teaching the civil rights movement
Skip this Video
Download Presentation
Teaching the Civil Rights Movement

Loading in 2 Seconds...

play fullscreen
1 / 47

Teaching the Civil Rights Movement - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

  • Uploaded on

Teaching the Civil Rights Movement. Which of the following statements offers the best interpretations of the civil rights movement?

I am the owner, or an agent authorized to act on behalf of the owner, of the copyrighted work described.
Download Presentation

PowerPoint Slideshow about 'Teaching the Civil Rights Movement' - keon

An Image/Link below is provided (as is) to download presentation

Download Policy: Content on the Website is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use and may not be sold / licensed / shared on other websites without getting consent from its author.While downloading, if for some reason you are not able to download a presentation, the publisher may have deleted the file from their server.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - E N D - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Presentation Transcript
teaching the civil rights movement
Teaching the Civil Rights Movement
  • Which of the following statements offers the best interpretations of the civil rights movement?
  • A. The American South had a long tradition of racial oppression, but during the civil rights movement, the weight of American institutions - the presidency, the judicial system, the media, the American sense of fair play--were finally brought to bear on the problem, leading to remarkable changes in southern race relations.
  • B. Far from being the solution, American institutions have always played important roles in the creation and maintenance of racism. What happened in the movement was that civil rights activists were able to maneuver around those institutions to alleviate some of the system’s worst features.
problems with the traditional narrative
Problems with the traditional narrative
  • 1. Placing so much emphasis on national leadership and national institutions minimizes the importance of local struggle and makes it difficult for students for appreciate the role of “ordinary” people played in changing the country.
  • For example the great emphasis on national leadership, on the church, and legal institutions.
    • the emphasis on the church has included a focus on morality - which oversimplifies the motives of actors
    • Gender bias
2. The top-down perspective distorts the complexity of the black community - its class, gender, regional and ideological divisions.
    • It also presumes that the most important historical markers have to do with legislative/policy changes.
    • It implies that the movement can be understood solely through large-scale, dramatic events.
3. The concentration on the period between mid-1950s and the mid-1960s (the Montgomery to Memphis) framework negates the significance of the long struggle for equality and the shifting constraints that confronted African Americans.
the great migration
The Great Migration
  • Q. Did the migration stimulate a national movement for civil rights?
    • Many Americans began to realize that segregation and discrimination were no longer  uniquely Southern problems.
    • The rise of black neighborhoods in northern and western cities compounded the problems of segregation and discrimination and
    • Allowed for the flowering of African-American cultural movements such as the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s and 1930s.
more voices
One Way Ticket (Langston Hughes)

I pick up my life, And take it with me, And I put it down in Chicago, Detroit, Buffalo, Scranton, Any place that is North and East,

And not Dixie.

I pick up my life And take it on the train, To Los Angeles, Bakersfield, Seattle, Oakland, Salt Lake Any place that is North and West, And not South.

Migration Series

(Jacob Lawrence)

More Voices

See http://www.pbs.org/gointochicago/

(section “Art and Poetry) for complete

the poem, images, and other resources.

new negro protest and pride
“New Negro” Protest and Pride
  • Harlem Renaissance
    • Anti-lynching campaign
    • Fights against residential segregation
  • UNIA (1914)
  • ABB (1917)
  • Pan-African Congress (1900, 1919)
  • Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters (1925)
    • Pullman Company
    • A. Phillip Randolph
black protest during the great depression
Black Protest during the Great Depression
  • NAACP and W.E. B. Du Bois
    • Voluntary vs. involuntary segregation
  • National Negro Congress (1936)
    • Economic democracy and unionization of black workers
    • A. Philip Randolph elected president
  • “Don’t buy where you cant work” campaign (1932-1938)
    • New York stores
    • Baltimore A&Ps
    • Washington DC businesses
highlander folk school 1932
Highlander Folk School (1932)
  • Myles Horton
    • Son of a Tennessee sharecropper
  • Wanted a school where

the curriculum was about activism.

    • A place where coal miners, steel workers, and mill workers could go to learn how to organize.
  • Committed to an interracialist/egalitarian philosophy
    • Participatory democracy
rising expectations world war ii and african american protest politics
Rising Expectations: World War II and African-American Protest Politics

March 1941, Randolph proposed a new civil rights strategy: a massive march on Washington D. C.

Three demands:

The immediate end to segregation and discrimination in federal government hiring.

An end to segregation of the armed forces.

Government support for an end to discrimination and segregation in all American employment.

What did the MOWM want?

“When this war ends, the people want something more than the dispersal of equality and power among individual citizens in a liberal, political democratic system.

