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Course: US history   >   Unit 8

Introduction to the civil rights movement.

  • African American veterans and the Civil Rights Movement
  • Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka
  • Emmett Till
  • The Montgomery Bus Boycott
  • "Massive Resistance" and the Little Rock Nine
  • The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom
  • The Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965
  • SNCC and CORE

Black Power

  • The Civil Rights Movement
  • The Civil Rights Movement is an umbrella term for the many varieties of activism that sought to secure full political, social, and economic rights for African Americans in the period from 1946 to 1968.
  • Civil rights activism involved a diversity of approaches, from bringing lawsuits in court, to lobbying the federal government, to mass direct action, to black power.
  • The efforts of civil rights activists resulted in many substantial victories, but also met with the fierce opposition of white supremacists .

The emergence of the Civil Rights Movement

Civil rights and the supreme court, nonviolent protest and civil disobedience, the unfinished business of the civil rights movement, what do you think.

  • See Richard S. Newman, The Transformation of American Abolitionism: Fighting Slavery in the Early Republic (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2002).
  • See C. Vann Woodward, The Strange Career of Jim Crow (New York: Oxford University Press, 1955).
  • See Edward L. Ayers, The Promise of the New South: Life After Reconstruction (New York: Oxford University Press, 1992).
  • See Daniel Kryder, Divided Arsenal: Race and the American State during World War II (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2000); and Stephen Tuck,  Fog of War: The Second World War and the Civil Rights Movement (New York: Oxford University Press, 2012).
  • See Michael J. Klarman, Brown v. Board of Education and the Civil Rights Movement (New York: Oxford University Press, 2007).
  • See Peniel E. Joseph, Waiting ‘Til the Midnight Hour: A Narrative History of Black Power in America (New York: Henry Holt, 2006).
  • See Michael Eric Dyson, The Black Presidency: Barack Obama and the Politics of Race in America (Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016).
  • See Michelle Alexander, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness (New York: The New Press, 2010).
  • See Tavis Smiley, ed., The Covenant with Black America: Ten Years Later (Carlsbad, CA: Hay House, Inc., 2016).

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presentation on the civil rights movement

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Civil Rights Movement Timeline

By: History.com Editors

Updated: February 27, 2024 | Original: December 4, 2017

TOPSHOT-BIO-MARTIN LUTHER KING-MARCH ON WASHINGTONTOPSHOT - The civil rights leader Martin Luther King (C) waves to supporters 28 August 1963 on the Mall in Washington DC (Washington Monument in background) during the "March on Washington". - King said the march was "the greatest demonstration of freedom in the history of the United States." Martin Luther King was assassinated on 04 April 1968 in Memphis, Tennessee. James Earl Ray confessed to shooting King and was sentenced to 99 years in prison. King's killing sent shock waves through American society at the time, and is still regarded as a landmark event in recent US history. AFP PHOTO (Photo by AFP) (Photo by -/AFP via Getty Images)

The civil rights movement was an organized effort by Black Americans to end racial discrimination and gain equal rights under the law. It began in the late 1940s and ended in the late 1960s. Although tumultuous at times, the movement was mostly nonviolent and resulted in laws to protect every American’s constitutional rights, regardless of color, race, sex or national origin.

July 26, 1948: President Harry Truman issues Executive Order 9981 to end segregation in the Armed Services.

May 17, 1954:  Brown v. Board of Education , a consolidation of five cases into one, is decided by the Supreme Court , effectively ending racial segregation in public schools. Many schools, however, remained segregated.

August 28, 1955: Emmett Till, a 14-year-old from Chicago is brutally murdered in Mississippi for allegedly flirting with a white woman. His murderers are acquitted, and the case bring international attention to the civil rights movement after Jet magazine publishes a photo of Till’s beaten body at his open-casket funeral.

December 1, 1955:  Rosa Parks refuses to give up her seat to a white man on a Montgomery, Alabama bus. Her defiant stance prompts a year-long Montgomery bus boycott .

January 10-11, 1957: Sixty Black pastors and civil rights leaders from several southern states—including Martin Luther King Jr. —meet in Atlanta, Georgia to coordinate nonviolent protests against racial discrimination and segregation.

September 4, 1957: Nine Black students known as the “ Little Rock Nine ” are blocked from integrating into Little Rock Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas . President Dwight D. Eisenhower eventually sends federal troops to escort the students, however, they continue to be harassed.

September 9, 1957: Eisenhower signs the Civil Rights Act of 1957 into law to help protect voter rights. The law allows federal prosecution of those who suppress another’s right to vote.

