The second American Revolution Remembering the civil rights struggle Racial Justice Are we done? No! The hard struggle for racial equality in the United States One of the most important national achievements of the early phase of the Civil Rights movement was the March on Washington in 1963. It was here that MLK gave his "I have a dream" speech, and more than 250,000 people attended from across the country. The March on Washington Inequalities by race continue to be extensive, persistent, and debilitating for millions of African-American citizens. This is particularly true in health outcomes. We need renewed commitment and energy to make our society genuinely equal and democratic. Oakwood can help in this struggle! Freedom Rides Federal law guaranteed integration of interstate transportation throughout the country. But interstate buses and trains were still segregated in the early 1960s. Organized by CORE, a group of several hundred volunteers undertook to integrate the buses, and a great deal of Klan violence and racist intimidation ensued in 1961. Little Rock school integration Two years after Brown v Board of Education, schools in the South were still largely segregated. Little Rock Central High School was the site of rioting and federal intervention in 1957 when the Little Rock Nine showed great courage in the face of angry mobs of violent white adults. Governor Orval Faubus ordered the continued segregation of Little Rock's schools and called out the National Guard to enforce his orders. President Eisenhower ordered Federal troops to enforce the Federal courts' orders. The integration of Ole Miss James Meredith was offered admission to Ole Miss as a graduate student in 1962 before it was understood he was black. Governor Ross Barnett declared he would never be permitted to enroll. Serious rioting resulted in over 30 US Marshals being wounded and two deaths. President Kennedy ordered Federal troops to restore order and guarantee the integration of the university. Voter registration in Mississippi Many counties in the South had substantial pluralities or majorities of black adults. But racist discrimination in voter registration resulted in almost no black voters. SCLC and SNCC took voter registration as a high priority and the Ku Klux Klan violently opposed these efforts. Mississippi and Alabama were the focus of voter registration drives by civil rights workers and local activists. The Montgomery Bus Boycott The people of Montgomery undertook a courageous year-long boycott to force integration of Montgomery's public bus system. Rosa Parks was arrested on December 1, 1955, for refusing to leave her seat on a public bus , and the young Martin Luther King, Jr., was asked to lead protests and boycott against the continuing segregation. The boycott succeeded on December 20, 1956. The murder of Chaney, Goodman, and Schwerner Civil rights workers Chaney, Goodman, and Schwerner were abducted by members of the Ku Klux Klan in June 1964 in Philadelphia, Mississippi. They were brutally murdered by their abductors. Selma The first march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama in March 1965 resulted in massive violence by Alabama state troopers against marchers in 1965 at the Edmund Pettus Bridge. This was "Bloody Sunday". The march was a massive show of popular support for voting rights. Martin Luther King's moral strength Yazoo, Mississippi 1966 Where is racial equality today? James Meredith undertook a march against fear from Memphis to Jackson in June 1966. Meredith was shot and wounded by a shotgun-wielding assailant, after which Stokely Carmichael and Martin Luther King joined the march. This clip was recorded in a night meeting along the way, when the marchers were under threat by a mob of angry, armed white men. The threat of deadly attack was all too real. 1955-56 1957 1961 1962 1963 1963 1964 1965 The Birmingham Church bombing Only weeks after the March on Washington the Ku Klux Klan planted a bomb in the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham in September, 1963. Four young girls were killed in the explosion.
Medgar Evers was murdered in Mississippi in June, 1963. 1963See the full transcript