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The Civil Rights Movement

The Civil Rights Movement

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The Civil Rights Movement

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  1. The Civil Rights Movement

  2. During Reconstruction • The Civil Rights Act of 1875 had declared that “all persons . . . Shall be entitled to the full and equal enjoyment of the accommodations . . . of inns, public conveyances on land or water, theaters, and other places of public amusement.” • This law was declared unconstitutional in 1883.

  3. Separate but Equal • After years of being segregated by race, Jim Crow laws and an accumulation of court decisions had severely limited African-American rights. • In 1890 the Louisiana legislature passed a law requiring railroads to provide separate accommodations for the “white and colored races”

  4. The Basis for the Case • This law was challenged on the basis of the equal protection clauses of the 14th amendment. • The trial progressed all the way to the Supreme Court. • In 1896 the Court ruled that this “separate but equal” clause was not a violation of the amendment and was, therefore, legal

  5. The Results • Many laws were now passed to forcibly segregate the races. • Separate: • Schools • Marriage (no interracial marriages allowed) • Rail coaches, elevators, witness stands, water fountains, streetcars, etc.

  6. 1896 - 1954 • Soldiers serving in the armed forces during both world wars were returned to the land of segregation. • The US Armed forces were only de-segregated in 1947. • The NAACP began in 1909 - fought major court cases during the 1930s and 1940s - and began to chip away at the boundaries of the races.

  7. Thurgood Marshall • One of the major reasons that the NAACP lawyers began to win was due to the work of Thurgood Marshall, and African-American lawyer and later Supreme Court Justice.

  8. Brown v. Board of Education • 8 year old Linda Brown was forced to attend an all Black school 21 blocks from her home, crossing railroad tracks along the way. • The nearest school was 4 blocks from her home.

  9. The Verdict • The Supreme Court ruled that the separate but equal clause was not only not equal, but was also unconstitutional. • The Warren Court ordered that public schools be desegregated at “all deliberate speed” Chief Justice Earl Warren

  10. Public Reaction • Many areas that had a Black majority refused to integrate. • In 1957, the Governor of Arkansas chose to try to defy the law by ordering the National Guard to block attendance to 9 African- American students who had volunteered to begin the desegregation process.

  11. Response • Activists called 8 of the 9 students to warn them not to come to school until the situation had been fixed. • Elizabeth Eckford, who had no phone, arrived at school as scheduled. • She was met by a hostile, abusive crowd, supported by armed National Guard officers.

  12. The end of resistance in Arkansas • Elizabeth made her way through the crowd and was then protected by two friendly Whites at the nearby bus stop until she could leave. • She later returned to the school with a federal escort - the 101st Airborne.

  13. Busses • African-Americans were required to ride at the back of busses in the south. • After many violations of this rule, and subsequent punishments, Rosa Parks was the spark that got the issue dealt with. • On December 1, 1955, she refused to move to the back - with the usual results - arrest.

  14. What Next?? • The reaction was a boycott of all of the Montgomery, AL busses by African-Americans. The boycott was led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

  15. Non-Violent Resistance • Believing that there was a need to reduce tensions, King organized a peaceful boycott. This also kept people from getting arrested. • For his efforts, his house was blown up.

  16. Next Steps • The next step was to build up a grassroots resistance movement. • The Southern Christian Leadership Conference, (SCLC) was formed in 1957 to fuel the movement.

  17. The Students get Involved • In April 1960, students at Shaw University in North Carolina organized and formed the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) to organize activities. • This organization quickly spread to other colleges and universities.

  18. 1961 - Freedom Riders • During the summer of 1961, white activists joined with Black leaders to challenge the lack of enforcement of federal laws banning segregation of interstate busses. • Their goal - provoke a violent reaction and force the Kennedy Administration to act.

  19. Violence Achieved!!! • Their goals were met early in the process. • When they hit the Alabama border, the busses were greeted by angry Whites carrying brass knuckles, chains, and guns • They also set fire to the busses.

  20. Federal Response • Federal marshals accompanied the riders to the end of their journey in Jackson, Mississippi.

  21. Birmingham and Selma • In each of these cities Martin Luther King, Jr. worked toward desegregation. • In Birmingham, he was arrested and beaten by police. • In Selma he organized a march - which was broken up with water cannon - on national television.

  22. JFK • These brutal actions led President Kennedy to conclude that violence would not stop without a new Civil Rights Act and federal enforcement powers. • He proposed one in September 1963

  23. March on Washington, D.C.August 28, 1963 • The site of the famous “I have a dream” speech, King called for equality and an end to racism. • He was looking for a “color blind” society in America.

