Throughout American history and even to this day, African Americans have always struggled for their rights. Jill Karson, a published author states, "Many consider the civil rights movement to have begun not in the 1950's, but when African Americans were first brought in chains, centuries earlier to American shore" (Karson 11). Kate Masur highlights, that as early as the Reconstruction period, blacks fought against their enslavement and demanded fundamental citizenship rights. This movement eventually laid the foundation for the Civil Rights act of 1964 (Karson 13). The long civil rights movement behind the act really took off after the Second World War and peaked during the late 50's and early 60's. However, what several people in today's society don't realize is that there was more to it than just the desire to end segregation. In a broader perspective, it was also a fight against unfair wages, job opportunities and lack of freedom, in addition to diminishing racism. The desire for equality in these aspects was the springing of political movement building that brought about important organizations and events, and eventually the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The Civil Rights Act addressed the struggles African Americans faced prior to and during the 20th century that in some ways can be seen today in the 21st century. In this essay I will discuss the long Civil Rights movement against discrimination that took place during WWII and continued into the 20th century. I will then address the passage of the Civil Rights Act, arguing the continuing existence of inequality in African Americans communities today.
At the time the United States was in the midst of a severe depression, African Americans found themselves in beggary (Sharp 82). Promising jobs for all Americans and an end to poverty, Roosevelt set forth the New Deal in 1938. As the U.S. emerged from the Great Depression two years later, Japan invaded China and Hitler's Nazi Germany took much of Europe.