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The Civil Rights Movement. America during the 1950s and 1960s…. What rights are worth fighting for?. A Background to the Civil Rights Movement. Civil War Amendments 13 th Amendment: abolished slavery 14 th Amendment: granted citizenship to everyone born in the United States

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The civil rights movement

The Civil Rights Movement

America during the 1950s and 1960s…

What rights are worth fighting for
What rights are worth fighting for?

A background to the civil rights movement
A Background to the Civil Rights Movement

  • Civil War Amendments

    • 13th Amendment: abolished slavery

    • 14th Amendment: granted citizenship to everyone born in the United States

    • 15th Amendment: granted the right to vote to all male citizens

  • Civil Rights Act (1875)

    • outlawed segregation in public facilities

    • declared unconstitutional in 1883

Plessy v ferguson 1896
Plessy v. Ferguson (1896)

ruled that “separate but equal” does not violate the 14th amendment

led to Jim Crow laws, mainly in the South

Other milestones
Other Milestones

  • The Great Migration

  • World War II

    • increased demand for workers led to more jobs for African-Americans, Latinos and women

    • nearly 1 million African-Americans served in the armed forces


(National Association for the Advancement of Colored People)

  • created in 1909

  • legal strategy focused on the inequality between separate schools

  • Thurgood Marshall

    • lawyer who began to argue cases for the NAACP

Brown v board of education of topeka 1954
Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka (1954)

  • Supreme Court ruled unanimously that school segregation was unconstitutional

  • “In the field of public education, the doctrine of separate but equal has no place.”

    ~Chief Justice Earl Warren

Reaction to the decision
Reaction to the decision…

reaction was mixed and particularly negative in the South

within a year, more than 500 districts had desegregated

Brown II (1955) ordered desegregation “with all deliberate speed”

Crisis in little rock arkansas1
Crisis in Little Rock, Arkansas

Governor OrvalFaubus orders the National Guard to turn away the 9 African-American students who will integrate Little Rock Central H.S. (1957)

a federal judge ordered Faubus to let the students enter

they faced discrimination/abuse when they tried to desegregate

Crisis in little rock arkansas2
Crisis in Little Rock, Arkansas

President Eisenhower placed the Arkansas National Guard under federal control and ordered paratroopers into Little Rock

Faubus shut down Central H.S. the next year, rather than continue integration

Civil rights act of 1957
Civil Rights Act of 1957

first civil rights law since Reconstruction

gave the attorney general greater power over school desegregation and gave the federal government jurisdiction over violations of African-American voting rights

Montgomery bus boycott
Montgomery Bus Boycott

  • December 1, 1955- Rosa Parks refuses to give up her seat

  • after her arrest, leaders of the African-American community formed the “Montgomery Improvement Association” and organized a boycott of the buses

    • Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is elected to lead the group

Montgomery bus boycott1
Montgomery Bus Boycott

African-Americans refused to ride the buses for 381 days

they remained non-violent

late 1956, the Supreme Court outlawed bus segregation

Why did this approach work?

Martin luther king jr
Martin Luther King Jr.

  • became a leader of the movement

  • used nonviolent techniques

    • ex: civil disobedience-refusal to obey an unjust law

Southern christian leadership conference
Southern Christian Leadership Conference

  • 1957—with other ministers and civil rights leaders founded the SCLC

    • purpose: “to carry on nonviolent crusades against the evils of second-class citizenship”

    • hoped to gain the support of ordinary African Americans

Lunch counter sit ins
Lunch Counter Sit-Ins

  • 1960—students at Shaw University (N.C.) organized SNCC (Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee)

    • February 1960-students staged a sit-in at a whites-only lunch counter at Woolworth’s

      • The movement spread and by late 1960, students had desegregated lunch counters in 48 cities

Civil rights in the north
Civil Rights in the North

de facto segregation-segregation that exists by practice and custom

de jure segregation-segregation by law

Resulting violence
Resulting Violence

  • Throughout the 1960s, race riots spread through the north.

    • July 1964: Harlem

    • August 1965: Watts

    • 1967: 100+ cities

  • These riots showed that African-Americans wanted and needed economic equality.

Stokely carmichael black power
Stokely Carmichael & Black Power

Carmichael was the leader of SNCC.

With “Black Power” he advocated his organization stop recruiting whites and focus on African-American pride and their own goals..

Black panthers
Black Panthers

Oakland, California (October 1966)

Huey Newton and Bobby Seale

preached self-defense

The civil rights movement

assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.

led to the worst urban rioting in U.S. history

Legacy of the movement
Legacy of the Movement

Kerner Commission-said the main cause of urban violence was white racism

Civil Rights Act of 1968-ended discrimination in housing

affirmative action- programs that make special effort to hire or enroll groups that have suffered discrimination

Modern civil rights issue jena louisiana
Modern Civil Rights Issue—Jena Louisiana