They demand with striking comparability the dispersal of equality and power among the citizen-workers in an economic democracy that will make certain the assurance of the good life - the more abundant life - in a warless world...Thus our feet are set in the path toward [the long-range goal of] equality - economic, political and social and racial.

Equality is the heart and essence of democracy, freedom and justice. Without equality of opportunity in industry, in labor unions, schools and colleges, government, politics and before the law, without equality in social relations and in all phases of human endeavor, the Negro is certain to be consigned to an inferior status.

There must be no dual standards of justice, no dual rights, privileges, duties or responsibilities of citizenship. No dual forms of freedom...But our nearer goals include the abolition of discrimination, segregation, and jim-crow in the Government, the Army, Navy, Air Corps, U.S. Marine, Coast Guard, Women's Auxiliary Army Corps and the Waves, and defense industries; the elimination of discrimination in hotels, restaurants, on public transportation conveyances, in educational, recreational, cultural, and amusement and entertainment places such as theaters, beaches and so forth.

We want the full works of citizenship with no reservations. We will accept nothing less.” Randolph

wwii protest politics
WWII Protest Politics
  • Double V Campaign
      • “Regarding the Double V Campaign see http://www.yurasko.net/vv/index.html
  • The Zoot Suiters
  • “The Zoot-Suit and Style Warfare” http://invention.smithsonian.org/centerpieces/whole_cloth/frame6.html
  • “Zoot Suit Riots” at http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/zoot/eng_tguide/
    • Zoot suit riots, 1943
    • Mexican national consciousness
congress of racial equality core
Congress of Racial Equality (CORE)
  • Fellowship of Reconciliation (1914)
  • James Farmer
  • Est. in April 1942 on the University of Chicago campus.
  • The creation of CORE marked the beginning of a mass movement for civil rights.
  • May 1942 began non-violent “sit-down” movement
    • Interracial founders committed to Ghandian techniques of “nonviolent direct action”
    • Their tactics provided an important example for later civil rights activists.
beyond brown with all deliberate speed
Beyond Brown… “with all deliberate speed”

Barbara Johns

Led student walk-out April 23, 1951

Virginia pioneers “massive resistance” strategy, 1956

With the powerful political machine of Senator Byrd VA put together the most effective resistance strategy

GA made it a felony for a state or local official to spend funds on desegregated schools

Miss and LA made it illegal for children to attend racially mixed schools

The “massive resistance” strategy of VA authorized the closing of any public schhol ordered to desegregate and approved state-supported tuition grants for white “private” schools.

In late 1958 and early 1959 officials closed schools in Norfolk, Charlottesville and

massive resistance
Massive Resistance
  • In 1959, local officials closed the public school system of Prince Edward County, Virginia
  • What happened in Loudoun County?
emmett till 1941 1955
Emmett Till (1941-1955)
  • “Emmett Till and the Impact of Images” see www.npr.org
    • Site contains various relevant web resources, including Jet Magazine photos.
  • http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/till/
    • Great site for documents and images regarding Emmett Till’s murder. See “Reactions in Writing.”
  • http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/till/sfeature/sf_segregation.html
montgomery bus boycott
Montgomery Bus Boycott
  • The Rosa Park Myth
  • Why is it problematic - what is obscured?
  • Baton Rouge
  • E.D.Nixon
  • Rosa Parks
    • Highlander Folk School
    • Septima Clark
  • Jo Ann Robinson
    • De-centering men -- debunking another myth
who are these women
Who are these Women?
  • March 2, 1955 December 1, 1955
student activism and the emergence of a mass movement 1960 1965
Student Activism and the Emergence of a Mass Movement, 1960-1965
  • Focus: Students developed new strategies and revitalized old ones that help to escalate the civil rights struggle and broaden its base. Their tactics included sit-ins, freedom rides, jail-ins, boycotts, voter registration drives, and marches.
  • Goal: To help students understand how/why the involvement of students transformed the movement.
sit ins
  • Greensboro Lunch Counter Sit-in (Feb. 1, 1960)
  • Consider the following statement by journalist Louis Lomax, "They [the sit-ins] were proof that the Negro leadership class, epitomized by the NAACP, was no longer the prime mover in the Negro's social revolt. The demonstrations have shifted the desegregation battles from the courtroom to the marketplace.“
  • See “Greensboro Sit-ins: Launch of a Civil Rights Movement” at http://www.sitins.com/index.shtml. Site contains photographs, documents, and audio clips from Greensboro participants and civil rights leaders.
ella j baker june 1960 bigger than a hamburger
The Student Leadership Conference made it crystal clear that current sit-ins and other demonstrations are concerned with something much bigger than a hamburger or even a giant-sized Coke.

