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African American Civil Rights Movement


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Title: African American Civil Rights Movement

African American Civil RightsMovement
  • Events and reform movements aimed at abolishing
    private and public acts of racial discrimination

Study Guide Identifications
  • Litigation and Lobbying efforts
  • Brown v. Board of Education, Topeka, KS
  • Jim Crow and Jane Crow
  • Civil Disobedience and Direct Action
  • Emmet Till
  • Montgomery Bus Boycott, Greensboro Sit in,
    Childrens Crusade
  • Black Panthers, Malcolm X

Study Guide Questions
  • What were two phases of the African American
    Civil Rights Movement?
  • What strategies were used in the struggle for
    civil rights?
  • What were examples of Civil Rights Legislation
    and tactics used to ensure new laws were
  • Why is the Civil Rights Movement referred to by
    some historians as the Second Reconstruction?

Prior to 1955
  • The Civil Rights Movement prior to 1955
    confronted discrimination against African
    Americans with a variety of strategies.
  • These included litigation and lobbying efforts by
    traditional organizations such as the National
    Association for the Advancement of Colored People
  • The crowning achievement of these efforts was the
    legal victory in Brown v. Board of Education
  • made segregation legally impermissible, but
    provided few practical remedies.

Jim Crow
  • Required or permitted acts of discrimination
    against African Americans fell mainly into four
  • (1) racial segregation upheld by the United
    States Supreme Court decision in Plessey v.
    Ferguson in 1896 - which was legally mandated by
    southern states and by many local governments
    outside the south
  • (2) voter suppression or disfranchisement in the
    southern states
  • (3) denial of economic opportunity or resources
  • (4) private acts of violence and mass racial
    violence aimed at African Americans, which were
    often encouraged and seldom hindered by
    government authorities.
  • The combination in the southern states of overtly
    racial laws, public and private acts of
    discrimination, marginal economic opportunity,
    and racial violence became known as "Jim Crow".

Post Civil War
  • White perpetrated riots ultimately terrorized and
    killed 1,000s of African Americans
  • Shady Grove, Louisiana 200 blacks dead
  • Cross Plains Alabama White teacher 6 black
    students lynched
  • Texas 1865 1868 2,225 offenses and 500
    murders against blacks
  • 1882 1937 3,700 blacks lynched in America
  • Memphis Riots May 1 3, 1866
  • 46 blacks killed, 70 wounded
  • 5 women raped
  • 4 churches, 12 schools, 91 homes destroyed in
    black community

1900s Violence continued
  • Riots continued 1917-1921
  • Vicksburg, MS February 13, 1904
  • Guilty for being Luther Huberts wife (He was
    accused of killing a white man)
  • She was tied to a tree, chopped her fingers off,
    poked out an eyeball with a stick, inserted a
    large corkscrew into their bodies and tore out
    big pieces of raw, quivering flesh
  • St. Louis IL, 1917
  • 2 days left 150 blacks dead
  • Georgia 1918 unknown black man killed a white
  • 11 blacks murdered
  • Woman who protested the innocence of her husband
    was tied to a tree from her ankles, poured petrol
    on her clothing, burned her to death. In the
    process her 8 mo. Old baby was born and kicked to
    and fro by the mob.

Rationalization of terror
  • Southern whites claimed that the reason for all
    the carnage was simple
  • black men were animals whose sexual drive has
    been unleashed by emancipation and the false idea
    of racial equality.
  • White women therefore needed to be protected by
    the noble sons of the confederacy from the
    insatiable lust of freedmen.
  • One defender of lynching proclaimed in 1918, As
    the world is to be made safe for democracy, so
    ought the south to be made free for white women.