February 1, 1960: Four African American college students in Greensboro, North Carolina refuse to leave a Woolworth’s “whites only” lunch counter without being served. The Greensboro Four—Ezell Blair Jr., David Richmond, Franklin McCain and Joseph McNeil—were inspired by the nonviolent protest of Gandhi . The Greensboro Sit-In , as it came to be called, sparks similar “sit-ins” throughout the city and in other states.

November 14, 1960: Six-year-old Ruby Bridges is escorted by four armed federal marshals as she becomes the first student to integrate William Frantz Elementary School in New Orleans. Her actions inspired Norman Rockwell’s painting The Problem We All Live With (1964).

1961: Throughout 1961, Black and white activists, known as freedom riders, took bus trips through the American South to protest segregated bus terminals and attempted to use “whites-only” restrooms and lunch counters. The Freedom Rides were marked by horrific violence from white protestors, they drew international attention to their cause.

May 2, 1963: More than 1,000 Black school children march through Birmingham, Alabama in a demonstration against segregation . The goal of the non-violent demonstration, which became known as the " Children’s Crusade ," was to provoke the city’s leaders to desegregate. Although the police were mostly restrained the first day, that did not continue. Law enforcement brought out water hoses and police dogs. Journalists documented the young demonstrators getting arrested and hosed down by the Birmingham police, causing national outrage. Eventually an agreement was made to desegregate lunch counters, businesses and restrooms and improve hiring opportunities for Black people in Birmingham.

June 11, 1963: Governor George C. Wallace stands in a doorway at the University of Alabama to block two Black students from registering. The standoff continues until President John F. Kennedy sends the National Guard to the campus.

August 28, 1963: Approximately 250,000 people take part in The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. Martin Luther King gives his “I Have A Dream” speech as the closing address in front of the Lincoln Memorial, stating, “I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.’”

September 15, 1963: A bomb at 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham , Alabama kills four young girls and injures several other people prior to Sunday services. The bombing fuels angry protests.

July 2, 1964: President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act of 1964 into law, preventing employment discrimination due to race, color, sex, religion or national origin. Title VII of the Act establishes the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to help prevent workplace discrimination.

February 21, 1965: Black religious leader Malcolm X is assassinated during a rally by members of the Nation of Islam.

March 7, 1965: Bloody Sunday. In the Selma to Montgomery March , around 600 civil rights marchers walk to Selma, Alabama to Montgomery—the state’s capital—in protest of Black voter suppression. Local police block and brutally attack them. After successfully fighting in court for their right to march, Martin Luther King and other civil rights leaders lead two more marches and finally reach Montgomery on March 25.

August 6, 1965: President Johnson signs the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to prevent the use of literacy tests as a voting requirement. It also allowed federal examiners to review voter qualifications and federal observers to monitor polling places.

April 4, 1968:  Martin Luther King Jr. is assassinated on the balcony of his hotel room in Memphis, Tennessee. James Earl Ray is convicted of the murder in 1969.

April 11, 1968: President Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act of 1968, also known as the Fair Housing Act , providing equal housing opportunity regardless of race, religion or national origin.

Executive Order 9981. Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum. Civil Rights Act of 1957. Civil Rights Digital Library. Governor George C. Wallace’s School House Door Speech. Alabama Department of Archives and History . Greensboro, NC, Students Sit-In for US Civil Rights, 1960. Swarthmore College Global Nonviolent Action Database. Historical Highlights. The 24th Amendment. History, Art & Archives United States House of Representatives. History—Brown v. Board of Education Re-enactment. United States Courts. History of Federal Voting Rights Laws. The United States Department of Justice. “I Have a Dream,” Address Delivered at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. The Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute Stanford. Oldest and Boldest. NAACP. SCLC History. Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Selma to Montgomery March: National Historic Trail and All-American Road. National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. National Archives.

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The Civil Rights Movement

Fighting Segregation

The Main Idea

In the mid-1900s, the civil rights movement began to make major progress in correcting the national problem of racial segregation.

Reading Focus

  • What was the status of the civil rights movement prior to 1954?
  • What were the key issues in the Supreme Court’s ruling in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas , and what was its impact?
  • How did events in Montgomery, Alabama, help launch the modern civil rights movement?

The Civil Rights Movement prior to 1954

  • Opposition to slavery in colonial days
  • Abolition movement and Civil War
  • Legalized racism after Reconstruction
  • 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson allowed the segregation of African Americans and whites.
  • Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. Du Bois
  • Founding of the NAACP in 1909
  • African Americans suffered worse than others during the Great Depression.
  • Roosevelt unwilling to push too hard for greater African American rights.
  • A. Philip Randolph forced a federal ban against discrimination in defense work.
  • 1940s founding of CORE
  • President Truman desegregated the armed forces.
  • Brooklyn Dodgers put an African American—Jackie Robinson—on its roster.

