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Civil Rights Sources Questions Essay

1) a) In source 2, the discrimination that blacks faced in thesouthern states was that they had to drink from separate drinking fountains in public places, labelled ‘coloured only.’

b) It supports it as in source 1, Martin Luther King talks about segregation, as does source 2. Martin Luther King also talks about black people having to use separate drinking fountains, as does source 2.

2) In source 1, many types of discrimination were opposed on Black people. Black people had to have their children in Jim Crow hospitals. Then, the children had to attend a coloured only school, which, once again was inferior to white hospitals and black schools. Blacks also had to live in ghettos, which were run down, crowded and dangerous. The kids had to play in the streets, as the parks for coloured people were totally inadequate.

Even if the kids overcame these obstacles, they would be discriminated against job wise, and would end up having to do either menial or labouring work. Black people wouldn’t have got promoted, as the white staff would have been promoted before them. Blacks even had to use separate facilities in the workplace, like toilets and drinking facilities. The most important one however, was that Black people were intimidated not to vote, this only applies to those who could vote, because most Blacks couldn’t vote, due to the inferior style education they received, as you had to pass a literacy test before being allowed to vote.

In source 3, Blacks suffered many types of segregation. In Atlanta, Georgia, you had to have written on the side of your taxi which race, you served. Blacks or Whites, as only whites could drive whites and Blacks drive Blacks. In 1944, separate facilities like waiting rooms were brought into use in airports. In 1933, the state of Texas prohibited Whites and Blacks from boxing and wrestling each other. Federal law also stopped the circulation of films showing inter-racial boxing. A law from 1937 in Arkansas required segregation at racetracks, betting and gaming establishments. Segregation was also required for ‘Seating, betting and all accommodation.’

In source 4, it shows us that Blacks had to take orders from Whites, and respond to White laws, and made the blacks act like they were inferior to them, and if you didn’t, like this fourteen year old boy, you could be severely hurt or even killed. The source also shows us how fearful Blacks were of Whites, and how fearful they were of being killed for the colour of their skin

In source 5, Bob Dylan sings about a Black woman called Hattie Carroll, who was killed by a White man, just because she accidentally spilled juice on him. Although is an awful thing, what came next was a prime example of racism in the southern states. When the man was sent to court, for first-degree murder, he ended up getting only six months. This shows the corruption and true biased, racial opinions against Blacks from the courts.

3) Source seven might be reliable, as this source Is backed up by sources 8 and 9. This source is written in the New York Times in 1957. The source was written by a Northerner. People from the northern states in general were against segregation, and this journalist was. As the journalist is against segregation, we can expect a biased opinion, which we appear to get here. The journalist appears to be harsh towards southern whites. We cannot rely on this source a lot as we only see a bit of what is said as it is an extract from the newspaper and the book that the newspaper article was in, so we don’t see the whole story, and thus cannot say what is said in the rest of the story.

Source 8 could also be considered reliable, but also a bit unreliable. Although this is a picture and would be considered a fact and always reliable, this isn’t always the case. In this case, we would rely heavily on the caption, so we can see what really happened here. Without a caption, we cannot say for definite say that they were shouting abuse at the girl, so we don’t know if they are being supportive or being abusive. This picture doesn’t give the full picture of what’s happening. It could also be reliable as sources 7 and sources 9 appear to back it up

Source 9 could show a biased opinion, as this person is the victim of the attack, and might feel annoyed with the people who did this and could show a biased view of the incident. It could also be inaccurate as she could have been so frightened then that she might have forgotten some of what happened. Elizabeth Eckford might not have seen everything that happened, so cant give every detail. It could be reliable, as she doesn’t criticise all whites, as she mentions a White man who came up to her and put his arm around her and tried to comfort her.

Source 10 could be reliable as an established company carries out the poll. We don’t know how many people took the poll, so we cant really say if it represents a large percentage of the population. Also, where were these asked? Were they asked all over America, or only in some states. Did the people know all the information to do with what the question was dealing with. Recent events could alter the poll, as if something was to happen to anger the Whites, more people would vote ‘disapprove’. If the people were asked in Public, the would say what the crowd would say, but if asked in private, the would vent their own opinions and feelings. It could be reliable also as other sources back it up

What tends to add reliability to each source is the fact that the four sources appear to back each other up.

