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Ch. 21: The Civil Rights Movement (1950-1968)

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Ch. 21: The Civil Rights Movement (1950-1968). Section 1: Demands for Civil Rights. Centuries of oppression and discrimination came to a head during the 1950s, with a historic and successful push for African American equal rights. Rise of African American Influence. Migration

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section 1 demands for civil rights
Section 1: Demands for Civil Rights
  • Centuries of oppression and discrimination came to a head during the 1950s, with a historic and successful push for African American equal rights.
rise of african american influence
Rise of African American Influence
  • Migration
    • Since the end of the Civil War, African Americans had increasingly migrating to large northern cities.
  • The New Deal
    • Under FDR the number of African Americans working for the government increased.
rise of african american influence1
Rise of African American Influence
  • WWII
    • Increased demands led to a dependency on African American labor and service in military.
    • The Holocaust opened many American’s eyes to discrimination within the U.S.
  • Rise of NAACP
    • Grew in size and strength. Strong legal team led by Thurgood Marshall.
brown v board of education
Brown v. Board of Education
  • In 1951, Oliver Brown sued the Topeka, Kansas Board of Education to allow his daughter to attend a school for whites only.
  • Fought by Thurgood Marshall, the case eventually reached the Supreme Court.
  • In 1954, in a unanimous decision, the Court ruled that “separate but equal” was unconstitutional and that schools should desegregate.
reaction to brown v board of ed
Reaction to Brown v. Board of Ed.
  • Reactions were mixed
  • African Americans rejoiced, as did many white advocates of integration.
  • Many whites, even if they didn’t agree, accepted the decision.
  • Others, particularly whites in the Deep South reacted with fear and anger.
deep south opposition
Deep South/Opposition
  • Georgia Governor, Herman Talmadge said he would “not tolerate the mixing of races in public schools”
  • The Ku Klux Klan became more active.
  • 90 members of Congress expressed opposition in what became known as the “Southern Manifesto.”
    • Argued that the Supreme Court had overstepped its bounds and violated their rights.
montgomery bus boycott
Montgomery Bus Boycott
  • In 1955, Rosa Parks took a seat at the front of the “colored” section of the bus.
  • When the “whites only” section filled up, she refused to give up her seat to the new white riders.
  • She was arrested and stood trial for violating segregation laws.
montgomery bus boycott1
Montgomery Bus Boycott
  • After Rosa Parks’ arrest, civil rights leaders quickly decided to boycott the bus system of Montgomery.
  • Planned to boycott the buses until they changed the segregation policy.
  • Martin Luther King, Jr., was the 26-year-old minister of the Baptist church where the first boycott meeting took place.
montgomery bus boycott2
Montgomery Bus Boycott
  • Over the next year, 50,000 African Americans in Montgomery walked, rode bikes, or joined carpools to boycott the buses.
  • Although the bus company refused to change its policy, in 1956 the Supreme Court ruled bus segregation unconstitutional.
  • Movement encouraged new leaders like MLK and the effectiveness of peaceful protests/boycotts.
little rock integration
Little Rock Integration
  • In 1957, Arkansas Governor Orval Faubus defied the Supreme Court’s ruling of integration.
  • Posted Arkansas National Guard troops at Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas to turn away the nine African American students who were supposed to attend that year.
  • Angry mobs formed outside the school in protest of the integration.
little rock integration1
Little Rock Integration
  • President Eisenhower, although privately opposed to integration, was forced to act against a disobedient Arkansas government.
  • Placed the Arkansas National Guard under federal command.
  • Sent U.S. soldiers to Arkansas to protect the nine students.
league of united latin american citizens lulac
League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC)
  • The League of United Latin American Citizens also worked to achieve equal rights for Hispanics.
  • Mexican Americans often attended segregated schools.
  • In 1947, it was ruled that segregating Mexican American students was unconstitutional.
native americans
Native Americans
  • Most Native Americans lived in terrible poverty on reservations.
  • In 1953, the government adopted an approach known as “termination”, the elimination of reservations with a goal of assimilating Native Americans into mainstream society.
  • Met with strong resistance and eventually abandoned.
  • Poverty and lack of political representation continue today.
section 2 leaders and strategies
Section 2: Leaders and Strategies
  • The Civil Rights Movement was a grassroots movement, started and driven by ordinary community members. They acted through a number of different organizations.
naacp
NAACP
  • Interracial organization founded by W.E.B. Du Bois (1909)
  • Du Bois stated,
    • “the main object of this association is to secure for colored people… free and equal participation in the democracy of modern culture.”
  • NAACP helped win Brown v. Board case.
national urban league
National Urban League
  • Founded in 1911, sought to assist African Americans moving out of the South to find homes and jobs in cities.
  • Insisted that factory owners and leaders allow African American workers the opportunity to learn skills that would lead to higher employment.
congress of racial equality core
Congress of Racial Equality (CORE)
  • CORE was founded in 1942 by pacifists.
  • Dedicated to bringing about change through peaceful confrontation.
  • Organized demonstrations against segregation during WWII, after the war it grew into a national organization.
philosophy of nonviolence
Philosophy of Nonviolence
  • Rising civil rights leaders, such as MLK, preached nonviolence, despite violence and hostility towards African Americans.
  • Believed that love and nonviolence was more powerful than violent uprising.
southern christian leadership conference sclc
Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC)
  • In 1957, MLK helped form the SCLC, which advocated nonviolent protest.
