Civil Rights Movement
Learning Objective: Students will
examine the origins, goals, key events,
and accomplishments of Civil Rights
movement in the United States.
• US.89 Examine court cases in the evolution of civil rights, including Brown
v. Board of Education and Regents of the University of California v. Bakke.
(C, H, P)
• US.90 Examine the roles of civil rights advocates, including the following:
(C, H, P, TN)
• · Martin Luther King, Jr.
• · Malcolm X
• · Thurgood Marshall
• · Rosa Parks
• · Stokely Carmichael
• · President John Kennedy
• · Robert Kennedy
• · President Lyndon Johnson
• · James Meredith
• · Jim Lawson
US.91 Examine the roles of civil rights opponents, including Strom Thurmond, George
Wallace, Orval Faubus, Bull Connor, and the KKK. (C, H, P)
US.92 Describe significant events in the struggle to secure civil rights for African Americans,
including the following: (C, H, P, TN)
· Columbia Race Riots
· Tent Cities of Haywood and Fayette Counties
· Influence of the Highlander Folk School and civil rights advocacy groups, including the SCLC,
SNCC, and CORE
· Integration of Central High School in Little Rock and Clinton High School in Clinton,
· Montgomery Bus Boycott
· Birmingham bombings 1963
· Freedom Rides, including the opposition of Bull Connor and George Wallace
· March on Washington
· Sit-ins, marches, demonstrations, boycotts, Nashville Sit-ins, Diane Nash
· Assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.
• US.93 Cite textual evidence, determine the
central meaning, and evaluate the explanations
offered for various events by examining excerpts
from the following texts: Martin Luther King, Jr.
(“Letter from a Birmingham Jail” and “I Have a
Dream” speech) and Malcolm X (“The Ballot or
the Bullet”). (C, P)
• US.94 Analyze the civil rights and voting rights
legislation, including the Civil Rights Act of 1964,
the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the Civil Rights Act
of 1968, and the 24th Amendment. (C, E, H, P)
What was the significance of Dr. King’s
“I have a dream” speech?
• Martin Luther King, Jr. desired to see change
in his lifetime and to persuade others into
action to make that change a reality, which
was the purpose behind his "I Have a Dream"
speech as evidenced by his words from the
What was the importance of EO 9981?
• . Executive Order 9981 stated that "there shall be
equality of treatment and opportunity for all
persons in the armed forces without regard to
race, color, religion, or national origin." The order
also established a committee to examine the
rules, practices, and procedures of the Armed
Forces and recommend ways to make
desegregation actually happen. There was
considerable resistance to Executive Order 9981
from the military. However, almost all of the
military was integrated by the end of the Korean
Why did Kennedy push for changes in
civil rights prior to 1964?
• A surge of demonstrations, sit-ins, and
boycotts erupted throughout many southern
cities in the spring and summer of 1963,
resulting in over 14,000 arrests. In June 1963,
President Kennedy sent Congress the
promised civil rights bill.
• The Southern Manifesto was a document written in
February-March 1956 by legislators in the United
States Congress opposed to racial integration in public
places. The manifesto was signed by 101 politicians
and was largely drawn up to counter the landmark
Supreme Court 1954 ruling Brown v. Board of
Education, which integrated public schools. The
Southern Manifesto accused the Supreme Court of
"clear abuse of judicial power." It further promised to
use "all lawful means to bring about a reversal of this
decision which is contrary to the Constitution and to
prevent the use of force in its implementation."
Civil Rights & Voting Acts
• The passing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 meant
that segregation could no longer legally take
place in the U.S., giving many people freedoms
they did not experience before. The passage of
the Voting Acts of 1965 meant that many people
who could not pass a literacy test now had the
opportunity to voice their opinion in politics
through voting. Both of these unblocked a door
that was previously closed in terms of integration
and racial equality.
Protests to end segregation
• The Montgomery Bus Boycott was a protest
against segregation that lasted from 1954 to
Who was Medgar Evers?
• Medgar Evers, NAACP president of the
Mississippi chapter, was assassinated at his
home in Jackson, Mississippi. His death caused
more people to join the civil rights movement
and voice their opinions to the government.
Who is James Meredith?
• James Meredith was the first African
American to attend the University of
Mississippi. Meredith was denied admittance
to the university two previous times but was
finally able to attend class in the fall of 1962.
His steadfast commitment to the equality of
all people opened the door for thousands of
African Americans that wished to have equal
• The 24th Amendment gave African Americans
more equality in voting. Poll taxes were
common in southern states during
Reconstruction and were used as a way to
prevent African Americans from casting votes
because many of them could not afford to pay
the tax. By the time the 24th Amendment
went into effect, there were only a few states
that were still using poll tax.
Black Panther Party
• One of the main goals for the Black Panther Party was
ending police brutality through self defense. Wearing black
leather coats and berets, the Black Panthers carried rifles to
protect the black community against police brutality and
potentially racist bullying. The Black Panther Party felt that
only when African Americans were capable of showing that
they had the muscle to defend themselves would the white
community be willing to accept racial equality. Stokely
Carmichael was named the "Honorary Prime Minister" of
the Blank Panther Party and is known for using the term
"Black Power." As part of the Blank Panther Party, "Black
Power" was a slogan used to emphasize racial pride and
African American culture and interests.
• Thurgood Marshall was a great leader of the
Civil Rights Movement. He was the main
lawyer of many important civil rights trials,
including the Brown v. Board of Education case
that overturned "separate but equal" policies.
Marshall was also the first African American to
serve as a Supreme Court judge. He made
great strides to help African Americans gain
legal power and civil rights.