Seeking Change in the Courts

The NAACP attacked racism through the courts.

In the 1930s Charles Hamilton Houston and Thurgood Marshall began a campaign to attack the concept of “separate but equal.”

The NAACP began to chip away at the 1896 Supreme Court ruling in Plessy v. Ferguson —the legal basis for segregation.

  • 1938 – Missouri ex rel. Gaines v. Canada, Registrar of the University of Missouri
  • 1950 – Sweatt v. Painter

Key Issues in the Supreme Court’s ruling on Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas

  • Thurgood Marshall began to focus on desegregating the nation’s elementary and high schools in the 1950s.
  • He found a case in Linda Brown of Topeka, Kansas.
  • The Supreme Court combined several school segregation cases from around the country into a single case: Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas.
  • The Supreme Court was aware of this case’s great significance.

Brown v. Board of Education

The Supreme Court heard arguments over a two-year period. The Court also considered research about segregation’s effects on African American children.

In 1954 Chief Justice Earl Warren issued the Supreme Court’s decision.

All nine justices agreed that separate schools for African Americans and whites violated the Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection of the law.

The Little Rock Crisis

Integration

  • The Supreme Court’s ruling did not offer guidance about how or when desegregation should occur.
  • Some states integrated quickly. Other states faced strong opposition.
  • Virginia passed laws that closed schools who planned to integrate.
  • In Little Rock, Arkansas, the governor violated a federal court order to integrate Little Rock’s Central High School.

The Little Rock Nine

  • On September 4, 1957, angry whites harassed nine black students as they arrived at Little Rock’s Central High School.
  • The Arkansas National Guard turned the Little Rock Nine away and prevented them from entering the school for three weeks.
  • Finally, Eisenhower sent U.S. soldiers to escort the Little Rock Nine into the school.
  • The events in Little Rock revealed how strong racism was in some parts of the country.

Montgomery, Alabama

The Montgomery Bus Boycott

The Southern Christian Leadership Conference

  • In 1955 a local NAACP member named Rosa Parks refused to give her seat to white riders.
  • The resulting Montgomery bus boycott led to a Supreme Court ruling that segregation on buses was unconstitutional.
  • African Americans formed the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, or SCLC , to protest activities taking place all across the South.
  • Martin Luther King Jr. was the elected leader of this group—which was committed to mass, nonviolent action.
  • When Rosa Parks was arrested, the NAACP called for a one-day boycott of the city bus system.
  • Community leaders formed the Montgomery Improvement Association and selected Martin Luther King Jr. as its leader.
  • African Americans continued to boycott the bus system for a year—which hurt the bus system and other white businesses.
  • After the Supreme Court ruled that segregation on buses was unconstitutional, integration of the buses moved forward.

Freedom Now!

The quest for civil rights became a nationwide movement in the 1960s as African Americans won political and legal rights, and segregation was largely abolished.

  • What are sit-ins and Freedom Rides, and why were they important in the 1960s?
  • How was the integration of higher education achieved in the South?

What role did Albany, Georgia, and Birmingham, Alabama, play in the history of civil rights?

  • What concerns and events led to the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964?

Non-Violent Protests during �the Civil Rights Movement

  • Civil rights workers used several direct, nonviolent methods to confront discrimination and racism in the late 1950s and early 1960s.
  • Freedom Rides
  • Many of these non-violent tactics were based on those of Mohandas Gandhi —a leader in India’s struggle for independence from Great Britain.
  • American civil rights leaders such as James Farmer of CORE, Martin Luther King Jr. of SCLC, and others shared Gandhi’s views.
  • James Lawson, an African American minister, conducted workshops on nonviolent methods in Nashville and on college campuses.

The Strategy of Nonviolence

The Sit-in Movement

  • Four college students in Greensboro, North Carolina, stayed in their seats at a Woolworth’s lunch counter after being refused service because of their race.
  • Over the next few days, protesters filled 63 of the 66 seats at the lunch counter.
  • The students were dedicated and well-behaved and ended each sit-in with a prayer.
  • Over time, protesters in about 50 southern cities began to use the sit-in tactic.

The Freedom Rides

  • In 1960 the Supreme Court ordered that bus station facilities for interstate travelers must be open to all passengers. But this ruling was not enforced.
  • CORE sent a group of Freedom Riders on a bus trip through the South to draw attention to this situation.
  • Mobs angry at the Freedom Riders attempts to use white-only facilities firebombed a bus in Anniston, Alabama and attacked riders with baseball bats and metal pipes in Birmingham.

