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  • Date Submitted: 11/03/2015 10:33 AM
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How far is it accurate to describe black Americans and other ethnic minorities as second class citizens in the period 1945-53?

A second-class citizen is a person who is systematically discriminated against within an area and to some extent, black Americans and other ethnic minorities were treated as second class citizens, not only socially but within politics, legislation and economically too. Black and white Americans were segregated against, however in the years between 1945 and 1953, there were several improvements to their position but by the end of 1953 they were not seen as equal still and therefore still second class citizens. The Jim Crow laws ensured that blacks were not seen as real Americans and were to be treated differently. Blacks were not denied the right to education or to vote, but the quality of education was much poorer for them, and the possibility of registering to vote was so low that it was almost impossible. The geographical divide in America however shows how there were different levels of treatment to blacks, but how far they were treated as equal citizens is debateable.

The social issues are probably the most obvious in showing how black Americans were treated as second class citizens because social inequality caused segregation in restaurants and other public places, on public transport, educational opportunities and importantly the ghetto and overcrowded housing. Blacks and whites were not allowed to sit in restaurants, cinemas or on public transport with white people and the superiority of the white man was even that if a white was on a walkway and there was only room for one, the black man must move off the pavement and allow the white to continue on his way. CORE began introducing sit-ins in segregated restaurants and did begin to fight off the rules of separation between the two ethnicities. Blacks had accepted their position in society and in the south, to begin with at least, there were very few activists and people were not...


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