History Of The Civil Rights Movement In Indiana From World War II Through The 1960s

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History of the Civil Rights Movement in Indiana from World War II through The 1960s


The civil rights movement stands as the most successful social protest of the 20th century. This success may be attributed to the ways it communicated its messages of equality, dignity, and hope against cries of racism, violence, states' rights, and public indifference. Words, music, and images together made a picture of moral clarity from which America could not look away (Madison, Lisa, 25).

The impact of the Civil Rights Movement can be seen in the demise of Jim Crow laws and in the unhindered access to public accommodations by African Americans. Increased Black political power and the proliferation of Black elected officials in Indiana are undeniable advances. Improved educational and employment opportunities have stimulated a growing Black middle class (Madison, Lisa, 26).


During the 1940 presidential election, both the Democratic and Republican parties wooed black voters in the North. In the South, however, many blacks were prevented from voting by grandfather clauses, white primaries, single-member voting districts, poll taxes, and literacy and constitutional understanding tests. In addition to legal tactics, some southern states prevented blacks from registering to vote by threats, intimidation, and intrusions into voter registration (Madison, Lisa, 27).

World War II was a turning point for African Americans in a number of ways. Large numbers of black men distinguished themselves in service to their country. While many of them experienced racism, the military also opened doors that had previously been closed. The G.I. Bill provided economic assistance to black veterans, which in turn expanded employment opportunities.

Civil rights activists of the period called for the elimination of job discrimination, anti-lynching laws, the abolition of poll taxes and white primaries, and the eradication of all Jim Crow laws that promoted the separate but equal doctrine.

Indiana's black population, strengthened ...
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