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Why does racism still exist? What are some of the steps that would be necessary to eliminate racism, not only in the United States, but also in other parts of the world?.

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Kerner Commission


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  1. Why does racism still exist? What are some of the steps that would be necessary to eliminate racism, not only in the United States, but also in other parts of the world?

  2. Why was segregation still practiced in southern states in the middle of the 20th century, despite the passage of constitutional amendments prohibiting segregation following the Civil War?

  3. Kerner Commission • 11-member commission established by Presiden LBJ to investigate the causes of the 1967 Race Riots in the US and to provide recommendations for the future.

  4. Segregation • de facto segregation - segregation (especially in schools) that happens in fact although not required by law • de jure segregation - segregation that is imposed by law

  5. CIVIL RIGHTS • Civil Liberties: • guarantees of freedom of speech,press or religion; due process of law; and other limitations on the power of the state to restrain the action of individuals

  6. CIVIL RIGHTS • Civil Rights: • Implies that the state has a role in ensuring all citizens have equal protection under the law and equal opportunity to exercise the privileges of citizens regardless of race,religion,sex

  7. Civil Rights • 13th Amendment: Abolishment of slavery 1865 • 14th Amendment: All persons born in the U.S. are citizens and have all privileges given to citizens of US 1866

  8. Fifteenth Amendment • prohibits each government in the United States from denying a citizen suffrage based on that citizen's "race, color, or previous condition of servitude" (i.e., slavery). 1870.

  9. What were Jim Crow laws? From the 1880s into the 1960s, most American states enforced segregation through "Jim Crow" laws (so called after a black character in minstrel shows). From Delaware to California, and from North Dakota to Texas, many states (and cities, too) could impose legal punishments on people for mingling with members of another race. The most common types of laws forbade intermarriage and ordered business owners and public institutions to keep blacks and whites separated.

  10. Plessy vs Ferguson • Arguments in the case: • Did the Louisiana law requiring segregated seating violate Plessy’s “equal protection” under the law? • Do separate but equal facilities meet the standard of the 14th amendment?

  11. Civil Rights Background • Plessy v. Ferguson • 1896 • Became policy of the nation regarding civil rights

  12. Civil Rights Background • Court ruling • Separate but equal • Louisiana law did not violate Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution

  13. “ Legislation is powerless to eradicate racial instincts or to abolish distinctions based upon physical differences….” • In other words, legislation cannot change public attitudes

  14. Civil Rights Background • Created laws banning integration • Jim Crow laws

  15. Civil Rights Background • Laws supported segregation • Enforced by lynching of African Americans

  16. Civil Rights Background • 1889 to 1930, over 3,700 men and women were reported lynched in the United States--most of whom were southern blacks

  17. Civil Rights Brown vs Board or Education1954 • Linda Brown challenged Topeka segregation policy • Enrolled in a school ( all white) • 2 blocks from here house

  18. Objective: To examine the importance of the Supreme Court case of Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, KS.

  19. Civil Rights The Beginning • Spent 10 times as much on white students as African American students

  20. Civil Rights The Beginning • She was denied admission • Challenged all the way to the Supreme Court • May 17, 1954

  21. · With help from the NAACP, the case of Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka reached the Supreme Court, challenging the constitutionality of Plessy v. Ferguson.

  22. · In the case, Oliver Brown challenged that his daughter, Linda, should be allowed to attend an all-white school near her home instead of the distant all-black school she had been assigned to. Oliver Brown was a welder for the Santa Fe Railroad and a part-time assistant pastor at St. John African Methodist Episcopal Church. Linda Brown was in the third grade when her father began his class action lawsuit.

  23. · Brown’s lawyer, Thurgood Marshall, argued that “separate” could never be “equal” and that segregated schools violated the Fourteenth Amendment’s guarantee to provide “equal protection” to all citizens.

  24. Thurgood Marshall(1908-1993) Associate Justice, U.S. Supreme Court.

  25. Standing outside a Topeka classroom in 1953 are the students represented in Oliver Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, From left: Vicki Henderson, Donald Henderson, Linda Brown (Oliver's daughter), James Emanuel, Nancy Todd, and Katherine Carper.

  26. Civil Rights The Beginning • NAACP led fight for integration • Howard University served as a training ground for young lawyers to fight segregation

  27. Civil Rights The Resistance • Decision was fine • Question now became how do you implement the decision

  28. Civil Rights The Resistance • Coalition of Southern congressmen call for massive resistance • Governor Herman Tallmadge • People of Georgia do not agree with this ruling

  29. Civil Rights The Resistance • First ruling was not enough in Brown v Topeka • In a second ruling Brown II • Ordered integration with • “all deliberate speed”

  30. Civil Rights The Resistance1957 • Little Rock Arkansas • Governor Faubus planned to stop the integration of Black students in Central High

  31. · In 1957, he called out the National Guard in order to prevent African Americans from attending an all-white high school. · Gov. Faubus was violating federal law.

  32. Bottom Row, Left to Right: Thelma Mothershed, Minnijean Brown, Elizabeth Eckford, Gloria Ray; Top Row, Left to Right: Jefferson Thomas, Melba Pattillo, Terrence Roberts, Carlotta Walls, Daisy Bates(NAACP President), Ernest Green

  33. · President Eisenhower sent troops to Little Rock where, under their protection, the African American students were able to enter Central High School. African American students arriving at Central High School, Little Rock, Arkansas, in U.S. Army car, 1957.

  34. Each student had a military guard to escort them to and from school. • The students were still beaten. • Governor Faubus signed a bill to shut down Little Rock schools • This was eventually deemed unconstitutional

  35. Results • Of the 9 original students Earnest Green graduated the 1st spring. • The others eventually were split going to other local schools, all graduated • Melba Patillo who had been stabbed and had acid thrown in her eyes teaches at Central High which is now 60% African American

  36. Members of the 101st US-Airborne Division escorting the Little Rock Nine to school

  37. Civil Rights The Resistance • However the Governor of Arkansas • Orval Faubus • Ordered National guard to turn away African American students Little Rock 9

  38. Civil Rights The Beginning • President Eisenhower at first was reluctant to get government involved • Little Rock Changed that idea

  39. Civil Rights The Beginning • Again television was important • Sent the Army to escort students to school

  40. Civil Rights The Response • Governor Faubus in response • Closed the High School rather than desegregate

  41. Civil Rights The Response • Montgomery Alabama • Jo Ann Robinson(English Prof and Alabama state college • Wrote a letter to mayor of Montgomery to end sitting in “colored section” of bus

  42. Civil Rights The Beginning • He refused • December 1, 1955 • Rosa Parks refused to give her seat up • She was arrested

  43. Civil Rights The Beginning • Rosa parks was an officer of the local NAACP

  44. Civil Rights The Beginning • News again spread quickly • Jo Ann Robinson helped form a boycott of the buses • MIA: Montgomery Improvement Association