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What was the Civil Rights Movement? What do you already know? Why did it happen?


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Title: What was the Civil Rights Movement? What do you already know? Why did it happen?

What was the Civil Rights Movement?What do
you already know?Why did it happen?
  • List as many ideas as you can about civil rights.
  • Be prepared to share.

The Civil Rights Movement
  • There were two phases to the Civil Rights
    movement one phase between 1945-1965 and the
    other after 1965.

The Civil Rights Movement
  • We have talked long enough in this country about
    equal rights. We have talked for one hundred
    years or more. It is time now to write it in the
    books of law.
  • President Lyndon Johnson

I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so
tragically bound to the starless midnight of
racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace
and brotherhood can never become a reality... I
believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love
will have the final word. Reverend Martin
Luther King, Jr.
  • Segregation was an attempt by many white
    Southerners to separate the races in every aspect
    of daily life.
  • Segregation was often called the Jim Crow system,
    after a minstrel show character from the 1830s
    who was an African American slave who embodied
    negative stereotypes of African Americans.

  • Segregation became common in Southern states
    following the end of Reconstruction in 1877.
    These states began to pass local and state laws
    that specified certain places For Whites Only
    and others for Colored.

  • African Americans had separate schools,
    transportation, restaurants, and parks, many of
    which were poorly funded and inferior to those of
  • Over the next 75 years, Jim Crow signs to
    separate the races went up in every possible

  • The system of segregation also included the
    denial of voting rights, known as
  • Between 1890 and 1910, all Southern states passed
    laws imposing requirements for voting. These were
    used to prevent African Americans from voting, in
    spite of the 15th Amendment, which had been
    designed to protect African American voting

  • The voting requirements included the ability to
    read and write, which disqualified many African
    Americans who had not had access to education
    property ownership, which excluded most African
    Americans, and paying a poll tax, which prevented
    most Southern African Americans from voting
    because they could not afford it.

  • Conditions for African Americans in the Northern
    states were somewhat better, though up to 1910
    only ten percent of African Americans lived in
    the North.
  • Segregated facilities were not as common in the
    North, but African Americans were usually denied
    entrance to the best hotels and restaurants.
  • African Americans were usually free to vote in
    the North.

  • In the late 1800s, African Americans sued to stop
    separate seating in railroad cars, states
    disfranchisement of voters, and denial of access
    to schools and restaurants.
  • One of the cases against segregated rail travel
    was Plessy v. Ferguson (1896), in which the
    Supreme Court of the United States ruled that
    separate but equal accommodations were
  • In order to protest segregation, African
    Americans created national organizations.
  • The National Afro-American League was formed in
    1890 W.E.B. Du Bois helped create the Niagara
    Movement in 1905 and the National Association for
    the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in

1896- Plessy vs. Ferguson
  • Landmark court case Separate, but Equal

  • In 1910, the National Urban League was created to
    help African Americans make the transition to
    urban, industrial life.
  • In 1942, the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE)
    was founded to challenge segregation in public
    accommodations in the North.

  • The NAACP became one of the most important
    African American organizations of the twentieth
    century. It relied mainly on legal strategies
    that challenged segregation and discrimination in
    the courts.
  • Interestingly, Obama became president 100 years
    after the founding of the NAACP.

  • Historian and sociologist W.E.B. Du Bois was a
    founder and leader of the NAACP. Starting in
    1910, he made powerful arguments protesting
    segregation as editor of the NAACP magazine The

Why Did the Civil Rights Movement Take Off After
  • Black equality became a significant political
    issue for the Democratic Party
  • WWII had been fought against racism abroadhard
    to keep harboring it at home
  • Black veterans came home dedicated to change
  • Increasing number of White Americans condemned
  • Discrimination in the United States hurt our
    propaganda battle against the Communists

The Truman Years
  • Trumans 1948 election year agenda
  • No significant Civil Rights congressional
  • Truman moves on his own to do what he can for
    Civil Rights
  • --Desegregation of the military (1948)
  • Jackie Robinsons breakthrough (1947)