Results of Sit-ins and Freedom Rides

  • After the savage beatings in Birmingham, bus companies refused to sell the Freedom Riders tickets and CORE disbanded the Freedom Ride.
  • Succeeded at getting businesses to change their policies
  • Marked a shift in the civil rights movement—showed young African Americans’ growing impatience with the slow pace of change
  • Leaders formed the SNCC.
  • SNCC continued the Freedom Rides.
  • Attorney General Robert Kennedy sent federal marshals to Montgomery to protect the riders.
  • The Interstate Commerce Commission finally forced the integration of bus and train stations.

Intervention

�Integration of Higher Education in the South

  • By 1960 the NAACP began to attack segregation in colleges and universities.
  • In 1961 a court order required the University of Georgia to admit two African American students.
  • Charlayne Hunter and Hamilton Holmes suffered but both graduated in 1963.
  • In 1962 James Meredith tried to enroll at the University of Mississippi.
  • He arrived on campus with 500 federal marshals and was met by 2,500 violent protesters.
  • President Kennedy went on national television to announce that he was sending in troops.
  • The troops ended the protest but hundreds had been injured and two killed.
  • A small force of marshals remained to protect Meredith until he graduated in 1963.
  • In 1963 the governor of Alabama physically blocked Vivian Malone and James Hood from enrolling at the University of Alabama.
  • Local officials in Albany, Georgia, ignored the Interstate Commerce Commission’s new integration rules.
  • Birmingham, Alabama, was known for its strict enforcement of segregation.

The Albany Movement

The Movement

  • SNCC began a sit-in in Albany’s bus station.
  • Over 500 demonstrators were arrested.
  • The federal government was informed but took no action.
  • Local leaders asked Martin Luther King Jr. to lead more demonstrations and to gain more coverage for the protests.
  • He agreed and was also arrested.

The Results

  • The police chief had studied King’s tactics and made arrangements to counter-act the nonviolent protest.
  • When the press arrived, King was released.
  • City officials would only deal with local leaders until King left.
  • Once King left, officials would not negotiate at all.
  • The nine-month movement failed.

The Birmingham Campaign

The Campaign

  • Martin Luther King raised money to fight Birmingham’s segregation laws.
  • Volunteers began with sit-ins and marches and were quickly arrested.
  • King hoped this would motivate more people to join the protests.
  • White clergy attacked King’s actions in a newspaper ad.
  • King wrote his “Letter from a Birmingham Jail.”
  • Fewer African Americans were willing to join and risk their jobs.
  • A SCLC leader convinced King to use children for his protests.
  • More than 900 children between ages six and eighteen were arrested.
  • Police Chief Eugene “Bull” Connor used police and fire fighters to break up a group of about 2,500 student protesters.
  • The violence of Connor’s methods was all over the television news.
  • Federal negotiators got the city officials to agree to many of King’s demands.

Civil Rights Act of 1964�

  • Medgar Evers , the head of the NAACP in Mississippi, was shot dead in his front yard.
  • Ku Klux Klan member Byron De La Beckwith was tried for the crime but all-white juries failed to convict.
  • The events in Alabama convinced President Kennedy to act on civil rights issues.
  • Kennedy announced that he would ask for legislation to finally end segregation in public accommodations.
  • On August 28, 1963, the largest civil rights demonstration ever held in the United States took place in Washington.
  • More than 200,000 people marched and listened to Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech.

Passing the Civil Rights Act

  • President Johnson supported passage of a strong civil rights bill.
  • Some southerners in Congress fought hard to kill his bill.
  • Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 into law on July 2, 1964.
  • The law banned discrimination in employment and in public accommodations.

Voting Rights

In the 1960s, African Americans gained voting rights and political power in the South, but only after a bitter and hard-fought struggle.

  • What methods did civil rights workers use to gain voting rights for African Americans in the South?

How did African American political organizing become a national issue?

  • What events led to passage of the Voting Rights Act?

Gaining Voting Rights for African Americans �in the South

  • Voting rights for African Americans were achieved at great human cost and sacrifice.
  • President Kennedy was worried about the violent reactions to the nonviolent methods of the civil rights movement.
  • Attorney General Robert Kennedy urged SNCC leaders to focus on voter registration rather than on protests.
  • He promised that the federal government would protect civil rights workers if they focused on voter registration.
  • The Twenty-fourth Amendment outlawed the practice of taxing citizens to vote.
  • Hundreds of people volunteered to spend their summers registering African Americans to vote.

