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The Civil Rights Movement Returning from WWII black Americans just as those three decades prior expected to find America a land of equality for all people and specifically a land endowed with increased black civil rights Although the late 1940s and 1950s are not generally considered a period of social advancement for blacks the decade and a half after World War II ultimately proved to be a very significant chapter in the history of black civil rights and a pivotal stepping stone for the drastic social uproar of the next decade In 1950 America counted fifteen million black citizens two thirds of whom still lived lives in the segregated south Bound by rigid Jim Crow laws the black view of life appeared bleak Nonetheless a period of increasing black civil rights was already underway Paving the way for the entire revolution was Jack Roosevelt Jackie Robinson the first black American to play major league baseball Blacks had crept in Americas national past time more radical social changes were soon to come Disenfranchised blacks finally found a leader dedicated to their cause in Harry S Truman After hearing of a lynching of black war veterans Truman was suddenly tuned in to the heated crisis in the southland Despite persistent tries to advance the cause of the blacks Truman was repeatedly shot down by a conservative congress The boiling discontent felt by the blacks since the days of slavery could not be silenced so easily The war had generated a new militancy and restlessness in the black community Blacks increasingly voiced their opinions publicly and found many effective ways to advance their cause The first such case came in 1944 when after years of prodding by the NAACP the supreme court ruled all-white primaries unconstitutional Following the landmark ruling NAACP chief legal advisor Thurgood Marshall later a supreme court justice himself successfully appealed to the supreme court that separate professional
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