The Truman Years (cont.)
  • Split at the 1948 Democratic convention
  • Energized Truman hits the campaign trail hard
  • Republican Dewey runs a boring, conservative
  • Trumans stunning election
  • Trumans Fair Deal (1949)

The Battle in the Courts
  • Plessy v. Ferguson (1896)
  • -- separate but equal facilities legal
  • Smith v. Allwright (1944)
  • First attack separate is not equal
  • Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas
  • -- Chief Justice Earl Warren

1954-Brown vs. Board of Education
  • 1896 Separate, but Equal law is overturned. It is
    now illegal to segregate schools.

  • What do you think happened when schools began the
    integration process?

Battle in the Courts (cont.)
  • Eisenhower disapproves of Brown decision
  • Popular opposition to the Brown decision
  • No real progress on desegregation at first

The Eisenhower Years
  • Eisenhowers philosophy related to Civil Rights
  • First Civil Rights Acts passed since the Civil
    War (1957 and 1960)
  • Opposition to the integration of Little Rock
    Central High School (1957)
  • --Governor Orville Faubus

School Desegregation
  • Virtually no schools in the South segregated
    their schools in the first years following the
    Brown decision.
  • In Virginia, one county actually closed its
    public schools.
  • In 1957, Governor Orval Faubus defied a federal
    court order to admit nine African American
    students to Central High School in Little Rock,
  • Despite his disapproval of the Courts decision,
    President Dwight Eisenhower sent federal troops
    to enforce desegregation as he felt
    constitutionally required to enforce the law.

1957-Little Rock Nine
  • The federal government uses the military to
    uphold African Americans' civil rights, as
    soldiers escort nine African American students to
    desegregate a school in Little Rock, Arkansas.

What do you think
  • The white students were thinking?
  • The national guard members were thinking?
  • The nine African-American students were thinking?

School Desegregation
  • The event was covered by the national media, and
    the fate of the nine students attempting to
    integrate the school gripped the nation.
  • Not all school desegregation was as dramatic as
    Little Rock schools gradually desegregated.
  • Often, schools were desegregated only in theory
    because racially segregated neighborhoods led to
    segregated schools.
  • To overcome the problem, some school districts
    began busing students to schools outside their
    neighborhoods in the 1970s. Winston-Salem had a
    integration policy from 1971-1990. Now, we have
    school choice.
  • The Riverside Unified School District was the
    first district in the nation to voluntarily
    desegregate its schools.

  • Do you feel schools today are de-segregated?
  • Does race still affect who goes to what school?
  • Do you think it is fair to create quotas of races
    for each school or allow parents to choose where
    their child goes?

Out of the Schools and Into the Buses
  • The arrest of Rosa Parks (December, 1955)
  • The Montgomery, Ala. Bus Boycott
  • The leadership of Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • The Montgomery model for Civil Rights activism
    boycott, publicity, courts
  • SCLC formed (1957)

1955- Rosa Parks
  • Parks is chosen by local civil rights group to
    challenge bus rule.
  • Refuses to give up her seat to a white person
    while riding a bus.
  • She was arrested for this!
  • Montgomery Bus Boycott begins

1956- Browder v. Gayle
  • The U.S. Supreme Court rules that the segregation
    of Montgomery, Ala., buses is unconstitutional.

1957-Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • The Reverend Martin Luther King Jr., helps found
    the Southern Christian Leadership Conference
    (SCLC) to work for full equality for African

A Mass Movement Takes Shape
  • Lunch counter sit-ins begin Greensboro, NC
    W-S (February, 1960)
  • SNCC created (April, 1960)
  • CORE Freedom Ride (May, 1961)

1960-Nonviolent Protests
  • Four African American college students hold a
    sit-in to integrate a Woolworth's lunch counter
    in Greensboro, N.C., launching a wave of similar
    protests across the South.
  • 1960 over 70,000 students had participated in
    sit-ins, 3,600 had served time in jail

  • This was not a new form of protest, but the
    response to the sit-ins spread throughout North
    Carolina, and within weeks sit-ins were taking
    place in cities across the South.
  • Many restaurants were desegregated in response to
    the sit-ins.
  • This form of protest demonstrated clearly to
    African Americans and whites alike that young
    African Americans were determined to reject
  • In April 1960, the Student Nonviolent
    Coordinating Committee (SNCC) was founded in
    Raleigh, North Carolina, to help organize and
    direct the student sit-in movement.

