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The Civil Rights Movement

The Civil Rights Movement. Essential Questions. What impact did the Dred Scott case and the Emancipation Proclamation have on the early struggle for civil rights? Why did the Supreme Court interpret early civil rights laws and the 14th Amendment narrowly in the late 19th century?

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The Civil Rights Movement

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  1. The Civil Rights Movement

  2. Essential Questions • What impact did the Dred Scott case and the Emancipation Proclamation have on the early struggle for civil rights? • Why did the Supreme Court interpret early civil rights laws and the 14th Amendment narrowly in the late 19th century? • What gains did the movement make in desegregating schools and public places in the mid-20th century? • What other goals did the civil rights movement strive for in the middle and late 1960s? • In what ways did the civil rights movement evolve in the late 1960s and early 1970s? • What overall impact did the civil rights movement have?

  3. The Dred Scott Case: Origins • Slave whose master had moved him to free territory for several years • Sued for his freedom • Lost in state and federal courts • Case appealed to U.S. Supreme Court in 1857 Dred Scott

  4. Majority opinion written by Chief Justice Taney Ruled that a slave wasn’t a citizen and couldn’t sue in court Also ruled the Missouri Compromise unconstitutional The Dred Scott Case: Decision Chief Justice Roger B. Taney

  5. The Emancipation Proclamation • Announced by Lincoln in 1862 after the Battle of Antietam • Freed slaves only in “territories in rebellion,” not border states • Signed on January 1, 1863 • Essentially unenforceable President Abraham Lincoln reads the Emancipation Proclamation to his Cabinet

  6. The “Civil War” Amendments • 13th Amendment abolished slavery • 14th Amendment granted ex-slaves citizenship; guaranteed equal protection, due process • 15th Amendment gave African American men the right to vote • Supreme Court ruled these only applied to the federal government A print celebrating the passage of the 15th Amendment

  7. “Jim Crow” Laws • Name came from a minstrel show character • Mandated separate facilities for whites and blacks • Black facilities usually worse Laws dictating separate drinking fountains for whites and blacks were commonplace in Southern states

  8. Plessy v. Ferguson • Case involved segregated train facilities in Louisiana • Court ruled that “separate but equal” did not violate 14th Amendment’s equal protection clause • Harlan only dissenting justice Justice John Marshall Harlan

  9. Booker T. Washington: Believed that blacks should assimilate into the “world of work” by learning technical skills Established the Tuskegee Institute W.E.B. Du Bois: Contended that blacks should receive a liberal-arts education Co-founded the NAACP Washington vs. Du Bois Booker T. Washington W.E.B. Du Bois

  10. The New Deal and Civil Rights • FDR’s commitment to civil rights lukewarm • Several New Deal agencies discriminated against blacks • Tenant farmers and sharecroppers protested • Randolph proposed a “March on Washington” A flyer for A. Philip Randolph’s proposed “March on Washington”

  11. Worked privately to promote civil rights Publicly supported anti-lynching bill The “Black Cabinet” Resigned her DAR membership over Anderson affair Continued to work for civil and human rights after FDR’s death Eleanor Roosevelt The First Lady prepares to fly with a pilot from the Tuskegee Airmen

  12. Blacks in WWII • More than a million served • Many did menial or dangerous duty • Port Chicago disaster • Tuskegee AirmenFirst black Marine Corps troops • “Double V” Campaign Tuskegee Airmen

  13. Desegregating the Military • Attacks on black veterans • President’s Committee on Civil Rights • Executive Order 9981 ended segregation in the military

  14. Discussion Questions • Did the Dred Scott decision and the Emancipation Proclamation do that much to further the cause of freedom for blacks? Why or why not? • What was the Supreme Court’s rationale for its Plessy v. Ferguson decision? What impact do you think the decision had on the North? The South? • Based on your knowledge of the 1930s, should FDR have been more active in the area of civil rights? Why or why not?

  15. Early School Segregation Cases • Sweatt v. Painter (1950) • McLaurin v. Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education (1950) • Both provided a framework for the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education case A classroom in an all-black school, 1950s

  16. Brown v. Board: Origins • Sought to overturn Kansas law allowing school segregation • NAACP recruited Brown, others to try to enroll children in schools nearest their home • When schools refused, NAACP filed a suit • Lost in district court; appealed to Supreme Court

  17. Grandson of a slave Chief legal counsel for NAACP Won Brown case in 1954 Appointed Supreme Court justice in 1967 Died in 1993 Thurgood Marshall

