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Major Events of the Civil Rights Movement


Major Events of the Civil Rights Movement A Legacy of Discrimination and Segregation All men are created equal? (1787) 3/5 Compromise (1789) Dred Scott Decision (1856 ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Major Events of the Civil Rights Movement

Major Events of the Civil Rights Movement
A Legacy of Discrimination and Segregation
  • All men are created equal? (1787)
  • 3/5 Compromise (1789)
  • Dred Scott Decision (1856)
  • Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) Supreme Court rules
    separate facilities for whites and blacks is
    legal (separate but equal)
  • Birth of legalized segregation
  • Jim Crow Laws
  • Separate entrances to public buildings, separate
    drinking fountains, separate bathrooms, laws
    against intermarriage, segregated buses or blacks
    in back of the bus, segregated schools

World War II and African-Americans
  • African-Americans fight against tyranny in Europe
    and the Pacific, then come home to discrimination
    (blacks see double standard)
  • A. Philip Randolph threatens a march on
    Washington to Roosevelt to protest discrimination
  • Roosevelt compromises and ends segregation of
    government offices and the defense industry (the
    march is overted)
  • Harry Truman desegregates the armed forces near
    the end of the war
  • Korean War becomes the first de-segregated war

Popular Culture Paves Way for Civil Rights
  • 1947 Jackie Robinson, becomes the first black
    player to break the sports color barrier signing
    with the Brooklyn Dodgers
  • Other professional sports follow suit
  • African-American celebrities increasingly in the
    public eye
  • Nat King Cole has his own primetime TV show
  • Sammy Davis Jr. part of the Rat Pack
  • Increasing popularity of Rock and Roll music and
    black artists
  • Little Richard, Chuck Berry

Emmett Till
  • Emmett Till beaten and murdered for whistling at
    a white woman
  • Mother chose to have an open casket funeral in
    Chicago, for the world to see the horrors of
  • Beginning of Civil Rights Movement
  • Illustrates the differences between the North and
  • De Facto Segregation racial segregation by
    practice and law (North)
  • De Jure Segregation overt racial segregation
    by law (South)


The Brown Case
  • Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas
  • Brown family sues for having to send their
    daughters to a black school across down
  • NAACP lawyer Thurgood Marshall argues case before
    the court (later becomes first African-American
    on the Supreme Court)
  • Supreme Court lead by Chief Justice Earl Warren
    rules separate but equal is a violation of the
    14th Amendment (equal protection clause)
  • Overturned Plessy v. Ferguson
  • Court calls for desegregation of schools with
    all deliberate speed

Montgomery Bus Boycott
  • (1955)Rosa Parks (NAACP secretary) refuses to
    give up her seat in the front of the bus- she is
  • Begining of the Montgomery Bus Boycott, economic
    boycott of buses, which lasts 381 days
  • Martin Luther King Jr. head of the Southern
    Christian Leadership Council (SCLC) emerges as
    the leader of the boycott and civil rights

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Brown Decision tested in Little Rock
  • Despite the Brown Decision school desegregation
    moves slowly
  • One of the first test cases Central High School
    in Little Rock, Arkansas where 9 African-American
    students are chosen to integrate the school
  • Governor of Arkansas Orval Faubus comes out
    against desegregation, sends in state troops to
    prevent the 9 students from entering the school.
    Local white mobs also for barriers to prevent the
    students from entering
  • President Eisenhower sends in National Guard
    troops and nationalizes state troops to protect
    the students and allow them in the school

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Lunch Counters
  • Students within the SCLC form the Student
    Nonviolent Coordinating Committee push for more
    confrontational methods of gaining civil rights
  • 2/1/1960 SNCC members sit at white-only lunch
    counters in Greensboro, North Carolina food is
    thrown on them, they are yelled at and beaten

Freedom Rides
  • Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) lead by James
    Farmer fight segregation on interstate busing
  • 1961 set out on bus trips throughout the south on
    integrated buses
  • Buses firebombed, tires slashed, riders arrested
  • Federal government is forced to step in to
    protect freedom riders

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March on Washington
  • Civil Rights leaders lead by Martin Luther King
    and A. Philip Randolph organized a march on
    Washington to persuade the Federal government to
    pass Civil Rights legislation
  • 8/28/1963 250,000 people gathered at the
    Lincoln memorial
  • Kings I Have a Dream Speech
  • Success of the March on Washington leads to the
    passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which
    barred discrimination in employment and public

Black Power Movement
  • Malcolm X emerges as a Civil Rights leader
    pushing separation and violence resistance
  • 1966 Stokely Carmichael comes to power in SNCC
    pushing for more confrontational methods he
    coins the phrase Black Power combat White
  • Black Panther Party founded in Oakland pushing
    self-determination for blacks and armed
    resistance to police violence
  • Even MLK gets more confrontational speaking out
    against the war in Vietnam, supporting workers
    strikes, he is assassinated in Memphis supporting
    a garbage workers strike

Freedom Summer
  • 6/1964 Freedom Summer is launched campaign to
    register black voters throughout the south by
    northern college students (45 of Mississippi
    was black, only 5 of voters were black)
  • 3 civil rights workers Schwerner, Chaney, and
    Goodman were abducted and killed, FBI comes in to
    investigate (Mississippi Burning)
  • Their killers were arrested but found not guilty
    after the case was over they admitted to the

Take a look around at Selma, Alabama
  • African-Americans in Selma trying to register to
    vote faced beatings and arrests
  • They organized a protest march from Selma to
    Montgomery, 600 people 50 miles
  • Police met the marchers and attacked the crowd
    Edmund Pettis Bridge)
  • LBJ sends Federal troops in to allow a second
    march to occur
  • Leads to the passage of the Voting Rights Act of
    1965 ending discrimination in voter
    registration by putting it under federal control

  • 8/1965 Watts Riots (L.A.) break out over police
    violence riots last 6 days 4,000 arrested 34
  • Over the next 2 years over 100 riots break out
    across the country
  • LBJ appoints commission to look into the problem
  • Kerner Commission blames the riots on white
    racism, warns of the U.S. moving towards two
    societies, one black, one white.

Civil Rights Big Picture
  • Importance of Television protests aired on
    national TV, whites beating blacks creates
    support for the movement (non-violent protest)
  • Federal Government steps in State and local
    governments fail to secure equal rights, Federal
    government steps in
  • Push for equality
  • 1)Social
  • 2)Political
  • 3)Economic