Desegregating Public Schools

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Transcript Desegregating Public Schools

The Struggle for Civil Rights
1950s – 1960s
The Great Migration

First wave (1915-25)
caused by need for black
labor to replace immigrants
during World War I
 Second wave (1930s-60s) in
response to Depression &
AAA programs that drove
sharecroppers off land
 Significance: made blacks
politically visible
– Able to vote & enjoyed
greater civil liberties
– Became swing vote in cities
World War II & the Cold War

WWII led to great increase in black
activism
– Pittsburg Courier launched “Double V”
campaign to fight racism at home as well
as abroad
– NAACP membership increased from
50,000 to 400,000
– James Farmer founded CORE (Congress
Of Racial Equality) to fight segregation in
Chicago

Cold War put pressure on U.S. gov’t to
live up to stated ideology
Desegregating the Schools

NAACP Legal Division made strategic
decision to devote limited resources to
school desegregation
 Took gradual approach to overturn Plessy
– Ex rel. Gaines (1938): Missouri must build
separate black law school or admit Gaines to
white law school
– Sweatt v. Painter (1950): separate black law
school couldn’t be equal due to “intangible
factors”

Brown v. Board of Ed. of Topeka
(1954): “separate educational facilities
are inherently unequal”
Charles Houston
Thurgood Marshall
The Reaction

White backlash:
– Southern Manifesto
– Revival of Ku Klux Klan

Little Rock (1957):
– Gov. Orval Faubus called out state
militia to prevent integration of
Central High School
– Pres. Eisenhower sent in 1,000
troops to escort 9 black students

Little Rock, 1957
Ole Miss (1962):
– Gov. Barnett refused to allow
James Meredith to enroll
– Kennedy sent federal marshals &
troops to escort Meredith onto
campus
James Meredith, 1962
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and
the Montgomery Bus Boycott




Attended Crozer Seminary
in Philadelphia & B.U. for
doctorate
Became pastor of Dexter
Ave. Baptist Church in
Montgomery, Sept. 1954
Lead Montgomery
Improvement
Association’s bus boycott,
Dec. 1955 - Dec. 1956
Time did cover story in Feb.
18, 1957 issue, & King
received the NAACP’s
Spingarn Medal in June
1957
Coretta & Martin King after his
conviction, March 22, 1956
The Southern Christian
Leadership Conference
Based on Christianity & Gandhi’s example
 Dramatized evil to shock white consciences
 Based on respect for laws & American ideals
 Integrationist, not separationist
 Deliberately picked virulent racists whom they
knew would provide violent drama

– Bull Connor in Birmingham, 1963
– Jim Clark in Selma, 1965
March on
Washington,
Aug. 28, 1963

A. Philip Randolph
orginally planned it to be
about jobs
 Became rally in support of
Kennedy’s civil rights bill
 King’s “I Have a Dream”
speech appealed to
patriotism, using lyrics from
“America”
Photos from David Cone,
Martin & Malcolm & America
Congress Of Racial Equality
and the Freedom Rides

CORE had sponsored
initial Freedom Rides
in 1947, to test
Morgan v. Virginia
decision
 1961 Freedom Rides
tested Boynton v.
Virginia ruling
 Met with violence in
Alabama
The Greensboro Sit-Ins, 1960

Ezell Blair, Jr., Joseph
McNeil, David Richmond
& Franklin McClain =
original four
– All Southerners, NAACP
– Dressed neatly & acted
politely
– 100s joined them by
Saturday
Woolworth’s sales
declined 20% & profits
50% in 1960
 July 25 – integration
finally achieved

Student Nonviolent
Coordinating Committee

April 15-17, 1960 conference at Shaw University
in Raleigh, N.C. called & funded by SCLC
– More than 200 delegates from 50 schools & 13 states
– Ella Barker was SCLC advisor to SNCC

By Spring 1964, SNCC had over 150 field
workers across the South, concentrating on voter
registration
 Major effort = Mississippi Freedom Summer,
1964
Senator Lyndon B. Johnson
and Civil Rights

Refused to sign Southern Manifesto
 Got Civil Rights Act of 1957 through Congress:
– Est. Civil Rights Commission & Civil Rights Division in
Justice Dept.
– Watered down by removing section that accelerated school
desegregation & adding right to jury trials (guaranteeing
acquittals for whites)

Civil Rights Act of 1960:
– extended life of CRC
– provided federal court referees to register blacks
– made it a federal crime to interfere with court orders or cross
state lines to commit violence
The Civil Rights Act of 1964

Discrimination in all places of
public accommodation outlawed
(hotels, restaurants, etc.)
 Required literacy tests to be
administered in writing, &
presumed all 6th grade graduates
were literate
 Attorney General empowered to
bring school desegregation suits
 Equal Employment Opportunity
Commission created
Pres. Johnson hands pen to
Rev. King after signing the
Civil Rights Act of 1964
Extending African-American
Voting Rights
24th Amendment (1964) ended poll tax
 Court ruled Congressional districts must have “substantial
equality”:

– Wesberry v. Sanders (1964) – “one man, one vote” rule est.
– Reynolds v. Sims (1964) applied rule to state legislatures

Voting Rights Act of 1965:
– Authorized Attorney General to send federal registrars of voters
– Suspended literacy tests in counties where less than half of adults
had voted in 1964
– Required any change in voting laws to be pre-cleared with Justice
Dept.
The Impact of the Voting Rights Act
and other legal changes
Copyright 1997, Prentice-Hall, Inc.
Black Power

Stokely Carmichael
New SNCC leaders Stokely
Carmichael & Rap Brown
abandoned nonviolent strategy
and goal of integration
 Malcolm X & the Nation of
Islam espoused radical black
separatism
 Spawned growing white backlash
– Riots seemed to show ingratitude
Malcolm X &
Elijah Mohammed
of blacks
– Northerners couldn’t see ghettoes
as products of racism
– Affirmative action seemed to be
reverse discrimination