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The March for Civil Rights. Plessy v Ferguson. 1896 Supreme Court ruled that segregation was legal, so long as services and facilities provided were “separate but equal” Opened the door for Jim Crow laws throughout the South. Norris v Alabama. 1935

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The March for Civil Rights

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The march for civil rights

The March forCivil Rights

Plessy v ferguson

Plessy v Ferguson

  • 1896

  • Supreme Court ruled that segregation was legal, so long as services and facilities provided were “separate but equal”

  • Opened the door for Jim Crow laws throughout the South

Norris v alabama

Norris v Alabama

  • 1935

  • Supreme Court overturned the rape conviction of Clarence Norris in Alabama due to the fact that there were no black members on the jury, which violated his 14th Amendment rights

Morgan v virginia

Morgan v Virginia

  • 1946

  • Irene Morgan was convicted for refusing to surrender her seat on a bus going from Virginia to Maryland

  • Supreme Court ruled that the bus was engaged in interstate commerce and the Virginia law was therefore unconstitutional

Sweatt v painter

Sweatt v Painter

  • 1950

  • Herman Sweatt sued after being refused admission to the University of Texas law school

  • Texas created a new black law school, but the Supreme Court ruled that the new school was inferior in quality and decided in favor of Sweatt

Democrats split in 1948

Democrats Split in 1948

  • In the Democratic primary leading into the 1948 presidential elections, Southern Democrats became angered by Harry Truman’s support of civil rights and stated intentions of desegregating the military

  • Rather than support Truman, they created their own party



  • The States’ Rights Democratic Party

  • Supported the right of Southern states to continue the practice of racial segregation without interference by the federal government

  • Although dissolved by 1950, the Dixiecrats permanently weakened the Democratic Party in the South, opening the door for Southern Republicans

Strom thurmond

Strom Thurmond

  • 1902 – 2003

  • Gov. of SC (1947–51)

  • Dixiecrat nominee for President in 1948

  • Later served as Senator from SC from 1956 – 2003, despite his vocal support for segregation

  • Switched from Democratic to Republican Party in 1964

Us military desegregates

US Military Desegregates

  • July 1948

  • President Truman issued Executive Order 9981, ordering equal treatment and opportunities for all members of the US armed forces, regardless of race

  • Last all-black units were dissolved in 1954

Brown v board of education of topeka ks

Brown v Board of Education of Topeka, KS

  • 1954

  • Supreme Court overturned Plessy v. Ferguson, rejecting the idea that racially segregated schools could offer equal services

  • Court ordered the desegregation of public schools “with all deliberate speed”

Thurgood marshall

Thurgood Marshall

  • 1908 – 1993

  • Brown v BOE decision vaulted Marshall to the forefront of civil rights lawyers

  • Marshall had been Chief Counsel for the NAACP since the 1940s, until being appointed as federal judge in 1961, and eventually became the first African-American on the Supreme Court in 1967

Southern manifesto

Southern Manifesto

  • The Brown decision angered many white Southerners and in 1956, over 100 Southern members of Congress signed the “Southern Manifesto” declaring the Court’s decision to be “abuse of judicial power” and pledging to support segregation through every legal avenue available

Rosa parks

Rosa Parks

  • 1913 – 2005

  • Civil rights activist even before her famous refusal to give up her bus seat on Dec. 1, 1955

  • Parks was arrested for violating the city of Birmingham, AL segregation laws which required that blacks surrender their seats if necessary to accommodate white passengers

Montgomery bus boycott

Montgomery Bus Boycott

  • In response to Parks’ arrest, black leaders organized a boycott of the Birmingham public transportation system

  • Over 75% of the bus system’s riders were black, so the boycott seriously damaged revenues

  • The boycott lasted for over a year, until Parks’ case was resolved when the Supreme Court declared the Birmingham segregation law unconstitutional

Dr martin luther king jr

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

  • 1929 – 1968

  • As a young minister, King was chosen to organize the Birmingham bus boycott and chose to do so using only non-violent means of protest

  • The success of the boycott propelled him and his technique of “civil disobedience” to national fame

S outhern c hristian l eadership c onference sclc

Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC)

  • Created in 1957

  • Civil rights organization composed of mainly Southern African-American ministers which worked to end segregation and to encourage blacks to register to vote

  • First president was Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Eisenhower s reaction

Eisenhower’s Reaction

  • President Eisenhower supported civil rights, but believed that racism and segregation would have to end gradually, stating “I don’t believe you can change the hearts of men with laws or [court] decisions”

