The 1967 Newark Riots were a culmination of the social, economic and racial segregation African-Americans had suffered since the enactment of the Jim Crow Laws to 1965. The adoption of rules and regulations to separate Blacks and Whites in public places promoted the poor treatment of African-Americans. It was illegal for Blacks to use public facilities designated for Whites. The Second World War influenced Black soldiers to envision living in a country that would protect their rights, freedoms and opportunities. The war influenced Blacks to begin viewing themselves as equal to their white counterparts.
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The brilliant performance by African-American soldiers demonstrated that Blacks deserved more than working in the farms. The interaction of Black soldiers with Europeans and Australians, who treated them with some respect, uncovered the reality of the racial problem in America. The continued enforcement of Jim Crow Laws after the Second World War aroused rebellion amongst Blacks because the war had changed their attitudes regarding their status in the American society. A significant number of the pioneers of the registration of African-American voters in 1946 were Black war veterans.
The discrimination and violence against African-Americans influenced the formation of the Civil Rights Movement. The movement campaigned for equal treatment of Blacks and Whites in terms of employment opportunities, access to housing, education and public facilities, voting rights and freedom from racial discrimination. The Civil Rights Movement influenced the active participation of the Supreme Court in protecting the rights of African-Americans as described in the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments. The movement enlightened ordinary African-Americans on their rights and encouraged them to claim those rights as American citizens.
The “evolution 67” film demonstrates the thoughts and beliefs the Jim Crow Laws had influenced amongst white Americans. The laws expressed the need to separate African-Americans in all public places and facilities, which led to a systematic decline in the social and economic conditions for African-Americans. The government supported the segregation of Blacks through policies and practices that introduced challenges regarding access to employment, healthcare and other services.
The Civil Rights Movement played a key role in influencing the Newark Riots. The movement had become a symbol of the liberation and imparted revolutionary thoughts in African-Americans. Police brutality sparked the violence witnessed during the Newark Riots. White officers dominated the Newark Police Department despite the fact that it was in a predominantly African-American neighborhood.
The poverty in Black neighborhoods was not because of the Whites moving out of Black neighborhoods but a result of high unemployment due to the decline in non-skilled employment after the Second World War. School segregation and the return of thousands of unskilled African-American soldiers led to the high number of unemployed Blacks. Segregation laws favored Whites and allowed them to access education and employment opportunities.
The Whites could afford to maintain high standards of living because they were employable, unlike the Blacks. Martin Luther believed that African-Americans deserved the same treatment as Whites because it was their constitutional rights. He encouraged Blacks to fight against racial discrimination because such an undertaking would guarantee them access to education and opportunities to raise their standards of living. The Assassination of Martin Luther did not spark the Newark Riots because his death occurred in 1968. His rhetoric on the emancipation of Blacks played a key role in the riots.