  18. Brown: NAACP’s Arguments • The 14th Amendment: • Was misinterpreted in Plessy v. Ferguson • Prohibited state-level discrimination • Did not guarantee state discrimination in public education • Segregation psychologically damaging to black children The plaintiffs’ brief in Brown

  19. Opponents’ Arguments • No constitutional requirement to integrate schools • Segregation a regional issue, not national • No evidence that segregation harmed blacks • Desegregating schools would set back blacks trying to “catch up” from effects of slavery John W. Davis, who argued in defense of “separate but equal” in a case related to Brown

  20. Brown: The Supreme Court • Case went to Supreme Court in 1952 • Chief Justice Fred Vinson died in 1953 • Replaced by Earl Warren • Warren guided Court to its decision Chief Justice Earl Warren

  21. Brown: The Decision • Court ruled unanimously • Warren wrote majority opinion • Public-school segregation unconstitutional • “Separate but equal” inherently unequal • “Brown II” The Brown lawyers rejoice after the decision

  22. Discussion Questions • How did the earlier Supreme Court cases argued by the NAACP help build the framework for the Brown v. Board of Education decision? • What made the Topeka portion of Brown so important to the NAACP’s fight against school segregation? • Why do you think the Supreme Court ruled so differently in Brown than in Plessy v. Ferguson? • Would you have implemented a quicker timeline for desegregation than what was announced in “Brown II”? Why or why not?

  23. School board planned to integrate high schools in 1957 Nine black students agreed to be first to attend an all-white school Eight of the nine graduated from Little Rock Central The “Little Rock Nine” Arkansas NAACP President Daisy Bates (standing, second from right) poses with the Little Rock Nine

  24. Faubus’s Response • Supported segregation • Sent Arkansas National Guard to block black students • Controversy divided the city • Injunction forced Faubus to remove guardsmen Arkansas Governor Orval Faubus

  25. Mayor asked Eisenhower for assistance 101st Airborne deployed National Guard replaced regular troops Students able to finish school year End of the crisis Eisenhower’s Response Federal troops escort members of the Little Rock Nine to school

  26. The Arrest of Rosa Parks • Montgomery, Alabama • Arrested in December 1955 • Refused to give up her seat to a white man • Violated city ordinance Rosa Parks’s fingerprints, taken after her arrest

  27. The Montgomery Bus Boycott • Organized prior to Parks’s arrest • Planned by NAACP president E.D. Nixon • Created Montgomery Improvement Association • Martin Luther King made president of MIA Martin Luther King during the bus boycott

  28. Supporting the Boycott • Some blacks walked; others carpooled, biked, or hitchhiked • Black taxicab drivers charged black riders 10-cent fares (the same as bus fare) • Some white housewives drove their maids to and from work The bus on which Rosa Parks was arrested, now an exhibit at the Henry Ford Museum

  29. The Boycott: White Resistance • Some joined the White Citizens’ Council • Martin Luther King and Ralph Abernathy’s homes firebombed • Boycotters physically attacked • Some boycotters arrested A segregated bus station

  30. The Boycott: Integrating the Buses • Federal District Court ruled segregation on city buses unconstitutional • Decision appealed, but upheld by Supreme Court • A city ordinance soon ended segregation An MIA document on how best to proceed with integrating the buses

  31. The Boycott: Impact • A major victory for the civil rights movement • Segregation on buses ended in Montgomery • Rosa Parks regarded as a hero • Martin Luther King rose to national prominence Rosa Parks, with Martin Luther King in the background

  32. Born in 1929 Headed Southern Christian Leadership Conference Youngest man to win Nobel Peace Prize Known as a fiery, masterful speaker Assassinated in April 1968 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

  33. MLK’s Philosophy of Nonviolence • Influenced by Thoreau and Gandhi • Nonviolent civil disobedience • No fighting back, even if assaulted or arrested • Explained in “Letter From Birmingham Jail” Thoreau Gandhi

  34. Response to white clergy who advocated legal action, not protests Advocates direct action to force negotiation Says people have a “moral responsibility” to disobey unjust laws “Letter From Birmingham Jail” “You may well ask: ‘Why direct action? Why sit ins, marches and so forth? Isn’t negotiation a better path?’ You are quite right in calling for negotiation. Indeed, this is the very purpose of direct action. Nonviolent direct action seeks to create such a crisis and foster such a tension that a community which has constantly refused to negotiate is forced to confront the issue. It seeks so to dramatize the issue that it can no longer be ignored.” An excerpt from King’s letter

  35. Discussion Questions • If you had been a black student in Little Rock in 1957, would you have elected to attend an integrated high school? Why or why not? • Why was the arrest of Rosa Parks such a major event in the Civil Rights Movement? • What qualities or characteristics do you think helped make Martin Luther King Jr. so great a figure in the Civil Rights Movement? Which of these do you feel was most important? Why? • Do you think that King’s philosophy of civil disobedience was more effective than other possible strategies? Would it work today? Explain.

