African American Civil Rights Movement

1525 WordsSep 18, 20157 Pages
Following World War I, a new, militant spirit of resistance and activism burgeoned among African-American citizens across the United States. Empowered by the sense that blacks had played a crucial role in the conflict, the descendants of freedmen returned home to fight for their own rights only to find persecution; this dire situation called for immediate, decisive action. During the interwar years, African Americans in the southwest Georgia Black Belt fought for community empowerment and, through the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA), and numerous other political and labor-oriented groups, established a significant organizing tradition, thereby laying the…show more content…
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. had led the community in mass demonstrations the previous year. Indeed, almost every historian who has dealt with the southwest Georgia movement has made a similar assertion. However, such a notion could not be farther from the truth. The organizing tradition amongst oppressed African-Americans involved a sustained working-class struggle over several decades that was both tenacious and politically heterogeneous. In order to more fully understand the agendas and motivations for this political activity in southwest Georgia, one must first have some clue as to the nature and scope of their economic options. In 1935, noted statistician Charles E. Hall, under the supervision of Z.R. Pettet of the United States Bureau of the Census, published an exhaustive study of the social and economic characteristics of African-America entitled Negroes in the United States. Based upon information gathered by the Census Bureau, the work provides invaluable insight into the lives and movements of black Americans in the early part of the century. One crucial inference that may be drawn from Hall’s compilation is the overwhelmingly rural composition of the African-American population in southwest Georgia counties as late as 1930. For the purposes of the study, Hall employed the terms “urban” and “rural” in accordance with the meanings assigned
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