Setting the Stage for the Civil Rights Movement

Setting the Stage for the Civil Rights Movement

SETTING THE STAGE FOR THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT PRE-CIVIL WAR African-Americans = slaves = property = no rights Forced illiteracy Forced labor

Limited/no movement Physical, verbal, emotional, psychological abuse RECONSTRUCTION ERA 13th Amendment: slavery is abolished 14th Amendment: native-born people (including African-Americans) are citizens 15th Amendment: state governments cannot deny the right to vote based on race POST-RECONSTRUCTION THROUGH THE 1950S Southern states found ways around the Reconstruction amendments

Literacy tests Grandfather clauses Poll taxes Instituted Jim Crow laws throughout the south Plessy v. Ferguson (1896): Separate but equal facilities are constitutional (legalized segregation) THE JIM CROW SOUTH African-Americans had to use separate facilities for pretty much every aspect of their lives

Schools Drinking fountains Waiting areas/bus stops Bathrooms Getting caught in an area for whites only or doing anything that was viewed as uppity could cause you to be lynched. DOMESTIC TERRORISM Terrorism: the use of violence or threats to intimidate or coerce.

In the Jim Crow south, being black meant that you were insulted, demeaned, threatened, and coerced on a regular basis. WHY DID THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT HAPPEN DURING THIS TIME? During WWII: African-American troops fought overseas for liberty and freedom, but were denied these things at home Over a million black soldiers had served in uniform, and after the war nearly a half a million people belonged to the NAACP During the late 1940s and early 1950s, several attempts were made by African Americans to exercise their rights, but they were violently denied. Gained the attention of President Truman, who established by

executive order the Presidents Committee on Civil Rights. The committee was instructed to investigate the status of civil rights in the United States and propose measures to strengthen and protect the civil rights of American citizens. Truman also issued an executive order banning segregation in the armed forces. NOT JUST IN THE SOUTHTHE TRENTON SIX In 1948, six African Americans were convicted by an all-white jury of the murder of an elderly storekeeper in Trenton and sentenced to death Storekeepers wife could not identify the six men, nor verify how many were involved, plus there

was a lack of forensic evidence The Trenton Six were all arrested without warrants, denied legal representation, and were interrogated for 4 days..5 of the 6 were coerced into signing confessions On appeal, 2 of the 6 were still found guilty. SEEDS OF CHANGE BREAKING THE COLOR BARRIER The issue of segregation gained increasing national attention after WWII One event that gained particular

attention was Jackie Robinson joining the Brooklyn Dodgers as the MLBs 1st African American baseball player April 15, 1947 Faced harassment, discrimination, and segregationresponded with nonviolence and dignity Became a symbol of African American pride and opportunity Robinsons press attention raised public awareness of racial discrimination

LANDMARK SUPREME COURT CASE Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka (1954) ruled that school segregation was unconstitutional, and that segregated schools were inherently unequal Overturned Plessy v. Ferguson Court ordered schools to stop practicing segregation, and urged it to be implemented with all deliberate speed No official deadline was set Desegregation of schools would be a

long and difficult process For instancethe Little Rock 9 had to be escorted to Little Rocks Central High School by the 101st Airborne to force Little Rock to desegregate in 19573 years after Brown v. Board EMMETT TILL Till was a 14 year old boy from Chicago who went to visit relatives in Mississippi during the summer of 1955 He was accused of whistling at a white woman Was kidnapped, beaten, had a mill wheel tied to his feet, and was thrown in the river and murdered.

