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Civil Rights. 1950 - 1968. Where did legal segregation come from?. Plessy v. Ferguson The state of Louisiana enacted a law that required separate railway cars for blacks and whites. . Plessy v. Ferguson.

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Civil Rights

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civil rights

Civil Rights

1950 - 1968

where did legal segregation come from
Where did legal segregation come from?
  • Plessy v. Ferguson
  • The state of Louisiana enacted a law that required separate railway cars for blacks and whites.
plessy v ferguson
Plessy v. Ferguson
  • In 1892, Homer Adolph Plessy--who was seven-eighths Caucasian--took a seat in a "whites only" car of a Louisiana train. He refused to move to the car reserved for blacks and was arrested.
supreme court ruled that what happened to mr plessy was legal
Supreme Court ruled that what happened to Mr. Plessy was legal
  • “Separate but equal” became the rule of law.
  • that separate facilities for blacks and whites satisfied the Fourteenth Amendment so long as they were equal. (The phrase, "separate but equal" was not part of the opinion.)
early cracks in the segregation divides
Early “Cracks” In the Segregation Divides
  • 1947 – Brooklyn Dodgers was the first to hire a “colored” player.
    • Most Valuable Player 1949.
    • Many other African Americans began to join what had been “white only” sports.
the naacp
  • NAACP – National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
    • Legal Affairs team sought cases to fight against segregation in the courts.
      • Rosa Parks was represented by the NAACP.
the naacp mr civil rights
The NAACP: “Mr. Civil Rights”
  • Thurgood Marshall
    • 1908 - 1993
  • Took on “Separate but equal” laws as unconstitutional.
what eventually happened to thurgood marshall
What eventually happened to Thurgood Marshall?
  • First African American Supreme Court Justice in 1967.
  • Served until his death in 1993.
brown v board of education
Brown v. Board of Education
  • 1951 Topeka, Kansas
  • Segregated Schools
  • 8 year old Linda Brown tries to go to school.
1954 us supreme court rules on brown v board of education
1954: US Supreme Court rules on Brown v. Board of Education
  • Unanimous decision.
  • Separate but equal is unconstitutional.
  • Ordered desegregation of Topeka schools “with all deliberate speed.”
linda brown today
Linda Brown today
  • Works for St. Louis Public Schools as an administrative assistant.
public reaction to brown v board of education
Public Reaction to Brown v. Board of Education?
  • African Americans rejoiced
  • Some whites thought this would bring about a peaceful desegregation
public reaction to brown v board of education16
Public Reaction to Brown v. Board of Education?
  • The Klan did NOT approve.
    • Klan violence went up against African Americans and others who supported the changes.
public reaction to brown v board of education17
Public Reaction to Brown v. Board of Education?
  • “The good people of Georgia will not tolerate the mixing of the races in the public schools or any other tax-supported institutions.”
    • Governor Herman Talmadge
90 members of congress banned together to create the southern manifesto
90 Members of CONGRESS banned together to create the “Southern Manifesto”
  • “We pledge ourselves to use all lawful means to bring about a reversal of this decision, which is contrary to the Constitution, and to prevent the use of force in its implementation.”
notes on the montgomery bus boycott
Notes on the Montgomery Bus Boycott
  • Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • MLK organized PASSIVE RESISTANCE movement.
montgomery bus boycott lasted a year
Montgomery Bus Boycott lasted a YEAR
  • 50,000 African Americans refused to get on the buses
  • Even though the bus service was losing money – they still refused to give up.
  • Supreme Court ordered the desegregation of buses in 1956.
resistance in little rock arkansas
Resistance in Little Rock, Arkansas
  • Fall of 1957, Governor Faubus posted National Guard troops around Central High School to turn away 9 African American students who were going to attend.
15 year old elizabeth eckford
15-year old Elizabeth Eckford
  • The National Guardsman glared at me with a mean look and I was very frightened and didn’t know what to do.
15 year old elizabeth eckford23
15-year old Elizabeth Eckford
  • “I turned around and the crowd came toward me. They moved closer and closer. Somebody started yelling “Lynch her! Lynch her!”
  • “I tried to see a friendly face somewhere in the mob – someone who maybe would help.”
