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Civil Rights

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  1. 1960’s and Beyond Civil Rights

  2. JFK’s Civil Rights Bill • Kennedy decided to act after the Birmingham campaign • Introduced comprehensive civil rights bill in June 1963 • Bill finally passed during Johnson presidency President John F. Kennedy announces his proposed federal civil rights legislation

  3. The March on Washington • Conceived by A. Philip Randolph in 1941 • “Big Six” organized 1963 march • Purpose of march changed to encompass civil rights legislation, as well as employment rights and a higher minimum wage More than 250,000 marched from the Washington Monument to the Lincoln Memorial

  4. The March: Opposition • JFK disapproved at first • Malcolm X called it the “Farce on Washington” • Members of the Nation of Islam faced suspension for participating • While many labor unions supported the march, the AFL-CIO remained neutral Nation of Islam leader Elijah Muhammad

  5. The March: Highlights • Estimated at over 250,000 participants • More like a celebration than a protest • Several celebrities spoke and performed • Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech King at the March on Washington

  6. Civil Rights Act of 1964 • Introduced by JFK • Guided through Congress by LBJ • Prohibited discrimination in public accommodations • Ended unfair voting requirements • Made enforcement of legislation easier President Johnson signs the bill into law as Martin Luther King and others watch

  7. Voting Rights Act of 1965 • Strengthened enforcement of 15th Amendment • Allowed for federal oversight where registration or turnout was under 50 percent in 1964 • Banned literacy tests as qualifications for voting • Had dramatic results In the Capitol Rotunda, President Johnson signs the Voting Rights Act into law

  8. Vietnam’s Impact on the Movement • Due to need, Johnson lowered draft standards, making many more blacks eligible • Many social welfare programs abandoned to pay for the war • Blacks 11% of population but nearly 22% of war dead • Very few African American officers • MLK spoke out against the war A black soldier in Vietnam

  9. The “Black Power” Movement • A more militant philosophy than MLK’s • Stokely Carmichael • Advocated racial separation, black nationalism, violence in certain circumstances • Important to blacks’ self-worth to make gains without whites’ assistance “One of the tragedies of the struggle against racism is that up to this point there has been no national organization which could speak to the growing militancy of young black people in the urban ghettos and the black-belt South. There has been only a ‘civil rights’ movement, whose tone of voice was adapted to an audience of middle-class whites. It served as a sort of buffer zone between that audience and angry young blacks.” Stokely Carmichael and Charles Hamilton, Black Power

  10. The Black Panthers • Founded in 1966 by Huey Newton, Bobby Seale, and others • A means of armed resistance against oppression of blacks • Developed “Ten Point Plan” of goals including self-determination, full employment, adequate housing and education • Party disintegrated in 1970s Black Panthers gather at the Lincoln Memorial, 1970

  11. The Assassination of MLK • April 4, 1968, in Memphis, TN • Shot while standing on a motel balcony • James Earl Ray pleaded guilty and received a 99-year sentence • King’s death left the Civil Rights Movement without definitive leadership Buildings in Washington, D.C. damaged after the rioting in the wake of King’s assassination

  12. Civil Rights Act of 1968 • Prohibited housing discrimination on the basis of race, religion, national origin, or sex • Also banned retaliation against those asserting their rights • Later amendments included disability and family status as protected classes LBJ signs the Civil Rights Act of 1968

  13. Affirmative Action • Policy created to increase opportunities for minority groups • Favored socially disadvantaged groups in employment and educational opportunities • Usually enforced by use of quotas

  14. Effects of the Civil Rights Movement • More opportunities for African Americans • Could vote and hold office in larger numbers • Greater acceptance of African Americans in society and the workplace • However, total equality for African Americans in society has yet to be achieved