An Essay on Social Integration
The historical period (1965-1980) in America witnessed the shifting of civil rights movement tactics and goals by the black Americans with significant gains being recognized. However, the gains were toughened by the white backlash as well as retreat. There was massive rise of black American nationalism spearheaded by the likes of Malcolm X, Stokely Carmichael, and Floyd McKissick amongst others.
This became quite evident with Pres. Johnson focusing more on the Vietnamese war and having less concern over the civil rights movement. The elections as well did reflect white opposition towards racial integration because the conservative Republicans captured more seats in Congress (Hine, et.al. 223)
However, the blacks pushed back towards the achievement of racial integration in America during this particular period. With Malcolm X assassination in 1960, the blacks still believed in his position for rejection of the King’s ideals of both integration and nonviolence and seeing revolutions being based on bloodshed. There arose young black men, including H.Rap Brown and Stokely Carmichael who advocated for separate institutions and black pride and militancy.
Moreover, Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale came up with the Black Panther Party in 1966 which believed in black militancy in an attempt to overthrow the capitalist society, liberate the blacks and end police brutality. However, the militant group suffered a great deal with the repression by the police and other authorities, but they did achieve their goal by starting programs to assist the poor, inner city blacks.
In the late 1960s, violence erupted because the blacks were greatly upset by police discrimination and the economic disparity. There were politicians and more so Lyndon Johnson who worked towards the improvement of the conditions of the black people, but this was met by a setback when his focus shifted to the Vietnamese war. It is notable that there were plausible programs that sought social, economic and political opportunities for the blacks with his assistance.
The National Council of Churches also assisted greatly in the achievement of social integration by pushing for non-segregated society, black freedom and black leadership, especially by the black clergymen. Aside, Martin Luther King focuses mainly on the economic issues and opposed the war in order to maintain black gains (Hine, et.al. 374).
In the 1970s, the blacks gained massively through elections to political offices and regard for electoral processes rather than direct actions as ways to instigate change by the civil right movements. The students protested against racism and pushed the universities to accept black studies as a legitimate endeavor. . Although blacks were elected to political offices, there was the elimination if important programs that helped the black and with the economic downturn of the 1970s, the working class and poor blacks were exceedingly hurt.
In conclusion, the several forces that agitated for social integration, including black activists, the civil rights movements, students and the black clergymen, made progress. However, there gains were always thwarted by the white backlash.
Hine, Darlene C, William C. Hine, and Stanley Harrold. African Americans: A Concise History. Upper Saddle River, N.J: Pearson/Prentice Hall, 2010. Print.
Hine, Darlene C, William C. Hine, and Stanley Harrold.The African-American Odyssey. Upper Saddle River, N.J: Prentice Hall, 2002. Print.