15 year old elizabeth eckford24
15-year old Elizabeth Eckford
  • “I looked into the face of an old woman and it seemed a kind face, but when I looked at her again, she spat on me.”
eisenhower s reaction
Eisenhower’s Reaction
  • Saw what was happening in Little Rock as a challenge to federal authority (the President’s and the Supreme Court’s)
  • Ordered US soldiers to escort the kids to school.
other voices of protest
Other Voices of Protest
  • 1947 – Mexican Americans sued to be able to attend the same schools as whites.
  • Native Americans protested against policies of “termination” of reservations.
leaders and strategies of the civil rights movement
Leaders and Strategies of the Civil Rights Movement
    • Interracial group
    • Appealed mostly to people with education.
  • National Urban League
    • Helped African Americans moving from the South to find jobs and homes.
  • CORE
    • Interracial
    • Organized peaceful protests against segregation.
leaders and strategies of the civil rights movement28
Leaders and Strategies of the Civil Rights Movement
  • SCLC
    • Southern Christian Leadership Conference
    • 1957 – created by Martin Luther King, Jr. and other ministers wanting civil rights changes.
    • Use of nonviolent protest.
sclc was different
SCLC was different
  • It was primarily focused on the South and was not dominated by African Americans / whites from the North.
  • Used Gandhi’s ideas on nonviolence as the only way to achieve victory against stronger foes.
leaders and strategies of the civil rights movement30
Leaders and Strategies of the Civil Rights Movement
    • 1929 – 1968
    • Son and grandson of Baptist ministers.
    • Had white playmates as a child but at school age became aware of segregation.
  • Eloquent and inspiring.
  • Gave an example of dignity despite all the prejudice around him.
  • Arrested, beaten physically and verbally many times.
  • Nobel Prize for Peace in 1964
martin luther king assassination
Martin Luther King Assassination
  • April 1968
  • Memphis, Tennessee
  • Came to give support to the striking garbage men.
    • Prophetic Speech the night before his death.
the killer
The Killer?
  • James Earl Ray
  • Caught in 1969
  • Sentenced to 99 years.
  • Toward the end of his life, met with King’s son and said he hadn’t been alone in the killing.
nonviolence as a form of protest
Nonviolence as a form of protest
  • Those who fight for justice must peacefully refuse to obey unjust laws.
  • MUST remain nonviolent, regardless of reactions.
    • Required TREMENDOUS courage and discipline.
17 rules for nonviolent protest
17 Rules for Nonviolent Protest
  • “Pray for guidance and commit yourself to complete nonviolence in word and action as you enter the bus … Be loving enough to absorb evil and understanding enough to turn an enemy into a friend.”
17 rules for nonviolent protest37
17 Rules for Nonviolent Protest
  • “If cursed, do not curse back. If pushed, do not push back. If struck, do not strike back, but evidence love and good will at all times …
17 rules for nonviolent protest38
17 Rules for Nonviolent Protest
  • “If another person is being molested, do not arise to go to his defense, but pray for the oppressor and use moral and spiritual force to carry on the struggle for justice.”
sncc student nonviolent coordinating committee
SNCC: Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee
  • Students who wanted to be in the Civil Rights movement.
    • Didn’t want to be a part of church leaders work.
    • Sought more immediate change than the SCLC did.
    • Interracial at first.
the struggle intensifies
The Struggle Intensifies
  • “As a child in the rural Mississippi town of Centreville, I grew up wondering what ‘the white folks’ secret’ was.
  • “There homes were large and beautiful with indoor toilets. Every house I ever lived in was a one or two room shack with an outdoor toilet.”
    • Anne Moody - SNCC
anne moody cont
Anne Moody (cont.)
  • “I was horrified when 14-year old Emmett Till, visiting from Chicago, was killed in Mississippi for whistling at a white woman.”
anne moody cont42
Anne Moody (cont.)
  • “After I was jailed for my involvement in the Civil Rights demonstrations, it wasn’t as bad as the reaction I got from home.”
anne moody
Anne Moody
  • “My mother, afraid for the lives of her relatives, begged me to end my involvement.”
  • “My brother was beaten up and almost lynched by a group of white boys.”
anne moody44
Anne Moody
  • “The local sheriff warned me never to return to my hometown.”
  • “My sister angrily told me that my activism was threatening the lives of every colored in Centreville.”
sit ins challenge segregation
