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Civil Rights

Civil Rights

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Civil Rights

Civil rights are crucial elements of democracy. They guarantee equal protection and opportunities to all people regardless of their race, ethnicity, religion, or other characteristics. In America, most blacks were denied equal social opportunities due to their race in the 18th and early 19th centuries. Racial segregation was rampant at almost every social level. The blacks could hardly get equal opportunities with the whites. As a result, they struggled too much to obtain equal rights with the whites. However, their efforts received various criticism from Congress, the presidency, and the supreme court. Each of these executive branches acted differently towards the development of civil rights. However, it is crucial to note the presidency has done the most to advance black civil rights over time. On the contrary, Congress and the supreme court acted as the major obstacle to the advancement of the black civil rights movements. But the supreme court played a significant role in blocking the progress of the civil rights movement over time.

The presidency played a significant role in promoting the black movement’s advancement over time. Many of the United States presidents during the time of civil rights movements promoted the efforts of desegregating blacks. They did this by drafting civil rights bills and taking them to Congress for approval. Also, the shape of the presidential campaign among the Republicans and Democrats helped advance black civil rights over time. However, the Republican presidents promoted black civil rights movements more than the Democrats. As the president and the Congress share the national political power, the Democratic party played an essential role in accepting, establishing, disturbing, and undermining racial segregation relations at different times. During President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Lyndon B. Johnson, and Harry S. Truman’s terms, the black civil rights in the South received too much attention (King, 1995).

 Noteworthy, politics in these times was profound on unavoidable racial relations. This is because the party’s power relied upon the southern votes. These presidents, therefore, fought tirelessly in drafting racial policies and uplifting the civil rights movement in the South. For instance, President Harry Truman, in 1919, signaled the employment reduction due to segregation due to ongoing civil rights riots. In this respect, he ordered all government heads of agencies, departments, and independent bodies to ensure no discrimination in their organization. Similarly, president Lyndon steered the Civil Rights Act in 1964 after assuming the office. This was a significant milestone for the black civil rights movement (Klinkner, & Smith, 1999). Overall, despite the challenges experienced in the course of the black civil rights movement, the presidency essentially helped in the advancement of civil rights compared to other executive branches.

However, despite the effort made by the presidency of introducing several civil rights bills, the supreme court acted as a major obstacle for the advancement of civil rights over time. The supreme court’s role is to ensure justice prevails at all societal levels. Although it has this mandate, the supreme court could not rule in favor of the black civil movement. For instance, in the case of the Jim Crow laws that denied blacks the 14th Amendment rights, the supreme court could not rule in the favor of the blacks. The Jim crow law, as imposed in most southern states, denied black equal rights and opportunities with the whites. In the case tabled in the supreme court accusing Jim Crow law of violating the 14th Amendment, the court ruled that each state has a right to decide on laws involving racial relations (King, 1995). This decision had a significant impact on black civil rights for a very long- about the next sixty years. In this respect, the supreme court can be considered as a major obstacle affecting the advancement of black civil rights movements.


Bouie, J. (2020, June 18). Why Juneteenth Matters. The New York Times – Breaking News, US News, World News and Videos.

King, D. S. (1995). Separate and unequal: Black Americans and the US federal government. Oxford University Press.

Klinkner, P. A., & Smith, R. M. (1999). The unsteady march: The rise and decline of racial equality in America. University of Chicago Press.

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