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18.3 New Civil Rights Issues . I. Urban Problems. Despite the passage of the civil rights laws, racism was still common in American society Many African Americans were trapped in poverty in the inner cities & didn’t feel like civil rights laws had helped their circumstances.

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I urban problems
I. Urban Problems

  • Despite the passage of the civil rights laws, racism was still common in American society

  • Many African Americans were trapped in poverty in the inner cities & didn’t feel like civil rights laws had helped their circumstances


I urban problems1
I. Urban Problems…

C. African Americans turned to violent protests & riots

1. The Watts Riot (1965) was the first of many deadly race riots

Watts raged for 6 days. In the end, there were 34 dead, almost 1,000 injured, more than 4,000 arrested, and property losses in the millions.


I urban problems2
I. Urban Problems…

D. The Kerner Commission (1968) said the cause of rioting was the “racial attitude & behavior of white Americans toward black Americans”

The National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders, more commonly known as the Kerner Commission, concluded that “the U.S. was moving toward two societies, one black, one white – separate and unequal.”


I urban problems3
I. Urban Problems…

  • King tried to address economic issues by focusing on deplorable housing conditions in Chicago

    1. Known as the Chicago Movement, he led a march through an all-white suburb & was met by angry white mobs

    2. Little changed as a result

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. ducks after being hit on the head by a rock during a housing discrimination protest in Chicago; spectators threw rocks, bottles, and firecrackers at the marchers, August 5, 1966.


Ii black power
II. Black Power

  • After 1965, urban young A-A began to turn away from King & instead promoted the use of violence

  • Stokely Carmichael, the leader of SNCC in 1966, called for black power – African Americans should control the social, economic, & political direction of their struggle

“It is a call for black people in this country to unite, to recognize their heritage, to build a sense of community. It is a call for black people to define their own goals, to lead their own organizations.”

– Stokely Carmichael


Ii black power1
II. Black Power…

C. In the early 1960s, Malcolm X had become a symbol of the black power movement









Iii king is assassinated
III. King is Assassinated People

  • King went to Memphis, TN to support A-A sanitation workers who were on strike (March 1968)

  • He was assassinated while standing on his hotel balcony

King was killed by a gunshot to the throat fired by James Earl Ray while standing on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee on April 4, 1968.


CONSPIRACY?? People

•Ray was a small-time thief and burglar, and had no record of committing violent crimes with a weapon.

•The weapon that Ray is believed to have used in the assassination had only two of Ray's fingerprints on it.

•According to several fellow prison inmates, Ray had never expressed any political or racial opinions of any kind, casting doubt on Ray's purported motive for committing the crime.

•The rooming-house bathroom from which Ray is said to have fired the fatal shots did not have any of his fingerprints at all.

•None of the ballistic tests conclusively proved Ray had been the killer nor that it had even been the murder weapon.

•Moreover, witnesses surrounding King at the moment of his death say the shot came from another location, from behind thick shrubbery near the rooming house.


Iii king is assassinated1
III. King is Assassinated… People

  • The movement eventually came to an end

  • Other minorities looked to this movement as a model for their own efforts


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