Local people, they decided, must take direct action to change racial patterns in their communities.
Beginning in February 1960, with the Greensboro, North Carolina, sit-ins at the Woolworth lunch counter, the sit-in tactics spread like wildfire throughout the South.
It created a Civil Rights Division within the Department of Justice as well as a federal Civil Rights Commission that was authorized to investigate racial problems and recommend solutions. Eisenhower’s decision, arrived at reluctantly, to send federal troops to Little Rock, Arkansas, in order to establish order and enforce a token desegregation plan admitting nine black students to the city’s all-white Central High School. The Court’s ruling that "all deliberate speed" should be used to enforce the , only one percent of southern black children attended public schools with whites.
Escalating white violence in the South disheartened proponents of racial justice during the 1950s.
Congress rejected his appeals for legislation, but Truman’s moves were noteworthy: No American president since Reconstruction had made such an effort.
Activists operated on the local, grassroots level as well, pressing for an end to school segregation.One was massive movement of black Americans out of the rural South in order to take defense-related jobs in northern and western cities.This migration continued in the 1950s and 1960s, and greatly increased black voting strength and the potential for black community organization.The Fund’s efforts led to the landmark 1954 ruling in case as the pivotal moment in the history of American race relations and the beginning of a broad civil rights movement that escalated in the 1960s.In December 1955, grassroots activists in Montgomery, Alabama—NAACP members E. Nixon and Rosa Parks chief among them—sparked what soon became a large-scale boycott of buses and of white-owned businesses in Montgomery.From the earliest years of European settlement in North America, whites enslaved and oppressed black people.Although the Civil War finally brought about the abolition of slavery, a harsh system of white supremacy persisted thereafter.Black soldiers, serving abroad in World War II, witnessed a less oppressive world of race relations than they had known in the South. After the war, civil rights advocates welcomed further signs of liberal change. Truman, waging a Cold War against Communism, recognized that racism at home contradicted American claims to lead the "free world" against oppression.Hoping to woo black votes in the 1948 election, Truman ordered the desegregation of the armed forces and called for federal laws to advance civil rights.These bold protestors risked not only their jobs but also their lives.Homes and churches were burned, and attempts were made to kill African American organizers.