If you were.
  • A student living in those times, would you have
    protested? Why or why not?

1961-Freedom Rides
  • The Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) begins to
    organize Freedom Rides throughout the South to
    try to de-segregate interstate public bus travel.

The Kennedy Years
  • Freedom rides to test if the southern states
    would obey the Supreme Court decision
  • Riders were attacked, beaten and arrested
  • Robert Kennedy reluctant at first to send federal
    support, but later sent marshals to protect

Freedom Riders
  • The violence brought national attention and
    fierce condemnation of Alabama officials for
    allowing the brutality to occur.
  • President John F. Kennedy stepped in to protect
    the Freedom Riders when it was clear that Alabama
    officials would not guarantee their safe travel.
  • The riders continued on to Jackson, Mississippi,
    where they were arrested, ending the protest.
  • The Freedom Rides did result in the desegregation
    of some bus stations, but more importantly they
    caught the attention of the American public.

Desegregation spreads
  • Ole Miss
  • James Meredith wishes to enroll
  • Supreme Court says the university has to allow
    him to enroll, university says no
  • JFK sends marshals to escort Meredith to class
  • Angry white protesters destroy vehicles, 2 are
    killed and hundreds are injured
  • Kennedy sent army to restore order

1963-A Dream is born
  • More than 200,000 people march on DC, in the
    largest civil rights demonstration ever MLK
    gives his "I Have a Dream" speech.
  • Four African American girls are killed in the
    bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in
    Birmingham, Alabama.

A Mass Movement Takes Shape (cont.)
  • Demonstrations in Birmingham, Alabama (April,

Birmingham, Alabama 1963
  • King the most segregated city in America
  • A march in planned and begins nonviolently with
    protest marches and sit-ins
  • But it is against a city regulation that says a
    person/group must have a permit to have a
  • King is arrested and thrown in jail

Birmingham continued
  • Eugene Bull Connor arrested more than 900 of
    the young people that joined with King
  • Bull used attached dogs, fire-hoses and
  • National televised violence
  • Letter from Birmingham City Jail
  • Governor George Wallace tries to block
    integration of the University of Alabama (Fall,
  • Protesters win which leads to desegregation of
    city facilities and fairer hiring practices
  • Kennedy If the President does not himself wage
    the struggle for equal rights- if he stands above
    the battle- then the battle will inevitably be

Birmingham, caught in time
Birmingham Video
  • http//www.youtube.com/watch?vXIpfCVt2eb4

Civil Rights keep marching on
  • Washington March Jobs Freedom 200,000 came
    to march

A Mass Movement Takes Shape (cont.)
  • JFK finally begins to campaign for Civil Rights
  • Continued violence even in the face of some
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. and the March on
    Washington (August, 1963)
  • -- I Have a Dream

The speechhttp//www.youtube.com/watch?vsmEqnnk
Criticisms on remembering MLK
Martin Luther King, Jr., kept getting up morning
after morning, knowing they the FBI and other
government agencies were after him, knowing they
were possessed of this zealous intensity that was
illegal and immoral! And so he was a danger to
America. Why? Because he loved democracy so much
he wanted to see it become real. He wanted to
march democracy from parchment to pavement. He
wanted to see it become a reality in this nation.
Thats why he had a dream
But America has frozen him. Now they freeze King
in this posture of dreaming before the sunlit
summit of expectation at the height of his
national fame in Washington, D.C., where he said,
I have a dream. He said more than that. We
ought to have a moratorium on that speech for the
next ten years. I dont want to hear it no more!
And if youre gonna play the speech, play the
other parts of the speech We have come to the
nations capital to cash a check marked
insufficient funds. In other words,
Wheres my money?! Thats the part we ought to
play. Right? We ought to play the part where King
says, The foundations of this nation will
continue to shake. He said, The whirlwinds of
revolt will continue to shake the foundations of
this nation until the Negro is granted his
full citizenship rights. Play that part, too!
Michael Eric Dyson
What do you think?
  • How does Dyson feel about the frequent attention
    given to Martin Luther King Jr.s I Have a
    Dream speech?
  • 2. Why is Dyson angry the media only focuses on a
    limited part of the I Have a Dream speech?
  • 3. Why do you think the media chooses to play the
    section of the speech where MLK says I have a
    dream more
  • so than the other parts Dyson alludes to? How
    does the media effect the perception we gain of
    public figures?

