3101 Essay Example

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Early Human Rights Actions

Early Human Rights Actions

The success of human rights campaigns depends on the support that such a campaign is likely to attract and at the same time the ways in which the proponents utilize to present their grievances. The NAACP mainly initiated one of the most successful human rights campaigns, and its tactics led to its success of its operations. Even though the NAACP was initially considered as propaganda, it faced serious challenges as it deviated from the violence or revolt as a way of fighting for equal rights and instead it put more focus on legal issues. The main activities that it undertook was changing the focus to incorporate the economic rights of the black issue which was the main problem given that there were no equal rights for the people involved in the working environment. The legal strategy which was headed by the Charles Hamilton Houston was successful in the legal case of the Brown vs. Board of Education in 1954. The use of legal case important in the human rights activism as it helps in eliminating cases of violence and making sure that the proper process is followed to ensure that human rights are well respected. In this case, the board of education was ordered to make sure that there was equal access to employment opportunities to people from all races and people should not be discriminated depending on the race but the use of their experiences and qualifications should be used to determine their ability to engage in certain activities. Even though NAACP has been involved in other legal issues that focus on human rights, the human rights case in 1954 was the main successful case that was undertaken by the organization. The use of legal matters means that their tactics were supported by legal facts which made the operations of the organization successful (Carrillo, 2012).

Another major case for the human rights activism was the fight against the discrimination of the Negro government employees in 1917 where the primary focus was those working on railroads (Holt, 2000). Given that the white workers were the majority, it is hard to ensure that the successful human rights activism was done and especially given that black movement employees were at times exposed to violence. However, the movement was successful in the elimination of human rights discrimination especially given that at this time it was the government that was in control of the railway system. The tactic used in this case was pressurizing the government to eliminate the racial discrimination in the workplace since it was inhumane (Holt, 2000). This helps in the fight against the economic discrimination, and at the same time, the government instituted measures to help in protecting the black people against the violence directed to them as a result of their revolt (Carrillo, 2012). Furthermore, this kind of revolt and the pressurizing of the government profoundly contributed to the passage of the various laws that helped in the promotion of the equal rights which incorporated the elimination of child labor, the use of sickness insurance and unemployment as well as the old age pensions among others. Furthermore, this revolt was successful as it targeted the government operations and the use of legal platform also helped in making the operations successful (Holt, 2000).

The success of the NAACP in the fights for the people of color created a way for the emergence of the labor and civil rights movements. Even though some of the major initiatives directed to the government was successful, the efforts directed to the private companies did not guarantee success, and some of the campaigns failed due to the way that radicals within the company were treated of perceived. Private companies mainly used threats and termination of employment to scare employees from relying on revolt as a part of the negotiation process (Turner-Sadler, 2009). The collective bargaining process may be successful if it is implemented in the right manner and if the parties involved are willing to engage in a collective bargaining process. Even though the NAACP was successful, it was unable to handle major problems that were associated with the working class. However, it the NAACP was unable to institute measures to ensure that its initiatives continued during the depression era. The success of the NAACP in various activities was successful since it was able to strike the right balance between the federal government and the unionized blacks (Holt, 2000).

The actions of the UCAPAWA (United Cannery Agricultural Packing and Allied Workers of America) took some of the most active campaigns to ensure that the welfare of the workers was adequately safeguarded. This sparked the human rights revolution by the adoption of the R J Reynolds Tobacco Company Human Rights Activism (Holt, 2000). During this period, the majority of the high privileged jobs were mainly held by the white, and the blacks were exposed to harsh working conditions. However, it was important to come up with measures to ensure that there was parity in the workplace and ensure that backs human rights were safeguarded (Schmidt, 2008). During the 1940s the majority of the black workforce mainly were exposed to work environment such as the tobacco conditioning, steaming as well as the in the cleaning department (Holt, 2000). Furthermore, they were often paid poorly where the women were often exposed to sexual and verbal abuse which sparked human rights movement within the factory as blacks fought for the equal rights within the factory. However, one of the main challenges that they faced was the lack of unionization aspect within the company which limited their actions, and it took a long time for better working conditions to be realized. The initial failure of the revolt was the tactics used by the company such as laying off the works which were considered as the threat to the unity of the company. Union officials were often intimidated by the officials which hampered by the union activities. However, the union was able to succeed despite the fact that most people lost their jobs as a result and the union used the collective bargaining power and the fact that the majority of the workers were blacks. Even though intimidation initially affected the union progress, it was able to succeed in the long put putting consistent pressures on them (Tanenhaus, & Gale 2008).


Carrillo, K. J. (2012). African American history day by day: A reference guide to events. Santa Barbara, Calif: Greenwood.

Holt, T. C. (2000). From freedom to «freedom now,» 1865-1990s: Documents and essays. Boston [u.a.: Houghton Mifflin.

Schmidt, C. A. R. (2008). Migrant imaginaries: Latino cultural politics in the U.S.-Mexico borderlands. New York: New York University Press.

Tanenhaus, D. S., & Gale (Firm). (2008). Encyclopedia of the Supreme Court of the United States. Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA.

Timmons, M. (2017). Disputed moral issues: A reader. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Turner-Sadler, J. (2009). African American history: An introduction. New York: Peter Lang.