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
– 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
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
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
James Meredith, 1962
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and
the Montgomery Bus Boycott
Attended Crozer Seminary
in Philadelphia & B.U. for
Became pastor of Dexter
Ave. Baptist Church in
Montgomery, Sept. 1954
Lead Montgomery
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
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
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
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
 1961 Freedom Rides
tested Boynton v.
Virginia ruling
 Met with violence in
The Greensboro Sit-Ins, 1960
Ezell Blair, Jr., Joseph
McNeil, David Richmond
& Franklin McClain =
original four
– All Southerners, NAACP
– Dressed neatly & acted
– 100s joined them by
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
 Major effort = Mississippi Freedom Summer,
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
– 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
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
 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