Sit-ins Challenge Segregation
  • Sitting-in a place and disrupting business until they were served or arrested.
sit ins
  • It was a Woolworth in the heart of the downtown area, and we occupied every seat at the lunch counter, every seat in the restaurant ….
sit ins47
  • “A group of young white men came in and they started pulling and beating primarily the young women. They put lighted cigarettes down their backs, in their hair, and they were really beating people.”
sit ins48
  • “In a short time, police officials came in and placed all of us under arrest, and not a single member of the white group., the people that were opposing our sit-in was arrested.”
    • John Lewis
sit ins49
  • MLK called participation a “Badge of Honor”
  • 70,000 participated by the end of 1960.
  • 3,600 had been arrested.
  • People were witnessing how wrong segregation was.
the freedom rides
The Freedom Rides
  • 1960, Supreme Court ruled that interstate bus segregation was illegal.
  • Protestors decided to “test” this in “Freedom Rides” in 1961
as they traveled into the deep south troubles happened
As they traveled into the Deep South troubles happened.
  • Anniston, Alabama, white mob attacked the bus in the terminal, then followed, boarded the bus, disabled it, closed the door and barred it and threw a firebomb into the bus.
freedom ride
Freedom Ride
  • Through a broken window the students escaped, but were beaten by the mob.
freedom ride53
Freedom Ride
  • There were thoughts of calling it off, but instead it was decided to send more buses.
  • Violence in Birmingham and Montgomery.
  • More volunteers arrived.
freedom ride54
Freedom Ride
  • Finally, Attorney General Robert Kennedy saw the need to send Federal Marshals to protect the Freedom Riders in 1961.
  • Nation was horrified by the violence.
integration of colleges 1961
Integration of Colleges 1961
  • James Meredith was turned down for college at “Old Miss.”
  • 1962 Supreme Court ordered Mississippi to admit Meredith.
  • The Governor himself blocked Meredith from entering the Admissions Office.
james meredith s struggles for an education
James Meredith’s Struggles for an Education
  • White crowds attacked the Federal Marshal cars and threw bottles at Meredith’s dorm room windows.
  • Two people killed in the riots.
james meredith
James Meredith
  • Received his college degree.
  • Shot while on the Voter Registration March in 1966. Recovered to finish the March with MLK at his side.
james meredith today
James Meredith today
  • Has worked as a Congressional aide for former segregationist Jesse Helms.
  • Writes history books about Mississippi today.
clash in birmingham april 1963
Clash in Birmingham, April 1963
  • Birmingham, AL – 40% black, but “most segregated city in America.”
  • King was arrested.
  • Marchers were attacked.
a nation watches
A Nation Watches
  • Even Americans that didn’t approve of Civil Rights were horrified by the violence inflicted on the peaceful protestors.
birmingham had to agree to change
Birmingham had to agree to change
  • New hiring practices
  • Public facilities were desegregated.
  • Bi-racial committee to have more communication between people.
the political response to the civil rights movement
The Political Response to the Civil Rights Movement?
  • Eisenhower – sent troops to integrate Little Rock High Schools.
  • But didn’t do much afterward.
  • FBI was NOT protecting the Civil Rights workers.
    • OPPOSITE under J. Edgar Hoover.
      • HATED MLK
the political response to the civil rights movement63
The Political Response to the Civil Rights Movement?
  • President John Kennedy (JFK)
    • Slower to react
  • Attorney General Robert Kennedy (RFK)
    • Once he saw the violence he used Federal Marshals
jfk speech june 1963
JFK Speech, June 1963
  • “We preach freedom around the world … but what are we to say to the world and each other that this is the land of the free … except for the Negros?
  • “Now is the time for the nation to fulfill its promise.”
reaction to jfk s speech
Reaction to JFK’s Speech?
  • Klan murder of Medgar Evers.
    • NAACP worker
    • Organized voter registration drives.
    • Gunned down in front of his home.
medgar evers murder
Medgar Evers Murder
  • Byron de la Beckwith charged with the murder.
  • Two white juries were hung – he was released in 1964.
  • Retrial in 1994 FINALLY saw him convicted and jailed for life.
the march on washington
The March on Washington
  • August 1963
  • 200,000 came from all over the country to call for “jobs and freedom”
  • Kennedy feared the marchers would bring more violence and anger Congress.
civil rights act of 1964
Civil Rights Act of 1964