  • Still, once the Supreme Court ordered schools desegregated, Eisenhower felt obligated as President to enforce that decision

The little rock nine

The Little Rock Nine

  • Sept. 1957

  • Arkansas Gov. OrvalFaubus ordered the National Guard to block 9 black students from enrolling at the all-white Little Rock Central High School and later simply relied on white mobs to intimidate the students

  • Eisenhower ordered the US Army to protect the black students , sending 1000 soldiers to encircle the school and allow the students to register; the soldiers stayed for the rest of the school year

Civil rights act of 1957

Civil Rights Act of 1957

  • Designed to protect black’s right to vote

  • Created a civil rights division within the Dept. of Justice and the US Commission on Civil Rights to investigate and prosecute allegations of voting violations

Greensboro sit in

Greensboro Sit-in

  • Feb. 1960

  • 4 students at NC A&T in Greensboro, NC sat down at the racially segregated lunch counter at Woolworth’s and demanded service, refusing to leave when they were denied; over the next few days, the number of students involved grew and the sit-ins spread throughout the state, gaining national attention

  • By summer, Woolworth’s relented and desegregated their lunch counters

Jesse jackson

Jesse Jackson

  • 1941 – Present

  • Student at NC A&T who was inspired by the sit-ins and went on to become a major, if often controversial, civil rights leader and later candidate for President in the 1980s

S tudent n on violent c oordinating c ommittee sncc

Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC)

  • Executive director of the SCLC, Ella Baker, held a convention at Shaw University in April 1960 to help students organize themselves into the SNCC, a student-led civil rights organization dedicated to continuing the successes of non-violent protest and to encouraging rural Southern blacks to register to vote

  • In 1964, 3 SNCC members were murdered in Mississippi while attempting to register black voters

C ongress o f r acial e quality core

Congress of Racial Equality (CORE)

  • Founded in 1942

  • Created to apply the Gandhi’s model of non-violent resistance to the American civil rights movement, opposing Jim Crow laws in the South and housing and employment inequities in northern cities

Freedom riders

Freedom Riders

  • Teams of black and white CORE volunteers traveled into the South on buses to try to forcibly integrate bus terminals as had been ordered by federal courts, but ignored by most local governments

  • These riders were attacked by angry white mobs in Alabama, and in Birmingham were met and beaten by members of the KKK who had been tipped off by the local police

James meredith the university of mississippi

James Meredith & the University of Mississippi

  • 1933 – Present

  • In Sept. 1962, tried to register at the Univ. of Mississippi under a court-order, but was blocked by Gov. Ross Barnett

  • President Kennedy ordered 500 US Marshalls to escort Meredith onto campus, but an angry mob attacked the Marshalls, forcing Kennedy to use US Army troops to protect Meredith

  • Meredith went on to be a civil rights activist, was shot while leading a protest march, and later served on the staff of Sen. Jesse Helms

Medgar evers

Medgar Evers

  • 1925 – 1963

  • WWII veteran who became a civil rights activist and officer in the NAACP who helped gain James Meredith admission to Univ. of Mississippi

  • Was shot and killed in front of his home by a member of the KKK

  • No one was convicted of his killing until 1994

Bull connor

“Bull” Connor

  • 1897 – 1973

  • Public Safety Commissioner in Birmingham, AL, known for his use of brutal police tactics to enforce segregation and who allowed the attacks on the Freedom Riders

  • In 1963, Connor was running for mayor when Dr. King decided to stage protests in Birmingham designed to provoke a violent response and discredit Connor’s campaign

Letter from a birmingham jail

“Letter from a Birmingham Jail”

  • King was arrested and held in solitary confinement

  • King used the time to compose a letter which explained his rationale for using non-violent protest even when faced with brutally violent tactics by his opponents

  • After King was released, Connor ordered police to use clubs, dogs, and fire-hoses on King’s supporters, all of which was shown on national television to a stunned American audience

George wallace

George Wallace

  • 1919 – 1998

  • June 1963: Alabama Governor blocked the admission of black students at the Univ. of Alabama, provoking President Kennedy to call on Congress to enact a new civil rights bill

  • Wallace later went on to run for President 4 times, backing away from his segregationist stance and was shot and paralyzed while campaigning in 1972

16 th street church bombing

16th Street Church Bombing

  • Sept. 15, 1963

  • Birmingham, AL

  • Members of the KKK bombed a black church which was frequently used as a meeting place for civil rights leaders, killing 4 girls aged 11 to 14

  • No one was convicted of the crime until 1977

March on washington

March on Washington

  • August 28, 1963

  • Dr. King wanted to lobby Congress for passage of Kennedy’s civil rights bill and organized a massive rally on the mall in Washington, DC

  • More than 200,000 attended to hear King and others speak

I have a dream

“I Have a Dream”

  • "I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: 'We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.'"

