Segregation and Civil Rights Essay

1685 Words7 Pages
The definition of the term “American character”, in general, was in fact plagued during the 1950s. Instead of the believable “picture perfect” definition that American character was portrayed to be, it was really constructed of major struggles between different races. In particular, the significant struggles between blacks and whites. The 1950s was a crucial decade of change for African Americans. The results of the battle for nine African American children to attend Central High School (Little Rock, Arkansas) in 1957 promoted social advance for the permanent desegregation of public school systems. However, even with this nationally recognized social advance, the concept of “American character” varied between blacks and whites due to…show more content…
A year later, the courts made a decision in Brown II that “school officials proceed with all deliberate speed as they forged school systems not based on color distinction” (Anderson 4). Once these changes for African Americans began, supporters of segregation became more determined to remain the majority in power. Whites were upset that federal authorities overrode their desires and “sponsored a dangerous inversion of the South’s cherished traditions and the nation’s racial heritage” (Anderson 4). In their minds, blacks did not have a right to become educated, to have money, or to even be in the same category as them. White considered themselves racially superior and wanted it to remain that way. Karen Dubinsky observes that “Nation building required more than the formation of political and economic infrastructures. In the ‘human nation,’ the proper sort of citizens, subjects with ‘character,’ was necessary” (Reumann 7). The most influential factor in the definition of “American character” for whites was their higher economic status compared to blacks. However, economic status should not be the only factor used to determine whether you should be treated as equally as another race or not. All Americans should be given the same unalienable rights, in an effort to build a highly respected and unbiased nation. However in the 1950s, whites were not trying to build an improved nation, but
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