  • “To understand that nonviolence is not a symbol of weakness or cowardice, but as Jesus demonstrated, nonviolent resistance transforms weakness into strength and breeds courage in the face of danger.” –SCLC statement
martin luther king jr mlk
Martin Luther King, Jr. (MLK)
  • Grew up in Atlanta, Georgia, father and grandfather were both Baptist preachers.
  • Eloquent speaker in his youth, graduated early from high school.
  • Attended
    • Morehouse College in Atlanta
    • Crozer Theological Seminary in Pennsylvania
    • Boston University for his doctorate. (at 26)
king s influences
King’s Influences
  • King was greatly influenced by Mahatma Gandhi.
  • Gandhi led India in a nonviolent revolution to gain their independence from Great Britain.
  • Gandhi believed in protest and disobedience, but that despite violence, one must not be provoked to retaliation.
  • This won Gandhi and India widespread international sympathy.
gandhi applied
Gandhi Applied
  • King began training volunteers to Gandhi’s methods.
  • He showed films, songs, and skits demonstrating the success of passive resistance in India.
  • King understood that violent retaliation would only justify discrimination and racism.
student nonviolent coordinating committee sncc
Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC)
  • The SNCC helped young people join the activism.
  • More aggressive in their demands, sought immediate change.
  • King praised the organization, calling them “a revolt against the apathy and complacency of adults in the Negro community.”
robert moses
Robert Moses
  • Bob Moses was a Harvard graduate student and math teacher in Harlem.
  • Moved to Atlanta to join the SNCC.
  • Recruited volunteers to help rural blacks register to vote.
  • Helped the SNCC grow to become a powerful force.
sit ins
Sit-ins
  • Sit-ins became popular.
  • Protesters sat down in the white section of segregated restaurants and refused to move until served.
  • Opponents often persecuted the sitters.
  • By 1960, 70,000 African American youth had been arrested.
freedom rides
Freedom Rides
  • In 1960, the Supreme Court banned segregation on interstate buses.
  • To see if the South would obey, CORE and SNCC organized the Freedom Rides in 1961, where African Americans rode the newly integrated buses.
violence on the freedom ride
Violence on the Freedom Ride
  • Leaving from Washington, D.C., the thirteen freedom riders experienced only minor conflicts at first.
  • In Anniston, Alabama, a mob slashed tires of the bus and when the bus broke down outside town, they broke a window and threw in a firebomb.
  • Riders escaped to the beatings of the mob.
reactions
Reactions
  • The nation was horrified to see pictures of the burning bus.
  • Violence continued as new riders replaced old ones.
  • In Jackson, Mississippi, riders were arrested immediately and the first ride died out.
  • 300 more Freedom Riders, however, continued riding throughout the rest of that summer.
integration at ole miss
Integration at “Ole Miss”
  • In 1961, James Meredith attempted tried to transfer to the all-white University of Mississippi, “Ole Miss”.
  • He was rejected before the Supreme Court ruled him eligible.
  • In defiance, Mississippi’s Governor blocked Meredith’s way into the admissions office.
integration at ole miss1
Integration at “Ole Miss”
  • President Kennedy was forced to uphold the Supreme Court’s decision and sent in federal marshals.
  • Violence erupted, tear gas used.
  • 2 people were killed and hundreds hurt.
  • Kennedy sent army troops to restore order and ensure Meredith’s safe admission.
clash in birmingham
Clash in Birmingham
  • MLK when to Birmingham, Alabama in 1963 to organize protests and boycotts in what he called “the most segregated city in America.”
  • Almost immediately, he was arrested and placed in jail for trying to organize a march without a permit.
clash in birmingham1
Clash in Birmingham
  • MLK was released on bail and reorganized the march, this time allowing young people to join.
  • During the march, Birmingham’s police arrested 900 young people, used fire hoses and violent dogs on the marchers.
  • Policemen clubbed and jailed the protesters.
national attention
National Attention
  • The one-sided violence of the Birmingham police sparked national outrage.
  • Television cameras and pictures brought the images to the entire nation and ultimately led to desegregation in Birmingham.
kennedy on civil rights
Kennedy on Civil Rights
  • John F. Kennedy became President in 1961.
  • Campaigned heavily for the black vote with bold rhetoric.
  • “If the President does not himself wage the struggle… the battle will be lost.” –JFK
  • Once in office, Kennedy proved more moderate, afraid to anger southern senators.
medgar evers
Medgar Evers
  • With escalating Southern violence, JFK spoke up on television…
  • “We preach freedom around the world… but are we to say to the world… that this is the land of the free except for the Negroes?... The time has come for this nation to fulfill its promise.” –JFK
  • Hours after the speech, NAACP leader Medgar Evers was gunned down and murdered outside his home.
  • White supremacist Byron de la Beckwith was charged with murder.
    • After 2 hung juries, he was convicted in a reopened case in 1994 (30 years later).
march on washington
March on Washington
  • Leaders in the movement organized a massive March on Washington in August 1963.
  • Over 200,000 people.
  • Many celebrities participated including Jackie Robinson, Bob Dylan, and Peter, Paul, and Mary.
  • MLK gave the keynote speech… “I have a dream”
i have a dream mlk
“I Have a Dream” -MLK
  • “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 one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood… I have a dream that my four 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… All of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, 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.’”
civil rights act of 1964
Civil Rights Act of 1964
  • Under Lyndon B. Johnson (after JFK assassination) government passed its most far reaching civil rights act.
  • The Civil Rights Act of 1964…
    • Banned use of different voter registration standards for blacks and whites
    • Prohibited all discrimination in public accommodations
    • Allowed withholding of federal funds from institutions which practice discrimination
    • Banned discrimination by employers and unions