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Civil Rights 1950s-1970s


Civil Rights 1950s-1970s Truman and Civil Rights Justice department begins to support anti-segregation laws Color barrier in baseball is broken when Jackie Robinson ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Civil Rights 1950s-1970s

Civil Rights 1950s-1970s
Truman and Civil Rights
  • Justice department begins to support
    anti-segregation laws
  • Color barrier in baseball is broken when Jackie
    Robinson plays for the Brooklyn Dodgers
  • 1948 Truman orders "equality of treatment and
    opportunity to African-Americans in the armed

Presidents and Civil Rights
  • Truman made attempts to advance the cause
  • Eisenhower was a segregationist. Not rabid, but
    certainly doesnt take steps to integrate
  • JFK was a tepid supporter of civil rights, but he
    finger was always testing the political wind,
    which drove his decision making
  • LBJ does more for Civil Rights than any other
    President ironyhes a Southerner

Emmett Till - 1955
  • An African-American boy (14 yrs) from Chicago
  • In Mississippi visiting relatives
  • He apparently whistled at a white store clerk,
    who informed her husband, Roy Bryant
  • Bryant and JW Milam killed Till, beating him,
    gouging out on eye, shooting him and dumping the
    body in a river.
  • His mother insisted on an open casket and allowed
    photos of her mutilated son that were circulated
    in papers
  • His murderers admitted to the killing, but were
    acquitted by a jury of 12 southern white men.
  • They deliberated for just over an hour
  • There was moral outrage throughout the US and
    Europe. This helped to spark the civil rights

Public School Integration
Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka - 1954
  • Linda Brown 3rd Grader had to travel 1 mile
    to all-black school, passing a white school along
    the way
  • NAACP works with Browns challenging school
  • Supreme Court overturns Plessy v. Ferguson said
    that Separate but equal denied students rights
    under Constitution
  • The first step in eliminating segregation

Loophole in Brown v. Board Decision
  • with all deliberate speed
  • Southern states did not move to quickly to reform
  • Southern Manifesto Southern Congressmen sign
    this document asserting that the Supreme Courts
    decision violates states rights
  • Some Southern states threatened to disband public
    schools and make all schools private

Integration in Schools
  • Ike did not advance the ball with integration
  • Did not crack down on states that ignored Brown
    v. Board
  • States further North desegregated peacefully, but
    in the South, African-Americans met more violence
    and taunts
  • Little Rock Crisis 1957
  • Central High School , city admitted 9 blacks
  • Gov. Orval Faubas used National Guard to keep
    blacks out
  • Faubas withdraws guardsmen under national
  • Eisenhower sends in 101st Airborne to keep the

State Universities
  • Slow to integrate, particularly in the South
  • 1956 University of Alabama admitted Autherine
    Lucy under court order, but expelled her before
    she could attend
  • 1962 James Meredith attended the University of
    Mississippi (transfer from Jackson St)
  • Opposed by Governor Ross Barnett sparking riots
  • Kennedy sent in the army
  • Meredith graduated the next year - Political
  • In 1963 Governor of Alabama, George Wallace,
    was vocal in his opposition to integration of the
    University of Alabama
  • Ran for President in 1968

Autherine Lucy James Meredith
Equal Access to Public Facilities
Jim Crowism (1877-1960s)
  • Practiced in most Southern states, 3 of 4 border
    states, and a few in the west
  • Separated the races in many public facilities
    like buses bus terminals, movie theaters,
    drinking fountains and restrooms.
  • Hotels and restaurants may deny African-Americans

Examples of Jim Crow
Montgomery Bus Boycott
  • Dec, 1955 Rosa Parks refused to give up her bus
    seat to a white passenger she was arrested
  • Montgomery Bus Boycott - Womens Political
    Council (college educated African-American women)
    started a boycott of the bus company in
  • Martin Luther King took a leadership role in this
  • Lasted several months received national media
  • Supreme Court ruled almost a year later that bus
    segregation was unconstitutional Browder v. Gayle
  • Martin Luther King was made famous

Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC)
  • Civil rights organization founded in 1957
  • Co-founded by Joseph Lowrey and Ella Baker.
  • It was later headed by MLK.
  • The organization, sparked by the success of the
    Montgomery Bus Boycott, focused on nonviolent
    civil disobedience through protests and marches
    to gain civil rights for blacks.
  • They thrived on media coverage to gain support
    around the world.
  • While NAACP focused on court-based reform, SCLC
    focused on community-based reform

Ella Baker
  • Civil rights activist involved with the NAACP and
  • She formed SNCC and went to work with them
    forming the plans for sit-ins and freedom rides.
  • Her ideas on group-centered organizing and direct
    action influenced the philosophy of participatory
    democracy put forth by SNCC