Whatever may be the difference in approach to their goal, the Negro and white students, North and South, are seeking to rid America of the scourge of racial segregation and discrimination - not only at lunch counters, but in every aspect of life….

By and large, this feeling that they have a destined date with freedom, was not limited to a drive for personal freedom, or even freedom for the Negro in the South. Repeatedly it was emphasized that the movement was concerned with the moral implications of racial discrimination for the "whole world" and the "Human Race."

This universality of approach was linked with a perceptive recognition that "it is important to keep the movement democratic and to avoid struggles for personal leadership."

It was further evident that desire for supportive cooperation from adult leaders and the adult community was also tempered by apprehension that adults might try to "capture" the student movement. The students showed willingness to be met on the basis of equality, but were intolerant of anything that smacked of manipulation or domination.

This inclination toward group-centered leadership, rather than toward a leader-centered group pattern of organization, was refreshing indeed to those of the older group who bear the scars of the battle, the frustrations and the disillusionment that come when the prophetic leader turns out to have heavy feet of clay….

Ella J. Baker (June, 1960) “Bigger than a Hamburger”
student activism and direct action
Student Activism and Direct Action

Choosing to participate-Choosing to stand up


  • Student Sit-ins -- A break with the past
    • The beginning of a mass southern “movement”
    • SNCC vs SCLC
    • Ella Baker
ella baker
Ella Baker
  • SNCC
  • Ella Baker
    • 1940s (NAACP);1950s (SCLC); 1960s (SNCC)
    • “Baker left the SCLC after the Greensboro sit-ins. She wanted to help the new student activists and organized a meeting at Shaw University for the student leaders of the sit-ins in April 1960. From that meeting SNCC was born.”
      • Different leadership style than MLK
        • Believed in organizing not mobilizing
        • Believed in “group centered leadership” vs “leadership-centered group”
        • “civil rights” vs. “American democracy”
sncc what do we want
SNCC: What do we want?
  • Q. What is the basic goal of SNCC?
  • A. To change society so that the have-nots can share in it.
  • Q. What is SNCC’s basic goal, that makes it unique?
  • A. The NAACP, Urban League, etc., do not CHANGE society, they want to get in. It’s a combination of concern with the black goal for itself and, beyond that, with the whole society, because that is the acid test of whether the outs can get in and share in equality and worth. By worth, I mean creativity, a contribution to society. SNCC defines itself in terms of the blacks but is concerned with all excluded people.
  • Q. Has there been a change in SNCC’s goal over time?
  • A.During the sit-in movement, we were concerned with segregation of public accommodations. But even then we recognized that that was only a surface goal. These obvious “irritants” had to be removed first; this was natural. Some people probably thought this in itself would change race relations; others saw deeper.
a movement in transition sncc
A Movement in Transition: SNCC
  • SNCC went through three stages.
  • First: 1960 to 1963 (Sit-ins and Freedom Rides)
  • Second: 1963 to 1964 (Freedom Summer) A time of transition which sparked a reconsideration of nonviolence
  • Nearly 1,000 volunteers worked in Mississippi that summer.  During those months, 6 people, were killed, 80 beaten, 35 churches burned, and 30 other buildings bombed.
  • Third: 1965 to 1967. A trip to Africa by several SNCC leaders, discussions with and about Malcolm X, and growing alienation between blacks and whites inside SNCC was capped by the Watts riot in August, 1965. The following June, "Black Power" became SNCC's battle cry in a march led by James Meredith in Mississippi.
freedom rides
Freedom Rides

The Freedom rides a CORE project with strong support from SNCC when buses forced to stop in Alabama

The Freedom Riders left Washington DC on May 4, 1961. They were scheduled to arrive in New Orleans on May 17, the seventh anniversary of the Brown decision. The Freedom Riders never made it to New Orleans.

Significance: They forced the Kennedy administration to take a stand on civil rights, which was the intent of the Freedom Ride in the first place. In addition, the Interstate Commerce Commission, at the request of Robert Kennedy, outlawed segregation in interstate bus travel in a ruling, more specific than the original Supreme Court mandate, that took effect in September 1961.

freedom songs of the civil rights movement
Freedom Songs of the Civil Rights Movement
  • Bernice Johnson Reagan
    • Student of Septima Clark
    • SNCC
    • Sweet Honey in the Rock
  • “In congregational singing you don’t sing a song - you raise it. By offering the first line, the song leader just offers the possibility, and it is up to you, individually, whether or not you pick it up or not…it is a big personal risk because you will put everything into a song…Organizing is not gentle. When you organzie somebody, you create great anxiety in that person because you are telling them to risk everything….When you get together at a mass meeting you sing the songs which symbolize transformation, which make the revolution of courage inside of you…..you raise a freedom song.” Reagan, 1989

December 1961, the Birmingham City Commission closes the city’s 67 parks, 38 playgrounds, and 4 golf courses rather than integrate.

