Birth of Modern Civil Rights EraPresentation Transcript
CIVIL RIGHTS LECTURE #2: 2007 Legislation Spurs an Era of Nonviolent Protest (1954-1956) What happens to a dream deferred? Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun? Or fester like a sore—and then run? Does it stink like rotten meat? Or crust and sugar over— Like syrupy sweet? Maybe it sags like a heavy load. Or does it explode? Langston Hughes
TOPIC: DESEGREGATION OF PUBLIC SCHOOLS Oliver Brown Vs. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas- May 17,1954
Background of Brown Case
Who was Brown?
What was his case?
How was the case packaged to reach the Supreme Court?
Significance to Civil Rights Movement
The Decision of the Warren Court
Warren’s conclusion of a unanimous Supreme Court : “in the field of public education, ‘separate but equal’ has no place”
The court found segregated schools to be in violation of the 14 th amendment
Remaining Question Marks
How should desegregation occur?
How soon, and how fast? The Supreme Court ruled “with all deliberate speed.” Why? What does that mean?
What are the implications of “with all deliberate speed?”
How did President Eisenhower feel about the decision, and why is that important?
A True Abomination
The Murder of Emmett Till-1955
The Emmett Till Case
Emmett Till- Who was Emmett Till?
Why was he murdered?
How and why did the case become famous?
Roy Bryant and J.W. Milam were accused of murder; what happened to them?
What were the implications of the case?
Montgomery Alabama—December 1957
December 1, 1955- Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat for a white man who was standing
The Bus Driver had her arrested for violating the municipal ordinance that mandated segregation on publicly owned vehicles
42 yr. olds seamstress
active in the struggle for racial equality and justice
Positions she held:
- Secretary of Alabama State Conferences of NAACP Branches
- Secretary of Montgomery NAACP
- Adult advisor to NAACP Youth Council
- Attended a workshop on desegregation at Highlander Folk School in Tennessee
Movement towards Boycott
Leaders of Montgomery’s black community move to act
E.D. Nixon- President of Alabama NAACP; a leader during the WWII March-on-Washington Movement; interested in mass demonstrations as a means of organizing black power
Started to organize a boycott; it was supposed to last for one day, the day of Parks’ trial, December 5, 1955
Parks agreed to be the cause of the boycott; even though it could cost her job, security…life?!
On December 5,1955 90% of Montgomery’s blacks boycotted buses
E.D. Nixon proposed to continue boycott until:
- city would hire black bus drivers for black neighborhoods
- insist on fair treatment of black bus riders
- first-come, first-served seating system
What is missing from E.D. Nixon’s requests?
Question #1: How to organize/inspire the masses of people?
Answer: MIA—Montgomery Improvement Association
Question #2: Who should lead this boycott?
Answer: It should be someone energetic, inspiring, and someone who can bring together Montgomery’s large and diverse black population
Martin Luther King Jr.
What was his background, and how did he end up in Montgomery?
Why was he chosen to be the leader of boycott?
Why did he gain fame through the boycott?
MLK & Boycott Gain Attention
MLK’s speeches in church rallies in the evening garner support
King’s Words: “To accept passively an unjust system is to cooperate with that system…Noncooperation with evil is as much a moral obligation as is cooperation with good.”
Montgomery protesters used these words as strength in the face of harassment
Boycott by carpooling/walking for over a year
King’s house is bombed; he still preaches love and nonviolence- becomes an important symbol
Boycott continued until segregation on buses ruled illegal (June, 1956-district court; December, 1956-upheld by Supreme Court)
Dec. 21, 1956- King and aides sat in the front of the bus
Images are captured by Media
Implications of Boycott
King learns that nonviolent direct action is an effective method of creating social change
King gains national recognition
Moves the struggle from the courtroom to the streets