the americanization of ms the civil rights movement in ms n.
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The Americanization of MS (The Civil Rights Movement in MS). The Dixiecrats. After the war, black veterans come home determined to end segregation. In 1948, the national Democratic Party was in favor of granting civil rights – the basic rights of citizens - to black Americans.

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the dixiecrats
The Dixiecrats
  • After the war, black veterans come home determined to end segregation.
  • In 1948, the national Democratic Party was in favor of granting civil rights – the basic rights of citizens - to black Americans.
  • Southern Democrats pulled out of the Democratic Party and formed the States Rights Party, more commonly known as the Dixiecrats.
  • The States Rights Party was in favor of preserving segregation.
the 1952 presidential election
The 1952 Presidential Election
  • In the 1952 presidential election, the national Democratic Party was in favor of integration.
  • Integration was combining the separate facilities of the south.
  • A group calling themselves Democrats for Eisenhower chose to support the Republican Party in the election.
  • This, along with the Dixiecrats, showed that the Solid South was breaking up.
brown v board of education
Brown v. Board of Education
  • In 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court heard the case of Brown v. Board of Education(Topeka, Kansas).
  • The Supreme Court decided that segregated facilities were automatically unequal and therefore unconstitutional.
  • The Supreme Court ordered that all segregated public schools be integrated.
the white citizens council
The White Citizens Council
  • After the Brown case, the White Citizens Council, which had already been formed in MS., grew in membership.
  • The White Citizens Council was created to support segregation by:
    • distributingmaterials supporting segregation.
    • organizingpolitical pressure to support segregation.
    • makingradio and television broadcasts in support of segregation.
emmett till
Emmett Till
  • Emmett Till was a black teenager from Chicago visiting relatives in MS.
  • He allegedly “got fresh” with a white woman in a store so two white men kidnapped him, beat him, killed him and threw his body in the Tallahatchie River.
  • The men were tried before an all-white jury and were acquitted (found not guilty) of the crime.
  • They later confessed in an article in a national magazine.
j p coleman
J.P. Coleman
  • J.P. Coleman was the governor of MS when the Brown decision was made.
  • Coleman wanted to preserve segregation but he wanted to do it legally – he didn’t believe he could ignore an order of the U.S. Supreme Court.
  • He angered many Mississippians when he asked the FBI to come in to MS to investigate a lynching that took place in MS.
the sovereignty commission
The Sovereignty Commission
  • The Sovereignty Commission was established by the state legislature during Coleman’s time as governor.
  • The Sovereignty Commission was a state agency created to identify, watch and if necessary stop anyone in MS who supported integration.
james meredith
James Meredith
  • In 1962, James Meredith became the first black student to attempt to enroll in the University of MS.
  • Meredith was aided by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).
  • John F. Kennedy sent federal marshals to Oxford, MS, to make sure Meredith was enrolled.
ross barnett
Ross Barnett
  • Ross Barnett was the governor of MS at the time Meredith attempted to enroll -he pledge not to allow Meredith to enroll.
  • The weekend before Meredith was to enroll, Barnett gave a speech at the halftime of the Ole Miss football game, telling the students to “encourage” Meredith not to enroll.
  • His speech led to a riot on the campus of Ole Miss.
  • JFK had to call in the U.S. Army to stop the violence and insure that Meredith was enrolled.
medgar evers
Medgar Evers
  • Medgar Evers was the head of the MS chapter of the NAACP.
  • In June of 1963, he will be killed as he enters his Jackson home.
  • Byron De La Beckwith, a white supremacist from the Delta, was arrested and put on trial.
  • Two times, an all-white jury will end with a hung jury – they can’t decide on guilty or innocent.
  • Beckwith was prosecuted a third time and found guilty in 1994.
freedom summer
Freedom Summer
  • In the summer of 1964, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) will travel into the south to help challenge segregation.
  • They are going south to help register black voters, conduct schools for black children and organize protests called sit-ins, where they would enter a segregated facility and refuse to leave until they are served.
  • They will be met with violence: many were arrested, the places they stay will be fire-bombed and some will be killed.
neshoba county
Neshoba County
  • In Neshoba County, three civil rights workers will be kidnapped and murdered - their bodies will eventually be discovered in a pond dam by the FBI.
  • The FBI will arrest 19 men, which included several police officers, but will not try them for murder in the state courts of MS.
  • Instead, they will try 18 of them in federal court for violating the civil rights of the three men.
  • Seven of the men will be found guilty – the longest prison term will be 10 years (none served more than six).
  • Edgar Ray Killen, considered the mastermind of the plan, would be convicted of manslaughter in 2005.
white mississippians opposed to the violence
White Mississippians Opposed to the Violence
  • Most white Mississippians didn’t support the violence that was occurring in MS during this time but anyone that spoke out against segregation was in danger of being ostracized – shut out of white society – or subjected to violence themselves.
  • Churches dismissed pastors who preached moderation.
  • James Silver, a history professor at Ole Miss, was run out of the state for publishing The Closed Society– a book about the integration crisis at Ole Miss – and for eating lunch with James Meredith in the university cafeteria.
fannie lou hamer
Fannie Lou Hamer
  • Fannie Lou Hamer was the 20th child of a sharecropper who grew up on a plantation in the Delta.
  • She became a civil rights worker in MS and was arrested and beaten in Winona, MS.
  • She began traveling around the country telling her story, which had a big influence on public opinion.
the freedom democratic party
The Freedom Democratic Party
  • In 1964, the Freedom Democratic Party, an integrated group of Mississippians, challenged the regular Democratic Party for their seats at the Democratic national nominating convention.
  • Fannie Lou Hamer was allowed to address the convention and she claimed the FDR was the true Democratic Party of MS because it represented all Mississippians.
  • The FDR didn’t get the seats at the convention but Hamer’s speech (on television) had a huge impact on public opinion.
civil rights legislation
Civil Rights Legislation
  • The Civil Rights Act of 1964 made it illegal for anyone to discriminate on the basis of race if they served the public.
  • This law forced Mississippi businessmen to accept black customers in order to participate in the U.S. economic system.
  • The Voting Rights Act was passed in 1965. This law sent federal registrars into the south to register black voters. It also abolished the literacy test as a requirement to vote.
  • This law caused MS politicians to begin changing their views because now black voters could help them win elections.
black political power
Black Political Power
  • Because of the Voting Rights Act of 1964, 21 black men were elected to public office in 1964.
  • Robert Clark, the grandson of a slave, became the first black man elected to the state legislature since Reconstruction.
  • In 1971 Charles Evers, Medgar Evers brother, ran for governor as an independent.
  • In 1986, Mike Espy was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, the first black man elected to the federal government from MS since Reconstruction.
  • Espy was eventually chosen by President Bill Clinton to be the Secretary of Agriculture.