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Usa41 04 C Civil Rights Voting Web
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Usa41 04 C Civil Rights Voting Web


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  • 1. Voting Rights Campaigns
  • 2. Focus Task • What does the phrase “10 Million Americans Who Haven’t Got the Price” mean? • The people in the cartoon appear to be all white. Why do you think Dr. Suess chose not to have people of other races in the cartoon? • Why do you think white supremacists in the south used the poll tax to exclude African American voters? Why do you think they weren’t concerned about poor white voters? • What does Dr. Suess mean when he titled the cartoon “Democracy’s Turnstile”? • Do you think the cartoon would have greater resonance during WWII? Why or why not
  • 3. Civil Rights Bill & Voting Rights • JFK brings hope – JFK’s presidency seen as one of hope – CRM leaders wanted a Civil rights Bill that would enshrine black rights – JFK & brother, Bobby (Attorney General) wanted to concentrate on voting rights – If blacks could vote, that power would lead to further legislation to enshrine civil rights • NAACP & CRM groups focused on voting rights campaign (VRC) – Organized courses on voting procedures – Registered black voters faced threats, intimidation & violence – VRC greatly helped by fact that CRMSweet Honey in the Rock’s We Want the Vote
  • 4. Back to Birmingham, Alabama, 1963• Birmingham, Alabama, April 1963 – MLK organized march – City still not compliant w/ SC desegregation order (remember buses?) – Police notoriously racist, w/ links to KKK, especially police chief Bull Connor • Goal of march to show nation city’s racism – Bull Connor obliged – W/ national media watching Connor released fire hoses & attack dogs on peaceful protesters – 100+ protesters arrested, including MLK Ragtime-Original Broadway Cast, ‘Til We Reach That Day
  • 5. From Birmingham to Washington, D.C.• Kennedy responds – May: pressured Governor George Wallace to release prisoners, give more jobs to blacks and allow blacks to be promoted – Birmingham desegregated but bitter – September: KKK bomb killed four black children in a Birmingham church • August 1963, Washington, D.C. – MLK holds most high-profile event – 200,000 blacks & 50,000 whites marched – Goal was to pressure JFK to introduce Civil Rights bill – No trouble on march, not even litter – MLK gave famous ‘I have a dream’ speech – Event had tremendous positive impact on American public opinion of King,Excerpts from MLK’s ‘I Have A Dream’ speech in Washington, D.C.
  • 6. How much progress had been made in achieving civil rights by August 1963?
  • 7. Civil Rights Act & ‘Freedom Summer’ 1964 • By 1963 CRM key national issue – Everyone had an opinion on it – Nov’ ’63: JFK assassinated, LBJ President • Lyndon Baines Johnson & CRM – LBJ committed to ideals of CRM – 2 July 1964: signed Civil Rights Act (CRA) – CRA made discrimination by gov’t contractors in areas such as housing & employment illegal • Summer of 1964: ‘Freedom Summer’ – SCLC increased voter registration efforts – Many northern, young, white people helped – W/in 20 months an additional 430,000 black southern voters were registeredIn That Great Getting’ Up Morning
  • 8. Voting Rights & Selma, Alabama • 1964, Mississippi burning: 3 VRC workers murdered (Schwerner, Goodman, Chaney) • Selma Ala. one of worst discrimination areas – Early 1965: MLK targeted it & marched – Only 2.4% of blacks were registered – Brutally racist sheriff, Jim Clark – Clarke banned march but 600 marched – Marchers brutally attacked, ‘Bloody Sunday’ – MLK organized 2nd , token, march but turned back to avoid bloodshed – Radical black activists denounced MLK – King’s restraint instrumental in getting LBJ’s Voting Rights Bill into Congress in 1965 • Voting Rights Act of 1965 – Allowed gov’t agents to inspect voting procedures – Ended literacy tests – After 1965 five major cities had blackLBJ taped phone calls related to Mississippi case
  • 9. On 7 March 1965, 525 to 600 civil rights marchers headed east out of Selma on U.S. Highway 80. Discrimination and intimidation had prevented Selma's black population, roughly half of the city, from registering and voting; three weeks earlier, 18 February 1965, a trooper (Corporal James Bonard Fowler) shot Jimmie Lee Jackson as he tried to protect his mother and grandfather in a café to which they had fled while being attacked by troopers during a civil rights demonstration. Jackson died of a massive infection at Selma's Good Samaritan Hospital eight days later. The marchers hoped to bring notice to the violations of their rights by marching to the state capitol in Montgomery. In their first march, led by John Lewis and the Reverend Hosea Williams, they made it only as far as the Edmund Pettus Bridge, six blocks away. State troopers and the Dallas County Sheriff's Department, some mounted on horseback, awaited them. In the presence of the news media the lawmen attacked the peaceful demonstrators with billy clubs, tear gas, and bull whips, driving them back into Selma. Brutal televised images of the attack, which presented people with horrifying images of people left bloodied and severely injured, roused support for the US civil rights movement. Amelia Boynton Robinson was beaten and gassed nearly to death — her photo appeared on the front page of papers and newsmagazines around the world. Seventeen marchers were hospitalized, leading to the naming of the day, "Bloody Sunday".
  • 10. Activity: Evaluating MLK’s effect • Martin Luther King has been greatly praised. History has almost made him onto a saint. But at the time he was criticized by many political, Church and community leaders. He was even criticized by fellow black activists. Here is a summary of the criticisms: – King was pushing the pace of change too fast and the USA was not ready. He should be more patient. – King was pushing too slowly-waiting for the Supreme Court to change a law would take too long. He should be less patient. – His non-violent actions provoked people into violence from which black people suffered. – Non-violence made black people victims. They should fight violently against white discrimination. – Black people should not try to fit into the white way of life-they should achieve equality but keep separate from white people. – How can a man with the moral failing of unfaithfulness to his wife be allowed to represent such an import movement? • Using all that you have learned write a speech for King
  • 11. Fin
  • 12. PSDs on Civil rights Bill & Voting Rights • Instead of submitting to surreptitious cruelty in thousands of dark jail cells and on countless shadowed streets, we are forcing our oppressor to commit his brutality openly-in the light of day-with the rest of the world looking on. To condemn peaceful protesters on the grounds that they provoke violence is like condemning a robbed man because his possession of money caused robbery. – MLK commemorating his tactics in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1963. Critics had accused him of deliberately stirring up violence • But when you have seen vicious mobs lynch your mothers and fathers at will and drown your brothers and sisters at whim; when you have seen hate-filled policemen curse, kick and even kill your black brothers and sisters; when you see the vast majority of your twenty million Negro brothers smothering in an airtight cage of poverty in the midst of an affluent society; when you are harried by day and haunted by night by the fact that you are a Negro … when you are forever fighting a degenerating sense of nobodiness; then you will understand why we find it difficult to wait. – Extract from MLK’s letter from Birmingham jail, Alabama, 1963
  • 13. PSDs on Civil rights Bill & Voting Rights • I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal. I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit together at the table of brotherhood. I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering in the heat of injustice … and oppression will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice. I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but the content of their character. – From MLK’s most famous speech, Washington, D.C., August 1963