AMST 3100 The 1960s The Civil Rights Movement Part 1: the 1950s. Powerpoint 2 Read Chafe Chapter 6. The modern civil rights movement. Began in the mid-1950s Peaked in 1963 Splintered after 1965 into different camps Liberal reformers like M.L. King, Jr. who worked within the system
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Read Chafe Chapter 6
The Black Panthers formed in 1966 and rejected the melting pot ideal of assimilation. They favored black nationalism instead.
The last great civil rights march of the 1960s was the Selma March in March 1965 from Selma to Montgomery Alabama. The purpose of the march – just completed when this photo was taken - was to demonstrate the need for voting rights protections for racial minorities. A Voting Rights Act was passed in August 1965.
Thurgood Marshall was a key NAACP lawyer who was involved in the famous 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision on school desegregation. He later became a Supreme Court justice.
Most cotton pickers felt highly dependent upon white landowners. This system helped sustain Jim Crow. Here, a civil rights activist is registering a field worker to vote during the Freedom Summer of 1964.
This is a photo of the Cannon Mills office in Kannapolis, NC., just before its demolition in 2005. Cannon Mills was a large textile manufacturing plant. During World War II, Cannon Mills was required by the federal government to hire blacks in order to receive a lucrative federal contract to make towels for the military. Such federal policies contributed to the gradual desegregation of the Southern workforce.
The symbolism expressed in this image, taken from the 1965 Selma march, is obvious to any American.
The KKK enjoyed a resurgence after the Brown decision. Many angry Southerners organized to resist what they saw as federal intrusion into their local way of life. Many looked to the national leader, President Eisenhower, for guidance. However, Eisenhower was conspicuously silent about the Brown decision. Was this a failure of leadership at a crucial moment?
Southern schools remained segregated for years after the Brown decision. However, by 1957 some schools slowly began to integrate, often over the loud objections of angry whites. Still, even in 1960, schools remained almost entirely segregated.
Click here to read author James Baldwin’s 1957 interview about the desegregation of Charlotte’s Central High School.
Rosa Parks sparked a new phase of the civil rights movement – the citizen activist phase in which ordinary people participate in public protests, organize, select leaders, mobilize resources, and work directly to change the system. Rosa used nonviolent civil disobedience to question the morality of Jim Crow laws.
King is seen here being arrested for “loitering” in Montgomery Alabama in 1958. There were many Jim Crow laws aimed at racial minorities. They were not just about segregation. Some prohibited more than a few black people to stand together on the street, or to simply be present at a certain location. Typically blacks were required to get permits to engage in street protests, which would often be denied, resulting in arrests if they appeared on the street.
King speaking in Chicago, 1960. The SCLC was the premier citizen-based civil rights organization of the late 1950s. The NAACP had a more legalistic approach in its tactics.
This is the scene at Little Rock. Many angry whites viewed federal efforts to help blacks integrate into white schools as “special favors” given to non-whites. This attitude remains quite common on issues like affirmative action even today.