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Intro to Black Studies
Transcript of Intro to Black Studies
March 8, 2018
Black people voted overwhelmingly republican until about 1928 when they began loosing faith in the "lily white " movement
Starting with Franklin D. Roosevelt, Blacks began voting in large numbers for democratic candidates
Southern Democrats called, "dixiecrats," were unhappy with the new influx of Black voters and eventually departed for the Republican Party, reflecting the political parties we see today.
Black Religious Leaders and the Great Depression
Naturally, African Americans were even more severely impacted by the economic crisis of the 1930s.
Churches and other social and religious institutions provided economic and other supports during the Depression including:
Father Divine, of the International Peace Mission
Sweet Daddy Grace, of the United House of Prayer for All People
Wallace D.T. Farad/Elijah Muhammad, of the Nation of Islam
WWII, Migration, Jobs and Unionization
The Second World War created more industrial jobs fueling African American migration from the south between 1938-1950
The Second World War also saw the rise of more African American soldiers who needed leadership in response to this, the US Armed Forces created more Black training centers for commissioned officers, and ROTC programs at HBCUs
During the war, over 3/4ths of truck drivers for transport, or the "Red Ball Express" were African American
African American soldiers were also integral in liberating survivors of the Buchenwald and Dachau concentration camps
Not unlike WWI, the return of Black soldiers sparked many race riots
Labor changes also increased the need for labor unions
Both poor white and Black tenant farmers/sharecroppers created segregated unions which were subject to racial violence
A. Phillip Randolph founded the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters and Chambermaids in 1925 in New York and made significant labor equity changes throughout the 30's and 40's
The Growth of Black Political Power in the North, the Great Depression, and Blacks during World War II
America's entry into WWII was an effective solve to the Great Depression, breathing life into to the industrial economy.
Unlike WWI, America became the headquarters of production
During WWII, many African American journalists (especially the Pittsburgh Courier) and leaders promoted the "Double V" campaign: victory at home and abroad.
Unfortunately, many African Americans became disenchanted when they weren't granted social equality for their service.
Even before their return, Black soldiers had to lobby to see battle and have equitable living and combat conditions.
Much of their mistreatment was based on the fact that many White people believed that if Black people were treated equally during the war, they would not be able to reintegrate into segregated society after the War was over.
To protect themselves and their economic interests, many African Americans founded and joined Labor unions in the North and the South.
Many unions, like the Local 22 of Winston-Salem, North Carolina became headquarters for civil rights activism
The Red Scare and the Race War
During the Cold War conflict, the US committed itself to rooting out domestic Communism, starting with labor unions and government position and eventually monitoring private citizens.
These hearings were carried out through the House UnAmerican Activities Committee
Civil Rights Activism
The Highlander Folk School became a training ground for civil rights leaders including Septima Clark and Rosa Parks
Women were the backbone of the Civil Rights movement including:
The Women's Political Council in Montgomery, Al
Ella Baker (SNCC)
Daisy Bates (Little Rock)
Fannie Lou Hamer (MFDP)
Television became the primary tool to sway national sentiment toward the Civil Rights cause, but the tactic varied:
Voter Registration Drives
Freedom Schools (Freedom Summer 1964)
Black Power and Counter-Intelligence
After the assassination of Malcolm X in 1965, Black youth disenchanted with non-violent direct action
Both the Black panther Party and COINTELPRO (under the direction of J. Edgar Hoover) were founded in 1966
Although the book says 1966, Cointelpro was active as early as the mid 1950s
After infiltrating and destroying Black Nationalist organizations, the FBI also targeted the anti-Vietnam war movement
The Search for Higher Ground
1954: Brown V. Board of Education (Beginning of Civil Rights Movement),
1955: Lynching of Emmett Till, Montgomery Bus Boycott, Vietnam War Begins
1957: Civil Rights Act of 1957, Beginning of Cointelpro
1963: Assassination of Medgar Evers, Assassination of J.F. Kennedy, March on Washington, Bombing of 16th Street Baptist Church, Birmingham (4 little Girls)
1964: Civil Rights Act of 1964
1965: Voting Rights Act, Assassination of Malcolm X
1966: Founding of the Black Panthers, Beginning of the Black Power/Arts Movement
1968: Assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.
1969: Assassination of Fred Hampton
1970s: Nixon's War on Drugs
1973: Roe v. Wade Decision,
1974: Combahee River Collective Statement
1975: Vietnam War Ends,
1981: Election of Reagan, continued war on drugs/poverty