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Civil Rights


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Title: Civil Rights

Civil Rights 1860's-1960's
During Reconstruction, following the Civil War,
Radical Republicans in Congress made three key
promises to ex-slaves.
Sen. Charles Sumner
Sen. Thaddeus Stevens
1. 14th Amendment
Granted equal civil rights and equal protection
under the laws of the United States to all
2. 15th Amendment
Granted equal voting rights to all
African-American males.
3. Protection of these rights
The power of the national government would be
used to secure 14th and 15th Amendment rights for
ex-slaves. The Military Reconstruction act is an
example of this.
While the Union army occupied the South,
African-Americans enjoyed their rights. But,
once the army left following the Compromise of
Following the collapse of Reconstruction in 1877,
southern state governments quickly took action to
deny African-Americans of their constitutional
Curtailing Voting Rights
Poll Taxes Before you could vote, you had to
pay taxes to vote. Most poor Blacks could not
pay the tax so they didnt vote. Literacy Test
You had to prove you could read and write before
you could vote. Once again, most poor Blacks
were not literate. Grandfather clause If your
grandfather voted in the 1864 election than you
could vote..Most Blacks did not vote in 1864, so
you couldnt vote.
Jim Crow Laws
Southern states also quickly passed laws designed
to segregate society openly violating the 14th
Amendment rights of African-Americans.
Not only did the government not protect civil
rights, the U.S. Supreme Court approved of
Plessy vs. Ferguson-(1896)
  • Separate facilities for white and black were not
  • they did not imply inferiority, nor did they
    violate African-American civil equality.
  • - As long as facilities provided were of equal
    value or accommodation, Jim Crow segregation was

Consequences of the Plessy Decision
Southern society remained legally segregated
until the 1960s.
Where did things stand by 1900?
Booker T. Washington
- Dont confront segregation head on. -
Stressed vocational education for African
Americans, gradualism and economic
self-sufficiency. - Founded the Tuskegee
W.E.B. DuBois
- Fought for immediate Black equality in
society. - Talented 10 Demanded the top 10
of the talented African-American population be
placed into positions of power.
W.E.B. DuBois
- Gain equality by breaking into power
structure. - Founded the National Association
for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)
Southern whites found a very effective tool to
keep African-Americans across the South from
pushing for equality.
Fear of what?
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Speaking Out
  • Ida B. Wells was an editor and co-owner of a
    local black newspaper in Memphis, TN called "The
    Free Speech and Headlight."
  • In 1892, Wells wrote a scathing series of
    editorials in response to the lynching of three
    prominent African-American Memphis businessmen,
    who were her close friends.

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According to the Tuskegee Institute, 4,742
lynching occurred between 1882-1968.
90 of the victims were Southern 73 of the
victims were black 27 of the victims were
white, mostly Jewish
Things did begin to get better.
Marcus Garvey-United Negro Improvement
  • Jamaican immigrant to US
  • Advocated Black pride and Nationalism
  • Garvey will inspire some civil rights leaders in
    the 1960s-i.e. Malcolm X
  • Started Back to Africa movement for Blacks
  • Deported to Jamaica on fraud charges in 1925

The Great Migration
F.D.R. and Civil Rights
  • During the Depression, Roosevelt courted black
    votes to support New Deal initiatives.
  • When WWII starts, he makes no special effort to
    include blacks in new weapons productions efforts.

Wartime Migrations
  • Still, there is a massive migration of minorities
    to urban areas looking for defense jobs
  • Mostly African-Americans
  • Seattle, Detroit, L.A., Chicago all experienced

Wartime Migration Accelerates-Mechanical Cotton
  • Accelerates movement of Blacks north
  • Puts sharecroppers and tenant farmers out of work
  • 5 million head north by 1970
  • By 1970, the center of the Black pop. in the US
    is in northern cities.

Internal Migration in the United States During
World War II
Racism on the Home Front
  • Blacks moving north find hostility from whites
  • Competition for jobs and housing leads to rioting
    in Detroit and other cities

A. Phillip Randolph
  • Leader of Sleeping Car Porters Union
  • Angry at lack of access for blacks to wartime
  • Makes 3 Demands to FDR
  • Equal access to defense jobs
  • Desegregation of military
  • Desegregation of federal jobs.
  • Threatens a massive black march on D.C. if these
    demands arent met.

