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Civil Rights Movement
Transcript of Civil Rights Movement
What rights do you believe are worth fighting for? Which rights do Americans have that people in many other countries do not? Which of those rights are the most important rights to you?
The Reconstruction Amendments
13th Amendment -
Abolished (ended) slavery.
Granted citizenship and equal protection under the law to all people born in the U.S.
Granted voting rights to all male citizens.
A Legacy of Discrimination
Plessy v. Ferguson (1896)
The Supreme Court case of Plessy v. Ferguson was instrumental in supporting discrimination in the South. The case established the rule of "
Separate but Equal
that it was ok to separate the races as long as they both had equal facilities
. The problem was,
they were never actually equal
Back to the Basics
Define Segregation in your own words.
in the South came to be called "Jim Crow" Laws.
These laws separated public places in the South into "white" and "colored."
Booker T. Washington
Booker T. Washington was an early African-American civil rights leader. In 1882, he became the first president of the Tuskegee Institute, an all-black vocational college.
Washington believed that African-Americans should
focus on getting an "industrial" education that would help them to get good jobs
and that THEN they could work for civil rights.
W.E.B. Du Bois
W.E.B. Du Bois was an African-American civil rights leader at the same time as Booker T. Washington. He was the
first African-American graduate of Harvard Law School and helped start the NAACP
Du Bois famously and publicly disagreed with Washington, saying that African-Americans should
get an academic education and immediately insist on full civil rights and political freedoms
Back to the Basics
Now that you know what segregation is, what do you think integration means?
During WWI and the 1920s, African-Americans moved to the North
to better their situations and escape racism.
In the 1920s, the large number of African-Americans migrating to northern cities led to
the cultural revolution known as the Harlem Renaissance.
Making the Connection
What was the state of affairs for African-American civil rights as WWII came along? That is, what options did African-Americans have to get their rights and what rights did they have at this point?
“I have often reflected upon the new vistas that reading has opened to me. I knew right there in prison that reading had changed forever the course of my life. As I see it today, the ability to read awoke inside me some long dormant craving to be mentally alive.”
What does this quote tell you about Malcolm X? Does it change how you feel about him?
Setting the Stage
In WWII, African-Americans played an important part in the war effort, both by serving in the military and by working in industry.
When the war was over, many African-Americans were no longer content with the status-quo of racism in America.
In 1948, President Harry Truman issued Executive Order 9981, which desgregated the military.
Why do you think this was an important first step in ending segregation in the U.S.? Why was the military able to be desegregated nearly 20 years before the rest of American society?
Civil Rights in the 1950s and 1960s
Just watch 1st minute or so
The Legal Strategy of the NAACP
Brown v. Board of Education
In Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that
segregation in schools was illegal.
Thurgood Marshall successfully argued that seperate but equal was not equal.
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) was a civil rights organization started by W.E.B. Du Bois and others in 1909. In the 1950s and 1960s, they focused on
winning court cases.
One of their main lawyers for this strategy was Thurgood Marshall. He later became
the first black Supreme Court justice
The Little Rock Nine
the governor of Arkansas, Orvil Faubus,
refused to honor the Brown v. Board decision. He
used the Arkansas National Guard to stop 9 black high school students from attending an all-white school.
President Eisenhower then
sent the national guard
to take them out of the governor's control. He also sent in t
he 101st Airborne, the
"Band of Brothers,"
to protect the students and forcibly integrate the school.
Peace or Violence?
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Martin Luther King, Jr. is the most well-known civil rights leader in U.S. history. He was a driving force behind much of the change taking place during the 1950s and 1960s.
A Baptist minister, King was a pacifist. He argued that African-Americans should
use non-violent protests (also called "passive resistance") to oppose segregation and to fight for their rights.
Montgomery Bus Boycott
Making the Connection
Why do you think King urged passive resistance (aside from his religion)? That is, why was it the best strategy for the civil rights movement?
In December of 1955,
, an African-American department store clerk and Secretary of the Montgomery, Alabama chapter of the NAACP was riding the bus home from work. As more white passengers got on, the bus driver asked her and three other African-Americans to move to the back and stand so the white passengers could sit. She
refused to give up her seat on the bus and was arrested.
This led to the event that made Martin Luther King the main leader for African-American civil rights. King and others began the Montgomery Bus Boycott, in which the African-American residents of Montgomery refused to ride the city busses for 385 days until
the bus segregation law was repealed by a federal court
Making the Connection
Why would a boycott like the Montgomery Bus Boycott work?
