The migration of African American to cities in the United States increased after the World War I. Soon after that, governments and private organizations set laws that ensured the blacks and white seldom lived in same neighborhoods. Blacks who dared entered the white neighborhood faced violence (Cable, Sherry and Tamara, 195). Even though some cities allowed black and white citizens to live together, the ordinances were ruled unconstitutional. Covenant was also incorporated in the property deed that allowed only white citizens to own and occupy the certain residence. Soon after the World War II, the federal government was active in relation to housing market through federal housing authority and the veteran administration and created programs that were not directly associated with minimizing the white-black federation but minimized the segregation to some level. Suburban homes were built based on the color-coded federal rules, and this denied housing structures to the African Americans.
The civil rights movement was one of the institutions created to help the African-Americans cope with the American apartheid system. This was a long and nonviolent series event which was aimed towards bringing full civil rights and equality under the American law. It is evident that after the movement was formed, there was a significant different in the United States society, with evidence in increased social and legal acceptance of the civil rights in the United States(Singer, 45). American civil rights movement comprises of various movements, and it usually referred to political struggle and reform movement that occurred in the states between 1954 and 1968 with the aim of ending segregation especially in the south.
Religious groups were another institution used by the African Americans to cope with the American apartheid system. Religious leaders like Reverend Martin Luther King Jr., Jesse Jackson, Andrew Young, and Wyatt T. Walker were just a few of the African American religious leaders who played the national leadership role of uniting both the white and black Americans and reduce segregation and the American apartheid system. In various occasions, the black clergy acted as the spokesmen for the campaigns that articulated the grievances the black people aired. In this case, the religious institutions became the strategies that shaped the fight against apartheid that sought to redress the African American issues. Consequently, they were able to win a larger number of people both black and white citizens and convince them to make sacrifices in order to realize racial and segregation justice.
What made the movements and the religious institutions win the fight was their charismatic style of oratory which their leaders used to convey dipper meaning and inspire people who were involved in the struggle against the discrimination and segregation in residences and schools. The different religious ministries used rhetoric language to explain that the civil right movement was religious and that it was a historical mission. They talked about holy crusade which was meant to force American to live up to its democratic promises. An evident example was in 1963 when a campaign was held to force New York install trade unions in their governance and also hire black and Hispanic workers at Downstate Medical Center, Brooklyn. The various ministries that participated in the struggle told the crowd that they were part of the "moral and patriotic movement" to fight against the apartheid and that there was "no turning back not unless people in the high places correct their wrong deeds." This was a declaration by Reverend Gardner Taylor of Concord Baptist Church (Massey and Denton, 79). Other ministries used particular tempo and reiteration in their speeches and sermons that evoked emotions to both the black and American audiences. This coaxed their audience and their followers that their cause was right and that there was a need to end the continued segregation and the American apartheid systems. Various apartheid participants soon boycotted since the religious institutions inspired them.
How the institutions differed in strategy and how their leaders often found themselves arguing over the best course action to take.
Religious institutions and the civil rights movement did have many similarities in their long term objectives to eradicate the continued segregation in America. Both strategies demanded a complete equality not only in theory but practice in the places of work and schools. However, where they differed significantly were the methods improvised to achieve this goal and the time they were to wait for any progress to be made.
The religious institution strategy was heavily rooted in common sense and religion. This required majority support of the African Americans which was the active population (Massey, 93). Black churches were the only institutions capable of rallying support during the civil rights movements to fight against apartheid. The religious leaders had a significant influence and held a countable sway over various delegations, and various project organized by the civil rights movements required masses, and it is only the church that had active support. For instance, when Montgomery activist was organizing bus boycott, they often turned to the ministries for leadership and support. It is evident that their actions under the leadership of Martin Luther set the tone that would realize peaceful rights projects in America. King Luther preached self-sacrifice, love and restoration of black dignity during the boycott and the African Americans had to prove to the white their worth. In essence, this was part of the faith in liberal reform through democracy held by religious leaders and King Luther.
The movement on the other hand often garnered support from white liberals and federal government and often the protests was spontaneous and focused on specific goals. The marches, freedom rides and sit-ins started in this manner with various activities relying on African American communities wearing down their businesses to the point where they pressured the white authorities to change. The formation of civil rights movements allowed the African American to fashion their national objectives. Remember the religious institutions advocated for peace to achieve their objectives. They provoked the violence staged by the civil movements by staging specific campaigns across America against their violence actions but, all in all, they were fighting against American apartheid system (Kozol, 84). Various incidences of police brutality were transmitted via television; various African-American leaders expressed different views on the same. King Luther used the sympathy to push for the civil rights legislation while the religious institutions did not see the need to amend the constitution. The reverse of their actions was that leaders avoided various protests in order to maintain federal support, and this found them arguing on the best cause of action to take. King Luther even prevented the appeasement of President Lyndon Johnson.
In conclusion, it can be said that both strategies focused on unbalanced power relationship between the white and the African Americans. The pluralist had a strong belief that both could live amicably beside each other and share public utilities. The nationalist, on the other hand, clinched to the belief that the white culture dominated the African American culture in all aspects. For this reason, they wished to withdraw from the struggle and even return to Africa. However, it is evident that there has been a significant change in the fight against the American system apartheid as seen when different economic sectors from sports to leadership.
Cable, Sherry, and Tamara L. Mix. "Economic Imperatives and Race Relations The Rise and Fall of the American Apartheid System." Journal of Black Studies 34.2 (2003): 183-203.
Kozol, Jonathan. The Shame Of The Nation. New York: Crown Publishers, 2005. Print.
Massey, Douglas S, and Nancy A Denton. American Apartheid. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2009. Print.
Massey, Douglas S. Categorically Unequal. New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 2007. Print.
Singer, Joseph William. "The Anti-Apartheid Principle in American Property Law." SSRN Electronic Journal n. pag. Web.
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