4) This source is useful to a historian studying segregation in America as it shows us the views of a U.S. Senator. This Senator is White and is a southerner, which could imply that he might have a biased opinion on this matter. The senator is expressing his views on segregation, so we can get an insight on what he thinks. It is useful as he is trying to justify segregation, saying it is not discrimination, and segregation is supported by both races. As this Senator was elected by all the voters, who were predominately white, you could say his views represent the southern Whites’ views on segregation. This source is useful as, when the senator says ‘Free men have the right to send their children to schools of their choosing, free from Government interference,’ he tries to justify segregation by saying the constitution allows each state to make laws to do with internal affairs of the state.

The source is also useful as the senator raises the point of the Federal Government versus the state Government. State governments can make laws inside their own state, without the Federal Government able to change that, unless changed by a Supreme Court. So, the Senator is making the point of the Federal Government are trying to interfere with the state Governments. The source is also useful as it was written just after the Supreme Court passed a law saying segregation was illegal, and the Senator made the speech just after this was passed.

However, this source has its limitations, or disadvantages, as well as advantages.

This source might be seen as not being useful as the views of the man might be biased, and thus not reliable.

The Senator says that both blacks and Whites support segregation, and that segregation promotes racial harmony, even though we can see by the pictures and by the sources that isn’t true. Blacks did not support segregation, as all black schools were inferior, and gave a poor education to the kids. Blacks wanted mixed schools, so all the students would get the same education.

The Senator tries to state that segregation is not discrimination, even though black schools, toilets, dining areas, etc that were segregated were inferior. The Senator says most of the south want segregation, even though a big percentage of southerners were black, and they didn’t want segregation of any kind, and thousands of Blacks were protesting for civil rights. The Senator also says that both races live in racial harmony in the south, even though we often see pictures of blacks and Whites fighting and black people getting picked on.

Although this is the view of the Senator it doesn’t necessarily mean that it is the view of all southern Whites. On the other hand, you could also say that since he was elected, that a lot of the Southern Whites agree with his policies. Also, this is only a little bit of his speech, and we are not given the full speech, and therefore it isn’t the full story, and we cannot say that this is what he said for the whole speech, as he might have changed his mind in other parts of the speech.

This source may have quite a lot of advantages, but it also has a lot of disadvantages, which would show that this source has too many limitations and therefore not useful.

5) In source 8, the White people appear violent towards the black girl, and are very hostile towards her. By gathering around her, following her, and staring at her. The crowd appear to be trying to intimidate the girl, by shouting what looks like abuse at her. As it shows, there is a girl behind her shouting at her. These students appear to be very angry at the fact of a Black girl at their school.

In source 12, these Civil-rights activists are sitting at a counter that is usually reserved for white people only. One of the activists is White.

A crowd has gathered around these three people and they appear to be verbally abusing them and assaulting them. The group behind the activists have already smeared mustard on the people, as well as smearing sauce on them as well. They have also been sprayed with paint. Not only are they physically abusing the activists, they are mentally breaking them down as well.

In both sources, the White people appear to be so enraged, that they don’t care if they are on camera or not.

6) Many people had different views of Bob Dylan’s motives. Many people thought that he was a genuine civil-rights activist, and supported racial equality. Other people thought that he only sang about this topic as he wanted to make money and become famous. They also say that he was trying to promote himself by turning up at the marches.

In source 6, we are shown three opinions of three people that talk about Bob Dylan.

The first is Patrick Humphries, the author of books on Dylan. Patrick Humphries says that in general, Dylan was serious and sincere in his feelings for civil rights as he says ‘ In Dylan’s case at the time he was very sincere about the political songs.’ However, he also says that maybe in the back of Dylan’s mind, that he might have been thinking of the fame and glory and money. He might also be reliable, as he has written a number of books about Bob Dylan.

Joan Baez, was a girlfriend of Dylan at the time when he sang about the civil rights.

She might not be reliable as she is an ex-girlfriend of his, and she might want to make him look bad and discredit him. She talks about how he never turned up for marches and didn’t really care about the politics side of it. We can look at this in two ways. Firstly, we can say that she could be reliable, as she knows him as she had a relationship with him. Secondly, we can say that she might be saying this to get back at him and make him look bad.

One thing we can say however is that she says that he never went to marches, which is false as he went to many marches. She could be saying this to try and make him look like he doesn’t care about the civil rights.

Bernice Reagan is a Black activist from Albany, Georgia, and she is a member of the Freedom singers. She could be unreliable, as she didn’t know Dylan personally. She thinks that Dylan was true to his cause and really wanted racial equality. She could be reliable as she is a singer, and she would know when a singer is being genuine about what they are singing about.

She could be biased towards Dylan, to try and get him on their side and get a famous person on their side, to make their case stronger and to help their cause.