F.D.R. Responds-The Fair Employment Practices
  • Created to investigate discrimination in defense
  • Doesnt agree to desegrate military
  • Partially ends segregation in gov.
  • Randolph cancels march on D.C.
  • Randolph becomes the father of the modern civil
    rights movement.

Segregation in the Military
  • Whites and blacks served in separate units
  • Most blacks kept out of combat roles, with
    notable exceptions like the Tuskeegee airmen.
  • Black Americans fight for the Double V
  • Victory over the Axis, and Victory over racism at

Civil Rights Awakenings
  • Black America motivated by experiences at home
    and abroad during WWII
  • N.A.A.C.P. grows from 50,000 to 500,000 by wars
  • Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) is created
    during WW2
  • CORE is a non-violent org. dedicated toward
    ending segregation

In 1947, Jackie Robinson integrated Americas
pastime, playing baseball for the Brooklyn
Pres.Truman Desegregates the Military
  • African Americans felt they deserved equal
    rights, especially after hundreds of thousands
    served in WWII
  • Truman took action in 1948 by desegregating the
    armed forces
  • Additionally, Truman ordered an end to
    discrimination in the hiring of governmental

The White South responded angrily with the
Dixiecrats in the 1948 election.
Small gains had been made, but Jim Crow still
Eisenhower and Civil Rights
  • Civil rights for African-Americans were not a
    priority for this guy.
  • Ike did not think the time was right for
  • As a result, he did nothing until forced into

As a result, NAACP leaders turned to the courts
to fight segregation.
Thurgood Marshall
  • Top NAACP lawyer.
  • Believed the best strategy was to show the
    obvious inequality of segregation.
  • Plessy hinged on separate facilities being equal.
    He had to show they werent

Brown v. Board of Education
  • In 1951, Oliver Brown wanted his 8-year-old
    daughter to attend a Topeka, Kansas an all-white
    school 4 blocks from her
  • The African-American school 21 blocks away.
  • Brown sued the Topeka Board of Education, and his
    case reached the Supreme Court.
  • Thurgood Marshall of the NAACP argued Browns

Linda Brown
Brown v. Board of Education
  • On May 17, 1954, the Supreme Court issued its
    unanimous ruling in the Brown v. Board of
    Education of Topeka, Kansas case.
  • The ruling supported Browns case for
  • Its reasoning was Separate educational
    facilities are inherently unequal.
  • Plessy was overturned and Jim Crow laws were
    declared unconstitutional.

  • Many southern whites, especially in the Deep
    South, vehemently opposed the ruling.
  • They Claimed it violated states rights, and
    pledged massive resistance to the ruling.

It was one thing for the Supreme Court to call
for an end to segregation. It was something else
entirely to make that happen.
Who finally provided the spark to get the Civil
Rights movement going in earnest?
Emmett Till
Montgomery Bus Boycott (1955-1956)
In December, 1955, 42 year old Rosa Parks refused
to give up her seat to a white passenger on a
public bus in Montgomery, Alabama.
Montgomery Bus Boycott (1955-1956)
Parks was arrested and fined 10 for sitting in
the white only section of the bus.
Montgomery Bus Boycott (1955-1956)
- In response, civil rights leaders, including
Martin Luther King, Jr., organized a boycott of
the Montgomery bus system. - Over the next
year, 50,000 African Americans boycotted the city
bus system, choosing to walk, ride bicycles, or
carpool instead. - Despite losing money, the
bus company refused to change its policies of
segregation. Finally, in 1956, the Supreme Court
ruled that bus segregation was unconstitutional.
In 1957, Martin Luther King helped found the
Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC)
The televised segregation violence led to mass
public sympathy. The Civil Rights Movement
became the most important political topic during
the early 60s.
In September, 1957 Central High School in Little
Rock, Arkansas was set to be the first such
school integrated under the Brown decision.
Little Rock Nine (1957)
In the fall of 1957, Arkansas Governor Orval
Faubus felt that enforcing integration, or the
bringing together of different races, would
create chaos.
Faubus therefore posted Arkansas National Guard
troops at Central High School in Little Rock,
instructing them to turn away the nine African
American students who were supposed to attend
that school. Mobs of angry protesters joined the
National Guard in intimidating the African
American students.
Faubuss actions defied the Brown decision.
President Eisenhower viewed these actions as a
challenge to the Constitution and to his
authority as President.
  • Eisenhower placed the National Guard under
    federal command and sent soldiers to Arkansas to
    protect the nine students.