Step 1. April 3, 1963, King’s “Birmingham Manifesto’ and sixty-five blacks staged sit-ins in five stores --Police Commissioner Bull Conner dragged twenty of them away to jail.

April 10 demonstrators paraded before city hall and picketed the stores --Connor piled 300 into jail.

Step 2. April 13th “Good Friday” - Protestors march to City Hall for “Kneel in”

King jailed. More demonstrations follow.

April 16, 1963, “Letter from Birmingham City Jail”

MLK “Perhaps it is easy for those who have never felt the stinging darts of segregation to say, “Wait.” …comes a time when the cup of endurance runs over, and men are no longer willing to be plunged into the abyss of despair. I hope sirs, you can understand our legitimate and unavoidable impatience

Step 3. May 2, 1963 (D-Day) Large demonstration of more than student protesters began a march from 16th street Baptist Church. They were arrested. The mass protest continued.

birmingham cont
Birmingham: cont…

On Sept. 15, 1963, the all-Black Sixteenth Street Baptist Church was bombed. Sunday school was in session.

  • Handout:
    • “Ballad of Birmingham”
  • Websites:
    • http://cnnstudentnews.cnn.com/2001/fyi/lesson.plans/05/02/church.bombing/ Includes Lesson Plan
    • http://www.nbpc.tv/hbcu#map
ballad of birmingham
"Mother dear, may I go downtown         Instead of out to play,  And march the streets of Birmingham In a Freedom March today?"

"No, baby, no, you may not go, For the dogs are fierce and wild, And clubs and hoses, guns and jails Aren't good for a little child."

"But, mother, I won't be alone. Other children will go with me, And march the streets of Birmingham To make our country free."

"No, baby, no, you may not go,                                                For I fear those guns will fire.

But you may go to church instead And sing in the children's choir."

She has combed and brushed her night-dark hair, And bathed rose petal sweet, And drawn white gloves on her small brown hands, And white shoes on her feet.

The mother smiled to know that her child Was in the sacred place, But that smile was the last smile To come upon her face.

For when she heard the explosion, Her eyes grew wet and wild. She raced through the streets of Birmingham Calling for her child.

She clawed through bits of glass and brick, Then lifted out a shoe. "O, here's the shoe my baby wore, But, baby, where are you?"

Ballad of Birmingham
birmingham significance of events in birmingham
Birmingham: Significance of events in Birmingham

1. Signaled a profound change in the direct-action campaigns in the South.

As Bayard Rustin put it in 1963:

For the black people of this nation; Birmingham became the moment of truth. The struggle from now on will be fought in a different context... For the first time, every black man, woman and child, regardless of station, has been brought into the struggle. Unlike the period of the Montgomery boycott... the response to Birmingham has been immediate and spontaneous. Before Birmingham, the great struggles had been waged for specific, limited goals. The Freedom Rides sought to establish the right to eat while traveling; the sit-ins sought to win the right to eat in local restaurants; the Meredith case centered on a single Negro's right to enter a state university. The Montgomery boycott, although it involved fifty thousand people in a year-long sacrificial struggle, was limited to attaining the right to ride the city buses with dignity and respect. The black people now reject token, limited or gradual approaches. The package deal is the new demand.

2. Birmingham moved Kennedy to action.

Announced that a new Civil Rights Bill would be presented to Congress on June I9th

http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/johnfkennedycivilrights.htm Site includes transcript and audio of JFK’s June 11, 1963 speech.

