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The Long Civil Rights Movement

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  1. The Long Civil Rights Movement

  2. Postwar Prosperity? • Suburban boom bypasses ethnic minorities • GI Bill Benefits • Subsidies for education and housing, job training • Structure and enforcement exclude minorities • FHA and red lining • Chocolate Cities, Vanilla Suburbs • Suburbanization, Crisis in Levittown • Urban renewal • Chavez Ravine and the Dodgers • Competing values and political cultures • order, homogeneity, predictability, privacy • changeability, heterogeneity, collectivity

  3. Dismantling Legal Segregation • Dismantling Legal Segregation • Mendez v. Westminster • Perez v Sharp, 1948 • Who can and who can not marry in California? • What arguments are made to defend miscegenation laws? • What arguments to challenge miscegenation laws?

  4. Students from Lincoln Elementary School for “Mexican Children,” 1930s

  5. Dismantling Legal Segregation • Shelly v. Kraemer, 1948 • Executive Order 9981

  6. Civil Rights…Gaining Momentum • Brown V. Board of Education, 1954 • Murder of Emmett Till, 1955 • White resistance spreads • Eisenhower’s hands-off policy encourages • Southern Manifesto • Crisis and Action: Little Rock 9 • Recalcitrant governor, Orville Faubus • International media coverage • Sending in Federal Troops

  7. Civil Rights…Gaining Momentum • Boycotts • Montgomery Bus boycott • Community endeavor • Introduction of MLK • Eyes on the Prize • Sit-Ins • Greensboro, NC 1960 • Competitive flag waving • Freedom Rides • Interracial group • Challenge to segregation of facilities used in interstate travel • Jim Zwerg • Resilience Voter Registration March on Birmingham

  8. Letter from a Birmingham Jail • Perhaps it is easy for those who have never felt the stinging darts of segregation to say, "Wait." But when you have seen vicious mobs lynch your mothers and fathers at will and drown your sisters and brothers at whim; when you have seen hate-filled policemen curse, kick, and even kill your black brothers and sisters; when you see the vast majority of your twenty million Negro brothers smothering in an airtight cage of poverty in the midst of an affluent society; when you suddenly find your tongue twisted and your speech stammering as you seek to explain to your six-year-old daughter why she can't go to the public amusement park that has just been advertised on television, and see tears welling up in her eyes when she is told that Funtown is closed to colored children, and see ominous clouds of inferiority beginning to form in her little mental sky, and see her beginning to distort her personality by developing an unconscious bitterness toward white people; when you have to concoct an answer for a five-year-old son who is asking, "Daddy, why do white people treat colored people so mean?"; when you take a cross-country drive and find it necessary to sleep night after night in the uncomfortable corners of your automobile because no motel will accept you; when you are humiliated day in and day out by nagging signs reading "white" and "colored" when your first name becomes "Nigger," your middle name becomes "boy" (however old you are) and your last name becomes "John," and your wife and mother are never given the respected title "Mrs."; when your are harried by day and haunted by night by the fact that you are a Negro, living constantly at tiptoe stance, never quite knowing what to expect next, and are plagued with inner fears and outer resentments; when you are forever fighting a degenerating sense of "nobodiness" then you will understand why we find it difficult to wait. There 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.

  9. Eliciting a Reaction • White backlash • Burning of black churches • President Kennedy responds • Promises intervention • Crisis intensifies at University of Alabama • Federalizing Alabama National Guard • Proposes a Civil Rights Bill

  10. Landmark Legislation • Assassination of Kennedy • Capitalizing on grief • 1964 Civil Rights Act • Fulfills implicit promise of Brown • Outlaws discrimination in employment and public facilities • 1965 Voting Rights Act • Outlaws poll taxes • Federal supervision of voting registrars

  11. Dreams Deferred • Another approach to civil rights • Limits of legislation • Persistent inequalities • Housing • Political representation • Employment • Education • Police brutality

  12. Implosion • Riots • Watts, 1965 • Interpretation I: newsreel with commentary • What caused the riots? • What did the riots mean? Were they part of a civil rights movement? How does this form of protest differ from that of boycotts, freedom rides, sit-ins? Why deploy new tactics? • Should we refer to the Watts incident as a riot or rebellion? • Detroit and Newark, 1967

  13. Moving Away from Moderation • From nonviolence to militancy • From integration to separation • Malcolm X, “Ballot or Bullet”