Gaining Voting Rights

Registering Voters

  • SNCC, CORE, and other groups founded the Voter Education Project (VEP) to register southern African Americans to vote.
  • Opposition to African American suffrage was great.
  • Mississippi was particularly hard—VEP workers lived in daily fear for their safety.
  • VEP was a success—by 1964 they had registered more than a half million more African American voters.

Twenty-fourth Amendment

  • Congress passed the Twenty-fourth Amendment in August 1962.
  • The amendment banned states from taxing citizens to vote—for example, poll taxes.
  • It applied only to elections for president or Congress.

Freedom Summer

  • Hundreds of college students volunteered to spend the summer registering African Americans to vote.
  • The project was called Freedom Summer .
  • Most of the trainers were from poor, southern African American families.
  • Most of the volunteers were white, northern, and upper middle class.
  • Volunteers registered voters or taught at summer schools.

Crisis in Mississippi

  • Andrew Goodman, a Freedom Summer volunteer, went missing on June 21, 1964.
  • Goodman and two CORE workers had gone to inspect a church that had recently been bombed.
  • President Johnson ordered a massive hunt for the three men. Their bodies were discovered near Philadelphia, Mississippi.
  • 21 suspects were tried in federal court for violating civil rights laws.

The Results of Project Freedom Summer

Organizers considered Mississippi’s Freedom Summer project a success.

The Freedom Schools taught 3,000 students.

More than 17,000 African Americans in Mississippi applied to vote.

State elections officials accepted only about 1,600 of the 17,000 applications.

This helped show that a federal law was needed to secure voting rights for African Americans.

Martin Luther King Jr. and other civil rights leaders wanted to help President Johnson defeat Republican Barry Goldwater in the 1962 election.

These leaders agreed to suspend their protests until after election day.

SNCC leaders refused, saying they wanted to protest segregation within the Democratic Party.

SNCC helped form the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party . They elected sixty-eight delegates to the Democratic National Convention and asked to be seated instead of the all-white delegation sent by the state’s Democratic Party.

Political Organizing

Fannie Lou Hamer told the convention’s credentials committee why the MFDP group should represent Mississippi.

President Johnson offered a compromise—two members of the MFDP delegation would be seated and the rest would be non-seated “guests” of the convention.

The NAACP and SCLC supported the compromise. SNCC and the MFDP rejected the compromise.

The MFDP’s challenge failed in the end. It also helped widen a split that was developing in the civil rights movement.

The Voting Rights Act

Selma Campaign

  • King organized marches in Selma, Alabama, to gain voting rights for African Americans.
  • King and many other marchers were jailed.
  • Police attacked a march in Marion.
  • King announced a four-day march from Selma to Montgomery.

Selma March

  • 600 African Americans began the 54-mile march.
  • City and state police blocked their way out of Selma.
  • TV cameras captured the police using clubs, chains, and electric cattle prods on the marchers.

Voting Rights Act

  • President Johnson asked for and received a tough voting rights law.
  • The Voting Rights Act of 1965 passed in Congress with large majorities.
  • Proved to be one of the most important pieces of civil rights legislation ever passed.

Changes and Challenges

Continued social and economic inequalities caused many young African Americans to lose faith in the civil rights movement and integration and seek alternative solutions.

  • Why did the civil rights movement expand to the North?
  • What fractures developed in the civil rights movement, and what was the result?
  • What events led to the death of Martin Luther King Jr., and how did the nation react?

The Civil Rights Movement �Expands to the North

  • The civil rights movement had done much to bring an end to de jure segregation —or segregation by law.
  • However, changes in law had not altered attitudes and many were questioning nonviolent protest as an effective method of change.
  • In most of America there was still de facto segregation —segregation that exists through custom and practice rather than by law.
  • African Americans outside the South also faced discrimination—in housing, by banks, in employment.

Expanding the Movement

Conditions outside the South

  • Most African Americans outside the South lived in cities.
  • African Americans were kept in all-black parts of town because they were unwelcome in white neighborhoods.
  • Discrimination in banking made home ownership and home and neighborhood improvements difficult.
  • Job discrimination led to high unemployment and poverty.

Urban Unrest

  • Frustration over the urban conditions exploded into violence.
  • Watts (Los Angeles) in 1965
  • Detroit in 1967
  • President Johnson appointed the Kerner Commission to study the causes of urban rioting.
  • Placed the blame on poverty and discrimination

The Movement Moves North

The riots convinced King that the civil rights movement needed to move north. He focused on Chicago in 1966.

The eight month Chicago campaign was one of King’s biggest failures.

Chicago’s African Americans did not share his civil rights focus—their concerns were economic.

