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Copy of Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 60s

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Ms. English History

on 6 March 2013

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Transcript of Copy of Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 60s

The Civil Rights Movement
of the 1950s and 1960s African Americans used multiple different strategies in order to achieve their civil rights. Strategies Plessy v. Ferguson In 1896,the Supreme Court ruled that "separate but equal" did not violate the 14th Amendment. This was what caused African Americans to start fighting for their civil rights. They did not want any more restrictions on their social and religious interactions between races. Brown v. Board of Education The Supreme Court ruled that there was to be no more segregation in schools because of its unconstitutional violation of the Fourteenth Amendment's Equal Protection Clause. This was achieved when Linda Brown's father challenged the Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas by saying Linda's denial from an all-white school, considerably closer to her house, violated her rights. Morgan v. Virginia and Sweatt v. Painter In this case, the Supreme Court banned segregated seating on interstate buses. It was ruled that law schools must take black applicants no matter what. Bus Boycott The Montgomery Bus Boycott was sparked by Rosa Parks' refusal to give up her seat to a white person. She was arrested for this action. The leaders of the African American community including Jo Ann Robinson and E.D. Nixon and most importantly Martin Luther King Jr. started a bus boycott that lasted for 381 days. During this time, the black community did not ride buses. Instead, they carpooled, walked, or biked to their destinations. In 1956 bus segregation was banned. Freedom Riders A group of African Americans called "Freedom Riders" held the goal of bringing about a violent reaction in order to persuade the Kennedy Administration to create desegregation laws. Within 2 bus rides, after brutal beatings, verbal abuse, and one bus being blown up, they got the reaction they wanted from the press. Newspapers denounced the beatings and Kennedy gave the Freedom Riders direct support for their cause. As a result the Interstate Commerce Commission "banned segregation in all interstate travel facilities, including waiting rooms, restrooms, and lunch counters." Growing Organizations Civil Rights leaders in 1957 founded organizations such as: The Southern Christian Leadership Conference and The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. The SCLC planned protests and demonstrations throughout the South by gaining support from a wide variety of African Americans, who would use their power to cause the movement to spread. The SNCC also was an example of college students taking action to gain their rights. Sit-ins African Americans would protest their inequality by staging "sit-ins" at segregated lunch counters. The participants would sit at these lunch counters until they were served, for many days at a time. This action was called to national attention by the coverage of local and ndational television stations. Whites refused to serve them, which would lead to violence in which the police took the side of the whites (who were performing these cruel acts). Legal cases brought to the Supreme Court allowed African Americans to achieve liberty by ruling corrupt practices in the United States unconstitutional. Sweatt v. Painter Supreme Court Case advanced opportunity for the African American law students by allowing them to have equal education as white students in order to advance in their careers. This accomplished a majority of the Civil Rights Movement. The Civil Rights Act of 1957 was created in order to promote enforcement of civil rights laws. Later the Civil Rights Act of 1964 banned discrimination in employment and public accommodations. This act specifically led the African Americans to feel the impact of what they had done and experience it, and start living normal lives again. The Civil Rights Act of 1968 made it a crime to harm civil rights workers. This law was a huge step for civil rights activists because it led to the support of their work. Bus boycotts and lunch-counter sit-ins advanced equality by leading daily facilities to treat African Americans the same as whites. The freedom riding movement and the growing organizations brought about opportunity for African Americans by giving them a voice to be publicly recognized. In these movements, the African Americans called national attention to their unequal state. How did civil rights activists advance the ideals of liberty, equality, and opportunity for African Americans? The failures of Reconstruction included many different aspects that dominated African American life. The formation of the Ku Klux Klan, a radical group of who prevented African Americans from attaining their rights and resorted to violence. Poverty took over economic aspects of black life, Reconstruction ended in African Americans not able to gain any land and they were also denied many jobs. Alongside the Civil Rights Movement, Reconstruction brought poverty to blacks as well as the result of the movement of the 1960s being with black poverty rate being 3 times higher than the white man. Further along the road, affirmative action was created after the movement to create special efforts to give minorities who had been discriminated against jobs. Johnson’s Great Society was created to focus on decreasing poverty and increasing opportunities. The funds for this program were interrupted by the Vietnam War effort, which hurt African American civil rights accomplishments as expressed by Martin Luther King Jr. Reconstruction had a lasting impact, which would extend to the 1950s when people organized into groups protesting segregation. How did the African American Civil Rights Movement of the1950s and 60s address the failures of Reconstruction? Booker T. Washington’s goal to equip African Americans with better education and more opportunities for agriculture and domestic work, relates to the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s because it shows the desire for equal opportunities between African Americans and whites. This was a constant goal that evolved since 1881 when Washington headed the Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute for blacks. W.E.B. Du Bois was focused on liberal arts and the need for education for a stronger society with more well-educate leaders. W.E.B. Du Bois’ ideas influenced the Civil Rights Movement by promoting equal education and opportunity within the arts. This opportunity would increase black pride, which is a dominating factor in the1950s and 60s because the unity of the common people made the movement successful. Marcus Garvey contributed to black pride by encouraging a separate society for blacks. This black pride was a common ideal held by the Black Panthers, a political party to fight police brutality in the ghetto in the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 60s. How did earlier events and leaders such as Booker Washington, W. E. B. Du Bois, and Marcus Garvey influence the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 60s? 1865: Slavery is abolished through the 13th Amendment.
1868: The 14th Amendment requires equal protection under law to everyone. The Dred Scott decision is overruled which stated that slaves were not free if taken into a free state. African Americans are emancipated.
1869: During Reconstruction, the Freedman’s Bureau attempted to create integrated schools, similarly the civil rights activists in the 1950s wanted integrated schools, through the Brown vs. Board of Education case.
1870: Voting discrimination is banned in the 15thAmendment. African Americans become more active in society; they hold office in local, state, and federal governments as well.
1871: Because of the rise of the Ku Klux Klan the government passed a series of Enforcement Acts to supervise elections in Southern states and allow the president to use federal troops in areas swelling with KKK action.
African Americans gained liberties by ending slavery (13th Amendment) and by recognizing them as citizens (14thAmendment) and also banned the denial of voting rights based on color (15th Amendment). Although this seemed promising, the Supreme Court undermined these legal protections when the Southern Democrats gained power and established Jim Crow Laws, which ultimately resulted in African Americans without civil rights, once again. The Amendments passed in the Civil War would become powerful for the quest for equal rights in the Civil Rights Movement. It established a basis that could be used to gain rights in the 1950s and 60s.
1875: Civil Rights Act of 1875 is passed declaring “all persons… shall be entitled to the full and equal enjoyment of the accommodations…of inns, public conveyances on land or water, theaters, and other places of public amusement.”
1881: Booker T. Washington headed the Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute to equip African Americans in education and with life skills (such as in labor).
1883: An all-white Supreme Court declared the Civil Rights Act of 1875 unconstitutional.
1896: “Separate but equal” doctrine is passed by the Supreme Court in the Plessy v. Ferguson case.
1905: W.E.B. Du Bois founded the Niagara Movement, which suggested that African Americans study liberal arts in order to become better-educated leaders.
1909: The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is formed to protest racial violence.