Lunch Counter Sit-ins (1960)
SNCC (1960)
A new civil rights group run by young activists,
the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee
(SNCC), began in 1960 at a meeting in Raleigh,
North Carolina. Its members sought immediate
change, as opposed to the gradual change
advocated by most older organizations.
James Meredith and Ole Miss
  • Who was this man?
  • What was his background?
  • What did he try and do?
  • What was the result?

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Freedom Riders 1961
  • The 1960 Supreme Court case Boynton v. Virginia
    expanded the earlier ban on bus segregation to
    include bus stations and restaurants that served
    interstate travelers.
  • In 1961, CORE and SNCC organized the Freedom
    Rides to test southern compliance with this

Freedom Riders (1961)
Although the freedom riders expected
confrontation, the violence which greeted a bus
in Anniston, Alabama, was more than they had
anticipated. A heavily armed white mob disabled
the bus and then set it on fire. As riders
escaped from the bus, they were beaten by the
Americans were horrified by the violence which
had greeted the bus in Anniston. As a result,
Attorney General Robert Kennedy, who had
originally been opposed to lending federal
support to the Freedom Rides agreed to send
federal marshals to protect the riders.
Kennedy also pressured the Interstate Commerce
Commission to prohibit segregation in all
interstate transportation. The Justice Department
began to sue communities that did not comply.
In April 1963, Martin Luther King joined the
Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth in a civil rights
campaign in Birmingham, Alabama. They targeted
Birmingham because it was the most segregated
city in America and because it had witnessed a
rash of bombings at African-American churches.
City officials ordered civil rights protesters to
end the march that was part of this campaign.
When they did not, King and others were arrested.
Police attacked the marchers with high-pressure
fire hoses, police dogs, and clubs. As
television cameras captured the violence,
Americans around the country were horrified.
March on Washington (1963)
As public opinion began to swing in favor of
supporting civil rights, MLK and others organized
a massive rally in the nations capital.
By this point, the goals of the civil rights
movement were clear 1. End Jim Crow 2. Promote
integration 3. Increase voting rights 4. Bring
about a true democracy 5. Secure for
African-Americans the civil rights that they
should have received after the Civil War.
"I have a dream. . ."
Following meetings with King, and the
assassination of civil rights leader Medgar
Evers, President Kennedy committed the government
to securing sweeping changes in civil rights
Following President Kennedys assassination in
1963, the job of pushing the government into
enforcing equality fell to President Lyndon
Civil Rights Act 1964
  • Forbade segregation in hotels, motels,
    restaurants, theaters, and sporting arenas that
    did business in interstate commerce.
  • -Equal Employment Opportunity Commission created
    to enforce the law.
  • Title VII Discrimination based on race, religion
    gender and national origin in the workplace was
  • Result Most businesses in the Souths cities and
    larger towns desegregated immediately.

Freedom Summer-1964
  • What was Freedom Summer?
  • Why was is deemed necessary?
  • Who was involved in the movement?
  • What was the result?

Selma March (1965)
To call attention to the issue of voting rights,
King and other leaders decided to organize
marchers to walk from Selma, Alabama, to
Montgomery, about 50 miles away.
Realizing more needed to be done, Johnson and
Congress swiftly moved to pass even more federal
civil rights legislation.
Twenty-Fourth Amendment
Ratified in 1964, it outlawed the poll tax, which
was still in effect in several southern states.
Voting Rights Act of 1965
  • Allowed federal officials to register voters in
    places where local officials were preventing
    African Americans from registering.
  • It also effectively eliminated literacy tests and
    other barriers to voting.
  • Result, 740,00 blacks registered to vote within
    three year
  • Hundreds of blacks elected by late 1960s in the
    Deep South. Blacks no longer feared white
    violence during elections.
  • Southerners now began courting African American
    votes and businesses.
  • For first time since Reconstruction, African
    Americans migrated into the South.

Key Question If slavery was in the South, why
are there so many African-Americans in Northern
The Great Migration
Why the Great Migration?
  • Jobs in the North making weapons.
  • Fleeing Jim Crow laws and white racism

What about WWII?
Wartime Migrations
  • Massive migration of minorities to urban areas
    looking for defense jobs
  • Mostly African-Americans
  • Seattle, Detroit, L.A., Baton Rouge all
    experienced growth

Racism on the Home Front
  • Blacks moving north find hostility from whites
  • Competition for jobs and housing leads to rioting
    in Detroit and other cities

Wartime Migration Accelerates-Mechanical Cotton
  • Accelerates movement of Blacks north
  • Puts sharecroppers and tenant farmers out of work
  • 5 million head north by 1970
  • By 1970, the center of the Black pop. in the US
    is in northern cities.

