Modern civil disobedience
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Modern Civil Disobedience. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The Civil Rights Movement “Letter from Birmingham Jail” Informational Text Analysis. Modern Civil Disobedience. You have 15 minutes to finish your questions from Civil Disobedience and turn them in. .

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Modern civil disobedience

Modern Civil Disobedience

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The Civil Rights Movement

“Letter from Birmingham Jail”

Informational Text Analysis


Modern civil disobedience1

Modern Civil Disobedience

You have 15 minutes to finish your questions from Civil Disobedience and turn them in. 


The civil rights movement 1950 s 60 s

The Civil Rights Movement: 1950’s & ‘60’s

  • During the 1950’s and ‘60’s America undergoes a turbulent time of violence and a loud call for social change regarding the treatment of African-Americans and those men and women who did not own property.

  • The Civil Rights Movement was not simply about race—it was about equality.


The civil rights movement 1950 s 60 s1

The Civil Rights Movement: 1950’s & ‘60’s

  • During this time “Jim Crow” laws at the local and state level barred African-Americans from using the same classrooms, bathrooms, theaters and train cars as whites and prevented them from sitting on juries and running for the legislature.

  • 1954: US Supreme Court strikes down the “separate but equal” doctrine that had allowed states to discriminate against African-American citizens


The civil rights movement 1950 s 60 s2

The Civil Rights Movement: 1950’s & ‘60’s

  • Civil Rights Activists: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Rosa Parks, Malcolm X, and Andrew Goodman (to name a few)

  • Most civil rights activists used nonviolent protest and civil disobedience to bring about change.


The montgomery bus boycott southern christian leadership conference

The Montgomery Bus Boycott & Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

  • On Dec. 1, 1955 Rosa Parks of Montgomery, Alabama refused to give up her seat on the bus for a white bus rider. Her defiance of this southern custom (not even a law) resulted in her arrest. Her arrest lead to the Montgomery Bus Boycott and it lasted 381 days.

  • Boycott was a demonstration in unity and proved the determination of the movement.


The montgomery bus boycott southern christian leadership conference1

The Montgomery Bus Boycott & Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

  • Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. understood the larger significance of the boycott and realized that the same non-violent tactics used by Indian nationalist Gandhi could be used by CR Activists.

  • I had come to see early that the Christian doctrine of love operating through the Gandhian method of non-violence was one of the most potent weapons available to the Negro in his struggle for freedom. MLK, Jr.

  • Montgomery movements leads to the creation of the clergy-led Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) in 1957


Student non violent coordinating committee

Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee

  • February 1960: Four freshmen at NC Agricultural and Technical College start a series of student sit-ins designed to end the segregation at southern lunch counters.

  • These types of protests spread quickly and soon the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) is formed (April 1960).

  • Very aggressive in its use of nonviolent direct action tactics (more than King’s SCLC)

  • SNCC stressed the development of local autonomous movements to create change at the local level and the SCLC stressed local campaigns to inspire national reform.


March on washington

March on Washington

  • August 28, 1963: March on Washington includes 200,000 participants and was when MLK, Jr. delivers his I have a dream speech.

  • Helps bring about the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which outlawed segregation in public facilities and racial discrimination in both employment and education.


King s assassination

King’s Assassination

  • April 4, 1968: Dr. Marin Luther King, Jr. was shot and killed while standing on a balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee. He had gone to Memphis to support striking African-American sanitation workers. Immediately following his assassination a wave of riots broke out in more than 50 US cities. Two months later James Earl Ray, an escaped convict, was caught and charged with the killing; he confessed to the crime but then recanted three days later. He was tried and convicted and sentenced to 99 years in prison; he died in prison in 1998.


King s assassination1

King’s Assassination

  • Some people believe that Ray did not act alone and in 1999 a jury settled a wrongful death suit in favor of Coretta Scott King (King’s widow). The suit was brought against LoydJowers, a Memphis restaurant owner, and other unnamed “co-conspirators” who were alleged to have plotted King’s murder. The delivery of the verdict also included that “government agencies” were also involved in the assassination plot. In 2000 the US DOJ complete an investigation into Jower’s claim of government and mafia involvement but did not find any evidence of a conspiracy.


King s connection to thoreau

King’s Connection to Thoreau

  • King modeled his non-violent protest actions after Thoreau’s essay on Civil Disobedience

  • Thoreau claimed that slavery wouldn’t end until enough people protested it and went to jail for not agreeing with it.

  • King maintained that one shouldn’t be afraid to sit in jail for doing what he or she feels is morally just.


Modern civil disobedience

Letter from Birmingham Jail

King was arrested on April 12, 1963 for failing to follow a court order that forbade a group of African-Americans from marching downtown to Birmingham, Alabama.

Four days latter eight clergymen from Alabama, including Bishops, ministers, and a rabbi, published a statement in a newspaper criticizing King for defying the law.

Although King had limited resources he drafted a response to the clerics. This long letter later becomes a principle statement of the Civil Rights Movement.

His letter focused on how felt compelled to employ civil disobedience to protest unjust measures. In other portions he explains how non-violent tactics like marches and boycotts are a means of bringing supporters of segregation to the negotiating table. In response to his critics’ observation that change takes time, he notes that African-Americans have been waiting centuries for equality.


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