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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
Define Segregation in your own words.
The segregation laws 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.
Definition of Integration =
to combine (educational facilities, classes, and the like, previously segregated by race) into one unified system; desegregate.
Write in your own words what 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
In 1957, the governor of Arkansas refused to honor the Brown v. Board decision. He used the Arkansas National Guard
9 black high school students
from attending an all-white school
President Eisenhower then
nationalized the national guard
to take them out of the governor's control. He also sent in the 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, Rosa Parks, 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 and was arrested.
This led to the event that made Martin Luther King the main leader for African-American civil rights. MLK and
others began the Montgomery Bus Boycott, in which the
African-American residents of Montgomery refused to ride the city buses 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, ordered 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 and registered 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 a 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.
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, telling 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)
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 - controversy 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, controversey surrounds his death as well, with
many suspecting the U.S. government's involvement
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 of the issue across America, 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, California. 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
free private schools and day cares, 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
You have now spent time learning about the Civil Rights Movement. You have seen government solutions, peaceful protests, and violent opposition. Now, write a one paragraph (5-7 sentences) response to the following
When people are oppressed, what is the best way for them to get their rights, and why is that the best way?
Definition of segregation =
to separate or set apart from others or from the main body or group; isolate