King discovered that some northern whites who had supported him and criticized racism in the South had no interest in seeing it exposed in the North.

Fractures in the civil rights movement

  • Conflict among the diverse groups of the civil rights movement developed in the 1960s.
  • Many SNCC and CORE members were beginning to question nonviolence.
  • In 1966 SNCC abandoned the philosophy of nonviolence.
  • Huey Newton and Bobby Seale formed the Black Panther Party and called for violent revolution as a means of African American liberation.
  • Malcolm X and the Black Muslims were critical of King and nonviolence.

Fractures in the Movement

Black Power

  • Stokely Carmichael became the head of SNCC.
  • SNCC abandoned the philosophy of nonviolence.
  • Black Power became the new rallying cry.
  • Wanted African Americans to depend on themselves to solve problems.

Black Panthers

  • The Black Panther Party was formed in Oakland, California, in 1966.
  • Called for violent revolution as a means of African American liberation.
  • Members carried guns and monitored African American neighborhoods to guard against police brutality.

Black Muslims

  • Nation of Islam was a large and influential group who believed in Black Power.
  • Message of black nationalism, self-discipline, and self-reliance.
  • Malcolm X offered message of hope, defiance, and black pride.

The Death of Martin Luther King Jr.

King became aware that economic issues must be part of the civil rights movement.

King went to Memphis, Tennessee to help striking sanitation workers. He led a march to city hall.

James Earl Ray shot and killed King as he stood on the balcony of his motel.

Within hours, rioting erupted in more than 120 cities. Within three weeks, 46 people were dead, some 2,600 were injured, and more than 21,000 were arrested.

The Movement Continues

The civil rights movement was in decline by the 1970s, but its accomplishments continued to benefit American society.

  • How did the SCLC’s goals change and with what results?
  • For what reasons did the Black Power movement decline?
  • What civil rights changes took place in the 1970s, and what were their results?

The Civil Rights Movement after Martin Luther King Jr.

King realized that most African Americans were prevented from achieving equality because they were poor.

Ralph Abernathy, the new leader of the SCLC, led thousands of protesters to the nation’s capital as part of the Poor People’s Campaign .

The campaign turned out to be a disaster. Bad weather and terrible media relations marred the campaign.

The campaign also failed to express clearly the protesters’ needs and demands.

The Black Power Movement

  • The civil rights movement took place at the height of the Cold War.
  • FBI director J. Edgar Hoover created a secret program to keep an eye on groups that caused unrest in American society.
  • Hoover considered King and the Black Power movement a threat to American society.
  • The FBI infiltrated civil rights movement groups and worked to disrupt them.
  • Spread false rumors that the Black Panthers intended to kill SNCC members
  • Forged harmful posters, leaflets, and correspondence from targeted groups

The Decline of Black Power

The Black Panthers

  • Hoover was particularly concerned about the Black Panthers.
  • Police raided Black Panther headquarters in many cities.
  • Armed conflict resulted, even when Black Panther members were unarmed.
  • By the early 1970s, armed violence had led to the killing or arrest of many Black Panther members.
  • SNCC collapsed with the help of the FBI.
  • H. Rap Brown, the leader who replaced Stokely Carmichael as the head of SNCC, was encouraged to take radical and shocking positions.
  • Brown was encouraged to take these positions by his staff—many of whom worked for the FBI.
  • Membership declined rapidly.

Civil Rights Changes in the 1970s

  • Civil Rights Act of 1968—banned discrimination in the sale or rental of housing (also called the Fair Housing Act)
  • Busing and political change—to speed the integration of city schools, courts began ordering that some students be bused from their neighborhood schools to schools in other areas
  • Busing met fierce opposition in the North.
  • Busing was a major cause of the migration of whites from cities to suburbs.
  • This development increased the political power of African Americans in the cities.
  • Affirmative action —programs that gave preference to minorities and women in hiring and admissions to make up for past discrimination against these groups

The New Black Power

  • Black Power took on a new form and meaning in the 1970s.
  • African Americans became the majority in many counties in the South.
  • African Americans were elected to public office.
  • African Americans who played roles in the civil rights movement provided other services to the nation
  • Thurgood Marshal became Supreme Court’s first African American justice.
  • John Lewis represented the people of Alabama in Congress.
  • Andrew Young became Georgia’s first African American member of Congress since Reconstruction, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, and mayor of Atlanta.
  • Jesse Jackson founded a civil rights organization called Operation PUSH and campaigned for the Democratic presidential nomination in the 1980s.

“…Wait a minute … Somebody has gotta keep this thing on the track!”

