How Significant Was Dwight D. Eisenhower in Improving Civil Rights for African Americans During His Presidency (1953 – 1961)?

How significant was Dwight D. Eisenhower in improving civil rights for African Americans during his presidency (1953 – 1961)?

Dwight D. Eisenhower was elected president of the United States in 1953 until 1961 in which he made certain significant actions towards improving civil rights for African Americans. Before Eisenhower’s time as president, Harry S. Truman was president and there was great segregation since 1862 (when slavery was abolished) amongst the southern states. All schools, restaurants, toilets, and even water fountains for example were segregated between “white” people and “coloured” people. Coloured people were inferior to white people and they were recognised as second-class citizens. The law supported this as the “Jim Crow Laws” stated that everyone was “separate but equal.” The reality of society in America during this period was much in favour of the whites – if you were white, you had better facilities such as toilets and water fountains compared to coloured people. Activities such as the park or the zoo were open for longer, for example, a zoo was open only on Tuesdays for coloured people and the rest of the days were open solely for white people.

Firstly, Eisenhower helped improve civil rights for African Americans by appointing Earl Warren as Chief Justice during the Brown vs. Board of Education case within the Supreme Court in 1954. Linda Brown was a black student who applied to a white school close to her home; however, she was forced to attend a school where she would have to travel one mile to get to the school bus stop. Many students experienced this and 13 parents decided to file a class suit which reached the Supreme Court. At the start of the case, Fred M. Vinson was the Chief Justice and majority of the Supreme Court judges voted to stay segregated. However, he then passed away from a heart attack and Eisenhower appointed Earl Warren, with knowledge that Warren wanted change and was willing to take action towards this. Warren...