• Malcolm X had many extremist views on civil
rights issues. He believed that African
Americans should take power into their own
hands even if it meant using violence. In
addition to being a civil rights spokesman,
Malcolm X also became the public face of the
Nation of Islam
Dr. Martin Luther King
• Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was one of the most
famous civil rights leaders in the 1960s. King
led the Montgomery Bus Boycott, the March
on Washington protest, and many smaller
rallies and protests. His speeches and
contributions significantly influenced United
States society. Unfortunately, Dr. King was
assassinated in 1968.
W.E.B. Du Bois
• W.E.B. Du Bois helped found the National
Association for the Advancement of Colored
People (NAACP) in 1909. The NAACP is an
organization that works to promote rights of
African Americans. Today, the organization
provides education, legal support, and
monetary aid for African American citizens.
• In 1955, Rosa Parks refused to move to the
back of a bus in Montgomery, Alabama. Parks
was arrested for her defiance. After she was
released, Parks began to take leadership
positions in civil rights organizations. She
became a recognized spokesperson of the Civil
Civil Rights Acts
• The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was one of the
most important pieces of legislation passed
during the Civil Rights Movement. One of its
main accomplishments was to outlaw racial
segregation in schools, public places, and
• Title VII of the Civil Rights Act concerns
discrimination in employment. Howard W. Smith,
a Democrat in the House of Representatives,
stated that a clause about women should be
added. He felt that this part of the act should end
discrimination of both women and minorities in
hiring practices. As a result, the act was changed
to prohibit "discrimination by covered employers
on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or
Eugene Bull Connor
• Police official Eugene "Bull" Connor was the
public safety commissioner of Birmingham,
Alabama. He is best known for his violent
reaction to civil rights protesters outside of a
department store in 1963. He met these
protesters with aggressive dogs, high-pressure
water hoses, and electric cattle prods. This
event was televised, and it contributed to
President Kennedy's promise of further civil
• George Wallace was governor of Alabama serving a
total of four terms. He was well known as an opponent
of desegregation. In 1963, during his inaugural address
he spoke his most famous words: "In the name of the
greatest people that have ever trod this earth, I draw
the line in the dust and toss the gauntlet before the
feet of tyranny, and I say segregation now, segregation
tomorrow, segregation forever." One example of
Wallace's attempts to preserve segregation occurred in
1963 when he tried to prevent two African American
students from enrolling at the University of Alabama.
• Strom Thurmond was the governor of South
Carolina and served as a United States senator.
During the Civil Rights movement, Thurmond was
a strong segregationist, meaning he did not want
to see the integration of public places. Thurmond
ran for president in 1948 under the States' Rights
Democratic Party, also known as the Dixiecrats.
The Dixiecrats were a short-lived political party
that opposed integration and fought for what
they saw as the traditional southern way of life
including the continuation of the Jim Crow laws.
• In 1956, Clinton High School in Clinton,
Tennessee, was ordered to desegregate by
federal judge Robert Taylor. Resistance
followed in the form of protesting when
twelve African American students enrolled in
the school that fall. Each morning, they
walked together to school, becoming known
as the "Clinton Twelve."
Albert Gore Sr.
• The Southern Manifesto was written in
response to the Supreme Court ruling in
Brown v. Board of Education. The final version
was signed by 19 senators and 82 members of
the House. All of the politicians who signed
the document represented the southern
states. Senator Albert Gore, Sr., however,
refused to sign.
• This photograph was taken at a Walgreens counter in
Nashville and shows a few African American men
participating in a sit-in. The Nashville sit-ins took place
in 1960 as part of a nonviolent campaign to end the
racial segregation at lunch counters. They were led by
the founder of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating
Committee (SNCC), Diane Nash. At this time, many
southern public places had separate facilities, lunch
counters, transportation systems, etc. for African
Americans under the "separate but equal" idea. These
demonstrators sat at lunch counters refusing to leave
until they were served. Most were arrested, and
several were violently attacked.
• The Regents of the University of California v.
Bakke case dealt with the use of racial quotas in
college admissions. Allan Bakke applied to the
University of California-Davis Medical School and
was not accepted. At the time, the school had
separate admissions programs for white students
and minority students, and the school set aside a
certain number of spots for minorities. The court
ruled that the school's quota system was
unconstitutional. Race, however, could be used as
one of many factors when a school made
American Indian Movement
• The American Indian Movement began in the
1960s as an activist group for Native American
issues. In 1972, the group organized a march
called the Trail of Broken Treaties to protest
the government's plans to end treaties with
the Native Americans.
• Betty Friedan was one of the most influential
feminists of the late 20th century. She is best
known for her book The Feminist Mystique (1963)
which contributed greatly to the second-wave
feminist movement. Gloria Steinem, another
influential feminist, has also campaigned for new
laws to end societal discrimination. Gloria
Steinem co-founded Ms. Magazine in 1971. Both
Friedan and Steinem, with other feminists and
political activists, also co-founded National
Women's Political Caucus.
• As part of the Mexican American artistic and
literary renaissance of the 1960s, Chicano
artists began painting murals on
neighborhood buildings, schools, and
churches in an effort to rejuvenate Mexican
cultural heritage. This movement took place
throughout the Southwest. El Paso and San
Antonio are two cities with a strong Chicano
mural presence. In fact, in El Paso alone, 100
murals have been painted since the 1960s.
• Alex Haley began writing while serving in the
United States Coast Guard. His first major
work was The Autobiography of Malcolm X.
The book was a widely-read narrative based
on the extensive interviews Haley had with
the Black Muslim, militant leader just before
his assassination in 1965.