Problems Facing Urban African Americans • Racism was a real problem for African Americans who had moved to the cities • Many whites refused to live in the same neighborhoods as blacks • Landlords refused to rent to African Americans
Problems Facing Urban African Americans • Most African Americans worked low-paying jobs • Half of all African American families lived in poverty • Many blacks were aware of the gains made in the civil rights movement • But recognized these gains did not solve their social/economic issues
The Watts Riothttp://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/watts-riot-begins • Race riots broke out in many inner-city neighborhoods such as Watts in Los Angeles • Here over 34 people were killed and hundreds injured • Rioters tended to loots and burn entire neighborhoods
The Kerner Commission • headed by Illinois Governor Otto Kerner • responsible for researching the causes of these race riots
The Kerner Commission • found that white society and racism were to blame for most inner-city problems • Recommended 2 million jobs and 6 million new housing units be created • However most of the nation’s money was going towards the Vietnam War • No changes were made
The Shift to Economic Rights • MLK began to shift his focus towards economic issues • He went to Chicago to work with community organizations in order to improve living conditions for the poor in Chicago. http://www.wttw.com/main.taf?p=76,4,5,7
The Shift to Economic Rights • The Chicago Movement was unsuccessful • Though many plans were put in place to improve living conditions, little progress was made in the mid 1960s
Black Power • MLKs failure in Chicago made many African Americans believe that nonviolence could not change their economic positions. • They turned to more aggressive forms of protest
Black Power • Many called for black power (had 2 interpretations) • Belief that self-defense, even violence, were acceptable when defending one’s freedom. • Belief that blacks should take control of the social, economic, and political direction of their struggle for equality. • became very popular in the poor neighborhoods where many African Americans lived.
Malcolm X and the Nation of Islam • Malcolm X became the symbol of black power • He had spent time in prison where he joined the Nation of Islam, or Black Muslims
The Nation of Islam (Black Muslims) • They believed African Americans should separate themselves from whites and form their own communities. • Malcolm X and the Nation of Islam gained a lot of support
Malcolm X and the Nation of Islam • By 1964 Malcolm X had broken from the Black Muslims due to scandals involving their leaders • He eventually changed his view towards an integrated society • Malcolm X was assassinated by members of the Nation of Islam in February 1965.
The Black Panthers • Malcolm X’s ideas continued to influence African American leaders. • The Black Panthers was one such group. • Urged African Americans to arm themselves and confront the white society to force the whites to grant them equal rights.
The Assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr • At this point, the civil rights movement was split • April 1968 MLK was assassinated as he stood on his hotel balcony • Set off riots in over 100 cities
The Assassination of Martin Luther King, Jrhttp://myloc.gov/Exhibitions/naacp/civilrightsera/ExhibitObjects/CivilRightsAct1968.aspx • After his death Congress passed the Civil Rights Act of 1968 • Banned discrimination in the sale and rental of housing • The civil rights movement continued on, but lacked the vision that Dr. King had given it.