  36. The Murder of Emmett Till • Money, MS, in 1955 • Accused of whistling at a white woman • Till was brutally beaten and shot in the head • His death became a galvanizing event in the Civil Rights Movement Fourteen-year-old Emmett Till and his mother, shortly before his murder

  37. Southern Christian Leadership Conference • Founded in 1957 in Atlanta • Included several prominent activists, including MLK and Ralph Abernathy • SCLC relied on influence of black Southern religious leaders • SCLC led 1963 protests in Birmingham as well as the March on Washington SCLC leader Ralph Abernathy

  38. Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee • Founded by Ella Baker in 1960 • Involved in Freedom Rides (1961), March on Washington (1963), “Freedom Summer” (1964), and the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party • Later focused on “Black Power” SNCC chairman John Lewis

  39. Four black students denied service at lunch counter; stayed until closing time Hundreds joined the protest Expanded to other local businesses Sparked sit-ins in cities across the country The Greensboro Sit-In A replica at the Smithsonian Institution of the lunch counter at the Greensboro sit-in

  40. “Freedom Rides” • Supreme Court ordered bus terminals desegregated in 1961 • SNCC decided to test if Southern cities had complied • Riders beaten in South Carolina, firebombed in Alabama • Federal injunctions finally integrated bus terminals A route map of the Freedom Rides

  41. James Meredith and “Ole Miss” • Black student who tried to enroll at the segregated University of Mississippi (“Ole Miss”) • Successfully sued for admission • JFK forced to use military and U.S. marshals to ensure his safety • Graduated in 1963 James Meredith walking to class at Ole Miss, accompanied by U.S. marshals

  42. Integrating the University of Alabama • Hood and Malone sought admission • Governor George Wallace made a “stand in the schoolhouse door” to block their enrollment • Justice Dept. officials and federal troops forced Wallace to relent Governor George Wallace attempting to block integration at the University of Alabama

  43. The Birmingham Campaign • Birmingham known as “most segregated city” in U.S. • SCLC protests • Police Commissioner “Bull” Connor used fire hoses and police dogs to stop demonstrations • Publicity gave movement high level of visibility • Downtown merchants relented Bomb damage at the Gaston Motel in Birmingham, where Martin Luther King and other civil rights leaders were staying

  44. The Murder of Medgar Evers • Field secretary for Mississippi NAACP • Shot outside his home in June 1963 • Byron De La Beckwith charged with Evers’s murder; tried twice but each ended in a hung jury • De La Beckwith tried again in 1994; convicted of murder

  45. Discussion Questions • What made the death of Emmett Till such a galvanizing event in the early Civil Rights Movement? • Why do you think that college students led the sit-in in Greensboro, North Carolina, as opposed to other groups? • Do you think that the gains the Freedom Riders helped make were worth the risks they took? What alternative strategies might they have pursued to integrate bus terminals? Explain.

  46. Kennedy decided to act after the Birmingham campaign Introduced comprehensive civil rights bill in June 1963 Bill finally passed during Johnson presidency JFK’s Civil Rights Bill President John F. Kennedy announces his proposed federal civil rights legislation

  47. From JFK’s Speech Announcing the Bill “We are confronted primarily with a moral issue... The heart of the question is whether all Americans are to be afforded equal rights and equal opportunities, whether we are going to treat our fellow Americans as we want to be treated. If an American, because his skin is dark, cannot eat lunch in a restaurant open to the public, if he cannot send his children to the best public school available, if he cannot vote for the public officials who will represent him, if, in short, he cannot enjoy the full and free life which all of us want, then who among us would be content to have the color of his skin changed and stand in his place? Who among us would then be content with the counsels of patience and delay?”

  48. Conceived by A. Philip Randolph in 1941 “Big Six” organized 1963 march Purpose of march changed to encompass civil rights legislation, as well as employment rights and a higher minimum wage The March on Washington More than 250,000 marched from the Washington Monument to the Lincoln Memorial

  49. The March: Opposition • JFK disapproved at first • Malcolm X called it the “Farce on Washington” • Members of the Nation of Islam faced suspension for participating • While many labor unions supported the march, the AFL-CIO remained neutral Nation of Islam leader Elijah Muhammad

  50. The March: Highlights • Estimated at over 250,000 participants • More like a celebration than a protest • Several celebrities spoke and performed • Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech King at the March on Washington

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