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The Civil Rights Movement in Texas


The Civil Rights Movement in Texas What are Civil Rights? Civil rights are the nonpolitical rights of a citizen The rights of personal liberty guaranteed to US ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The Civil Rights Movement in Texas

The Civil Rights Movement in Texas
What are Civil Rights?
  • Civil rights are the nonpolitical rights of a
  • The rights of personal liberty guaranteed to US
    citizens by the 13th and 14th Amendments to the
    US Constitution and by acts of Congress.

Examples of Civil Rights
  • Freedom of speech
  • Freedom of press
  • Freedom of assembly
  • The right to vote
  • Freedom from involuntary servitude
  • The right to equality in public places

What is Discrimination?
  • Discrimination occurs when the civil rights of an
    individual are denied or interfered with because
    of their membership in a particular group or

Is There Any Law Against Discrimination?
  • Statutes have been enacted to prevent
    discrimination based on a person's race, sex,
    religion, age, previous condition of servitude,
    physical limitation, national origin, and in some
    instances sexual preference.

14th Amendment
  • The State should not deprive any person of life,
    liberty, or property, without due process of law
    nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction
    the equal protection of the laws.

The Civil Rights Movement
  • Several reform movements have occurred in the
    United States
  • aimed at abolishing racial discrimination against
    Americans of color and restoring suffrage in
    Southern states.

What Led to the Civil Rights Movement?
  • After the end of reconstruction, Southern states
    implemented laws that promoted
  • Racial segregation
  • Disenfranchisement
  • Exploitation
  • Violence against minorities (Blacks, Latinos,

Civil Rights Movement in Texas
  • Civil-rights campaigns in Texas are generally
    associated with the state's two most prominent
    ethnic minorities
  • African Americans
  • Mexican Americans

Civil Rights Movement in Texas
  • Mexican Americans have made efforts to bring
    about improved political circumstances since the
    Anglo-American domination of Texas began in 1836.
  • African Texans have fought for civil rights since
    their emancipation from slavery in 1865.

Pre-Civil War Atrocities
  • In the 1850s, Tejanos faced expulsion from their
    Central Texas homes on the accusation that they
    helped slaves escape to Mexico.
  • They became victims of Anglo wrath around the
    Goliad area during the Cart War of 1857, as they
    did in South Texas in 1859 after Juan N.
    Cortinas capture of Brownsville.

The U.S. Civil War (18611865)
Freedom at Last
  • When President Lincolns Emancipation
    Proclamation took effect in 1865, an entire race
    of people was freed.
  • Texas 1866 Constitutional Convention gave
    African-American men the right to sue or be sued,
    to contract and be contracted with, to acquire
    and transmit property, to obtain equal criminal
    prosecution under the law, and to testify orally
    in any case involving another African American.

Freedom at Last
  • Significantly, the 1866 Constitution did not
    allow African Americans to hold public office or
    to vote.
  • 11th Texas Legislature refused to ratify either
    the 13th Amendment, which abolished slavery, or
    the 14th Amendment, which granted citizenship to
    African Americans.

Freedom at Last
  • The legislature wanted to return Texas as much as
    possible to the way it was before the war and
    restrict the rights of African Americans.

Post-Civil War Violence in Texas
  • The 1880s, white men in East Texas used violence
    as a method of political control, and lynching
    became the common form of retaliation.
  • The Ku Klux Klan, the White Caps, law officials,
    and the Texas Rangers all acting as agents of
    white authority, regularly terrorized both
    Mexican Americans and black Texans.

Segregation Followed Emancipation
  • Freedmen found themselves barred from most public
    places and schools, and confined to certain
    residential areas of towns.
  • By the early twentieth century, such practices
    had been sanctioned by law.

Segregation Followed Emancipation
  • These statutes were not formulated with Tejanos
    in mind, but they enforced them through social
    custom nonetheless.
  • African and Mexican Americans faced terrorist
    tactics, literacy tests, the stuffing of ballots,
    and accusations of incompetence when they won

Poll-tax and Political parties
  • Institution of poll-tax, a fixed tax for every
    person regardless of income, was used to
    disenfranchise minorities and poor whites.
  • By the late 1920s, Texas politicians had
    effectively immobilized African Texan voters
    through court cases that defined political
    parties as private organizations which could
    exclude members.

Jim Crow Laws
  • Increased the segregation of the races.
  • Blacks and Hispanics attended segregated and
    inferior "colored" and "Mexican" schools.
  • In mid-1950s, the state legislature passed
    segregationist laws directed at blacks (and by
    implication to Tejanos), some dealing with
    education, others with residential areas and
    public accommodations.

  • African and Mexican Americans criticized
    segregationist policies and white injustices via
    their newspapers, labor organizations, and
    self-help societies.
  • The period between 1900 and 1930 saw continued
    efforts by minorities to break down racial

  • Much of the leadership on behalf of civil rights
    came from the ranks of the middle class.
  • Black leaders established a chapter of the
    National Association for the Advancement of
    Colored People in Houston in 1912.
  • The association pursued the elimination of the
    white primary and other obstacles to voting, as
    well as the desegregation of schools,
    institutions of higher education, and public

Fight for Equality
  • Mexican and Black Texans continued their advocacy
    for equality during the depression era.
  • The black movement, for its part, won increased
    white support in the 1930s from the ranks of the
    Association of Southern Women for the Prevention
    of Lynching and from such prominent congressmen
    as Maury Maverick.

Desegregation of Schools
  • The famous case of Brown v. Board of Education
    (1954) produced the integration of schools,
    buses, restaurants, and other public
  • The case of Sweatt v. Painter (1950) integrated
    the University of Texas Law School, and in its
    wake several undergraduate colleges in the state

  • During the 1960s both African Americans and
    Mexican Americans took part in national movements
    intended to bring down racial barriers.
  • Black Texans held demonstrations within the state
    to protest the endurance of segregated

1960s Black Power
  • In conjunction with the National March on
    Washington in 1963, approximately 900 protesters
    marched on the state Capitol.
  • Some segments of the black community flocked to
    the cause of Black Power" and accepted violence
    as a means of social redress. However, Texas saw
    a lot less violence and destruction of property
    in comparison to some other states like Alabama.

Chicano Movement
  • Tejanos took part in the Chicano movement of the
    era, and some, especially youths, supported the
    movement's militancy, its denunciation of
    "gringos," and its talk of separatism from
    American society.
  • The movement declined by the mid-1970s.

Racial Equality
  • The federal government pursued an agenda designed
    to achieve racial equality, and Mexican and Black
    Texans both profited from this initiative.
  • The 24th Amendment, ratified in 1964, barred the
    poll tax in federal elections, and that same year
    Congress passed the Civil Rights Act outlawing
    the Jim Crow tradition.

Racial Equality
  • Texas followed suit in 1969 by repealing its own
    separatist statutes.
  • The federal Voting Rights Act of 1965 eliminated
    local restrictions to voting and required that
    federal marshals monitor election proceedings.