  • "I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.“

  • “And when this happens … we will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual: Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!”

Lyndon b johnson

Lyndon B. Johnson

  • President Kennedy was assassinated before he could gain passage of the new civil rights bill, but President Johnson, a Southerner, committed himself to pushing the bill through in Kennedy’s memory and had the connections in Congress to make it happen.

Civil rights act of 1964

Civil Rights Act of 1964

  • Made segregation illegal in public facilities such as restaurants, parks, libraries, and theaters

  • Allowed US Attorney General to prosecute violators

  • Banned discrimination in the workplace and created the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to monitor discrimination

24 th amendment

24th Amendment

  • Ratified in 1964

  • Specifically banned the use of poll taxes (a tax that must be paid in order to vote) a common way of preventing poor blacks from voting in Southern states

Selma march bloody sunday

Selma March & Bloody Sunday

  • 1965

  • Dr. King led a demonstration in Selma, AL to register black voters

  • White law enforcement attacked, beat, and arrested over 2000 demonstrators

  • In protest, King organized a march from Selma to Montgomery, but the marchers were attacked and beaten by law officers while kneeling in prayer – an attack now known as “Bloody Sunday” – all on national television

Voting rights act of 1965

Voting Rights Act of 1965

  • Allowed the Attorney General to circumvent local voting examiners in cases where discrimination is suspected

  • Banned literacy tests as a voting requirement

  • Highly successful - by the end of 1965 alone, more than 250,000 Southern blacks had registered to vote

Watts riot

Watts Riot

  • Poor living conditions for blacks in American urban areas led to high racial tensions

  • In August 1965, a race riot broke out in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles over police brutality, killing 34 and doing over $45 million in damage before order was restored by 14,000 National Guardsmen

  • Violent riots would follow in other major US cities over the next 3 years

Kerner commission

Kerner Commission

  • President Johnson appointed a commission to study the causes for urban unrest and to make recommendations for preventing future riots

  • The commission concluded that white racism was to blame and recommended the creation of inner-city jobs and the construction of affordable inner-city housing to ease economic burdens on urban blacks

Chicago movement

Chicago Movement

  • Dr. King also attempted to enact economic reforms in poor, black urban areas by moving into an urban slum in Chicago in 1965, but met with little success other than empty promises about improving the slums from city officials

Black power

Black Power

  • As the gains of the civil rights movement began to slow, many blacks, especially those in the urban North, began to question the non-violent tactics of Dr. King and his supporters

  • Many also began to call for the expulsion of whites from civil rights groups like CORE and the SNCC and for blacks to take sole power over civil rights movements into their own hands

Nation of islam

Nation of Islam

  • Founded in 1930

  • Sometimes called the “Black Muslims,” they preached black nationalism and that blacks should separate themselves from white society and its trappings

  • Attempted to create their own separate society within a society

Malcolm x

Malcolm X

  • 1925 – 1965

  • Joined the Nation of Islam while in prison, dropping his “white” last name of Little in favor of his family’s lost African name, replaced by X

  • Became famous for his endorsement of winning equality “by any means necessary” (even violence)

  • Traveled to Mecca in 1964, where he had a religious awakening and returned encouraging racial cooperation

  • Assassinated for criticizing the Nation of Islam

Stokely carmichael

Stokely Carmichael

  • 1941 – 1998

  • Participated in the Freedom Rides and other civil rights activities, but over time became more radical and more involved with the Black Power movement

  • As president of SNCC, he expelled all white members, not out of racism, but out of the belief that the two groups had separate interests

  • Later became involved with the Black Panthers and began to endorse violent tactics in retaliation to police brutality

  • Ended his days living in Africa supporting a new Pan-African movement

Black panthers

Black Panthers

  • Founded in 1966

  • Believed that only an armed revolution against white society would force whites to grant true civil rights to blacks

  • Called on African-Americans to take control of services such as schools and law enforcement within their own communities

  • More radical elements became involved in drug trafficking as a way to fund the movement and resorted to violent confrontations with police

  • Movement dissipated in the mid-1970s

Mlk assassinated

MLK Assassinated

  • April 4, 1968

  • King was shot while standing on the balcony at the hotel he was staying at in Memphis, TN