Violence through WWII
  • 1921, Tulsa, Ok. After 3 days of rioting, 200
    blacks dead
  • Riots continued while white authorities disarmed
    African Americans and black neighborhoods
  • Allowed armed whites to continue terrorizing

Phases of Civil Rights2nd Reconstruction
  • 1954 and 1968
  • Litigation lobbying efforts
  • Crowning achievement Brown Vs. the Board of
    Education, Topeka, Kansas (1954) overturned
    Plessey Vs. Ferguson (1896)
  • 1966 to 1975, Black Power Movement
  • enlarged and gradually eclipsed the aims of the
    Civil Rights Movement to include racial dignity,
    economic and political self-sufficiency, and
    freedom from white authority.

Civil Riots Pre-1955
  • Strategies to fight discrimination
  • Litigation lobbying efforts
  • Brown Vs. Board of Education of Topeka, 1954
  • Overturned separate but equal established by
    Plessey Vs. Ferguson
  • Failure of Change through legal means
  • Direct Action Non-violent Resistance Civil
  • Created crisis situation of which the government
    had to respond
  • Boycotts, sit-ins, Marches, Freedom Rides

1954-1968 Civil Rights
  • Civil Disobedience
  • Montgomery Bus Boycott (1955-1956) in Alabama
  • Greensboro sit-in (1960) in North Carolina
  • Selma to Montgomery marches (1965) in Alabama.
  • Notable achievements
  • Civil Rights Act of 1957
  • Civil Rights Act of 1964
  • banned discrimination in employment practices
    and public accommodations
  • Voting Rights Act of 1965
  • restored voting rights
  • Immigration and Nationality Services Act of 1965
  • dramatically changed U.S. immigration policy
  • Civil Rights Act of 1968
  • banned discrimination in the sale or rental of

Domestic Terrorism
  • Murders of African Americans common no legal
    protection or recourse
  • Emmett Till, 1955
  • Beaten murdered for whistling at a white
  • Open casket, 50,000 viewed
  • Murderers acquitted by an all white male jury,
    later confessed remained free
  • Galvanized opinion in the north

Montgomery Bus Boycott1955-56
  • Rosa Parks December 1, 1955 led the boycott
  • Refused to give up her seat
  • Arrested, tried, convicted for disorderly conduct
    violating a local ordinance
  • 50 civil rights leaders organized boycott
  • 382 days
  • Local ordinance establishing segregation lifted
  • Martin Luther King Jr. rose to national attention

(No Transcript)
Desegregating Little Rock, 1957
  • Supreme Court, Brown Vs. Board of Education
  • 9 students sued to attend an integrated school
  • Governor of Arkansas Orval Faubus called out
    National Guard to prevent the students from
  • President Eisenhower federalized the National
    Guard and deployed 101st Airborne division to
    protect the students
  • Due to continuing harassment only Ernest Greet
    graduated, the school shut down rather than
    integrate further

Greensboro Sit In
  • Greensboro, North Carolina Nashville, Tennessee
    Atlanta Georgia
  • Sit Ins at lunch counters to protest those
    establishments refusal to desegregate
  • Technique used in the mid-west in the 1940s by
    the Congress of Racial Equality
  • Success led to student campaigns throughout the
    south in every public place
  • When Arrested made a Jail no Bail Pledge to
    call attention to their cause and to put
    financial burden of jail space and food on

Mississippi, 1962
  • Robert Moses organized The Council of Federated
    Organizations (SNCC, NAACP, Committee On Racial
  • to address the most dangerous of all southern
  • Medgar Evers
  • Door-to-Door voter education projects in rural
    Mississippi to recruit students
  • murdered in drive way later that year

Freedom Riders
  • Anniston, Alabama
  • bus was firebombed, forcing its passengers to
    flee for their lives.
  • Birmingham, Al.
  • FBI informant reported that Public Safety
    Commissioner Eugene "Bull" Connor had encouraged
    the Ku Klux Klan to attack an incoming group of
    freedom riders "until it looked like a bulldog
    had got a hold of them," the riders were severely
  • Montgomery, AL.
  • a mob charged another bus load of riders,
    knocking John Lewis unconscious with a crate
  • smashed Life photographer Don Urbrock in the face
    with his own camera.
  • A dozen men surrounded Jim Zwerg, a white student
    from Fisk University, and beat him in the face
    with a suitcase, knocking out his teeth.

