civil rights minority activism n.
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civil rights movement


FYI: Many people believe that the Civil Rights Movement began with Rosa Parks refusing to give up her seat. But the struggle for civil rights began when the first 20 Africans were brought to Jamestown in 1619 and it wasn’t until 346 years later that the law began to protect Blacks and ensure that the rights established in the U.S. Constitution didn’t just apply to Whites, but applied to everybody in the U.S. While the Civil Rights Movement is seen as an African-American struggle, EVERY SINGLE PERSON IN THE U.S. BENEFITTED!


The early Civil Rights Advancements:

A. 13th Amendment: abolished slavery

B. 14th Amendment: freed slaves were

given American citizenship (FYI: Native

Americans didn’t become U.S. citizens until the 1920’s.)

C. 15th Amendment: all men were granted

the right to vote, regardless of color,

land ownership, etc.

d plessy v ferguson 1896

Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. Dubois: early civil rights activist.

D. Plessy v. Ferguson, 1896

FYI: Remember, we’ve discussed this earlier…. …refer to your SATP Review Packet.

ii civil rights during the truman years

II. Civil Rights during the Truman Years

A.He formed the Committee on Civil Rights in 1946 to examine the status of civil rights.

Truman desegregated the Armed Forces with E.O. 9981 in 1948.

Southern Dems. Create the Dixiecrats.

e in 1947 jackie robinson was the first african american to integrate mlb

E. In 1947, Jackie Robinson was the first African American to integrate MLB.

FYI: Why was Robinson selected as the first Black MLB?

F.Irene Morgan v. Commonwealth of Virginia, 1946

1. Irene Morgan arrested in 1944 for refusing to move from her seat.

2. In a 6 -1 decision, the Court ruled in

her favor.

3. The South continued to disregard the law.

FYI: Interstate buses were supposed to already be desegregated, but the existing law was not enforced.


A. Brown vs. the Board of Education of Topeka,

Kansas, May 17, 1954:

1. Class action lawsuit argued by Thurgood Marshall, challenging the “separate but equal” doctrine.

2. Supreme Court ruled that “..separate

is inherently unequal.”

FYI: What does “class action” mean.

3. Brown II: A year later the court ordered the desegregation of schools “with all deliberate speed.” (FYI: What’s wrong with this time frame?)

FYI: Thurgood Marshall will be appointed by LBJ as the first Af-Am.

Supreme Court Justice in U.S. History.


Emmitt Till August 1955: 1. A 14-year-old visiting from Chicago was lynched in Money, MS.2. Two brothers were arrested and charged with his murder.


4. Mississippi (?) and the nation were horrified.5. An all white, all male jury found the two accused not guilty.

FYI: as horrified as Mississippi was, the continued criticism by the Northern Press resulted in the whites circling their wagons around the two accused.


Montgomery Bus Boycott, December 1955: 1. Rosa parks refused to give her seat up to a white man, and was arrested. 2. The result was a 380+ day boycott of the bus line.

(FYI: A 26 year old MLK was asked to lead the


The boycott didn’t end until the SC upheld the decision of Browder v. Gayle, which ruled that bus segregation was unconstitutional.
  • This will be the start of MLK’s extensive work as a civil rights leader

(FYI: What happened to the bus company?)


D. “Little Rock Nine” (Arkansas) 1957: (handy dandy worksheet)1. Little Rock School Board integrated their school district in 1957-58 school year.2. In response to public response, the AK NG was ordered to keep the Black students out.

So Eisenhower nationalized the AK N.G., who were then ordered them to protect the students as they attended CHS.

FYI: Why did Eisenhower intervene in Little Rock?


E. Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) est. 1957: Southern Black ministers committed to the CR struggle using non-violence.


F. Civil Rights Act of 1957: first civil rights act since Reconstruction. Created the Civil Rights Commission.


Sit-ins 1960:

1. In the modern CR Movement, sit- ins began in Greensboro and Nashville.

2. Non-violent protesters would take a seat at segregated lunch counters & wait to be served.

3. Sit-ins often turned violent and protestors were beaten and arrested.

FYI: Protestors had to go through training before they participated in sit-ins, wade-ins,kneel-ins, etc.


Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), 1960: 1. college students who embraced the non-violent protest movement.


Freedom Riders, 1961: 1. 1st campaign organized by the SNCC. 2. Activists traveled through the deep South to desegregate busing companies' terminals, as required by federal law.

In 1962 James Meredith became the first Af.-Am to integrate Ole Miss (University of Mississippi).

1. His enrollment was met with rioting and the necessity for the federal gov. to send in U.S. Marshalls, the Army, the National guard, and even U.S. border patrol to control the rioting.

a. Two people were killed.

FYI: Meredith was initially admitted, but then denied when they realized he was Black. He filed a lawsuit, which reached the Supreme Court who ruled in his favor.


C. Medgar Evers, 1963: 1. The first NAACP Field Secretary in MS was killed in his front yard by Byron De la Beckwith. 2. De La Beckwith was tried twice for the murder of Evers in 1964, each resulted in a mistrial.


3. In 1994 De La Beckwith was tried again, with new evidence, and found guilty. He got a life sentence, and died in prison in 2001.

FYI: Even though it took 30 years to convict De La Beckwith, why were his two original mistrials historical in the state of MS?


D. March on Washington, August 28, 1963 1. Martin Luther King, Jr. led a group of over 200,000 people of all races to Washington DC. 2. This put the country on notice that people were serious for change.

