Discuss The Obstacles In The Civil Rights Movement

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Prior to 1941, there were many obstacles preventing civil rights being achieved for black people living in America. Divisions within the black community were certainly a significant factor in preventing civil rights before 1941, however there were many other significant obstacles, including the activities of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) who instigated fear into thousands of blacks, legal impediments which significantly prevented blacks living equally to whites, black people having a lack of political influence which would have been necessary in order to change how the legal system dealt with blacks and the prejudice which was very popular throughout America prior to 1941. These obstacles were all significant in preventing blacks from achieving civil…show more content…
de Bois and was set up to fight the legal battle against disenfranchisement and sought to reduce racial segregation and end white supremacy. Historian Hugh Brogan argues that the NAACP “was and is, the most important and effective of black pressure groups” emphasising the successes of the group such as the passing of the anti-lynching bill in 1922. However, as the group was dominated by Whites and wealthy Blacks and failed to gain the support of poor Blacks in the North or South and failed to inspire the Black urban masses. Alongside the NAACP, the UNIA (Universal Negro Improvement Association) was founded in 1914 by Marcus Garvey. Unlike the NAACP, Garvey did not want to bring Blacks and Whites together; he had nothing but contempt for Whites. He encouraged skilled Blacks to go to their ‘African homeland’. The group had immense support and had over 6 million members by 1923; however many Black leaders were very critical of Garvey. In 1922, Garvey met with the leader of the KKK who assured him that the KKK would not harass any members of the UNIA as they were also opposed to blacks marrying whites. This caused a great deal of conflict with other black leaders; W.E.B Du Bois described…show more content…
The KKK had a dramatic resurgence in the 1920s which resulted in blacks struggle for civil rights becoming much more difficult. The Klan terrorised any person who supported equality, however they were particularly disparaging towards Blacks, Catholics, Jews and new immigrants. They instilled fear into the Black community through threats, blackmail and bribery and performed horrific acts such as beating, torture and lynching on thousands of black people. A lot of the activities they took part in happened at night – they wore white costumes and torched black people’s houses, and held ceremonies where they burnt crosses. According to historian Nancy MacLean, “The Klan was… hateful of blacks and immigrants, pro-law and order and prone to extralegal violence.” She argues that the KKK was significant in preventing blacks from achieving their civil rights.The activities of this group resulted in many blacks feeling forced to migrate north, and leave their homes. The extensive support this organisation received highlights how significant of an obstacle the KKK was for black people to achieving civil rights. By the mid-1920s, the KKK claimed a membership over 100,000 in the South alone, with many of their members being very influential figures in society such as such as judges, politicians and members of the police force, which resulted in the group being very powerful. The

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