Desegregating Univ. of Miss.
  • Clyde Kennard, 1960
  • Univ. of Southern Mississippi
  • Racial agitator
  • Convicted of crime he didnt commit 7 yr
    sentence, 3 yrs served
  • James Meredith, 1962
  • Won lawsuit
  • Governor Ross Barnett barred from entering
  • "no school will be integrated in Mississippi
    while I am your Governor".
  • U.S. Marshalls escorted Meredith on Campus
  • Whites rioted 2 killed, 28 Marshals shot, 160
    others injured
  • Kennedy sent in army to quell uprising
  • Meredith began classes next day

Childrens Crusade
  • 1963, SCLC, create Crisis to agitate for
  • Letter from Birmingham
  • Childrens Crusade
  • High School students joined demonstrations
  • 2nd day Bull Connor Police dogs, fired hoses
    (separate mortar from bricks) televised
  • Kennedy forced to intervene between white
    business community and SCLC
  • May 10, agreement to desegregate public places

March for Jobs Freedom
  • August 28, 1963
  • 2nd March Led by Randolph and Bayard Rustin civil
    rights, labor and liberal organizations joined
  • Goals
  • Meaningful civil rights laws (Civil Rights Bill)
  • Massive Federal Works Programs
  • Full and Fair employment
  • Decent housing
  • The vote
  • Adequate integrated education
  • King with an audience of 200,000 I have A Dream

John Lewis
  • We march today for jobs and freedom, but we have
    nothing to be proud of, for hundreds and
    thousands of our brothers are not herefor they
    have no money for their transportation, for they
    are receiving starvation wagesor no wages at
    all. In good conscience, we cannot support the
    administration's civil rights bill.
  • This bill will not protect young children and old
    women from police dogs and fire hoses when
    engaging in peaceful demonstrations. This bill
    will not protect the citizens of Danville,
    Virginia, who must live in constant fear in a
    police state. This bill will not protect the
    hundreds of people who have been arrested on
    trumped-up charges like those in Americus,
    Georgia, where four young men are in jail, facing
    a death penalty, for engaging in peaceful
  • I want to know, which side is the federal
    government on? The revolution is a serious one.
    Mr. Kennedy is trying to take the revolution out
    of the streets and put it in the courts. Listen
    Mr. Kennedy, the black masses are on the march
    for jobs and for freedom, and we must say to the
    politicians that there won't be a 'cooling-off

  • Church Bombing, Birmingham, Alabama
  • 4 girls killed
  • Response to success of march on Washington
  • Young people changed the city, retaliated against

Mississippi Freedom Summer 1964
  • COFO brought more than a hundred college
    students, many from outside the state,
  • Register voters,
  • Teach in "Freedom Schools"
  • Organize the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party
  • .
  • Civil rights workers murdered by members of the
  • James Chaney,
  • two white volunteers, Andrew Goodman, Michael
  • They many other bodies of missing African
    Americans found in an earthen dam outside
    Philadelphia, Mississippi.
  • Shot savagely beaten

Backlash against King
  • Edgar J. Hoover, director of FBI
  • Racist
  • Surveillance of King, political attack
  • Nobel Peace Prize
  • Civil rights message for the world
  • Pushing boundaries of original movement

Selma Voting Rights Act 1965
  • Voter Registration in Selma, Alabama
  • February King arrested with 250 others
  • Violent resistance from police, Jimmie Lee
    Jackson killed
  • March Hosea Williams of the SCLC and John Lewis
    of SNCC led a march of 600 people who intended to
    walk the 54 miles from Selma to the state capital
    in Montgomery.
  • six blocks into the march
  • state troopers and local law enforcement,
  • attacked the peaceful demonstrators with billy
    clubs, tear gas, rubber tubes wrapped in barbed
    wire and bull whips

