Nonviolence Spreads in the South, 1957–61

  • James A. Colaiaco

Abstract

Until the Montgomery bus boycott, the battle for civil rights in the South was led by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Founded in 1909, the NAACP resorted to a combination of public education, legislative lobbying and court action in an effort to attain equality for black Americans. Its strategy sought to undermine the legal basis of segregation by plodding away, case by case, through the courts. During the 1940s and 1950s, the Association won a series of important victories, placing it in the forefront of the civil rights movement. In 1944, the United States Supreme Court upheld the right of blacks to vote in Southern primaries by banning all-white primary elections. In 1946, in Morgan v. Virginia, the Court prohibited segregated seating on buses engaged in interstate travel. In 1948, it outlawed racially restrictive covenants in housing. Two years later, it upheld the right of blacks to enrol in publicly supported institutions of higher learning. The greatest NAACP triumph was the 1954 United States Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education, declaring racial segregation in public schools unconstitutional. This landmark decision overturned the ‘separate but equal’ doctrine formulated in Plessy v. Ferguson in 1896, which had given legal sanction to segregation.

Keywords

Burning Transportation Arena Nash Dispatch 

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Copyright information

© James A. Colaiaco 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • James A. Colaiaco
    • 1
  1. 1.BaldwinUSA

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