Personally, I think that Dylan was genuine about what he sang about, and was deeply involved mentally in the civil rights movement. However, I feel that in the back of his mind, he did think of the fame, the glory and the money side of it all.

7) The life of the American Blacks has significantly improved since the 1950’s, although Blacks still fall under scrutiny by many people. Many people agree that life has improved, but many feel that in reality it hasn’t.

Source 12 does not agree that life has improved, as it shows civil rights activists being victimised and being verbally and physically assaulted..

Source 13 does agree as it shows laws’ being passed that is improving life for Blacks. The laws say that racial discrimination concerning jobs is illegal, and racial discrimination should stop concerning voting, and inter-racial marriages are legal, and racial discrimination concerning housing is illegal.

Source 14 agrees as it shows a Black woman sitting at the front of the bus instead of at the Black where they had to sit before.

Source 15 agrees and disagrees as the statistics on it shows life improving and also getting worse.

Source 16 agrees, as it says that Blacks and Whites eat together, work together and get along fine together.

Source 17 disagrees as it says after 5 o clock, the Blacks and Whites go their separate ways and don’t associate as they don’t have to.

Source 18 agrees as it says that there are many blacks that are doing well for themselves and earning a good living

Source 18 also disagrees as it says that most blacks still live in ghettos and many schools are still segregated.

However we have to analyse these sources in more detail to see fully if they really agree or disagree or not.

Source 12 is only a photograph showing one incident, and we can’t generalize from this that life hasn’t improved for Blacks. Also, other evidence contradicts this, as in Source 16, it talks about Blacks and Whites getting on good, and these two sources are referring to the same state as well.

Source 13 shows that if the situation was really improving, then they wouldn’t need to bring in laws to try and stop discrimination. Also, we need to know if these laws were enforced before we can say if life has really improved for Blacks.

Source 14 is again only one photo of one incident and we can’t say that this is what life was always like. We also need to know the background to the photo, in other words, we need to know why it was taken. We need to know where it was taken, as In the north, Blacks could sit anywhere on the bus, so the photo could have been taken in the Northern states. We don’t know if life has improved as well as Blacks only had to sit at the back of the bus when the bus was full, and as we can see here, the bus is empty apart from one person.

Source 15 shows statistics for blacks, but before we could draw any conclusions, we would need the statistics for Whites, as any of the stats that went up for blacks could of went up more for Whites. Although the discrimination reports went up, we can’t automatically say that discrimination has gone up, and therefore saying that life hasn’t improved, as maybe Blacks are just more confident and are not afraid to speak up and tell the authorities if there is something wrong. Also, we would expect the income to go up anyway due to inflation, and once again we need the statistics for Whites so we can compare.

Source 16 shows us a man who drove through a state and said that blacks and Whites got on good together. Firstly, the man was only driving through the state, and didn’t see all that would happen all the time there. Also, just because they were eating lunch in same place, doesn’t mean that they liked each other, as there could have been strong racial tension between the two races. The man only went through two states, and not all southern states, so he can’t say that it was like that in all the states. Also, this is only an extract out of a book, and not the whole story, as he could talk about bad things happening as well.

In Source 17, the man talks about how Blacks and Whites go their separate ways after 5 o Clock. This doesn’t prove that there is discrimination, maybe blacks and Whites want to go their separate ways. This is only an opinion on one southern state, and not all the southern states.

In source 18, what the person says makes sense and could be reliable and useful. This is once again only an opinion of one person on the matter. It is only an extract out of a book written especially on civil rights. You could rely on this source as the person that wrote the source wrote a book on civil rights in America.

After the 1950’s and in modern day, we see more and more black people being rich and well off. Like athletes, actors, music stars. For example, look at Tiger Woods, he is one of the most famous sports stars in the world today, and also what is impressive is that he is playing what everyone considered to be a White persons sport. Another is Michael Jordan, who probably is the most famous of all athletes and sports players.

However, there is still racial tension between the races, as there are still extremist groups like the KKK.

An example of racism is a man called James Byrd. He was a Black man who was picked up by two white men, and was tied to the back of their truck and dragged for miles, leaving his limbs scattered all over the road.

Many members of authority and power are Black, for example Colin Powell, who is the American Secretary of State.

We still have segregation in many parts, but through choice, for example Harlem in New York is a Black area, and Blacks would take offence to a White man being in Harlem. There is still segregation in schools as well as communities and so on

I feel that life has dramatically improved for Blacks over the years, but I feel that there is still racial tension on both sides, and still hatred between the two races.

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