Voting Rights Act 1965
  • National broadcast of police brutality and
    continual murders of activists provoked response
  • Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act 1965
  • suspended poll taxes, literacy tests and other
    voter tests
  • authorized federal supervision of voter
    registration in states and individual voting
    districts where such tests were being used.
  • authorized the Attorney General of the United
    States to send federal examiners to replace local

Voter Turnout
  • ¼ million new black voters registered
  • First 4 yrs
  • Voter registration doubled
  • 74-92 turnout in the south
  • Changed political landscape of south
  • Number of elective offices held in U.S. by
    African Americans increased from 100 to 12,000 by

Kings Evolution
  • Attempt to Broaden Civil Rights Movement
  • 1965 called for peace negotiations and halt to
    bombing of Vietnam
  • Began moving towards socialism
  • Need for economic justice in America
  • Efforts to take movement North to Chicago to
    address employment and Housing discrimination
    unsuccessful in 1966

Cold War Context
  • King
  • Malcolm X
  • Appeal to Third World
  • Hypocrisy of United States as Leader of a Free
  • Factor in pushing government towards civil rights

Malcolm X
  • Denounced Civil Rights Movement
  • Kings gradualist non-violent approach was
    irrelevant to social economic problems
  • Endorsed self-defense rights By any means
  • Renewal of pride in African American cultural
  • Economic Reconstruction
  • Murdered in 1965

  • Police relations brutal and corrupt
  • Ignored due process
  • Used excessive force
  • Disrespectful and abusive language
  • Viewed as Brutal occupying army
  • 1965 Frye Brothers prompted Watts Riots

Watts Riots 1965
  • 10,000 people rebellion
  • Looted, burned white owned businesses
  • 40 million dollars in damage

Watts Riots 1965
  • National Guard restored order leaving
  • 31 black dead, 3 non-black dead, 100s injured,
    4,000 arrested
  • Produced little change to address real issues
  • Marked transition from non-violent to violent
    civil rights action

Race Riots
  • Due to conditions riots broke out across America
  • Atlanta, San Francisco, Oakland, Baltimore,
    Seattle, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Columbus, Newark,
    Chicago, New York City (specifically in Brooklyn,
    Harlem and the Bronx) Detroit
  • 1964 Kennedy Assassinated
  • 1968 Martin Luther King Jr. Assassinated
  • Wave of new rioting,
  • Johnson ordered major reforms in employments and
    public assistance

Impact of Riots
  • President Johnson had created the National
    Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders in 1967.
  • The commission's final report called for major
    reforms in employment and public assistance sent
    to black communities everywhere
  • Affirmative Action helped in the hiring process
    of more black police officers in every major city

Black Power Movement
  • Conservatives such as Reagan
  • subversive agitators were provoking violence
  • only firm commitment to law would ease racial
  • Social activists replied
  • Racism
  • Lack of educational employment opportunities
  • Inadequate government remedies produced despair
    and outbursts of racial violence

Black Power KKK
  • In 1966 SNCC leader Stokely Carmichael also took
    Black Power to another level.
  • He urged African American communities to
    confront the white supremacist group known as the
    Ku Klux Klan armed and ready for battle because
    he felt it was the only way to ever rid the
    communities of the terror caused by the Klan.
  • Listening to this, several Blacks confronted the
    Ku Klux Klan armed and as a result the Klan
    stopped terrorizing their communities.

Black Power Movement
  • 1968, Tommie Smith and John Carlos, while being
    awarded the gold and bronze medals Summer
  • human rights badges and each raised a
    black-gloved Black Power salute during their
    podium ceremony.
  • Smith and Carlos were immediately ejected from
    the games
  • a permanent lifetime ban
  • the Black Power movement had now been given a
    stage on live, international television.