The 2 white men accused of doing this were tried a month later, and were acquitted by an all-white jury Tills mother arranged for an open-casket funeral, saying she wanted the world to see what they had done to her son. THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. After Rosa Parks was arrested, Martin Luther King Jr. emerged as a leader

of the civil rights movement He advocated the use of civil disobedience through nonviolent protest Civil Disobedience: refusal to obey unjust laws Non-Violent protest was designed to create dramatic confrontations that would draw the publics attention to injustices, segregation, and inequality. THE MONTGOMERY BUS BOYCOTT In response to the

unjust segregation of Montgomerys buses and Rosa Parks arrest, MLK organized and led a boycott of the busses Boycott: refusal to buy or use a service in order to achieve a political objective F1541348-6EB9-4397-879D-5ABF9E9E72CE SIT-INS

On February 1, 1960, 4 African American college students sat at the whites only lunch counter at Woolworths in Greensboro, North Carolina They were denied service, but they refused to move. The next day, they came back with even more students, who sat in and refused to move Sit-in protesters would eventually form the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) SNCC promoted non-violent protests and sit-ins across the nation

By July 1960, Woolworths desegregated their lunch counters The sit in movement spread and protesters sat in at swimming pools, beaches, libraries, motels, etc. By the end of 1961 more than 70,000 people had participated in sit-ins. FREEDOM RIDES In 1960 the Supreme Court desegregated bus stops and train stationssouthern states refused to comply. In 1961, the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) organized Freedom Rides

Citizens of all races riding buses together throughout the south Freedom Riders faced angry mobs, and suffered beatings, burnings, etc. assetGuid/4FF9198B-0A61-49CD-89CF20838F09EA21 FREEDOM SUMMER After the Civil Rights act of 1964, protesters shifted their focus to voting In the summer of 1964, SNCC, CORE, and the NAACP organized a project that sent thousands of college students to Mississippi to register

African Americans to vote In June, 3 registration workers disappeared, their bodies were found 2 months later. They had been killed by the KKK with the help of the local police. 15 people were arrested MARCH FROM SELMA assetGuid/A8036F9B-FDFB-4DD8-84C85F25550F4AF7 SUMMARY: IMPACTS OF THE MOVEMENT Civil Rights Act of 1964: outlawed employer discrimination, barred segregation, and made discrimination illegal

Voting Rights Act of 1965: prohibited the denial of voting rights based on race Political Realignment National Democratic party: opposed Jim Crow (Kennedy, Johnson) Dixiecrats: broke away from the Democratic party b/c they opposed integrationeventually absorbed back in. Democratic party = Party of Kennedymost African Americans joined. Many southern whites began leaving the Democratic party African Americans elected to political office for the first time A DIFFERENT DIRECTION After the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the movement focused on

economic and social inequality that existed throughout the country African Americans continued to move to northern cities throughout the 1960s and 1970s, whites increasingly moved to suburbsde facto segregation African Americans grew increasingly frustrated with the lack of economic and social change. Violence and riots erupted in the Watts neighborhood in LA due to police brutality Watts Riots resulted in $40 million in

property damage, 34 deaths, and 4,000 arrests BLACK POWER Some people in the African American community said that non-violence doesnt always have to be the answer Called for people to defend themselves and promoted armed rebellion as necessary Said integration was not necessary as long as equality was established

Called for African Americans to create their own institutions and communities Led by Stokely Carmichael Gold medalist Tommie Smith, (center) and bronze medalist John Carlos (right) showing the raised fist on the podium after the 200m in the 1968 Summer Olympics wearing Olympic Project for Human Rights badges. MALCOLM X

One of the most vocal proponents of black nationalismthe idea that African Americans should separate completely from white society and form their own nation Rejected nonviolence and said the African American community should fight to achieve equality using any means necessary Initially was the primary spokesperson for the Nation of Islam, but broke away from their more radical ideas in 1964 Was assassinated in 1965

THE BLACK PANTHERS Formed in 1966 in Oakland California by Huey Newton and Bobby Seale Were a revolutionary group that urged African Americans to arm themselves and attack discrimination with aggression Patrolled African American communities to protect residents from police brutality Established Survival Programs geared toward meeting the needs

of African American communities Free breakfast for kids Free shoes Helping the elderly with transportation and chores

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