Civil Rights. Women Lead Civil Disobedience Gaining Equality by Any Means. AIM I : Were women responsible for the success of the Civil Rights Movement?. Vocab Jim Crow Emmett Till (1955) Civil Disobedience Rosa Parks Montgomery Bus Boycott WPC – Women ’ s Political Council
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Gaining Equality by Any Means
Emmett Till (1955)
Montgomery Bus Boycott
WPC – Women’s Political Council
SCLC – Southern Christian Leadership Conference
Fannie Lou Hamer – “Is this America?”
SNCC – Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee
NAACP – National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
Federal Highway Act of 1956
Policy of boldness
Little Rock Nine – and Daisy Bates
Martin Luther King, Jr. and Coretta Scott King
Letter from the Women’s Political Council to the Mayor of Montgomery, Alabama, May 21, 1954
The Women’s Political Council is very grateful to you and the City Commissioners for the hearing you allowed our representative during the month of March, 1954, when the “city-bus-fare-increase case” was being reviewed. There were several things the Council asked for:
We are happy to report that busses have begun stopping at more corners now in some sections where Negroes live than previously. However, the same practices in seating and boarding the bus continue.
Mayor Gayle, three-fourths of the riders of these public conveyances are Negroes. If Negroes did not patronize them, they could not possibly operate.
More and more of our people are already arranging with neighbors and friends to ride to keep from being insulted and humiliated by bus drivers.
There has been talk from twenty-five or more local organizations of planning a city-wide boycott of busses. We, sir, do not feel that forceful measures are necessary in bargaining for a convenience which is right for all bus passengers. . . .
Please consider this plea, and if possible, act favorably upon it, for even now plans are being made to ride less, or not at all, on our busses. We do not want this.
The Women’s Political Council Jo Ann Robinson, President
“Negro students, apparently welcoming the probability of arrest, resumed nonviolent demonstrations against segregated lunch counters in North Carolina today. Police In two cities arrested demonstrators. The resumption of the passive resistance movement after the sit-ins of several days followed a statewide strategy meeting in Durham of Negro student leaders. The students voted to continue the protest by sitdown demonstrations, boycott and picket line until they reach their goal of desegregated lunch counters…”
I.F. Stone, I.F. Stone’s Weekly (June 4, 1962)
“Norman Thomas, spoke of them as “secular saints” – this hadnful of young Negroes in their teens and early twenties. They and a few white sympathizers as youthful and devoted as themselves have begun a social revolution in the South with their sit-ins and their Freedom Rides. Never has a tinier minority done more for the liberation of a whole people than these few youngsters of C.O.R.E. (Congress for Racial Equality) and S.N.C.C.”
James Peck, Freedom Rider (1962)
“When the Greyhound bus pulled into Anniston, it was immediately surrounded by an angry mob armed with iron bars. They set about the vehicle, denting the sides, breaking windows, and slashing tires. Finally, the police arrived and the bus managed to depart. But eh mob pursued in cares. .Within minutes, the pursuing mob was hitting the bus with iron bars. The rear window was broken and a bomb was hurled inside. All the police standing by, belatedly came on the scene. A couple of them fired into the air. The mob dispersed and the injured were taken to a local hospital.”
In Birmingham, an FBI informant in the Klan learned of a detailed plan in which Police Chief Bull Connor had agreed to give the Klan 15 minutes after the bus arrived to beat the riders before local police would arrive. The plan was reported to the FBI headquarters, but no action was taken. The Trailways station was filled with Klansmen and reporters. When the Freedom Riders exited the bus, they were beaten by the mob with baseball bats, iron pipes and bicycle chains, and then, battered and bleeding, they were arrested. White Freedom Riders were particularly singled out for frenzied beatings. Two riders were hospitalized, including white Freedom Rider Jim Peck with 52 stitches in his head. That night, the hospitalized Freedom Riders were ejected from the hospital because personnel were threatened by the mob. Eight cars of churchmen, brimming with shotguns and rifles, headed off to rescue the riders. (This is ironic, considering that the Freedom Riders were pacifists and dedicated to non-violence). Chief Bull Connor threatened to arrest Rev. Shuttlesworth for having interracial meetings at his house. Nonetheless, he rescued Peck from the hospital at 2am.
“They (Freedom Riders) have fought entrenched discrimination and wrong without themselves indulging in violence and done this in one of the most violent periods of human history.”
James Farmer, interviewed by C. David Heymann, A Candid Biography of Robert F. Kennedy (1998)
“The Kennedys meant well, but they did not feel it. They didn’t know any blacks growing up – there were no blacks in their communities or going to their schools. But their inclinations were good. I had the impression in those years that Bobby was doing what had to be done for political reasons. He was very conscious of the fact that they had won a narrow election and he was afraid that if they antagonized the South, the Dixiecrats would cost them the next election. And he was found to be very, very cautious and very careful not to do that. But we changed the equation down there, so it became dangerous for him to do anything.”
“Important you take immediate action in Alabama one more day of savage treatment by legalized hatchet men could lead to open warfare by aroused negroes America cannot afford this in 1965”
Allowing CBS footage of “Bloody Sunday” as evidence in court, Judge Johnson ruled on March 17th, that the demonstrators be permitted to march. Under protection of a federalized National Guard, voting rights advocates left Selma on March 21 and stood 25,000 strong on March 25 before the state capitol in Montgomery. As a direct consequence of these events, the U.S. Congress passed the Voting Rights Act of 1965, guaranteeing every American twenty-one and over the right to register to vote. During the next four years the number of U.S. blacks eligible to vote rose from 23 to 61 percent.
Photograph of a sign posted opposite the Sojourner Truth homes, a new U.S. federal housing project, during a riot caused by white neighbors’ attempts to prevent African-American tenants from moving in.Detroit, Michigan, February 1942
Photograph of demonstrations to end housing discrimination in New York City, at the site of the St. Nicholas Houses in Harlem.New York City, July 28, 1950
“Change is Gonna Come” – Same Cooke
“The Promised Land” – Chuck Berry
“What’s Going On?” – Marvin Gaye
There’s far too many of you dying
You know we’ve got to find a way
To bring some lovin’ here today – Ya
We don’t need to escalate
You see, war is not the answer
For only love can conquer hate…”
“I do not believe you can change the hearts of men with laws and decisions.”—President Eisenhower (1957)
“We must continue to struggle through the courts, through legislation. I’m aware of the fact that there are those who sincerely believe that this isn’t the way. They would argue that you cannot legislate morals. Their argument is that integration must come into being through education. I’m sympathetic toward that view. I will agree that you can’t legislate morals. I will agree that through the law you can’t change one’s internal feeling. But that isn’t what we seek to do through the law. We are not seeking so much to change attitudes through law, but to control behavior. We are not so much seeking to change one’s internal feelings, but to control the external effects of those internal feelings. I realize that the law cannot make an employer love me or have compassion for me. Education and religion will have to do that. But it can at least keep him from refusing to hire me because of the color of my skin. This is what we seek to do through the law. We seek to control the external effects of internal feelings that are prejudiced.” --Martin Luther King, Jr.
AIM III: Should equality be won by any means necessary?
Black Power is not hatred. It is a means to bring the Black Americans into the covenant of Brotherhood. Black Power is not a supremacy; it is a unified Black Voice reflecting racial price in the tradition of our heterogeneous nation.