  • 1.6 million African Americans leave the South in
    the 1940s.

Source United States Department of Labor, Bureau
of Labor Statistics.
Civil Rights Issues in the North
  • De facto vs. de jure segregation-whats the
  • Which is worse?
  • Which is harder to eradicate?

Civil Rights Issues in the North
  • White flight had left the cities filled with
    urban poor-mostly African-Americans
  • Businesses had left the cities with the more
    affluent whites, gutting urban tax bases.
  • Urban Problems included the following
  • Poor, underfunded schools
  • Slums and poor housing
  • Unemployment
  • Poor medical care
  • Police brutality

Black Frustration Erupts
  • In the mid-1960s, Blacks confronted white
    authorities over economic inequality and police
  • Riots erupted in Harlem, N.Y. in 1964, Watts in
    L.A. in 1965, and in hundreds of other cities by
  • After the Civil Rights victories of 1964 and
    1965, Whites were baffled by Black rage.
  • What did African-American in the North want?

The Answer Economic Equality
  • Better schools
  • Better jobs
  • Better housing

Northern Black Leadership
  • Black leaders in the North rejected non-violence
  • Many embraced confrontation, Black pride, and
    Black separatism
  • They urged urban blacks to take control of
    themselves, their communities, their livelihoods,
    and their culture.
  • The most prominent organizations advocating this
    kind of action were the Black Panthers and the
    Nation of Islam

The Nation of Islam
  • The Nation of Islam is a black Muslim group
    formed in the early 1930s.
  • Elijah Muhammad became its leader in 1934.
  • Muhammad preached that whites and white racism
    was the cause of all black misery.
  • Muhammad also preached Black Nationalism, or
    the idea that blacks could only be free when they
    separated completely from whites.
  • The Nation of Islam rejected non-violence in
    favor of armed confrontation if necessary.

Elijah Muhammad
Malcolm X
  • Born Malcolm Little, he changed his name to
    Malcolm X in prison when he converted to Islam
  • A charismatic and intelligent speaker, he became
    the face of the Nation of Islam in the early
  • He preached black pride and separatism, as well
    as armed self-defense.
  • His radical views frightened many moderate blacks
    and whites.
  • Malcolm X strenuously disagreed with M.L.K. and
    his non-violent philosphies.

Malcolm X
  • In early 1964, Malcolm X broke with the Nation of
    Islam and formed his own Black Muslim group.
  • Later that year he travelled to Mecca on a
    pilgrimage where he lived and worshiped with
    Muslims of all race.
  • This changed his views on race relations. He
    began to advocate using the political process
    rather than violence.
  • The Nation of Islam never forgave him for
    leaving-operatives assassinated Malcolm X on Feb.
    21, 1965.

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Black Power
  • In June, 1966, fed up with multiple beatings by
    whites, Stokley Carmichael, the head of S.N.C.C.,
    urged blacks to reject non-violence and fight
  • He called for Black Power.
  • Black Power urged African-Americans to define
    their own goals and lead their organizations.
  • The movement rejected white participation in
    civil rights and advocated Black nationalism.
  • What did M.L.K. think of the Black Power

Stokley Carmichael
The Black Panthers
  • Formed in 1966 in Oakland, CA Huey Newton and
    Bobby Seale formed a political party name the
    Black Panthers.
  • The Panthers were a revolutionary social movement
    to organize African- American men in northern and
    western cities to fight for black liberation.

(No Transcript)
The Black Panthers
  • In effect, the Panthers became a para-military
    organization to protect blacks from white
    violence (e.g. police brutality).
  • They advocated Black self-sufficiency, full
    employment, and better housing.
  • The Panthers also operated community centers,
    soup kitchens and day-care centers. This aspect
    of the Panthers is largely unknown. This won them
    tremendous support in the ghettos.
  • The Panthers demanded the Federal government
    rebuild the ghettos and end urban poverty.

