In what ways did African Americans campaign for civil rights in the years before the Great Depression? How did they respond to the activities of the Ku Klux Klan?

Since 1865, Ku Klux Klan carried out campaign against blacks to terrorise the blacks and the whites who sympathise with blacks. He claimed that he was fighting against black slaves who terrorise their white masters and protecting whites. His techniques were aimed at creating fear among blacks so that they won’t exercise their vote, capture their land, intimidate them and demoralise them to such an extent so that they stop fighting for equal rights. Klan also rejected the melting pot theory.
The ways by which African-Americans campaign for civil rights in the years before the Great Depression are as follows:

  • One of the black leader, Booker T. Washington believed that the best way for the blacks to cope was to work hard and achieve economic success. This was made in Atlanta Compromise, in which he stated that only economic success can make whites to give equal rights to blacks.
  • In 1910, the National Association for the Advanced Coloured People (NAACP). This aimed at fighting against discrimination through legal actions and better education. They believed Blacks will earn respects by showing their skills and ability and the civil rights will follow.
  • Another leader, Marcus Garvey adopted a different approach. He believed that there was very little chance for equal treatment of blacks so he used methods of black nationalism, black pride and black separation. This approach failed and did not became popular.
Question for UPSC Mains:
In what ways did African Americans campaign for civil rights in the years before the Great Depression? How did they respond to the activities of the Ku Klux Klan?

Published: March 21, 2017 | Modified:June 27, 2019

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