King, the SCLC, and Birmingham
Shortly after the bus boycott, King and fellow boycott organizer, Ralph Abernathy, formed the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC).
One of the SCLC's first actions was
a boycott of businesses and a series of sit-ins and marches
in Birmingham, Alabama in protest of segregation. The local police, orderd by Commissioner Eugene "Bull" Connor, attacked the men, women, and children with fire hoses and police dogs. Eventually, Connor was fired and Birmingham businesses began to desegregate.
CORE and the Freedom Riders
Another civil rights group at this time was the Congress on Racial Equality (CORE). In 1963, they organized the
Freedom Rides, in which white and black civil rights workers rode buses from the North into the segregated South in defiance of Jim Crow laws
. They were assaulted and eventually one bus was burned.
March on Washington
SNCC and the Sit-Ins
Making the Connection
SNCC were known as the "Shock Troops" of the civil rights movement because they exposed themselves to more direct danger than the other organizations, most of the time. Why do you think this fell to SNCC instead of another group?
The Student Nonviolent Organizing Committee (SNCC - pronounced "snick") was a civil rights group made of
mostly black and white college students
and people that age. They were best known for sit-ins, in which
they would sit down in white-only areas of restaurants, forcing police to arrest them and often being assaulted.
In 1963, Martin Luther King called on the leaders of the other civil rights groups to help him organize a March on Washington.
They demanded many things, such as an end to segregation in the South.
The Marchers were originally going to make more angry demands, but backed off at urging from President Kennedy
, angering more militant groups.
It was at this event that Martin Luther King gave his famous "I Have a Dream Speech."
In 1964, CORE, SNCC, the SCLC, and the NAACP helped organize Freedom Summer, where civil rights workers went to Mississippi
to register blacks to vote.
There was a very violent reaction to this; three civil rights workers were murdered and at least four African-American locals were killed as well, not to mention at least 1000 assaults.
Nation of Islam
The Nation of Islam is
a sect of the Muslim religion specifically for African-Americans
. They were led by Elijah Muhammed.
Unlike King and most other civil rights groups,
they were opposed to integration of blacks and whites. They also sometimes advocated violence
and were critical of King's non-violent approach.
While in prison for breaking and entering, Malcolm X converted to Nation of Islam and became their most public spokesman. He preached that blacks were superior to whites, who he said were a race a devils, and should separate themselves from whites completely.
He also rejected non-violence, tellings blacks to protect themselves from whites by any means necessary.
A Change of Heart
In 1964, Malcolm X left the Nation of Islam and
went on a Hajj (pilgrimage) through Africa to Mecca
, Saudi Arabia. While there, he met Muslims of various ethnicities, including whites, working together peacefully. He converted to Sunni Islam and changed his message to African-Americans.
He expressed a willingness to work with other civil rights groups and to act peacefully
. He also claimed to have been a brainwashed "zombie" of the Nation of Islam.
Assassination of Malcolm X
Shortly after converting to Sunni Islam, Malcolm X was killed while giving a speech. At least one of the shooters was a member of the Nation of Islam - controversey surrounds the case, as many believe that the
Nation of Islam
ordered the assassination.
Louis Farrakhan is the current leader of Nation of Islam. He was a rival of Malcolm X's and publicly called him a "traitor" who had been "dealt with."
Assassination of Martin Luther King
On April 4th, 1968, Martin Luther King was shot and killed while standing on a hotel balcony in Memphis. While his killer was eventually caught, controversy surrounds his death as well, with many suspecting the
The news of King's death led to
deadly, violent race riots across the nation
The Selma to Montgomery marches were three attempted marches from the city of Selma, Alabama to the capital in Montgomery. The purpose of these marches was to protest black voters being prevented from registering or voting. The marches - and especially the violence against them -
spread awareness about blacks in the South not being allowed to vote, eventually leading to the 1965 Voting Rights Act.
The term "Black Power" was coined by SNCC leader Stokely Carmichael. The term
usually meant that blacks should take pride in their race and not seek to be integrated into white society
. For this reason, they were usually not allied with the rest of the civil rights movement.
Stokely Carmichael began to become more and more radical, especially after the non-fatal shooting of fellow activist James Meredith. He started to effect SNCC, causing them to start
excluding whites and to become less committed to non-violence.
SNCC eventually came to have a negative reputation because of this.