FYI: MLK delivered his famous, “I Have A Dream Speech”, ranked by many as one of the greatest

speeches ever delivered.


E. Bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church 1. September 15, 1963, four girls, whose ages ranged between 11-14, were killed and 20 people were injured when their church was bombed.


FYI: In 1977 one man was found guilty of the bombing (Chambliss). And between 2001-2002 two additional men were convicted of murder and sent to prison (Blanton & Cherry).

FYI: Why did justice take so long for many of the

atrocities committed against Blacks?


24th Amendment to the U. S. Constitution-1964 A. abolished the poll tax in federal elections. B. Its passage brought about MS Freedom Summer-1964. 1. Civil rights workers came to MS to register blacks to vote.


FYI: Volunteers from the North (90% were White) worked along side several thousand Black activists in Mississippi.


C: Three civil rights CORE workers went missing in Philadelphia MS during the Freedom Summer. 1. Chaney, Goodman & Schwerner. 2. It took the an informant to tip off the FBI to the location of the bodies.


Civil Rights Act of 1964: 1. outlawed segregation in public accommodations. 2. gave the government broader powers to enforce desegregation in schools, and 3. est. the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to prevent job discrimination.


Voting Rights Act of 1965- 1. Passed after a series of marches in Selma, Al., which were broadcast nation wide. 2. removed literacy requirement 3. Last legal obstacle blocking Blacks from being full members of southern society.

FYI: The first march has been infamously named “Bloody Sunday”. Non-violent protesters were beaten and attacked by dogs.

Watts Riot, Los Angeles: Broke out 5 days after the Voting Rights Act was signed. It lasted 6 days and took 14,000 National Guardsmen and 1500 law officers to restore order. a. 34 deaths, 900 injuries, and $250,000,000 + in damages.

FYI: Johnson ordered a study/investigation into the riots, the Kerner Commission. The findings?

Continued racism, discrimination, and oppression at the hands of whites.


The Black Power Movement evolved in the mid 60’s from the belief that the non-violent/marching route was taking too long and for what. a. it promoted the idea that Blacks should control their social, economic and political direction.


Malcolm X: a minister and spokesperson for the Nation of Islam and a symbol for the Black Power Movement. a. X preached that Blacks should create their own communities, be self-reliant, and not depend on mainstream society, i.e. whites, for anything.

X, initially very publically critical of the CR Movement and MLK, slowly changed some of his views. But he is assassinated before they are fully realized.

FYI: Malcolm X was a minister with the Nation of Islam, but split with them over ideological reasons. He will go on hajj and embrace truer Islamic beliefs and practices, which many believe contributed to his death.


Black Panthers were a group inspired by Malcolm X , and initiated a series of goals. Examples were: (a) black empowerment (b) end to racial oppression, (c) control of major institution and services within the African American community, such as hospitals, schools,etc.

FYI: Sooo, how do you think this went over with mainstream society?


For all intents and purposes the collective CR Movement ended in Memphis, Tennessee, April 4, 1968 when MLK was assassinated by James Earl Ray.

  • Despite the efforts of many other charismatic and powerful civil rights activist, they just couldn’t continue the momentum.
FYI: Quite eerily MLK delivered two speeches shortly before his death that hinted that he knew the end was near.

** “The Drum Major Instinct” 2/4/68-……. I don't want a long funeral. And if you get somebody to deliver the eulogy, tell them not to talk too long. Every now and then I wonder what I want them to say. Tell them not to mention that I have a Nobel Peace Prize, that isn't important. Tell them not to mention that I have three or four hundred other awards, that's not important. Tell him not to mention where I went to school. I'd like somebody to mention that day, that Martin Luther King, Jr., tried to give his life serving others…..

** “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” 4/3/68 - Like anybody, I would like to live - a long life; longevity has its place. But I'm not concerned about that now. I just want to do God's will. And He's allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I've looked over. And I've seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the Promised Land. So I'm happy, tonight. I'm not worried about anything. I'm not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.

Two months later, June 6, 1968, Robert Kennedy (JFK’s brother) was assassinated in California, after winning the state primary.

1. Robert Kennedy served as Attn. General from 61-64, and played a major role in helping his brother and then LBJ’s admn. pass and enforce civil rights legislation.

FYI: Robert Kennedy had 11 children, and they have produced 33 grandchildren!!


FYI: Why did commercial farmers ignore the

complaints of the migrant farmers?

A.Cesar Chavez- United Farm Workers:

1. Migrant farmers received low pay, and

worked and lived in deplorable conditons.


2. Cesar Chavez, along with Delores Huerta, founded

what would become the United Farm Workers.

a. They would go on to lead successful strikes of migrant workers and encourage nation wide participation by boycotting certain crops.


B. American Indian Movement (AIM): 1. AI formed AIM and fought to regain land that had been taken from their ancestors by the govt; a. AIM occupied Alcatraz for 18 months.

FYI: They offered to buy it with some beads and cloth….why is that historically significant?


b.AIM would also seize Wounded Knee, South Dakota in 1973 for 71 days, with gun shots fired between AIM and the FBI.


3. C. National Organization for Women (NOW)-

1. Feminist organization co-founded by Betty Friedan (author of Feminine Mystique) and Gloria Steinem, that fought for women’s rights and the passing of Equal Rights Amendment which did not pass.