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the civil rights movement

The Civil Rights Movement

Mar 16, 2019

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The Civil Rights Movement. NAACP. N ational A ssociation for the A dvancement of C olored P eople Founded February 12, 1909 Founding members included W. E. B. Du Bois, Ida B. Wells-Barnett and Mary Church Terrell

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Presentation Transcript

NAACP • National Association for the Advancement of Colored People • Founded February 12, 1909 • Founding members included W. E. B. Du Bois, Ida B. Wells-Barnett and Mary Church Terrell • Founded to secure for all people the rights guaranteed in the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments • Active in many of the milestone Supreme Court cases involving Civil Rights

Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka • 1954 Supreme Court decision reversing Plessy v. Ferguson • Decision stated that segregation "violates the 14th amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which guarantees all citizens equal protection of the laws." • Set the stage foreducational and social change throughout the United States • Combined 5 cases together including Davis v. County School Board of Prince Edward County (VA)

Thurgood Marshall • Grandson of a former slave • Graduated from Howard University Law School after being denied admission to U of MD Law School based on race • Influential attorney with NAACP • Attorney on Brown v. Board case • Became first African-American to serve on the Supreme Court

Thurgood Marshall http://preaprez.files.wordpress.com/2009/07/thurgood-marshall.jpg

Earl Warren • Attorney General of California • Governor of California • Ran for President as a Republican • Nominated by Eisenhower to be Chief Justice of the Supreme Court in 1953 • One of the most influential advocates for social progress in the United States. • Along with John Marshall, one of the most influential Supreme Court Chief Justices • His court is characterized as “activist”

Earl Warren, 2 • Nixon praised Warren for having personified "fairness, integrity and dignity" during his 16 years as Chief Justice.http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,840195,00.html#ixzz0mExrNRz9 • Warren responded: "We serve only the public interest as we see it, guided only by the Constitution and our own consciences."http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,840195,00.html#ixzz0mEyTpkxT • Ike said appointing Warren was his biggest mistake.

Chief Justice Earl Warren http://www.supremecourthistory.org/history/images/014_warren.jpg

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. • African-American clergyman and member of the NAACP • Led the 1955 Montgomery Bus boycott • Leader of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference(SCLC) • Promoted Civil Disobedience • In the eleven-year period between 1957 and 1968, King traveled over six million miles and spoke over twenty-five hundred times, appearing wherever there was injustice, protest, and action. http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/peace/laureates/1964/king-bio.html

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.,2 • 1963: Time Magazine Man of the Year • Won Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 • Youngest man to receive this prize • Gave his $54,123 prize money to the Civil Rights Movement • Assassinated April 4, 1968, while standing on his motel room balcony in Memphis, Tennessee • In Memphis to lead a protest march in sympathy with striking garbage workers of that city.

http://www.time.com/time/covers/0,16641,19640103,00.html

Montgomery Bus Boycott • Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a bus on Dec. 1, 1955 • Tensions building over segregation policies on Montgomery busses • Boycott of the bus system started on 12/5 and lasted 381 days • Dr. King’s speech in Montgomery supporting the boycott was his first as a Civil Rights leader • Lawyers cited Brown v. Board of Ed decision in supporting their claims

SCLC • Southern Christian Leadership Conference • Civil Rights group stemming from the Montgomery Bus Boycott • Established February 14, 1957 • Dr. King elected president • Provided regional leadership for protest activities against segregation • Activities were to be non-violent mass action • Involved in many Civil Rights activities

Birmingham Demonstrations • MLK called Birmingham “the most segregated city in the United States.” • April 1963, picketed Birmingham’s department stores • Police Chief Eugene (“Bull”) Connorused snarling dogs, electric cattle prods, and high-pressure fire hoses to break up the crowds. • Broadcast on TV news around the country • Dr. King is arrested in a protest march and writes his “Letter from Birmingham Jail”

http://media.photobucket.com/image/birmingham%20protest/dragonfly_777/Birmingham_campaign_dogs.jpg http://media.photobucket.com/image/birmingham%20protest/dragonfly_777/Birmingham_campaign_dogs.jpg

March on Washington • August 28, 1963 @ Lincoln Memorial • At the time, was the largest public protest in the history of the nation. • Over 250,000 marchers • “Freedom buses”organized from hundreds of cities to bring people to DC • Dr. King gave “I have a dream” speech • “Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!” • Partly credited with passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

Civil Rights Act of 1964 • Finally demonstrated legislative support of the 14th Amendment • Most far-reaching Civil Rights legislation since Reconstruction • Outlawed discrimination in employment on the basis of race, religion, national origin, or sex • Guaranteed equal access to public accommodations and schools • Created EEOC

Freedom Summer • Summer 1964 • Major Civil Rights campaign in Mississippi • Volunteers from all over the country • Set up freedom schools, which taught black children traditional subjects and Black history • Conducted a major voter registration drive • Organized the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, an alternative to the all-white Democratic organization in Mississippi.