freedom summer
Freedom Summer
  • Mississippi -- summer of 1964
  • Successes: The Mississippi project established fifty Freedom Schools to carry on community organizing.
  • Significance: The events of Freedom Summer deepened the division between those in the civil rights movement who still believed in integration and nonviolence and others, especially young Afro-Americans, who now doubted whether racial equality was achievable by peaceful means.
freedom schools
Freedom Schools
  • Within the community organizing tradition
  • Purpose: “to fill in an intellectual and creative vacuum in the lives of young Negro Mississippians, and to get them to articulate their own desires, demands and questions…to stand up in classrooms around the state and ask their teachers a real question.”
the legacy of freedom summer
The Legacy of Freedom Summer
  • "What [the Summer Project] achieved more than anything else, I think, it exposed the system—from top to bottom," Dave Dennis, the Mississippi Director of the Congress of Racial Equality in 1964.
transformation of the civil rights struggle
Transformation of the Civil Rights Struggle
  • The myth -- the 1964 Civil Rights Act and 1965 Voting Rights Act are seen as the final chapter in the southern civil rights movement
  • The Acts established legal guarantees
  • Problem: the struggle more complex
  • Example: school desegregation
new directions 1966 68
New Directions: 1966-68
  • Focus: The changing face of the civil rights movement.
  • Goal: Help students understand why the expectations created by the civil rights movement met with frustration in the mid-1960s and how their disappointment and frustration aroused a new urgency among black civil rights activist.
a new king
A new King
  • Have students identify the ways in which Martin Luther King, Jr. is portrayed in the mass media, and specifically, which of his ideas are communicated to the public.
  • 1966: King in Chicago
  • 1967: Poor People’s Campaign
  • In his words: “Lamentably, it is an historical fact that privileged groups seldom give up their privileges voluntarily we know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.”
  • “The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.”
  • “A true revolution of values will lay hands on the world order and say of war: "This way of settling differences is not just." This business of burning human beings with napalm, of filling our nation痴 homes with orphans and widows, of injecting poisonous drugs of hate into the veins of peoples normally humane, of sending men home from dark and bloody battlefields physically handicapped and psychologically deranged, cannot be reconciled with wisdom, justice, and love. A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.”
martin luther king jr and the war
“Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence” By Rev. Martin Luther King 4 April 1967 http://www.hartford-hwp.com/archives/45a/058.html

or http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/mlkatimetobreaksilence.htm

So I was increasingly compelled to see the war as an enemy of the poor and to attack it as such. Perhaps the more tragic recognition of reality took place when it became clear to me that the war was doing far more than devastating the hopes of the poor at home. It was sending their sons and their brothers and their husbands to fight and to die in extraordinarily high proportions relative to the rest of the population. We were taking the black young men who had been crippled by our society and sending them eight thousand miles away to guarantee liberties in Southeast Asia which they had not found in southwest Georgia and East Harlem. So we have been repeatedly faced with the cruel irony of watching Negro and white boys on TV screens as they kill and die together for a nation that has been unable to seat them together in the same schools. So we watch them in brutal solidarity burning the huts of a poor village, but we realize that they would never live on the same block in Detroit. I could not be silent in the face of such cruel manipulation of the poor.

Martin Luther King, Jr. and the War
stokely carmichael what we want september 22 1966
Stokely Carmichael “What We Want” September 22, 1966

“One of the tragedies of the struggle against racism is that up until now there has been no national organization which could speak to the growing militancy of young black people in the urban ghetto.  There has been only a civil rights movement, whose tone of voice was adapted to an audience of liberal whites.  It served as a sort of buffer zone between them and angry young blacks.  None of its so-called leaders could go into a rioting community and be listened to. . .

  For too many years, black Americans marched and had their heads broken and got shot.  They were saying to the country, ‘Look, you guys are supposed to be nice guys and we are only going to do what we are supposed to do - why do you beat us up, why don’t you give us what we ask, why don’t you straighten yourselves out?’  After years of this, we are at almost the same point - because we demonstrated from a position of weakness.  We cannot be expected any longer to march and have our heads broken in order to say to whites: ‘come on, you’re nice guys.’  For you are not nice guys.  We have found you out. . . .

Black power can be clearly defined for those who do not attach the fears of white America to their questions about it.  We should begin with the basic fact that black Americans have two problems: they are poor and they are black.  All other problems arise from this two-sided reality: lack of education, the so-called apathy of black men.  Any program to end racism must address itself to that double reality. . . .

For racism to die, a totally different America must be born…..”

black power and the black panthers
Black Power and the Black Panthers
  • October 1966 (H. Newton & B. Seale)
  • BP Ten Point Program (www.blackpanther.org).
    • Rethinking Schools


the legacy of mlk
The Legacy of MLK
  • Which of the following best reflects your understanding of the role of MLK in the civil rights movement?
  • A. Dr. King was the main force behind the civil rights movement.
  • B. The course of the movement was influenced by a great many people, among whom Dr. King was perhaps the most visible and best known to those outside the movement.
why debunk the myths
Why debunk the myths?
  • “I think that knowledge of the past is vital but historical knowledge is not an end in itself. The more we learn about the past, the more we must recognize that we learn about it in order to bring a more humane society into being in this country. Otherwise, historical knowledge is meaningless.” James Farmer
Please note this presentation is for workshop purposes only.

Please address all source inquiries to the presenter: Wendi N. Manuel-Scott