During 1865 slavery was abolished in the USA meaning black people were granted a life of freedom and equality in contrast to being sold as slaves. Another right they were given was the ability to work and get paid for their labour however as time past white people became envious of this new found freedom especially in the southern states. Ethnic tensions were high in the southern states. White people resisted integration and this became official in the Plessey vs. Ferguson case where the Supreme Court voted that they would live separately. Separate but equal the Supreme Court ruled.
As segregation continued blacks tried to challenge it. One of the first cases to be brought to light was the Lloyd Gaines Vs Missouri University. Gaines who disappeared in 1939 was the central figure in one of the most important cases in civil rights. During the year 1936 he applied for Missouri University to study law yet in April the university denied him admission due to his colour. In order to satisfy Gaines the University offered to pay his fees for an out of state education. This was the start of several more successful cases with regards to education.
The 1950s were filled with controversy over segregation and whether it should be abolished. In 1954 the public witnessed the Brown Vs Topeka Board of education case which had people rioting with a display of hatred. For Black people especially children school was a hard place. One girl who faced a large obstacle was 8 year old Linda Brown from Topeka. In order to reach her all "Black School" Linda had to ride the bus for 5 miles as no other schools accepted her due to her ethnic background. As most other cases this one was also taken to court although there was one big difference this time round, was the presence of Chief Justice Earl.
He said that segregation had no place in education and so the desegregation of schools began. Desegregation began directly after this and the situation began to intensify. The NAACP constructed a plan to enrol 75 African-American students in to Little Rock Central High in Arkansas which brought international attention to the blight of African-Americans. When the 75 students from the NAACP registered 50 of them were rejected while 16 opted out in fear of their lives after watching hostile white Americans shout abuse.
As the school opened on its first day the 9 students had to survive the first task; getting in to school while avoiding an unbelievably violent and hostile crowd. Not only did they try to attack the students but they shouted abusive language that was offensive and racist. Mr Orval Faubus the governor of Arkansas ordered guards to block the entrance path preventing the students from entering on the grounds that desegregation wasn't safe. After being pressured and due to the media attention little rock was receiving the president Mr Eisenhower stepped in declaring a meeting with Forbus to discuss the matter at hand.
In the end Mr Eisenhower reached a conclusion and decided to send 100 air borne paratroopers into little rock to defend the helpless African-American students allowing them to continue with their education. Unable to cope with this decision Governor Forbus made a drastic decision when he decided to close all schools in a hasty attempt to stop desegregation ascending any further. The audacity of this move was shocking and was considered irresponsible so the Supreme Court decided to intervene and stop the governor's plan.
From 1959 forwards the majority of Black or white students couldn't attend school during that year. In my opinion I think that the most important reason as to why white people regarded desegregation as a problem was because they were afraid that Afro-Americans would later demand further integration. African-Americans were gaining power within the community and white people regarded them as a threat that could overpower them. Like many cases fought in the civil rights act many public figures such as teachers, governors and university's took a stand against integration but fell 1 by 1 case by case.
During civil rights African-Americans enjoyed prosperous success in the court room through justified and non violent protest. I also believe that publicity of each case worked in favour of the African-American community as America tried to keep its actions under wrap. White Americans in the south were aware that desegregation will raise African-Americans awareness of their rights and injustices carried against them during the harsh years of slavery. After the propaganda spread by racist groups mainly in the south White Americans felt insecure about integrating with African-American.
The insecurity of whites delayed the enactment of desegregation laws in USA proved to be wrong and later on many of those who opposed the desegregation acknowledged the benefits reaped from the state. Finally I think it was a great fight for blacks and their following generation will always remember this for years to come, how they transformed from slaves to Full Americans. This entire struggle proves that diversity works better for societies in contrast to racist beliefs. America today proves that blacks had a positive influence in a highly successful yet colourful community.