M.L.K.s Reaction?
  • He continued to emphasize non-violence.
  • He believe violence would only lead to more
    violence and suffering.
  • Before he could lead a major initiative fighting
    black poverty, he was assassinated on April 3,
  • How did African-Americans react to the King

The Kerner Comission-1968
The Kerner Commission
  • The report blamed white racism for black poverty
    and urban violence.
  • It called for massive new federal programs to
    eliminate urban ghettos, create new jobs, and end
    de-facto segregation.
  • Johnson tried to address many of these concerns
    in his Great Society.

So what was Pres. Lyndon Johnsons solution to
urban poverty and economic inequality?
The Great Society
  • Following his Civil Rights Act successes, LBJ
    launched his Great Society program. Part of this
    was his so-called War on Poverty.
  • In August of 1964 he pushed through Congress a
    series of measures known as the Economic
    Opportunity Act
  • The Act provided 1 billion in aid to the inner

Pres. Lyndon Johnson
The Economic Opportunity Act-1964
  • THE EOA legislation created
  • The Job Corps teaching teens job skills and work
  • VISTA (Volunteers in service to America)
  • Project Head Start for underprivileged
  • The Community Action Program which encouraged the
    poor to participate in public works program

Project Head Start
Urban Housing Reforms
  • LBJ and Congress appropriated money to build
    240,000 units of low-rent public housing
  • Johnson also established the Department of
    Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and appointed
    the first black cabinet member, Robert Weaver, as
    HUDs first leader

Healthcare for the Poor
  • LBJ and Congress enhanced Social Security by
    establishing Medicare and Medicaid
  • Medicare provided hospital insurance and low-cost
    medical care to the elderly
  • Medicaid provided health benefits to the poor

Education Reforms
  • Johnson considered education the key which can
    unlock the door to the Great Society
  • The Elementary and Secondary Education Act
    provided 1 billion to help public schools buy
    textbooks and library materials
  • This Act represented the first major federal aid
    package for education ever
  • Ultimately forced busing will be used to
    integrate and improve northern schools.

Forced Busing
  • Forced busing
  • 1. 1968, Supreme Court ordered end to de facto
    segregation of nations schools. 2. Court
    ordered school districts to bus children from
    all-minority neighborhoods in the center cities
    to achieve integration of schools. 3. Issue
    became controversial with middle class suburban
    whites in early 1970s into1990s

Hunger and Nutrition
  • In 1964 Congress creates the Food Stamps program
    to end domestic hunger.
  • Food stamps provide direct aid to the poor for
    nutritional purposes.

Affirmative Action
  • To help equalize education and job opportunities,
    in the late 1960s, the government began to
    promote Affirmative Action
  • Affirmative action involves making special
    efforts to hire or enroll groups that have
    suffered discrimination
  • Any college that took Federal money and any
    company that did business with the gov. had to
    abide by these rules.
  • Is this reverse discrimination?

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Success of the movement?
Voter Registration Rates (1965 vs. 1988)
  March 1965 March 1965 March 1965 November 1988 November 1988 November 1988
  Black White Gap Black White Gap
Alabama 19.3 69.2 49.9 68.4 75.0 6.6
Georgia 27.4 62.6 35.2 56.8 63.9 7.1
Louisiana 31.6 80.5 48.9 77.1 75.1 -2.0
Mississippi 6.7 69.9 63.2 74.2 80.5 6.3
North Carolina 46.8 96.8 50.0 58.2 65.6 7.4
South Carolina 37.3 75.7 38.4 56.7 61.8 5.1
Virginia 38.3 61.1 22.8 63.8 68.5 4.7
Success of the movement?
Other Indicators of Urban African-American Poverty
Metropolitan area Percentcivilian males16 employed Percentcivilian males16 employed Percentno automobile Percentno automobile Percentno phone Percentno phone
Metropolitan area Afr. Amer. White Afr. Amer. White Afr. Amer. White
Baltimore 54.4 73.2 31.4 7.8 4.7 0.9
Chicago 50.2 74.0 29.4 9.4 7.2 0.9
Detroit 51.4 71.7 19.5 5.9 6.3 1.5
Los Angeles-Long Beach 50.9 67.4 20.1 7.8 2.8 0.8
Newark 54.2 72.4 32.3 7.4 5.7 0.7
New Orleans 50.0 68.6 29.6 7.7 5.9 1.8
Philadelphia 50.7 70.6 36.6 10.0 3.5 0.6
St. Louis 52.0 72.3 22.9 5.9 4.8 1.3
African American Urban Poverty Rates in 2000
Success of the movement?
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Overall Economic Success by Race
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