  24. Voting • The next step was to get African-Americans to vote - first they had to register. • During “Freedom Summer” in 1964 hundreds of White college students from the north went to Mississippi to assist in voter registration drives. • They were not greeted warmly, and many were beaten or otherwise mistreated.

  25. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 • In 1965 Congress finally passed a new voting rights bill. • This law ended: • Literacy tests • Poll Taxes • and other impediments to voting rights.

  26. As the 1960s continued . . . • Increasing numbers of African-Americans took pride in their heritage and ancestry. • The various reform movements in the African-American community worked toward greater equality and social change. • As the decade continued these groups, while looking for a similar answer, began to disagree with Dr. King’s passive resistance movement.

  27. The Battle Against Division • There were two types of racial segregation. • The type that was prevalent in the north was something that is called “de facto” or “in-fact” segregation • In the north, while there were no legal requirements to keep society segregated, custom, tradition, and other factors kept the races apart. • No law could change this, because no law had created it

  28. The other kind of segregation . . . • In many states, there was also “de jure” or segregation based on the law • This was especially prevalent in the south

  29. Racial Tensions in the Cities • After World War II many African-Americans moved to the cities of the north • This prompted something called “white flight” • As the African-Americans moved to the cities, the whites moved to the suburbs

  30. The discontent flares up • Angry with police violence against African-Americans, and overt discrimination, northern and western cities erupted during the summers of 1965 - 1967

  31. The Watts Riot • One of the worst and deadliest of the riots took place in Watts, a lower income section of Los Angeles, during the summer of 1965. • Many fires raged throughout the area, leaving many homeless or without work. • The Army was called in to restore order.

  32. The violence was widespread and nasty • The final totals were 34 dead, several hundred wounded, and hundreds of millions of dollars in property damage.

  33. Changes in the Movement • The movement was moving slowly, and while the laws were changing, the everyday reality for many African-Americans was not. • Impatient for meaningful change, new leaders, calling for increased African-American controls over their communities and lives began to emerge.

  34. Leadership • The leaders of the new movements were more likely to see passive resistance as useless, and called for more violent action to force the issue. • One such leader was Malcolm X, head of the Nation of Islam

  35. Malcolm X “If you think we are here to tell you to love the white man, you have come to the wrong place.”

  36. Malcolm X Concerning non-violence: It is criminal to teach a man not to defend himself when he is the constant victim of brutal attacks. It is legal and lawful to own an shotgun or rifle. We believe in obeying the law . . . the time has come for the American Negro to fight back in self-defense whenever and wherever he is being unjustly and unlawfully attacked”

  37. The Result • Many whites were frightened by the calls for armed self-defense • Many moderate African-Americans also were afraid • Many began to resent the attention being received by Malcolm X • On the night of February 21, 1965, Malcolm X was shot while giving a speech in Harlem, NY

  38. Black Power • During a peaceful march in Mississippi, Stokely Carmichael was arrested and beaten. • When he returned to the march, his face was swollen and discolored. • When the students who were marching with him saw him, they got very, very angry.

  39. Stokely Carmichael • When he spoke, the crowd was looking for a new direction. • “This is the twenty-seventh time I have been arrested, and I ain’t goin’ to jail no more!”

  40. The Speech continued . . . • “We been saying freedom for six years — and we ain’t got nothin’. What we’re gonna start saying now is BLACK POWER!” • He was focused on developing African-American pride

  41. 1968 Olympics

  42. The Black Panthers • The group was formed to stop police brutality in ghettos • The group was organized as a political party • They called for: • Self-sufficiency for African-American Communities • Full employment • Decent housing • Believed that Blacks should be exempt from military service because of the high number of African-Americans that had been drafted for Vietnam

  43. 1968 • A brutal year by any standard • On April 3, Martin Luther King was shot in Memphis, TN • The shooter was James Earl Ray • His death sparked the worst urban riots in US history • Over 100 cities were involved

  44. “For those of you who are Black—considering the evidence . . . that there were white people who were responsible—you can be filled with bitterness, with hatred, and a desire for revenge. We can move in that direction as a country, in great polarization—black people amongst black, white people amongst white, filled with hatred toward one another. Or we can make an effort, as Martin Luther King did, to understand and comprehend, and to replace that violence, that stain of bloodshed that has spread across our land, with an effort to understand with compassion and love. Robert F. Kennedy, in response to King’s murder

  45. Robert F. Kennedy • As his popularity rose, Kennedy became the likely Democratic candidate for President in 1968 • After winning the California primary, he was shot by a Jordanian immigrant named Sirhan Sirhan, who was upset with Kennedy’s support of Israel

  46. Civil Rights Programs that came out of the 1960s • The Civil Rights Act of 1968 • Ended discrimination in the awarding of housing • Greater pride in African-American history and the community • More integration in schools • Affirmative Action