Black Power
  • Growing radical movements
  • Cultural pride
  • Community self-defense and determination
  • Solidarity and 3rd world peoples
  • Socialist critiques of Capitalism
  • Stokely Carmichael Black Power

Black Panthers
  • Merrit College Students Newton and Seale
  • Founded political party in Oakland California
    Black Panthers
  • Demands
  • Full employment
  • Decent housing
  • End to police brutality
  • Power to determine own destiny of community
  • Education true history
  • Release blacks from prison no fair or impartial
  • Refusal to fight against other people of color in
    the world who are also being victimized by
    American white racist government

Social Progress
  • Asserted 2nd amendment right to bear arms in
    defense of community from racist police
    oppression and brutality called militant
  • Overshadowed
  • After school free breakfast programs
  • Community clinics
  • Voter registration drives
  • Concerns for education
  • Prison reform

Murder of Panthers
  • Response to activism
  • Police intensified repression, began arresting
    and harassing party members
  • Minister of Defense, Newton (1967)
  • Minister of Education, Eldridge Cleaver (1968)
  • FBI and Police joined forces, murdered 28 members
    leading to partys decline

  • Empowered community
  • Ignited Student Movement for black and ethnic
    studies program
  • Began to reclaim and celebrate history and
  • Registered 30,000 voters
  • Elected black city officials
  • John George Alamedas 1st black superintendent
  • Lionel Wilson Oakland's 1st black mayor (1977)

Red Power
  • Response to Termination Program of the 1950s,
    relocation, poverty and broken treaties
  • Advocated
  • Cultural pride
  • Intertribal unity
  • Mutual aid
  • Foundation of movement 1950-60s
  • Intertribal Friendship House (Oakland)
  • San Francisco Indian Center
  • Bay area Council of American Indians

  • 1969 Alcatraz Island Taking the Rock
  • Led by Richard Oaks and included Edward Castillo
    (Cahuilla-Luiseno) presently a full professor at
    UC (Northern California)

  • Re-established identity at Indian people with a
    culture and as a political entity
  • President Nixon
  • Ended termination
  • Restored millions of acres of land to several
  • Increased federal spending on housing, health,
    legal and economic development

Asian Movement
  • Declaration of Asian American Political Alliance
    Viewed society
  • Historically racist
  • Systematically employs social and economic
  • Domestically and internationally exploits all
    non-whites to benefit a wealthy minority
  • Repealed Alien Land Law Act 1956
  • Walter McCarren Act
  • Dismantled anti-Asian policies
  • called for detention and deportation of citizens
    suspected of Acts of Espionage or sabotage
  • Imposed tougher restrictions on illegal

Chicano Movement
  • Adopted Militant strategies for social and
    political change against forces who have denied
    freedom of expression and human dignity
  • Role of Chicanos in America
  • Cheap labor, impoverished, exploited and

  • Rights to
  • Own culture
  • Language,
  • Heritage
  • Way of life
  • Advocated true sources of freedom
  • Cultural pride
  • Community self defense
  • 3 rd world solidarity
  • Recovery of true history

Cesar Chavez
  • 1950s a Latino civil rights group.
  • Chávez urged Mexican-Americans to register and
  • traveled throughout California and made speeches
    in support of Workers Rights
  • Co-founded the National Farm Workers Association
  • In 1965, Filipino workers, under their
    organization the Agricultural Workers Organizing
    Committee (AWOC),
  • initiated the Delano Grape Strike to protest in
    favor of higher wages.
  • 5 year strike led to the first major labor
    victory for US farm workers.

1960s legacy
  • Shattered myth of Melting Pot
  • Minorities and poor rose up to demand equal
    rights and political power
  • Respect for cultural traditions and historical
  • Affirmative action policies increased
    educational and employment opportunities and led
    to expansion of middle class

  • Women and Minorities continued to advocate for
  • NOW addresses issues of wage equity, reproductive
    rights, child care, sex discrimination
  • Passage of equal Rights Amendment of 1972
  • Stiffer Penalties of sex discrimination
  • Privacy of rape victims
  • Access to abortion and birth control