1910: Hundreds of thousands of African Americans move north to big cities in search of jobs. This movement is known as the Great Migration.
1914: Marcus Garvey founded the Universal Negro Improvement Association and suggested that African Americans create their own community with “black pride, economic independence, and reverence for Africa.”
1919: Approximately 25 race riots occur due to the unwillingness of the white Northerners to accept the blacks into their society.
1920: The overcrowding, unemployment, and poverty pushed the African American community to form the world’s largest black urban community. The Harlem Renaissance was a literary and artistic movement celebrating black culture.
The Great Migration, which stemmed the Harlem Renaissance led to a political, social, and cultural movement of the African-American community. This led the blacks to feel like they had an impact on white society. This first demonstration of blacks uniting for the same cause, equality, was a dominant factor that led to the Civil Rights Movement in the 1950s and 60s. The unison shared by the race created a stronger opposition against their treatment, which brought more attention to their cause.
1933: The Great Depression created harsher conditions for African Americans as their unemployment rates increased and their economic status decreased. Racial violence increased from unemployed whites resulting in33 deaths of blacks.
1934: Franklin Delano Roosevelt refused to support Civil Rights because he was afraid of losing votes. The New Deal programs, such as the CCC and WPA favored whites over African Americans.
1948: President Truman outlaws segregation in the U.S. military, allowing blacks to fight alongside whites.
World War II had set the stage for this growing civil rights movement. In the 1940s the high demand for white-male soldiers opened up millions of jobs for African Americans in the work place, which was something that had never happened before. Second, because so many blacks fought in the war, the military was officially desegregated. Third, civil rights activists had been working during the war to protest their inequality and Jim Crow Laws to the point where Roosevelt “issued a presidential directive prohibiting racial discrimination by federal agencies and all companies that were engaged in war work.” This created a perfect time to stop segregation and discrimination once and for all across the entire United States. Civil Rights Throughout American History The actions that African Americans took during the 50’s and60’s have resulted in long-lasting accomplishments. The history of the oppressed race began to change as achievements for equalities were reached allover the United States. Challenging the ideas of “separate but equal”, World War II helped set the stage for the movement. The Civil Rights Movement first saw success when Roosevelt issued a presidential directive prohibiting racial discrimination by companies engaged in war work. “A history of decisions, going back to Plessy v. Ferguson, were kind of chipping away at segregation” (The Unfinished Nation- The Other America). In Brown V. Board of Education of Topeka, the decision directly affected the daily lives of people. This accomplishment showed another stepping stone to equality mainly because the color barrier,this time, was a federal priority. Although they were met with resistance,African Americans continued to try to gain rights because of the psychological symbolism of this act. After accomplishments in the school place, the black community began to unite, especially after the Montgomery bus boycott. Led by Martin Luther King Jr., African Americans tried to get away from the “iron feet of oppression”. TV helped the blacks accomplish showing the ugly face of racism which would later help them convince the United States that they deserved equal treatment. Another success of the movement was created by the freedom riders,when the attorney general and the ICC banned segregation in many places. Kennedy asked the nation, is this the land of the free, except for the Negroes? The African Americans would soon see another civil rights act. In 1957 the legislation was the first related to civil rights since reconstruction. Similarly, these acts expanded the federal power to protect equality. In the campaign to gain rights to vote, a road through the government seemed to be the right way to go. They wanted a voice in the political arena. Support of seating Mississippi Free Democratic Party delegates led to a protest that resulted in President Johnson presenting a voting rights act to Congress. The act was passed that summer and rose the percentage of African American voters dramatically. This marked a major victory in civil rights. As time went on, leaders such as Malcolm X brought up ideals different to King’s; however, both had goals in advancing the rights of blacks,whether with or without the use of violence.