A Mass Movement Takes Shape (cont.)
  • Mississippi Freedom Summer Project (1964)
  • MFDP Protests at the 1964 Democratic convention
  • Voter registration in Selma, Alabama (1965)
  • --Sheriff Jim Clark
  • By the mid-1960s, substantial success in the
    South had been achieved

Voter Registration
  • The Selma March drummed up broad national support
    for a law to protect Southern African Americans
    right to vote.
  • The 24th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution was
    ratified in 1964. It prohibits both Congress and
    the states from conditioning the right to vote in
    federal elections on payment of a poll tax or
    other types of tax.
  • President Johnson persuaded Congress to pass the
    Voting Rights Act of 1965, which suspended the
    use of literacy and other voter qualification
    tests in voter registration.
  • King and SCLC members led hundreds of people on a
    five-day, fifty-mile march to Montgomery.

The Johnson Years
  • The role of Kennedys assassination in the Civil
    Rights movement
  • Civil Rights Act of 1964
  • Anti-poll tax Amendment (24th1964)
  • Voting Rights Act (1965)
  • Impact of the Voting Rights Act

1964-Civil Rights Act
  • President Lyndon Johnson signs the Civil Rights
    Act, which gives the federal government
    far-reaching powers to prosecute discrimination
    in employment, voting, and education.

1965-The Push for Voting Marches On.
  • King organizes a protest march from Selma to
    Montgomery, Alabama, for African American voting
    rights. A shocked nation watches on television as
    police club and teargas protesters.

1965-Voting is Granted to African Americans
  • In the wake of the Selma-Montgomery March, the
    Voting rights Act is passed, outlawing the
    practices used in the South to disenfranchise
    African American voters

LBJs Address to the Nation
  • March 15, 1965
  • Their cause is our cause too, because it is not
    just Negroes, but really it is all of us, who
    must overcome the crippling legacy of bigotry and
    injustice. And, we shall overcome.

Voter Registration
  • Over the next three years, almost one million
    more African Americans in the South registered to
  • By 1968, African American voters had having a
    significant impact on Southern politics.
  • During the 1970s, African Americans were seeking
    and winning public offices in majority African
    American electoral districts.

The Johnson Years (cont.)
  • The tone of public political discourse changed
    after 1965
  • Johnson appoints first Black cabinet secretary
    Robert Weaver of HUD (1966)
  • Much more needed to be done for Civil Rights
    outside of the South, so 2nd phase began

The Era of Disillusionment 1965 On
  • Early to mid-1960s were a hopeful time for Civil
    Rights advocates
  • Goal of Assimilation
  • After 1965, violence will escalate

New Problems
  • Residential Discrimination
  • -- Red Lining
  • Red lining refers to business discrimination
    based on where you line (drawing lines on where
    you wont serve)
  • The Challenges of School integration in the North
  • The historical, traditional segregation of
    northern cities
  • The resurrection of the KKK once again
  • More effective White opponents in the North

New Problems
  • As desegregation continued, the membership of the
    Ku Klux Klan (KKK) grew.
  • The KKK used violence or threats against anyone
    who was suspected of favoring desegregation or
    African American civil rights.
  • Ku Klux Klan terror, including intimidation and
    murder, was widespread in the South during the
    1950s and 1960s, though Klan activities were not
    always reported in the media.

