Friday, August 06, 2010

In fact, in relation to Segregation and the Civil Rights Movement

There was an interesting confluence of events that happened in the early '50s. Namely, from the late '40s on agriculture in the South became mechanized to the point where cheap agricultural labor was needed much less than it previously was. This started the great migration of African Americans to urban centers in search of jobs and opportunity. One of the economic bases for segregation, the need of southern farmers for cheap labor, was therefore undermined. And the Civil Rights movement started to occur at the same time although there were important precursors in the '30s and '40s. Of the many differences this time around one was the willingness of the U.S. government to become somewhat more involved than it had been in the past, albeit under the extreme pressure from the Civil Rights movement. I can't help but wonder if the agricultural change had not happened if the U.S. government would have been so inclined to step in and help.

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