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The Civil Rights Movement. The Beginning to Present Day 1950’s and 1960’s. “Separate but Equal”. 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson – Supreme Court ruled that segregation was constitutional as long as equal facilities were provided.

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the civil rights movement

The Civil Rights Movement

The Beginning to Present Day

1950’s and 1960’s

separate but equal
“Separate but Equal”
  • 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson – Supreme Court ruled that segregation was constitutional as long as equal facilities were provided.
  • Jim Crow laws segregated buses, restrooms, restaurants, parks, schools, the armed forces and other public facilities and institutions.
  • De facto segregation – not an official law but rather segregation as a matter of fact due to customs and traditions.
challenging segregation
Challenging Segregation
  • The movement for racial equality is as old as our nation itself.
  • After WWII challenges to segregation and racial equality became more successful.
    • Executive order 9981- Truman Desegregates the army
  • NAACP won several court cases which struck down segregation on interstate buses (1935) and state law schools (1950).
  • Blacks became a key group in the Democratic party in the North.
1954 brown v the board of education
1954 Brown v. The Board of Education
  • Linda Brown was told that she had to attend an all black school across town even though there was an all white public school right down the street.
  • Supreme Court struck down segregation in public schools as inherently unequal.
  • Encouraged movement to continue.
1955 brown v board of education ii
1955 Brown v. Board of Education II
  • The court ordered schools desegregation be done with “all deliberate speed”.
  • Effect of encouraging White resistance and many schools stayed segregation for years afterward.
methods of resistance of the early civil rights movement
Methods of Resistance of the Early Civil Rights movement
  • Litigation (court cases – i.e. Brown v. Board of Ed.)
  • Boycotts (Montgomery Bus boycott after the arrest of Rosa Parks). Blacks walked and carpooled to work for over a year until they reversed the segregation laws on Public Buses.
  • Protests (March on Washington)
  • Sit-ins (Woolworth’s Lunch counter)
civil rights organizations
Civil Rights Organizations
  • Churches were used as meeting houses
  • Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) Led by Martin Luther King Jr. established to eliminate segregation from American Society and to encourage Blacks to register to vote.
  • Led such movements as the Montgomery Bus Boycott
civil rights organizations1
Civil Rights Organizations
  • Congress of Racial Equality (CORE)
  • Organizes Freedom Rides 1961- asked Both black and white college students to travel into the South to draw attention to the South’s refusal to integrate bus terminals.
  • White mobs firebombed buses, beat occupants with chains and lead pipes.
civil rights organizations2
Civil Rights Organizations

MLK Jr. believed the only way to end racism was through non-violent passive resistance (Gandhi)

  • SNCC –Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee
  • Taught techniques of non-violence to AA college students
  • 1960-65 helped to desegregate public facilities and register blacks to vote in the South.
mlk jr organizes demonstrations 1963
MLK Jr. Organizes Demonstrations 1963
  • MLK began to realize that the federal government would only intervene when violence got out of hand
  • Birmingham Alabama- police used clubs, dogs, and high pressured fire hoses on demonstrators.
  • Millions of Americans watched the violence on TV
  • Made the Kennedy Administration actively support the civil rights movement –Prepare the Civil Rights Act.
civil rights act of 1957
Civil Rights Act of 1957
  • Small group of Southern senators wanted to kill the bill.
  • Performed a filibuster – senators take turns speaking on the floor and refuse to let the debate stop and have the bill be voted on.
  • Strom Thurmond read the phonebook for over 24 hours in order to prevent the bill to go to vote.
  • Cloture- two-thirds majority (67) to stop a filibuster and resume to the vote.
civil rights act of 1964
Civil Rights Act of 1964
  • Kennedy Assassinated in 1963
  • LBJ becomes president – uses knowledge of the senate to get bill passes 71-29.
  • Law made segregation illegal in public places
  • Gave the Attorney General more power to bring lawsuits to force school desegregation.
  • Employers had to end discrimination in the workplace – Established the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
voting rights act of 1965
Voting Rights Act of 1965
  • SNCC organized voter registration drives in the south – 1964 Became known as Freedom Summer
  • Demonstrations in Selma, Alabama to demand the right to vote– state troopers began beating protestors.
  • Left 50 AA hospitalized Became known as Bloody Sunday
  • Televised on TV.
  • LBJ furious – appeared on TV to propose a new voting rights law.
    • Allowed for Federal examiners to register blacks to vote
discrimination and the black power movement
Discrimination and The Black Power Movement
  • Making segregation illegal and ensuring voting rights did not end social and economic inequality.
  • Racism- Prejudice or discrimination towards someone because of the color of his/her skin.
  • 1965 70% of African Americans lived in large cities.
  • Segregated neighborhoods – White flight. Whites would leave neighborhoods because blacks moved in
  • Owners refused to rent to AA and Banks refused mortgages to AA
  • Work discrimination – AA were not hired in well paying jobs many worked as maids, custodians.
  • 50% Poverty Rate- AA made half the income of whites and had twice the unemployment rate.
the watts riot 1965
The Watts Riot -1965
  • Race Riot broke out in Los Angeles.
  • Allegations of police brutality began the riots which lasted for 6 days.
  • Rioters burned and looted entire neighborhoods created $30 million dollars in damage. 34 people died. Federal Government sent 14,00 National Guard members to stop riot.
  • Race Riots began to break out all over the nation.
  • The promise of civil rights needed to have social and economic results. Led to a more militant form of civil rights movement.
black power movement
Black Power Movement
  • AA leaders became critical of MLK Jr. non violence strategy.
  • Black Power- that AA should control the social, political and economic direction of their struggle.
    • Stressed cultural distinctiveness and pride for heritage (afro’s ).
  • Led to making groups such as CORE and SNCC push out sympathetic whites.
malcolm x
Malcolm X
  • Arrested for burglary- converted to the Nation of Islam- black nationalist group. That supported the idea of separating themselves from whites and form their own self-governing communities.
  • Changed name to “X” to protest the name white society gave him through slavery.
  • After a pilgrimage to Mecca he changed his views and believed that an integrated society was possible.
  • 1965 Assassinated by members of the Nation of Islam who disliked his new views.
the black panthers
The Black Panthers
  • Founded by Huey Newton, Bobby Seale and Eldridge Cleaver in CA.
  • Militant group for self-defense.
  • Urged AA to arm themselves and confront white society to force them to give them equal rights, good housing, bread, education.
  • FBI infiltrated group arrested leaders and some members were assassinated.
civil rights movement fizzles
Civil Rights Movement Fizzles
  • MLK’s assassination in 1968 took away a large amount of momentum from the Civil Rights movement.
  • Major legislation was already passed (needed results)
  • Conservatives regain power (Nixon wins 1968 election)
  • Vietnam War becomes the central issue