Black Panther Party
The Black Panthers originated in Oakland. Their original goal was to
protect African-Americans there from police violence
. Later, they included things like
help for the poor and opposition to the drafting of blacks into the military
during the Vietnam war.
At first, the Black Panthers were black nationalists (believed in blacks being separate from and superior to whites). Eventually, they changed. They took up socialist ideals, arguing for blacks and whites to work together.
Some solutions they tried included setting up
free private schools and daycares, free breakfast programs for kids, drug and alcohol rehab, and armed neighborhood patrols to keep an eye on police violence.
Black Panther Solutions
Wrap It Up
Ok, so you've now spent three days learning about the Civil Rights Movement. You've seen government solutions, peaceful protests, and violent opposition. Now, write a one paragraph (5-7 setences) response to the following question:
When people are oppressed, what is the best way for them to get their rights, and why is that the best way?
The main power of the Supreme Court of the United States is that it can declare laws and acts of the President / Congress unconstitutional. If it does, those laws / acts are no longer valid.
Do you think the Supreme Court should have this power? Why or why not?
School Segregation and Unfairness
Mendez v. Westminster ISD (1947), Delgado v. Bastrop ISD (1948), and Edgewood ISD v. Kirby (1984)
In the Mendez and Delgado cases, the courts ruled that school districts couldn't segregate if there wasn't a state segregation law already (this was before Brown v. Board). In Edgewater, the Supreme Court ruled that states had to fund poor and rich school districts equally. In each of these cases,
courts ruled against racial unfairness and segregation in public schools
White v. Regester (1973)
Hernandez v. Texas (1954)
In 1970, Texas changed the boundaries for its legislature districts so that blacks and Hispanics in San Antonio and Dallas would have very little chance of getting elected. The Supreme Court said that
states could not discriminate by redistricting (changing voting boundaries)
The Texas legislature attempted a similar redistricting scheme in 2012 but was denied by the Federal Election Commission.
Because Mexican-Americans are considered "white" by the U.S. census, southern states such as Texas had always given Hispanic defendants all white juries in court cases. After Pete Hernandez was convicted of murder and sentenced to death by an all-white jury, he appealed. The Supreme Court ruled that
Mexican-Americans are a separate class
even though the law says that they are white
and thus deserve to have Mexican-Americans on their juries
. The winning argument was made when Hernandez's lawyer pointed out that there was a Mexicans-only restroom in the very court that Hernandez was tried in.
The Chicano Mural Movement
was first used to describe
Mexican-Americans who grew up in the U.S.
way back in the 1840s. Starting in the 1940s, a Chicano Movement began in which Chicanos fought against racism. In the 1960s, the Chicano Mural Movement began, in which
artists painted large murals on walls in poor Hispanic neighborhoods (barrios) that showed pride in their ethnicity
Betty Friedan and NOW
In 1963, Feminist author Betty Friedan
argued that women were as capable as men
and should be able to compete for the same jobs and positions in
society. In 1966, she
helped form the National Organization of Women (NOW), an organization which pushes for equality for women.
Title IX (nine)
Title IX of the Educational Amendments Act (1972)
promotes equality between boys and girls in education
by witholding federal funding from shcools and colleges that don't give equal opportunities to boys and girls. This greatly
increased the number of girls' sports programs as well as getting more women to go to college
Roe v. Wade (1973)
The debate on abortion is between
"Pro-Life" (people who want to outlaw abortion) and "Pro-Choice" (people who want abortion to be a legal choice)
. In the 1970s, the women's rights movement rallied around the Pro-Choice argument. In Roe v. Wade, the
Supreme Court ruled that women had the right to choose abortion until they had been pregnant for 3 months
and overturned any state laws that outlawed abortions in the first 3 months of pregnancy.
Wisconsin v. Yoder (1971)
In 1971, the Supreme Court ruled that Wisconsin could not force Amish children to go to school after the 8th grade. The court
ruled that states cannot force children to attend school if it conflicts with their freedom of religion.
Hector P. Garcia
Hector P. Garcia was a WWII veteran. After the war, he found that the Veteran's Administration was really slow in filing medical claims for Hispanic veterans. He
founded the American G.I. Forum to help Hispanic veterans deal with the VA, but they eventually fought for equal rights for Hispanics
Compare and Contrast the struggles of African-Americans, Hispanics, and Women. What different things did each group fight for? What different methods did they use? What similar methods did they use?