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The Civil Rights Movement 1945-1966

28. The Civil Rights Movement 1945-1966. The Civil Rights Movement 1945-1966. Origins of the Movement No Easy Road to Freedom, 1957–62 The Movement at High Tide, 1963–65 Civil Rights Beyond Black and White Conclusion. Chapter Focus Questions.

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The Civil Rights Movement 1945-1966

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  1. 28 The Civil Rights Movement 1945-1966

  2. The Civil Rights Movement1945-1966 • Origins of the Movement • No Easy Road to Freedom, 1957–62 • The Movement at High Tide, 1963–65 • Civil Rights Beyond Black and White • Conclusion

  3. Chapter Focus Questions • What were the legal and political origins of the African American civil rights struggle? • What accounts for Martin Luther King’s rise to leadership? • How did student protesters and direct action shape the civil rights struggle in the South?

  4. Chapter Focus Questions (cont’d) • How did the civil rights movement intersect with national politics in the 1950s and 1960s? • What did the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 accomplish? • How did America’s other minorities respond to the African American struggle for civil rights?

  5. North America and Montgomery

  6. The Montgomery Bus Boycott • An African-American Community Challenges Segregation • 1955: Rosa Parks refused to give up her bus seat. • Martin Luther King, Jr., led a boycott of buses. • Local activists organized carpools. • Leaders endured violence • won court ruling —segregation ordinance was unconstitutional.

  7. Origins of the Movement

  8. Signs designating “White” and “Colored” rest rooms

  9. Origins of the Movement • Following WWII, African American demands for equality began increasing, leading to the civil rights movement of the 1950s-60s.

  10. Civil Rights After World War II • Mass migration to North • Brought political power to African Americans (Democratic Party) • The NAACP grew • Legal Defense Fund —lawsuits to win key rights

  11. Civil Rights After World War II (cont'd) • African Americans were breaking color barriers • Jackie Robinson’s entrance into major league baseball • Ralph Bunche’s winning a Nobel Peace prize • A new generation of jazz musicians created be-bop. • Charlie Parker and Miles Davis, The Three Deuces, in 1947

  12. Charlie Parker (alto sax) and Miles Davis (trumpet)

  13. The Segregated South • In the South, segregation and unequal rights were still the law of the land. • Law and custom kept blacks as second-class citizens with no effective political rights. African Americans had learned to survive and not challenge the situation.

  14. The Segregated South (cont'd) • The 1955 murder of Emmett Till galvanized the black community in the north, but received less attention in the white press, while Till’s murderers were acquitted.

  15. Brown v. Board of Education • The NAACP initiated a series of court cases challenging the constitutionality of segregation. • In Brown v. Board of Education, newly appointed Chief Justice Earl Warren led the court to declare that separate educational facilities are inherently unequal.

  16. Brown v. Board of Education (cont'd) • The court postponed ordering a clear timetable to implement the decision until 1955, and then only ordering desegregation “with all deliberate speed.”

  17. Crisis in Little Rock • Southern whites declared their intention to nullify the Brown decision and issued a defiant “Southern Manifesto.” • In Little Rock, Arkansas, a judge ordered integration. • Governor Faubus ordered the National Guard to keep African-American children out of Central High.

  18. Crisis in Little Rock (cont’d) • When the troops were withdrawn, a riot erupted, forcing President Eisenhower to send in more troops to integrate the school. • The Little Rock schools were closed completely the next year to prevent what Faubus called “violence and disorder.”

  19. Four African American students walk swiftly past barricaded sidewalks

  20. Crisis in Little Rock (cont'd) • Four African American students walk past barricades to enter Central High School, 1957 • How did compelling visual images help turn the civil rights movement from a regional struggle to a national one?

  21. Visualizing Civil Rights

  22. Visualizing Civil Rights

  23. No Easy Road to Freedom 1957–62

  24. The second day of the sit-in at the Greensboro, North Carolina, Woolworth lunch counter

  25. No Easy Road to Freedom, 1957-62 • Brown opened the door to the use of federal courts to push for civil rights, but reluctant federal and state government support weakened the strategy and black communities realized they would have to help themselves.