President Lyndon B. Johnson got it passed.

-considering he was from the SOUTH, it was unusual that he supported reforms.

civil rights act 1964
Civil Rights Act 1964
  • Banned use of different voter registration standards for blacks and whites.
  • Prohibited discrimination in “pubic accommodations”
    • Motels, restaurants, gas stations, theaters, sports events
civil rights act 196470
Civil Rights Act 1964
  • Allowed government to withhold funds to schools that practice discrimination
  • Banned discrimination on the basis of race, sex, religion, or national origin by employers and unions.
    • Created EEOC
      • Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to investigate claims of discrimination.
freedom summer 1964
Freedom Summer 1964
  • Focus of the Civil Rights Movement to register voters in Mississippi.
  • Went right for the “heart” of the Klan.
murders of civil rights workers
Murders of Civil Rights Workers
  • 80 mob attacks
  • 3 men “disappeared” and were found buried in an earthen dam.**
  • Thousand arrests.
  • African American churches and homes were burned or bombed.
basis of the movie mississippi burning
Basis of the movie Mississippi Burning
  • No convictions for the murders until 2005.
    • Baptist minister Ray Killen.
      • Said KKK was a “peaceful” group.
voting rights act 1965 24 th amendment
Voting Rights Act 1965 / 24th Amendment
  • Eliminated literacy tests, poll taxes, and most barriers to voting.
  • By 1965 400,000 African Americans were registered to vote in the Deep South
the movement takes a new turn malcolm x and black nationalism
The Movement Takes a New Turn: Malcolm X and Black Nationalism

Born Malcolm Little in Omaha, NE in 1925.

-Father a Baptist minister who died when he was young.

- Drifted to Detroit, Boston, NYC and lived life of crime.

-Jailed by time he was 20.

malcolm x
Malcolm X
  • Converted to Islam and specifically Black Islam.
  • Believed Allah would someday reward them with a black nation.
  • Meantime live separately and be self-sufficient.
malcolm x and black nationalism
Malcolm X and Black Nationalism
  • Released from prison in 1952 Malcolm changed his name and preached his message of black nationalism.
opposition to integration
Opposition to Integration
  • Disagreed with MLK and the March on Washington.
  • Disagreed with non-violent protest.
  • “Why would anyone want to join white society?”
malcolm x leaves nation of islam
Malcolm X leaves Nation of Islam
  • 1964, had disagreements with the group’s leader Elijah Muhammad.
  • Made a pilgrimage to Mecca
    • Seeing millions of all nations and colors worshipping together made him rethink his ideas of separation.
malcolm x80
Malcolm X
  • 1965 returned to US with a new attitude and want to create integration.
    • Enemies from the Nation of Islam did not like these changes in him.
      • Killed him nine months later.
black power movement
Black Power Movement
  • Stokely Carmichael
    • NO to peaceful protest
    • NO more going to jail
    • NO more submitting to beatings.
    • “We shall overrun” instead of “We shall overcome”
the black panthers
The Black Panthers
  • Bobby Seale and Huey Newton – 1966
  • Direct confrontation with white authorities.
  • “Power flows from the barrel of a gun.”
  • “Black is Beautiful”
riots in the street burn baby burn
Riots in the Street: “Burn Baby Burn!”
  • Black Panthers in Omaha, NE blew up an Omaha cop in 1970.
  • 1967 Watts neighborhood riot in LA.
    • 34 people dead
de facto v de jure segregation
De Facto v. De Jure Segregation
  • De Jure
    • Laws creating segregation.
    • Common in South
  • De Facto
    • Not a law, but social conditions create segregation.
    • Common in the North
twin tragedies in 1968
Twin Tragedies in 1968
  • MLK assassination in April.
    • Memphis, TN
twin tragedies in 196886
Twin Tragedies in 1968
  • RFK’s assassination in June 1968.
    • Los Angeles
the legacy of the movement
The Legacy of the Movement
  • Segregation became illegal.
    • We HOPE! (Omaha)
  • Voter registration has changed the power base in the South.
  • 1970 – 1975 the number of African Americans elected to office went UP 88%
side note

