Primary Source Analysis
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Primary Source Analysis
My source is an article that was written by kay walker and historian journalist who works with the Network times. In his article, he wrote about the 50s and the 60s as the decades of prosperity and protest. In his article, kay walker describes the 1950s as the period where there was prosperity in American history. This period was characterized by the southern blacks moving northwards to live in the big cities in America while the whites moved from the cities to the American suburbs to avoid the crime life in the cities. Statistics show that in that year the American families lived in a simple nuclear household and a figure showed that the middle-class families earned from between 3000 to 10000. And this was approximately 60 of the American population. This decade of 1950 was also characterized by the Americans have the habit of buying similar things from home appliances, electronics, cars, furnitures and extra. This, therefore, created a mass market that developed in this decade.
In this decade many Americans bought televisions, it was approximated that by the end of this decade almost 90 of the Americans owned televisions and all the homesteads owned radios. This is because these two gadgets were important tools in marketing where different companies used television and radio stations to advertise their products. It was estimated that in these period marketers spent an approximated amount of 10 billion to advertise their products. Though as the years kept on moving the middle-class Americans who had moved to the suburbs got comfortable and never realized that they were isolating the poor blacks back in the cities. The cities too started deteriorating since the never had enough tax that they were collecting from the African. Little did the whites know that they were inciting a revolution that could bring a revolution in American history the following decade
The 60s decade was quite different from the 50s. This decade was associated with protests turbulence and wars. This factors had been influenced by the poor conditions in the cities where the blacks lived due to isolation from the whites. The increased rate of feminism across America and the uprise of the Vietnam War. Due to these, there were increased protests, riots across the cities which had been incited by some activist like Malcolm X who believed on bloody protests so that the peoples cry could be heard. In this decade the conditions in the cities became even worse since more whites kept on moving away from the cities to the suburbs and left the poor Africans. Therefore there was an increased crime and drug abuse in the cities. The blacks began to realize on the philosophe like the pacifist that had been incited by martin Luther King Jnr and the emergence of the new radical leaders such as Malcolm x who believe on bloody protest. The state tried to use its machinery to stop these protests but was all in vain since it was a revolution whose aim was to seek solutions to the problems that they had been facing.
In 1960 there was also a big protest which was the march to Washington that had an approximate number of quarter-million people who actively participated in the march. The main reason for the march was to protest against racial discrimination, police brutality, better civil legislation and finally equality. Though during the same year there was Vietnam is a war where the American army was actively participating in the war. In this decade to the women realized that they had been suppressed by the male gender. They came up and protested to demand their rights of getting well-paying jobs and equal social rights too. This was the time when the birth control pill was introduced to help the women have an active sex life. Their efforts were supported by the gay and the lesbian community who also supported them and went to parade in New York for their grievances to be hard.
In the article by kay walker, it is clear that there was a great difference in the two decades, where the 50s was more development and conservancy while in 1960 there were more protest and revolutions. Though it is also clear that some events happened in the 1950s that lead to the situations in the 1960s which was majorly the isolation of the blacks by the whites. Though these two decades are very important since they make an important chapter in Americas history.
Stich, Sidra.Made in USA an Americanization in Modern Art, the50s 60s. Univ of California Press, 1987.
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