The Scottsboro Trials

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Although the Scottsboro trials was not a pivotal event in Black American history, it was an occasion which highlighted the severe injustice of the American legal system and prejudice that black Americans lived in. From 25th March 1931 when 9 black men allegedly gang raped two white girls on the Railroad from Chattanooga to Memphis, a numerous amount of trials, reversals and retrials occurred, the most in American history. Over the course of two decades the ‘Scottsboro boys’ were made celebrities by their struggle for justice by dividing Americas politics. The trials, which were originally conducted in front of an all white jury leading to 8 of the boys being sentenced to the death penalty, after they were represented by bias lawyers which made…show more content…
Commonly withheld as being ‘Separate but equal by the Plessy vs Ferguson doctrine, this was not true in schooling (and other social + political areas) where black schools were often poorly equipped, leading to ghettos of uneducated black Americans whom turned to crime. These separate and unequal schools were challenged in Brown vs Board of education which consisted of 5 separate cases that were heard by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1952 concerning the issue of segregation in public schools. ‘Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Briggs v. Elliot, Davis v. Board of Education of Prince Edward County (VA.), Boiling v. Sharpe, and Gebhart v. Ethel. ‘The main issues of these events was the constitutionality of state-sponsored segregation in public schools. On May 17, 1954, the Court unanimously ruled that "separate but equal" public schools for blacks and whites were unconstitutional. This led to an adaption of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, providing the equal protection clause which provided on the basis of Brown VS Board of education the dismantling of racial discrimination. The Brown case served as a catalyst for the modern civil rights movement, inspiring education reform everywhere and forming the legal means of challenging…show more content…
This state, known for its rigidly enforced Jim Crow laws and KKK, who had previously bombed 18 places in Alabama. Protests in Birmingham, known as ‘Project C’, were lead by Martin Luther King jnr and were aimed at being peaceful; to undermine the city's rigid segregation system. Sit ins , economic boycotts and meetings (inspired by the boycott in Montgomery) were held while trying to gain equality in Birmingham, however the pivotal moment occurred on 7th April when the Public safety commissioner Eugene Bull Connor reacted to non violent marchers by releasing dogs onto demonstrators and fire hosing them. Images and videos of this event featured globally in the media, consequently provoking outrage due to the sights of unarmed demonstrators who were non-aggressive being attacked by the police. These scenes stimulated a great deal of good by bringing international and national shame on Birmingham. Children were also later used in the Birmingham protests which led to further media humiliation when over a thousand 6-18 year olds got arrested daily, as well when protesters were attacked by those who were meant to maintain law and order. After JFK saw these images it is argued that his outrage lead to the key Significance of this event in making it a pivotal point in black American history is that it was the key event that sparked the legislation of the civil rights act in 1964
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