Freedom Summer, 2 • 15 Civil Rights workers murdered • Only about 1,200 Black voters registered • “What do we want?…Freedom! When do we want it?...Now!”

Selma March • From Selma, Alabama to state capitol in Montgomery • March 7, 1965 known as “Bloody Sunday” • Because voting-rights activist was killed • Marchers met by mounted state troopers with tear gas and clubs • March 9, Dr. King led a symbolic march to the Petty Bridge • "The law is clear that the right to petition one's government for the redress of grievances may be exercised in large groups...,and these rights may be exercised by marching, even along public highways." Fed. Dist. Ct Judge Johnson

Selma March, 2 • Third march on Sunday, March 21 • Started out with 3,200 marchers • Ended on March 25 with 25,000 marchers • In 1996, National Parks Service created the Selma-to-Montgomery National Historic Trail • Voting Rights Act signed in August!

Voting Rights Act • Passed August 5, 1965 • Outlawed literacy tests and other “Jim Crow” era tactics for keeping African-Americans from voting • Authorized the Attorney General to send federal examiners to register voters in any county where less than 50 percent of the voting-age population was registered. • 24th Amendment outlawed Poll Taxes • These actions put meaning into 15th Amendment

SNCC • Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee • Founded in 1960 by students • Played a major role in • March on Washington • Freedom Summer • Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party • Later led by Stokely Carmichael • Focused on “Black Power” • Protesting war in Vietnam

Freedom Rides • Civil Rights activists rode interstate busses into the segregated South to test Supreme Courtdecision inBoynton v. Virginia • Decision prohibited discrimination in bus terminal restaurants and waiting rooms • First ride left DC on May 4, 1961 • In second week of trip, violently attacked • One of the busses was burned • Many riders were jailed • Most rides sponsored by CORE and SNCC

Robert Moses • Led voter registration drives in Mississippi in 1960s • In 1966, went to Canada rather than be drafted • Returned to US when President Carter granted amnesty to draft resisters • Has devoted his life to teaching Algebra to inner-city students • Sees Algebra as a “gate-keeper” course • Without Algebra students can’t advance to higher level science and math classes

Ku Klux Klan • Resurgence in 1960s • White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan • First Imperial Wizard was Samuel Bowers • Very secretive and responsible for much violence against Civil Rights workers • In particular, 3 CORE volunteers (Goodman, Schwerner, and Chaney) were killed for their Freedom Summer actions • 2005, Klan member Edgar Ray Killen convicted in the murders

Medgar Evers • Mississippi Civil Rights Activist • Mississippi Field Secretary of NAACP • Involved in boycott of white merchants • Killed outside his home by KKK • Buried with full military honors in Arlington • His death prompted Bob Dylan to write "Only a Pawn in Their Game"

16th Street Baptist Church • September 15, 1963 • Largest African-American Church in Birmingham, AL • Church bombed by KKK on a Sunday while services being held • 4 girls killed • FBI investigated but didn’t press charges • Bomber not charged until 1977 • Convicted and died in jail

Fannie Lou Hammer • Civil Rights leader and voting rights activist • Helped organize Mississippi Freedom Summer • Attended 1964 Democratic National Convention • “Freedom Democrat” • LBJ referred to her as “that illiterate woman” • Participated in 1968 Democratic Convention as a delegate

Kerner Commission • National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders • Formed by Pres. Johnson in July 1967 in response to inner city violence during the summers since 1964 • Report said: “Our Nation Is Moving Toward Two Societies, One Black, One White—Separate and Unequal” • Warned that “apartheid-like” conditions faced our cities if changes not made.

James Meredith • First African-American to attend the University of Mississippi • Governor Ross Barnett attempted to block Meredith’s enrollment • Riots and violence followed with 2 dieing • Dylan wrote “Oxford Town” about the event

Second Reconstruction • What some historians call the Civil Rights movement of the 1950s-1960s • Civil War seen as only “half emancipating” African Americans

Major Great Society Legislation http://ebooks.bfwpub.com/henretta6e.php

Sources • http://www.naacp.org/about/history/ • http://brownvboard.org/summary/ • http://www.nps.gov/nr/travel/civilrights/al4.htm • http://historymatters.gmu.edu/d/6545/ • http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/reconstruction/activism/sf_rights.html

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