agree with the laws implemented by construction showing it not to be significant in the move towards equality for African- Americans.
In the 1868 presidential election, Republican Ulysses S. Grant won the office with the slogan, “Let Us Have Peace. ” Republicans also won a majority Fifteenth Amendment, which gave the vote to black men in every state, and the First Reconstruction Act of 1867, which placed harsher restrictions on the South and closely regulated the formation of their new governments . Even though some supported this act in the North majority disregarded it giving the Black Americans little positive social change.
Reconstruction was a way of the government trying to show willing in helping African Americans however in reality they never enforced these acts giving Black Americans false hope. In fact it drove many Americans into further hatred towards African Americans, with the rise of the ASK, causing them to feel they had to take action against Black Americans and they did so in such an imperious fashion as they knew the government would do nothing to stop them.
Reconstruction ensured there was no longer slaves, but nowhere near gave Black Americans equal citizenship and as the laws were not implemented took them no loser to equality showing that it was not significant in African-Americans gaining equality in America. The Montgomery Bus Boycott is an iconic event in the civil rights movement as it led to a United States Supreme Court decision that declared the Alabama and Montgomery laws requiring segregated buses to be unconstitutional and it united many Black Americans showing it to be significant in the push for Black Americans equality.
In an instance response to the arrest of Rosa Parks the Women’s Political Council stated to the Montgomery black community “please, children and grown-ups don’t ride the bus at all on Monday. Please stay off all buses Monday. ” This was an instance response to the arrest of Rosa Parks showing that the community were behind her in support showing it as a significant event that unified black people together in the push for equality. This Boycott continued right through to December 20, 1956, when a federal ruling, Brooder v.
Eagle, took effect showing how the boycott lasted over a year, 381 days, which is a huge amount of time to go without public transport and therefore shows the level of unification that black people had reached during the boycott to get what they wanted; including all bus assigners receive courteous treatment by bus operators, be seated on a first-come, first-served basis, and that blacks be employed as bus drivers. This shows the lengths that the black community were going to In order to support the boycott.
Martin Luther King later wrote about the boycott, “a miracle had taken place. ” Therefore the Montgomery Bus Boycott was a significant event in unifying the black community in order to take a huge step in the move to gain equality as the new bus laws passed as a consequence of the boycott were a great victory for the black immunity involved. However Rosa Parks was a seamstress by profession; she was also the secretary for the Montgomery chapter of the NAACP and some action against segregation had been in the works for some time before Parks’ arrest, under the leadership of E.
D. Nixon, president of the local NAACP showing the influence of the NAACP in sculpting such a boycott. Also the case was won by the NAACP pressing the court into a positive result. Therefore this shows that Montgomery Bus Boycott was the key turning point in the process of gaining equality however it was the NAACP that influenced this event therefore showing it to be more key and significant in gaining equality.
In conclusion, the NAACP was the key turning point in Black people gaining equality in America as it has such a strong influence in pushing the towards the push for equality influencing them into movements such as the Bus Boycott which are recognized still today as key in gaining equal rights. Equality is defined as the state of being equal, especially in status, rights, or opportunities and the NAACP did and still does today everything possible to reach this level of equality.