This course has suggested that when we “pivot the center” to make diverse groups of people the subject of our historical analysis, we can obtain a new perspective on important events in American history. By pivoting the center of post-war history to emphasize the shared history of non-white Americans, we have traced a “wide civil rights movement” that emphasizes cooperation and coalitions between groups fighting for equality in the United States up until the present day.
How does pivoting the center to the experience of non-white Americans give us a new perspective on the relationship between World War II and the Civil Rights movement? In what ways did the experience of non-white Americans during and after World War II motivate a new focus on obtaining civil rights? How did the success of the African American civil rights movement in overturning Jim Crow segregation in the Southern states inspire other groups such as Mexican Americans, Asian Americans, women, gay Americans, and Native Americans to fight for equal access to the rights and privileges of their country? What were the most significant changes that these groups were able to make to their rights and opportunities?