Side Note:

John Kennedy and “Camelot”

john fitzgerald kennedy jfk
John Fitzgerald Kennedy (JFK)
  • Youngest President.
  • First Catholic President
  • Came from one of the richest and most powerful families in the country.
many think of the kennedy years as camelot
Many think of the Kennedy years as “Camelot”
  • JFK and wife represented how most Americans saw – or wanted to see – themselves as.
many like to think of jfk as a perfect president
Many like to think of JFK as a perfect president
  • He did give great speeches!
    • “Ask not what your country can do for you – but what you can do for your country.”
what kennedy did do
What Kennedy did do:
  • Worked on programs to combat poverty and inequality.
    • Increased minimum wage
    • Gave surplus food to unemployed people
    • Redevelopment grants for communities with long-term unemployment
what kennedy did do93
What Kennedy did do
  • Continued the Arms Race with the Soviets
  • Signed a Nuclear Test Ban Treaty
  • Bay of Pigs Disaster
  • Sent troops into Vietnam
  • Questions on Civil Rights commitments
cuban missile crisis
Cuban Missile Crisis
  • The CLOSEST we ever came to nuclear war.
  • 10-Days in October 1961.
  • Cuba / Russia tried to put nuclear missiles in Cuba to be able to launch an attack on DC in less than 5 minutes.
    • First strike capability with maybe no chance the US could respond?
jackie style
Jackie Style
  • Jacqueline Kennedy
    • Mother
    • Remodeled the White House with historical accuracy
    • Seen as a style-setter for US women.
    • People always wanted to see what she wore.
november 22 1963 assassination in dallas tx
November 22, 1963: Assassination in Dallas, TX
  • Questions about if Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone still linger today.
    • Zagruder film
jfk s assassin lee harvey oswald
JFK’s assassin: Lee Harvey Oswald
  • Difficult childhood but doted / domineered on by mother.
  • 18 years old – joined Marines. Failure.
  • 19 – years old – defected to Russia.
lee harvey oswald
Lee Harvey Oswald
  • Even though he married and had a daughter, he wasn’t content in Russia.
  • Came back to the US.
  • Could only get menial jobs and troubles in his marriage.
lee harvey oswald103
Lee Harvey Oswald

1962 – 1963: Weird time in Oswald’s life.

Attempted Assassination of an anti-communist / segregationist.

Sometimes Pro-Castro ; Sometimes Anti- Castro.

Traveled to Mexico, New Orleans, back to Dallas.

november 22 1963
November 22, 1963
  • Did Oswald act alone?
  • He also killed a Dallas cop that day that tried to stop him.
  • In interviews over two days, he said that he was a “patsy” and being set up.
what happened to oswald
What happened to Oswald?
  • Murdered days after being taken into custody.
    • Jack Ruby – local small-time mobster and dying of cancer.