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These tactics initiated the most powerful phase of America’s Civil Rights Movement, which peaked over the next five tumultuous years.The restless young people had been essentially correct: Direct-action protest, especially if it provoked violence by white extremists, was the most productive means of civil rights activity.The shift in tactics revived older civil rights organizations like the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) and prompted the formation of new ones such as the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), all dedicated to direct action such as sit-ins and demonstrations.
Although the FEPC had no real power, Randolph’s highly visible advocacy of large-scale, direct-action protest was a sign of militant tactics to come.
Other developments of the war years promoted pressure for civil rights.
One was massive movement of black Americans out of the rural South in order to take defense-related jobs in northern and western cities.
This migration continued in the 1950s and 1960s, and greatly increased black voting strength and the potential for black community organization.
Violence quickly followed, as one bus was firebombed in Alabama and its riders were injured.
The Kennedy administration sent federal marshals to Alabama to restore order, but the bloodshed did not end until the governor, anxious to rid his state of both the freedom riders and the federal marshals, brought in state troops to end the fighting.It created a Civil Rights Division within the Department of Justice as well as a federal Civil Rights Commission that was authorized to investigate racial problems and recommend solutions. Eisenhower’s decision, arrived at reluctantly, to send federal troops to Little Rock, Arkansas, in order to establish order and enforce a token desegregation plan admitting nine black students to the city’s all-white Central High School. The Court’s ruling that "all deliberate speed" should be used to enforce the , only one percent of southern black children attended public schools with whites.Escalating white violence in the South disheartened proponents of racial justice during the 1950s.Local people, they decided, must take direct action to change racial patterns in their communities.Beginning in February 1960, with the Greensboro, North Carolina, sit-ins at the Woolworth lunch counter, the sit-in tactics spread like wildfire throughout the South.The Fund’s efforts led to the landmark 1954 ruling in case as the pivotal moment in the history of American race relations and the beginning of a broad civil rights movement that escalated in the 1960s.In December 1955, grassroots activists in Montgomery, Alabama—NAACP members E. Nixon and Rosa Parks chief among them—sparked what soon became a large-scale boycott of buses and of white-owned businesses in Montgomery.Their efforts remind us that civil rights activism has a considerable history predating the 1940s and that it featured largely unsung grassroots workers. Roosevelt acted to end racial discrimination in employment and racial segregation of the armed forces.Roosevelt agreed to a Fair Employment Practices Committee (FEPC) to investigate employment practices.In the early twentieth century, African Americans in the South and in many parts of nearby border states were banned from associating with whites in a host of institutions and public accommodations—schools, hospitals, old folks’ homes, rest rooms, waiting rooms, railroad cars, hotels, restaurants, lunch counters, parks and beaches, swimming pools, libraries, concert halls, and movie theaters.Some recreational areas posted signs, "Negroes and Dogs Not Allowed." Racial discrimination deprived Southern blacks of decent jobs and schools and of elementary rights of citizenship, including voting.