Although the Johnson administration largely dismissed many of the Kerner Commission recommendations, the Civil Rights movement gained a significant amount of change in the US. The Kerner Commission suggested that white racism contributed to all of the urban violence. The de jure segregation was solved through many Civil Rights legislation. One accomplishment would be the Civil Rights Act of 1968 which ended discrimination in housing. After many of the accomplishments, another one spurred; this being, the greater pride in an African American racial identity. Seeing success in changing many discriminatory laws, African Americans made remarkable political gains. African Americans holding elected offices grew because of the amount of African American registered voters. The government’s promotion of affirmative action also signified another success for the advancement of African Americans. Accomplished Goals of African Americans “Civil Rights Timeline-CNN,” last modified January 31, 2006, http://articles.cnn.com/2006-01-31/politics/extra.civil.rights.timeline_1_slave-trade-segregation-black-students?_s=PM:EDUCATION.

Klarman, Michael J. “From Jim Crow to Civil Rights: The Supreme Court and the Struggle for Racial Equality.” (2004). http://www.questia.com.

The Other America, Learn360 Video, (Intelecom, 2004).

Gerald A. Danzer and J. Jorge Klor de Alva, The Americans, (McDougal Littell Inc. 2003).

Alan Brinkley, American History: A Survey, (McGraw Hill, 2003). Bibliography The End
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