Conservatism Backlash as an Obstacle to the Civil rights Movement

After the Second World War, black Americans started to organize resistance over discriminatory racial rules that were in force in most states in the United States. They launched legal challenges and local activism to change racial discrimination that had dominated for over a century after reconstruction (Cordova, n.p). Leaders in the movement and community activities focused on racially discriminatory housing, segregated education, and transportation. Although most of their challenges were achieved, life did not change for black Americans. Conservative Whites were hostile and opposed these changes entirely and even engaged in violence. There were steps by Truman in achieving racial reconciliation and moderation.

To safeguard civil rights, the president’s committee provided civil rights supporters in the congress with a master plan for the next two decades. It led to the formation of a permanent commission on civil rights, and there was a division of civil rights in the Department of justice, and the federal anti-lynching and desegregation in transportation laws were enforced. In 1948, president Truman went ahead to sign an Executive order to desegregate the military (, n.p).


Rights Democratic Party

The move was not well received by Democrats from the south, and they went ahead to oppose Truman’s administration. They further split from the States’ Rights Democratic Party; it was a conservative movement that spearheaded segregation ( The party declared itself to support the social segregation of races and uphold the integrity of each race. It also opposed the abandonment of segregation policy and the repeal of miscegenation.  They resisted the call for equal employment opportunities for both Whites and black Americans. The party favored home-rule, respecting individual rights, and local self-government (Truman, n.p).

In 1957,  President Eisenhower wanted to show his support and dedication to civil rights and reduce racial unrest in the south, and in 1957 the civil rights Act was signed by Eisenhower to become law. It protected the rights of everyone to vote and prosecuted those denying others the right to vote. Despite all these, black Americans still faced discrimination in their day to day lives.  Four students took a stand against discrimination in Greensboro after being denied service at Woolworth counter. There were days of demonstrations, and some people were arrested and prosecuted for trespassing. The protesters boycotted all the segregated places until after the four students in question were served food at the counter by Woolworth’s owners (, n.p).

Police and white protesters against desegregation

The civil rights movement faced brutality in the hands of both police and white protesters, which attracted international scrutiny. In 1961 on Mothers day, Freedom riders vehicle entered Anniston, Alabama, where it was attacked using a bomb by an angry mob. Although the Freedom Riders managed to escape unhurt by the on fire bus, they were mercilessly beaten. After the US Attorney General then Robert F. Kennedy, asked the Albana Governor to find an alternative driver, the Freedom Riders were escorted by police. The police eventually left them at Mongomery, in a mob’s hands, where they were beaten thoroughly ( Police arrested the Freedom Riders in Mississippi on May 24, 1961, for trespassing through a “whites only” area. They were jailed for thirty days. After appealing to the supreme court, their sentence was reversed (Numan &Graham, n.p).

Killings of Black Civil Rights Activist

Bloody Sunday on May 7, 1965, there were demonstrations by the civil rights movement in Albana to complain against Jimmie Lee Jackson’s killing in the hands of police and spearhead for amendment. The protesters merged to Edmund Pettus Bridge. Police confronted and blocked them under the instructions of Albana Governor George C. Wallace, who was a major champion for segregation (, n.p). On April 4, 1968, their leader Martin Luther King Jr., who led the movement and a Nobel Peace Prize winner, was exterminated. Emotional charges and rioting were exerting a lot of pressure on President Johnson to develop more civil rights laws (, n.p).

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Work Cited

Bartley, Numan, and Hugh Davis Graham. Southern politics and the Second Reconstruction. JHU Press, 2019.

Cordova, Gennette. “Black Progress Has Always Been Met With Racist Backlash.” Teen Vogue, 2020, “Civil Rights Movement”. HISTORY, 2020,

Savage, Sean J. Truman and the Democratic Party. University Press of Kentucky, 2014.