George Wallace and the New Nativism
The limited resurgence of the Klan and the development of the Wallace movement are both based on the fact that there is a new rising population group in the nation, the Negro. The social strains emanating from the American black man's emergence from subordination were increasingly reflected in American extremist movements since World War II and exploded in the middle 1960's. The "bill" was finally being presented for three centuries of degradation.
World War I had begun a significant migration of Negroes to northern cities. In the decade preceding World War II, their growing political power visibly emerged as they became part of the new national Democratic party coalition. During that period, when old forms were breaking up, they gained a foothold in such American institutions as the union movement and the Democratic party apparatus.
World War II saw another massive migration to the North and to a man-hungry war industry; the accumulating strength of the Negro population came to a head. A threatened March on Washington in 1941 led by a politically potent Negro labor leader resulted directly in historic Executive Order 8802 by President Roosevelt requiring "fair employment practices" in defense industries and government. As a result of the need as well as the Order, the percentage of Negroes in war industries increased from 3 to 8 per cent between 1942 and 1944. Between 1940 and 1947, Negro males in the skilled trades increased by 25 per cent. 1
After the war, the pressure persisted. Fair Employment Practices laws