  • The killing triggered race riots across the United States

  • Escaped convict James Earl Ray was convicted of the murder, but controversy surrounds his conviction

Civil rights act of 1968

Civil Rights Act of 1968

  • Banned discrimination in the sale, rental, or financing of housing due to race, ethnicity, or color

  • Passed in response to many blacks being forced to live in poor-quality slums due to no other housing being open to them

Swann v charlotte mecklenburg

Swann v Charlotte-Mecklenburg

  • Many Southern school systems had been deliberately slow to integrate

  • In 1971, the Supreme Court ordered that students be bused, districts redrawn, and racial quotas be used to fully integrate schools

Congressional black caucus

Congressional Black Caucus

  • Founded in 1971

  • African-American members of the US Congress created the CBC in order to work together on matters of interest to black Americans and other minority groups, especially economic development, health care, and crime

Affirmative action

Affirmative Action

  • Policy which requires any companies or institutions which do business with or receive funding from the federal government to actively recruit minorities and often sets required quotas for how many minorities must be hired for jobs or admitted to colleges

Univ of california regents v bakke

Univ. of California Regents v Bakke

  • 1978

  • Supreme Court handed down a complex ruling regarding affirmative action, stating that racial quotas are not permissible, but that considering race when accepting students for admission is OK if the college is attempting to achieve racial diversity

Hispanics fight for equality

Hispanics Fight for Equality

  • As the number of Hispanic-Americans swelled during the 1960s, so did their political power and their desire to be treated as equals in employment, housing, and education

C sar chavez

César Chavez

  • 1927 – 1993

  • Organized a largely Hispanic labor workforce to demand better wages, benefits, and union recognition from California grape-growers

  • When growers resisted, he organized a boycott on grapes which forced the growers to relent

Dolores huerta

Dolores Huerta

  • 1930 – Present

  • Directed the grape boycott and helped Chavez found the United Farm Workers in 1966, which went on to become a part of the powerful AFL-CIO

  • More politically active than Chavez – he organized the workers while she organized the political support

La raza unida

La Raza Unida

  • Political party founded in 1969 by Jose Angel Gutierrez

  • Created to mobilize Mexican-American voters in support of job training programs and greater access to loans

  • Demonstrated the increased political strength of Latino voters

Bilingual education act of 1968

Bilingual Education Act of 1968

  • Passed in response to protests by Hispanic students who claimed that they were at a disadvantage to English-speaking students when they were required to learn in English before they had truly mastered the language

  • Created ESL programs to accommodate non-English speakers

Native americans

Native Americans

  • One of America’s smallest minority groups, making up less than 1% of the population

  • Suffered from high unemployment, extremely low standard-of-living, very little education, and a life-expectancy 7 years shorter than other American citizens

Declaration of indian purpose

Declaration of Indian Purpose

  • 1961

  • 67 Native American groups met in Chicago to discuss ways to address the problems faced by their peoples

  • Called for the government to create policies which would allow for more economic development on reservations

Indian civil rights act

Indian Civil Rights Act

  • 1968

  • Guaranteed Native Americans who lived on reservations full protection under the Bill of Rights while also recognizing the legitimacy of tribal laws

  • Native Americans no longer had to choose whether to exercise their constitutional rights or their tribal rights – they could have both

A merican i ndian m ovement aim

American Indian Movement (AIM)

  • Militant group created in the mid-1960s to take a more aggressive stance against the US government in standing up for better treatment of Native Americans and better living conditions on reservations

Alcatraz bia occupations

Alcatraz & BIA Occupations

  • AIM engaged in acts of occupation as staged media events, such as seizing Alcatraz Island for 19 months in 1969 and taking the replica of the Mayflower at Plymouth Rock, occupying Mt. Rushmore, and seizing the Washington DC offices of the Bureau of Indian Affairs in 1971

Wounded knee confrontation

Wounded Knee Confrontation

  • AIM’s protests became more serious and more violent in 1973 when AIM members seized the town of Wounded Knee, site of the famous Indian massacre, and engaged in a standoff with the FBI for 70 days that left 2 AIM members dead in intermittent fighting

Indian self determination educational assistance act

Indian Self-Determination & Educational Assistance Act

  • 1975

  • Congress agreed to increase funds for education and allow more local control over federal aid programs

  • Allowed more Native Americans to assume decision-making roles within the BIA

Increased self determination

Increased Self-determination

  • Native American groups were given more autonomy over reservation lands, such as being allowed to impose taxes and to open casinos to create revenues which allowed for improved standards-of-living for Native Americans

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