Race Riots
  • Watts Riots in Los Angeles (Summer, 1965)
  • Riots each summer from 1965-1969
  • --Chicago and Cleveland (1966)
  • --Newark and Detroit (1967)
  • --Washington, D.C. (1968)

Race Riots
  • Watts, Los Angeles, California August, 1965
  • Long-term causes poverty, discrimination, and
    police brutality
  • Immediate cause African American pulled over
    his brother wanted to drive car home but police
    officer called impound lot brother and mother
    arrested during argument crowd gathered
  • Several days of arson and looting
  • National Guard called in to restore order
  • 35 dead and over 1,000 wounded
  • Newark, New Jersey July,1967
  • Long-term causes Italian-Americans dominated
    local politics despite a large black population
    blacks also suffered from poverty, poor housing,
    discrimination, and police brutality
  • Immediate cause incapacitated African American
    seen being taken to police station and rumors
    spread that hed been killed while in police
  • 26 dead and hundreds wounded
  • Detroit, Michigan July, 1967
  • Long-term causes police brutality, poverty, and
    poor housing
  • Immediate cause police raid on a blind pig
  • 50 million in property damage
  • 43 deaths and hundreds of injuries

Race Riots (cont.)
  • Riots as an expression of grievance against the
    White American consumer society
  • Riots shocked the White American public
  • Frustration and self-destruction expressed in
    these riots
  • Unlike earlier race riots, these riots were not
    started by White mobs

Kerner Commission Report, 1967
  • National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders
    established by LBJ
  • Determined cause of riots racial discrimination
  • Commissions solution establish and expand
    federal programs to reduce and eliminate problems
    of the racial ghetto
  • Public reaction programs considered too
    expensive and seen as a reward for rioting LBJ
    distracted by Vietnam War

Malcolm X
  • Honors student who ended up in jail (burglary)
  • Converted to Nation of Islam while in prison
  • Initially preached black separation
  • X replaced his slave name, Little
  • Initially advocated separation of races
  • 1964 broke away from Nation of Islam, formed
    own group, and went on hajj (pilgrimage to Mecca)
  • Trip to Mecca, where he saw all races praying
    together, convinced him that Islam transcended
  • 1965 assassinated by members of the Nation of

Malcolm X
  • The leadership of Malcolm X
  • --Black Muslims
  • --Assassinated in 1965
  • Cultural expressions of Black Power
  • --Afro Hairstyles
  • --Black-studies programs
  • -- Negro no longer used

Black Power Movement
  • African-American reaction to white resistance to
    civil rights movement
  • Varied political ideologies some adherents
    advocated black separatism and/or the use of
    violence, while others were nonviolent and wanted
    desegregation and equality
  • Overall movement saw blacks linked in a global
    struggle for rights and self-determination
  • Use of term black instead of colored or
  • Celebrated African heritage by adopting African
    hairstyles, names, etc.
  • e.g., Stokely Carmichael became Kwame Toure

Black Power
  • Growing tension between SNCC and Martin Luther
    King, Jr.
  • --Stokely Carmichael
  • Black Power
  • Carmichael succeeded by H. Rap Brown as head of
    SNCC (1967)

Black Power Movement
  • SNCC turns radical under the leadership of
    Stokely Carmichael Black Power
  • Black Panthers
  • to unite, to recognize their heritage, to build
    a sense of community to begin to define their
    own goals, to lead their own organizations and
    support those organizations.

