Describe the position of black people in the USA in 1945.

Essay by Muse October 2005

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Blacks in the USA in 1945 were not considered as equal; the treatment of people was based on their skin colour, a practice that had been going on for many years before, even after the Reconstruction of society after the Civil War in which the blacks were "liberated" from slavery. In theory, blacks were free to work and live where they wanted, but the figures at the time told a different story: by 1960, around 17% of the workforce of "white-collar" workers, i.e. professional, technical, administration, etc., were blacks, while the whites remained the majority at 47%. The "blue-collar" work, such as craftsmen, manual labourers, etc. - jobs that are renowned for needing less skill and education - had 40% of the workforce as blacks, and 36% were whites. Blacks just weren't provided the education and qualifications to do the professional types of work due to separation of black and white facilities.

Not only were they held back at getting the higher-class jobs, they were paid less for the same work that whites did; in 1950, blacks earned about 53% of a whites wage. This figure remained the same over the next 20 years, with it rising 11% to blacks earning 64% of a whites wage. All over the USA, blacks were discriminated against in almost all areas of life, whether it is the law of the state, or just by the custom of the local society.

After the abolishment of slavery, slaves had the choice of moving away from their former homes and having their own lives; unfortunately, many blacks didn't have any money to move halfway across the USA to the northern states that had fought to free them. Those who did have the finance to travel rarely had enough money afterwards to sustain a good quality of...