Ella Baker
Lunch Counter Sit-Ins
  • 1960 Four African-American college students sat
    at the lunch counter of a Woolworths in
    Greensboro, NC
  • Waited for a day without being served
  • Sparked similar demonstrations throughout the
  • Had varying effects
  • Some lunch counters integrated as a result
  • Violence by angry whites and arrests happened in
    other areas

Woolworths Sit-In - Greensboro
Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC)
- 1961
  • Founded under the guidance of Ella Baker led by
    John Lewis
  • Focused membership on the younger generation
  • Involved in sit-ins, freedom rides, March on
  • Its purpose was to coordinate the use of
    nonviolent direct action to attack segregation as
    well as other forms of racism.
  • Later led by Stokely Carmichael
  • Began to focus on black power, Vietnam and
    started to abandon the idea of passive
  • One of the first groups to used a decentralized
    organizational structure

John Lewis
  • Civil rights activist.
  • Involved in sit-ins and the freedom rides during
  • During the Selma to Montgomery march, police
    brutally beat him.
  • At the March on Washington, Lewis, the Pres of
    SNCC, was critical of the Kennedy administration

Freedom Rides - 1961
  • Began in May, shortly after the Bay of Pigs.
  • Black and White students from SNCC boarded busses
    to travel through the south to test the
    enforcement of laws prohibiting segregation.
  • The riders ran into trouble in Alabama where mobs
    stopped the buses and beat some of the riders.
  • They continued the ride
  • RFK cut a deal with the Governor of Miss to
    protect the riders in exchange for the justice
    department not enforcing segregation laws.

Freedom Rides
Birmingham - 1963
  • SCLC concentrated its efforts on the heavily
    segregated Birmingham, Alabama
  • Hold sit-ins protest marches
  • Commissioner of Public Safety, Bull Connor,
    turned the fire hoses dogs on these people
  • Some were arrested
  • MLK wrote Letter from a Birmingham Jail
  • We have not made a single gain in civil rights
    without determined legal and non-violent
    pressure Freedom is never voluntarily given by
    the oppressor it must be demanded by the

March on Washington (for Jobs and Freedom) Aug
  • Approx 200-500,000 people attended.
  • King delivered his I Have a Dream speech.
  • Kennedy felt that this would undermine pending
    civil rights legislation and hurt other domestic
  • JFK concerned this would embarrass the United
    States in the world community
  • Helped to push through the Civil Rights Act of
    1964 and Voters Rights act of 1965

Civil Rights Act of 1964
  • LBJ has taken over Presidency after JFKs murder
  • LBJ is a creative legislator and pushes through
    the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as a tribute to the
    fallen President
  • Prohibited segregation in public accommodations
    (hotels, restaurants, gas stations, theaters
  • Outlawed employment discrimination on federal

Equitable Voter Registration
Freedom Summer - 1964
  • Civil rights organizations like SNCC launched a
    campaign to register as many black voters as they
    could in Mississippi counties that had a
    noticeably low black voter turnout.
  • Violence hindered the campaign when three
    students were apprehended by the KKK and
  • Their murders sparked an investigation by the FBI
    and became a symbol of the civil rights movement

Freedom Summer
Selma to Montgomery March
  • MLK and SCLC demonstrated in Selma, Alabama for
    voter rights
  • Only 2 of eligible blacks were registered in
    that county
  • Protestors were arrested
  • John Lewis organized a group to march from Selma
    to Montgomery
  • The protestors were met by state troopers who
    beat the protestors when they failed to disperse
  • TV cameras caught the violence

Voting Rights Act - 1965
  • Signed by Johnson
  • Outlawed literacy tests
  • Federal voting registrars would be sent to states
    with less than 50 of eligible population

Black Power
  • Attitude in America, urban riots, fueled
    separatists from the nonviolence camp

Nation of Islam
  • Elijah Muhammad - The leader of the Nation of
    Islam from the 30s to the 70s.
  • He was similar to the Pope in that he was the
    voice of Allah on Earth.
  • From an early age he developed a deep hatred for
    white people because of the violence he witnessed
  • father killed by whites.
  • He preached that whites were devils and inferior.
  • He preached complete separation from white
    community (black separatism) as well as black
  • He believed in rehabilitating blacks who were
    alcoholics, drug users and criminals which he
    had success doing.
  • Had a profound impact on Malcolm X.

Nation of Islam
  • Malcolm X
  • Becomes the leading Black Muslim
  • Break free of white dominance by using any means
  • Emphasized African cultural heritage self-help
  • Pilgrimage to Mecca softened his stance
  • Assassinated by members of the Nation of Islam

Black Panthers - 1966
  • Founded by Bobby Seale and Huey Newton
  • This was a militant group of civil rights
    protesters who believed in black nationalism and
    believed in armed resistance to stop black
  • They monitored police to look for abuse.
  • They are an example of the new wave of civil
    rights activists, tired of the non-violent
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