  26. Martin Luther King and the SCLC • Martin Luther King, Jr. emerged from the bus boycott as a prominent national figure. A well-educated son of a Baptist minister, King taught his followers nonviolent resistance, modeled after the tactics of Mohandas Gandhi. • The civil rights movement was deeply rooted in the traditions of the African-American church.

  27. King and the SCLC • King founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference to promote nonviolent direct action to challenge segregation. • King believed that playing southern racists off against moderates could promote change.

  28. Sit-Ins: Greensboro, Nashville, Atlanta • African-American college students, first in Greensboro, North Carolina, began sitting in at segregated lunch counters. • Nonviolent sit-ins were: • widely supported by the African-American community, • accompanied by community-wide boycotts of businesses that would not integrate.

  29. Sit-Ins: Greensboro, Nashville, Atlanta (cont'd) • By 1961, Atlanta had been largely desegregated peacefully.

  30. SNCC and the “Beloved Community” • A new spirit of militancy was evident among young people. • Inspired by long-time activist Ella Baker, 120 African American activists created the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) to promote nonviolent direct challenges to segregation in 1960.

  31. SNCC and the “Beloved Community” (cont'd) • The young activists were found at the forefront of nearly every major civil rights battle.

  32. MAP 28.1 The Civil Rights Movement

  33. The Election of 1960 and Civil Rights • 1960: Race issue center-stage • As vice president, Nixon had strongly supported civil rights. • But Kennedy pressured a judge to release Martin Luther King, Jr. from jail. • African-American voters provided Kennedy’s margin of victory, though an unfriendly Congress ensured that little legislation would come out.

  34. The Election of 1960 and Civil Rights (cont'd) • 1960: Race issue center-stage • Attorney General Robert Kennedy used the Justice Department to force compliance with desegregation orders.

  35. Freedom Rides • The Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) sponsored a freedom ride of biracial teams to ride interstate buses in the South. • The FBI and Justice Department knew of the plans but were absent when mobs firebombed a bus and severely beat the Freedom Riders.

  36. Freedom Rides (cont'd) • There was violence and no police protection at other stops. • A Freedom Riders’ bus burns, May 14, 1961.

  37. Bus burns after being firebombed

  38. Freedom Rides • The Kennedy administration was forced to mediate a safe conduct for the riders, though 300 people were arrested. • A Justice Department petition led to new rules that effectively ended segregated interstate buses. • Violence in Alabama made it hard for northerners and moderates to ignore hardcore racism.

  39. Freedom Rides (cont'd) • Activists realized that moral persuasion alone would not bring change.

  40. The Albany Movement: The Limits of Protest • Where the federal government was not present, segregationists could triumph. • In Albany, Georgia, local authorities kept white mobs from running wild and kept police brutality down to a minimum. • Martin Luther King, Jr. was twice arrested, but Albany remained segregated.

  41. The Albany Movement: The Limits of Protest (cont’d) • Integration at the University of Mississippi led to a two-day riot with two killed and hundreds, including 160 federal marshals, hurt. • The violence only ended when JFK sent in Army troops.

  42. The Movement at High Tide 1963–65

  43. Part of the huge throng of marchers at the historic March on Washington

  44. The Movement at High Tide, 1963-65 • After the events of 1960-62, Civil Rights movement leaders looked to build a national consensus by broadening their base of support.

  45. Volunteers singing in front of a bus

  46. Birmingham • In conjunction with the SCLC, local activists in Birmingham, Alabama, planned a large desegregation campaign. • Demonstrators, including Martin Luther King, Jr., filled the city’s jails. • King drafted his Letter From a Birmingham Jail.

  47. Birmingham (cont'd) • A TV audience saw water cannons and snarling dogs break up a children’s march. • A settlement was negotiated that desegregated businesses.

  48. Birmingham (cont'd) • Violence continued when a church bombing killed four young black girls. • Birmingham changed the nature of the civil rights movement by bringing in black unemployed and working poor for the first time.

  49. JFK and the March on Washington • The shifting public consensus led President Kennedy to appeal for civil rights legislation. • A. Philip Randolph’s old idea of a march on Washington was revived for August 1963. • The march presented a unified call for change and held up the dream of universal freedom and brotherhood.

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