The Civil Rights Movement

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Transcript The Civil Rights Movement

THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT
NAACP
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Founded in 1910 – W.E.B. Du Bois founder
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Was interracial – consisted of both African Americans and white Americans
• Worked together for same goal of equality
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Major focus was to put an end to lynching
• Succeeded by getting two anti- lynching bills passed by the House of
Representatives -> opposed in the Southern Senate
NAACP
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Major victory in Brown v. Board of Education
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Their emphasis on legal equality made the NAACP appear out of touch with the more
basic issues of economic survival
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Other organizations emerged
• National Urban League – assist people moving to major American cities
• Apartment placing, job hunting, getting fair treatment at work
• Taught members job skills that could lead to better job
CORE
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The Congress of Racial Equality
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Founded in 1942 by pacifists seeking change through peaceful confrontation
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Interracial
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During WWII, they organized demonstrations against segregation in cities such as
Baltimore, Chicago, Denver, and Detroit.
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After WWII, director James Farmer worked without pay in order to keep the organization
alive. The Civil Rights Movement gave him a new base of support and the organization
would play a role in the confrontations that lay ahead.
SCLC
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Southern Christian Leadership Conference
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Founded in 1957 by Martin Luther King, Jr.
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Started after African American success in the Montgomery Bus Boycott
• Ministers and members convened to form the group and elected MLK their president
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SCLC shifted the focus of the Civil Rights Movement to the South
• Other Civil Rights organizations had been dominated by Northerners but the SCLC
put Southern church leaders in the forefront in the struggle for equal rights
MLK LEADS A MOVEMENT
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King used his SCLC post to become a leader in the Civil Rights Movement
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Born in Atlanta – raised Baptist – went to college in Atlanta – got his PhD from Boston and
became a preacher in Atlanta
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Before he was 30 yrs. old, King was playing a central role in the civil rights movement as
a result of his leadership in the bus boycott
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Influenced by the beliefs of Gandhi who preached non-violence is the only way to achieve
victory
NONVIOLENCE TRAINING
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After the Montgomery bus boycott, King began training followers for the future
• Shown clips of Gandhi – taught passive resistance
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Leaflets urged bus boycotters to follow 17 rules to maintaining a nonviolent approach as
they rode newly desegregated busses
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Nonviolent protest was a practical strategy as well as a moral one
• It forced whites to confront the difficulties African Americans faced and persuaded
many of them to offer their support
SNCC
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Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee – originally part of the SCLC
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Ella Baker believed the NAACP and SCLC did not keep up with the demands of young
African Americans -> she was wanting to encourage the youth to play a role
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Shifted away from church leaders and let the youth make decisions about priorities and
tactics
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Robert Moses – one the most influential SNCC leaders
FREEDOM RIDES
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Tested 1961 Supreme Court decision of Boynton v. Virginal which prohibited segregation
on buses traveling across state lines – waiting rooms and dining facilities that served
interstate travelers could no longer be segregated
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Freedom Riders rode interstate buses down south and stopped at terminals along the way
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At first encountered little problems -> got worse in the Deep South
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Anniston, Alabama – white mob with guns, and knives stopped a bus and threw a
firebomb into it -> riders were physically beaten
SECTION 2 –
NON-VIOLENT CONFRONTATION
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CORE created the sit-in
• Sit-ins involved AA CORE members, often accompanied by white members, sitting
down in a segregated establishment and refused to leave until they were served or
accommodated
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Tested the limits of segregation and put business owners’ profits at risk by causing
disruption
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CORE brought an end to segregation in the facilities it targeted
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Sit-ins became a common practice for many groups participating in the CR Movement
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Sit-ins gained support from MLK
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In 1961, 70,000 students participated in sit-ins while 3,600 served time in jail
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Protests failed to change Southern customs immediately but began a process of change
which could be contained no longer
FREEDOM RIDES
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Federal marshals were assigned to protect the Freedom Rides
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Kennedy and the Justice Department pressured the Interstate Commerce Commission to
issue a ruling prohibiting segregation in interstate transportation – federal government
forced communities to follow new regulations
ALBANY MOVEMENT
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Started after the success of the Freedom Rides in October 1961
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Albany Movement started in Albany, Georgia began a year long campaign of protest
marches
• Demanded desegregation of bus terminals, and sought to open talks with white
community leaders to address racial injustices
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MLK hoped to lead movement
ALBANY MOVEMENT FAILURES
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Local civil rights leaders resented MLK for swooping in to take charge of a movement
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Albany police chief prevented the national press from seeing and reporting on the worst
violations of civil rights committed by his forces
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He even joined demonstrators in prayer before they were carted off to jail
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His “nonviolent” opposition kept the Movement from stirring up the same nationwide
sympathy as the Freedom Rides had done
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Fizzled out by the end of 1962 with few real accomplishments
OLE MISS
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September 1962 – James Meredith sues the University of Mississippi when he was
denied entrance into the school on racial grounds
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Supreme Court upheld his claim – Mississippi Governor, however, declared Meredith
would not be able to enroll
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Major riot occurred – one angry resident tried to drive a bulldozer into the administration
building – tear gas used
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Pres. Kennedy brought in Army troops to restore order and Meredith entered the
university with troops to ensure his safety – he graduated in 1963.