Black Power (cont.)
  • The formation of the Black Panther Party in
    Oakland, CA (1966)
  • --Huey Newton
  • --Eldridge Cleaver
  • Resurrection of the philosophy of Marcus Garvey
    (black seperation)

Black Panthers, 1966
  • Formed by Bobby Seale and Huey Newton in Oakland,
  • Retaliated against police brutality by organizing
    armed patrols of black neighborhoods
  • Socialist doctrine Ten Point program included
    calls for Land, Bread, Housing, Education,
    Clothing, Justice and Peace
  • Started urban poverty programs (e.g., free
    breakfasts for kids)
  • J.Edgar Hoover called them the greatest threat
    to the internal security of the country and used
    numerous unlawful methods to destroy the group

Black Power, 1966
  • March Against Fear voter registration drive in
  • James Meredith shot and wounded
  • Stokely Carmichael (later known as Kwame Toure)
    and others arrested in Greenwood, Mississippi
  • Carmichael coined term black power in a speech
    after his release he later coined the term
    institutional racism
  • Many whites felt threatened

Fair Housing Act, 1968
  • Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968
  • Outlawed housing discrimination based on race,
    color, religion, and national origin
  • 1974 added sex to list of protected classes
  • 1988 disability and familial status added
  • State and local governments (not federal) have,
    in some areas, broadened their laws to end
    housing discrimination based on sexual
    orientation, gender identity, etc.
  • United States Department of Housing and Urban
    Development (HUD) oversees its enforcement
  • For example
  • You cannot be denied housing because you have a
    child, or even a lot of children.
  • You cannot be denied housing because of your race
    or sex.
  • You cannot be denied housing because of a

Affirmative Action
  • Designed to correct racial imbalances in
    education, employment, etc.
  • Gives special opportunities to discriminated
  • Begun under Kennedy and Johnson
  • Revised Philadelphia Plan, 1969 under Nixon,
    affirmative action required for all
    federally-funded projects
  • Section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
    affirmative action for all federal government
    positions (civil service jobs)
  • Controversial many considered it to be reverse

Poor Peoples Campaign, 1968
  • MLK lived in Chicagos black ghetto for a year
  • Pledged himself to helping poor blacks
  • Believed poverty was the uniting factor between
  • Saw a War on Poverty as the new Civil Rights
  • April, 1968 traveled to Memphis, Tennessee, to
    support striking sanitation workers

Poor Peoples Campaign, 1968
  • MLK lived in Chicagos black ghetto for a year
  • Pledged himself to helping the poor
  • April, 1968 traveled to Memphis, Tennessee, to
    support striking sanitation workers

I have been to the Mountaintop
  • http//www.youtube.com/watch?vOehry1JC9Rk

1968-A Terrible Event Occurs
  • MLK is assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee. His
    murder sparks a week of rioting across the

What would you want
  • People to remember most about MLK? Why?

Decline of the Civil Rights Movement
  • Economic contraction works against Civil Rights
  • Northern phase not as successful
  • Resistance from White Unions
  • Vietnam replaces Civil Rights as the liberal
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. loses influence with LBJ

The End of the Movement?
  • For many people the civil rights movement ended
    with the death of Martin Luther King, Jr. in
  • Others believe it was over after the Selma March,
    because there have not been any significant
    changes since then.
  • Still others argue the movement continues today
    because the goal of full equality has not yet
    been achieved.

Civil Rights Legacy
  • Legal segregation ended
  • Federal civil rights legislation enacted
  • Massive numbers of African Americans became
    registered voters
  • Affirmative action gave African Americans a foot
    in the door to economic power
  • Formerly unspoken issues of discrimination,
    inequality, and racism became part of public
  • White flight whites intensified desertion of
    cities for life in suburbs

Continuing Struggle
  • Struggle for civil rights did not end with the
  • Discrimination and ensuing court cases continue
    to this day
  • Poverty continues to plague inner-cities
  • 2007 Federal Census data showed three times as
    many African Americans living in prison cells
    than in college dormitories

What have you learned about..
  • Civil Rights?
  • What questions do you still have?
  • How can learning about civil rights help you

  • Lets all read a speech from Dr. King on some of
    the values he wanted to instill in the American

Reflection on reading (2 paragraphs)
  • Write the speech that the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther
    King Jr. might deliver today if he were alive.
  • What would Dr. King have to say about the war on
    terrorism or the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan?
  • Do you think Dr. King would support U.S. global
    policies today? What evidence from his 1967
  • speech supports your conclusion? What policies
    would he urge?

  • Before concluding, lets examine what was
    happening in W-S during the Civil Rights Movement
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