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With deliberate speed. Desegregation in the U.S.-With Focus on the Little Rock Nine By Cari Barath. What You Will Learn. Brief historical timeline of African American struggles in the U.S. from slavery to the desegregation of Central High in Little Rock

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with deliberate speed

With deliberate speed

Desegregation in the U.S.-With Focus on the Little Rock Nine By Cari Barath

what you will learn
What You Will Learn
  • Brief historical timeline of African American struggles in the U.S. from slavery to the desegregation of Central High in Little Rock
  • Learn and understand the historical background of Constitutional Amendments and Supreme Court cases affecting African Americans rights and freedoms
  • Understand the impact of southern resistance to school desegregation on society
    • Specifically focusing on the events at Central High
    • Why these events were pivotal in the Civil Rights Movement and American society
how it began 1619 1868
How It Began 1619-1868
  • 1619-First African slaves brought to U.S.
  • 1863- Emancipation Proclamation
    • Declared that all persons held as slaves were free in states which had succeeded from the Union
      • Inside those 250 years slaves labored to make America what it is today
  • 1865-13th Amendment abolishes slavery
    • Indentured servitude, sharecropping, and chain gangs used
  • 1868-14th Amendment
    • Blacks gain U.S. citizenship
1870 1896
  • 1870- 15th Amendment
    • Blacks guaranteed right to vote
    • 1890’s Southern states retaliate to Amendment with disenfranchisement laws
      • These states legally required a poll tax, literacy test, and property ownership, to permit voter registration
  • 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson trial
    • Supreme Court rules racial segregation constitutional
      • “Separate” facilities for blacks constitutional as long as they are “equal”
    • Jim Crow laws in South
the court rules change is slow
The Court Rules-Change is Slow

“ The thin disguise of “equal” accommo-dations… will not mislead anyone, nor atone for the wrong this day done.”

Justice John Marshall Harlan – Sole dissenter in Plessy decision

  • 1954- Supreme Court unanimously declares racial segregation violates 14th Amendment guaranteeing equal protection under the law
    • Brown v. Board of Education Topeka, Kansas- NAACP, led by Thurgoud Marshall, attacks “separate but equal” doctrine-They combined 5 separate cases under one of their names, Oliver Brown
    • Court orders desegregation of public schools “with all deliberate speed”
      • Court deemed black schools not equal but inferior
    • Many southern state school districts resist due to white opposition-virtually no schools comply with Courts

desegregation ruling

African American School House near Summerville, South Carolina, 1938

little rock nine
Little Rock Nine

Tensions Build

Media Coverage

  • 1957- Nine black students are accepted to Central High
    • Carlotta Walls, Jefferson Thomas, Elizabeth Eckford, Thelma Mothershed, Melba Pattillo, Terrance Roberts, Gloria Ray, Minniejean Brown, Ernest Green
  • Gov. Faubus orders Arkansas National Guard in to avert violence
    • The anticipated desegregation intensifies racial tensions-opposition is strong
rioting erupts
Rioting Erupts
  • The Nine attempt to attend on the first day and are refused entry from national guard
  • They face a contemptuous, angry mob of over 1000 white segregationists
  • Three black reporters were attacked and beaten
the image of hate
The Image of Hate

This is one of the many images of the Central riots that horrified Americans.

15 year-old Elizabeth Eckford showed up for school that first day alone and was met with a mob of whites shouting threats, racial slurs, and hateful invectives.

Did Americans like what they saw?

can you imagine
Can You Imagine?
  • As a result of the rioting the nine black students could not safely attend Central in the beginning
  • President Eisenhower called the rioting “disgraceful,” federalizes the National Guard, and orders in the 101st National Airborne Division to ensure the black students safe entry into Central
  • The Nine begin attending under the protection of army escorts
    • Though escorted, they are still tormented, harassed, verbally abused, and physically assaulted
the aftermath at central 1958 1972
The Aftermath at Central 1958-1972

"The graduating Class of 1958 will always stand out in my memory because...the class as a whole reacted so admirably to the shock of having the eyes of the world focused on the school...and the class united in a very cooperative way to leave a fine record of achievement in Central in a year that will no doubt be mentioned in history books for a long time to come.“

Central Principal Jess W. Matthews

  • Minniejean Brown was expelled later that year for retaliating against her harassers
  • 1958- Ernest Green became the first African American to graduate from Central High
  • 1958- Gov. Faubus shutdown all Little Rock Public Schools rather than integrate
    • 1959- Gov. Faubus actions declared unconstitutional; schools reopened
  • 1972- All grades in Little Rock Public Schools are integrated
central high impact
Central High Impact

Media Coverage

Impact of Little Rock Riots FueledCivil Rights Movement

  • Americans saw the extreme and barbaric measures whites were reducing themselves to in order to preserve segregation
  • The Central events exposed rioting white people fueled by hate
  • The bravery of the Little Rock Nine helped build a stronger sense of racial pride, and a more unified desire for social, economical, and political equality
concluding thoughts
Concluding Thoughts

Little Rock Nine coverage thrust Civil Rights Movement ahead

Central events helped reform the attitudes that legislation alone could not change

Central events inspired blacks and whites

  • "They were opposed by the governor, by most every local leader, by their peers and by a fully armed unit of the National Guard. They were able to enter the school only when President Eisenhower ordered in units of an Airborne division to escort them and enforce the order of the Supreme Court. But it was not the power of the soldiers or the authority of the law that won the day. It was the grace and courage of those nine young people," Bumpers said. "Today, even those that jeered acknowledge they were impressed and moved by the courage of those nine kids. The images of those days in Little Rock and the extraordinary lives led by these nine sons and daughters of Arkansas are proud symbols of the progress we have made in America and a solemn reminder of the progress we have yet to make."
      • U.S. Sen. Dale Bumpers (D-AR)