BIRMINGHAM CONFRONTATION
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Birmingham, AL – scene for another nonviolent protest
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MLK invited - the local business leaders and police commissioner did not want protestors
there
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MLK arrested on the grounds of a protest march violating a regulation prohibiting parades
with a permit
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MLK wrote his famous “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” in which he defended his tactics
and timing
BIRMINGHAM CONFRONTATION
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MLK released from jail more than a week later by posting bail
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To test the conscience of Birmingham, children were brought into the protesting
• 900 children arrested
• Fire hoses used
• Police attack dogs used
• Policemen beat protestors with clubs and took them to jail
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Caught on TV – many viewers were revolted, even those unsympathetic to the civil rights
movement
BIRMINGHAM CONFRONTATION
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Results
• Protestors won
• Compromise led to desegregation of the city, fairer hiring practices, and organization
of a biracial committee to keep communication open
• Proved the effectiveness of nonviolent protest
SECTION 3 –
THE POLITICAL RESPONSE
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John Kennedy, once in office, moved slowly as he did not want to alienate Southern
Senators whose votes were needed to support foreign policy goals
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He appointed numerous African Americans to powerful positions
• Example: Thurgood Marshall – Supreme Court
KENNEDY
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Kennedy was disturbed by the violence down South – the race riots surrounding the
Freedom Rides were an embarrassment to Kennedy when meeting with Russian leader
Nikita Khrushchev
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Appeared on TV – called equality issues a “moral issue” and knew he had to do
something
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Introduced a strong civil rights bill but could not get it to pass through a Congress
dominated by white southerners
THE MARCH ON WASHINGTON
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Used to lobby for Kennedy’s Civil Rights Bill
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Kennedy tried to sidetrack the march as he did not want it to lead to more violence in the
U.S. and alienate Congress even more – his efforts to call off the demonstration failed
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LBJ told the marchers that the march may backfire – MLK said it was happening –
Kennedy bowed to the inevitable and supported the march
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Took place in August 1963
MARCH OF WASHINGTON
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More than 200,000 people came from all over the country to call for jobs and freedom
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Prominent African American celebrities were present
• Jackie Robinson, Sammy Davis
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Leaders of all the major civil rights organizations addressed the crowd
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MLK “I Have a Dream”
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Kennedy was impressed with King’s skill but the bill remained stalled in Congress
LYNDON JOHNSON’S ROLE
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Three months later, JFK was dead and LBJ was in office
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Upon becoming president LBJ was determined to use his political skills to get JFK’s civil
rights bill passed
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LBJ told Congress “no compromise” – used cloture method to cut off debate – bill passed
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Civil Rights Bill of 1964 banned discrimination in all public accommodations and gave the
Justice Department more authority to act in school segregation and voting rights cases –
equal opportunity provision
LYNDON JOHNSON’S ROLE
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Civil Rights struggle still continued
• Ku Klux Klan rallies to intimidate volunteers in the Freedom Summer
• Civil rights workers were still being murdered
• Bombings, shootings, and mob attacks still persisted
• Mississippi Freedom Democratic party
• LBJ compromised to end discrimination in the Mississippi delegation –
delegation said no and LBJ knew something had to be done
LYNDON JOHNSON’S ROLE
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LBJ appeared on TV speaking about voting rights
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Was able to turn back a filibuster and got Congress to pass the Voting Rights Act of 1965
• Gave the federal government the power to register voters in areas where local
officials prevented African Americans from voting
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Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act were landmarks in the history of civil rights
SECTION 4 –
BLACK POWER
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The Civil Rights Movement shifted to ideals of pride and power, rather than peaceful
resistance, as many African Americans thought the pace of progress was too slow
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James Baldwin – “Notes of a Native Son”
• Attacked de jure segregation
• The pattern of separation dictated by the laws in the South
• Attacked de facto segregation
• The separation that resulted from the ghetto conditions in many northern cities
MALCOLM X
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Expressed African American anger
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Malcolm Little converted to the Nation of Islam and changed his name to Malcolm X
• Nation of Islam – African American religious group that believes in the religion of
Islam
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Disagreed with both the tactics and goals of the early civil rights movement
• Said integration would not work
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Broke from the Nation of Islam and started his own religious organization called Muslim
Mosque, Inc. – made a pilgrimage to Mecca
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Returned and said he was wrong to preach hatred of white people
• Assassinated in February 1965 by three members of the Nation of Islam
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Message lived on and attracted the attention of many SNCC worker
BLACK POWER RAGES
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Stokely Carmichael was influenced by Malcolm X
• Got tired of civil disobedience and told his SNCC workers to carry guns for defense
and wanted to ban whites from joining SNCC
• Elected head of the organization in 1966 and demonstrated radicalism in SNCC
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Called for “Black Power” or a new movements seeking unity, self-determination, and
economic/political power
BLACK POWER RAGES
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Fall 1966, a new political party called the Black Panthers is founded by African American
militants
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Wanted A. Americans to lead their own communities and demanded the federal
government to rebuild the nation’s ghettos as repayment for years of discrimination
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Led to a serious split in the civil rights movement as radical groups moved away from
more conservative groups like the NAACP
RIOTS IN THE STREETS
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Riots in American cities were symptoms of continuing poor conditions for African
Americans
• There were subtle forms of discrimination in the North such as keeping African
Americans from getting high paying jobs, job training programs, and suburban
housing
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Race riots happened across America from New York to Los Angeles
LEGACY OF THE MOVEMENT
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Lyndon Johnson was devastated by the violence that exploded near the end of his
presidency
• The measures of his administration brought good results but were not enough
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Despite the need for further progress, the movement brought tremendous change
• Segregation was illegal – African Americans were assured their right to vote – African
American power changed the nature of American political life
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Between 1970-1975 the number of African American elected officials rose by 88% African Americans served as mayors in large cities like Atlanta, Detroit, Los Angeles, and
Newark and served in Congress in larger numbers as well.
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Black studies courses appeared in high schools and colleges.
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African Americans had a new sense of pride and identity in their ethnic heritage
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The U.S. was being made into a fairer society for all