Civil Rights in the 1960s

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Transcript Civil Rights in the 1960s

Civil Rights in the
Restaurant segregation
Begin with protests at
Woolworth’s lunch counter
in Greensboro, NC in 1960
by college students from
Spread throughout the
Effective in many locations
• SNCC: Student Nonviolent Coordinating
– Founded in fall of 1960 by students that had
participated in sit-ins
– Provided outlet for student participation in
following campaigns
Bus segregation
Freedom Rides
Attempts to
southern bus
stations through
interstate trips
Organized by CORE
(Congress on Racial
Met by violence at
some locations,
president sends in
federal marshals to
keep the peace
City Campaigns
Albany, GA (1961-1962)
Protest movement
organized by SNCC as
broad attempt at mass
Martin Luther King, Jr.
comes in during the
middle of movement
Police chief Laurie
Pritchett breaks protests
through non-violent mass
Albany movement is
essentially a failure with
few concessions and little
national attention
Birmingham, AL
• Mass attempt by SCLC to desegregate
• Project C: Use of sit-ins and marches
with attempts to generate public
pressure and arrests
• Martin Luther King, Jr. describes
purpose of protests and non-violent
action in Letter from a Birmingham Jail
• Children’s Crusade: use of children
and teens for public protests, allowing
adults to keep working
• Birmingham sheriff “Bull” Connor uses fire
hoses, police dogs, and other tactics to attempt
to break protests
• Violent tactics are shown nationally on TV,
gaining national sympathy and public pressure
• Helps provide impetus for March on
Washington and the Civil Rights Act of 1964
Government action
March on Washington
(August 1963)
Organized to create popular
support and political
pressure for a new civil
rights act
Over 200,000 marchers
Delivery of the “I have a
Dream Speech” by Martin
Luther King, Jr.
Legislation stalls in the
Senate and will not be
passed until 1964
Voter registration
• Freedom Summer (1964):
– Massive attempt to
increase black voter
registration by NAACP,
in Mississippi
– Work done by large
numbers of northern
college students and
– Operation of Freedom
Schools to promote
education, literacy, and
political activism
Chaney, Goodman, and Schwerner:
• Three civil rights volunteers
murdered during Freedom
Summer in June, 1964
• Goodman and Schwerner were
white college students from New
York and Chaney was black
volunteer from Mississippi
• Disappearance becomes national
news, bodies discovered in
• 18 men put on trial by federal
government for violating the
murdered men’s civil rights (7
found guilty)
– Edgar Ray Killen, a preacher, had a
hung jury in 1967, but was convicted
of murder by the state of Mississippi
in 2005
Civil Rights Act of 1964
Signed on July 2nd by President
Contributing Factors:
– March on Washington in August 1963
– Search for Chaney, Goodman, and
Schwerner entering its second week
– LBJ’s tactics (experience and use of JFK
• Barred segregation in public
• Ended federal aid to segregated
• Outlawed racial discrimination in
• Sought to strengthen black voting rights
24th Amendment
Ratified on January 23, 1964
Outlawed poll taxes in general and
primary elections for federal office
Voting Rights Act of 1965
Signed on August 6th by President Johnson
Contributing Factor:
Events in Selma and Montgomery
Authorized the U.S. Attorney General to send
federal examiners to supersede the locals wherever
discrimination occurred
Directed the U.S. Attorney General to challenge
state and local poll taxes in the courts
Changes in Focus
Civil rights movement focused on problems in
the South in early 1960s
Majority of African-Americans (70%) lived in
urban cities, many in North and West
Often faced racism in these areas: unable to live in
white neighborhoods, difficulty finding employment,
higher poverty levels
Frustrations rise with lack of focus on these issues
Race Riots
– Watts Riots (August 1965
in Los Angeles)
• Accusations of police
brutality start riot that
will last 5 days
• 14,000 members of
National Guard
• 34 people died, 900
injuries, $45 million
damages to property
Additional race riots
• Riots take place in
Philadelphia and New York
previous to Watts and will
also occur in Washington DC,
Baltimore, Detroit
• Detroit riot in 1967 was worst
in scope with 43 deaths and
$250 million in damages
• Over 100 riots in April 1968 in
response to the
assassination of Martin
Luther King, Jr.
• Origin of Black Power
– Failures of inner-city efforts
and Chicago Movement by
Power MLK led many AfricanAmericans to search for
new approach
– Stokely Carmichael, leader
of SNCC, puts forward idea
of “black power”
• Mobilization and pride in
black community, Afrocentric beliefs, physical
self-defense, possible
use of violence
Malcolm X
– Born Malcolm Little in
Omaha, he drifted into
crime and sent to prison
– Joins Nation of Islam or “Black Muslims”,
which preached black nationalism and
separation from white community
– Changes name to Malcolm X for symbolic
– Becomes charismatic speaker for Nation of
Islam and self-defense
– Breaks away from Nation of Islam and goes
on pilgrimage to Mecca
– Changes message after returns and
criticizes Nation of Islam
– Assassinated while giving a speech in New
York in February 1965
Black Panther Party
– Advocated black
power, black
nationalism, and
economic selfsufficiency
– “Ten-Point
Program” calls for
increased services
among and for
– Called for arming for
self-defense and
confrontation with
white society
– Investigated by US
government and
begins decline after
conflicts over focus
on Black Panthers
and trials involving
Black nationalism in public view
– Kwanzaa created
in 1966 by black
nationalist Ron
– 1968 Olympics in
Mexico City:
Tommie Smith &
John Carlos
Other Civil Rights groups
• New civil rights groups with nationalist
elements emerged among other minority
– Hispanics: La Raza and Brown Berets
– Native Americans: American Indian
Movement and Indians of all Nations
(occupation of Alcatraz)
– Chinese: Red Guard and I Wor Kuen
– Gay Liberation Front forms after Stonewall
riots in June 1969 in New York City
Immigration act 1965
• Got rid of old quota system
• Now immigration would depend on Family
in the US and Skills offered.