American Civil Rights Movement WWII-1970 “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 Speech – MLK Jr.
I hope the rest of the presentation doesn‟t look like this.PowerPoint byKristina Bowers That‟s Me!!
Thesis• During the Civil Rights Era of 1954-1965, African Americans fought for equal rights in the United States.
WWII• During World War II, African Americans were drafted into the war but generally assigned to service branches rather than combat units.• The largest exception was the 99th Pursuit Squadron called the “Tuskegee Airmen.” These pilots were some of the few African Americans to see combat during WWII, they flew over 1,600 fighter-support missions in North Africa and never lost a bomber to enemy aircraft. They were trained in a segregated unit in Tuskegee, Alabama.
A. Philip Randolph• 1941 - A. Phillip Randolph, founder of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, planned a massive march on Washington to demand more jobs for blacks in the defense industry.• Before the planned march, FDR met with Randolph and shortly after issued Executive Order 8802 A.K.A The Fair Employment Act declaring “there shall be no discrimination in the employment of workers in defense industries or government because of race, creed, color or national origin.” ▫ FDR also created the Fair Employment Practices Committee which monitored unions.• In return, Randolph called off the march.
A. Philip Randolph (cont.)• 1947 – He and Grant Reynolds formed the Committee Against Jim Crow in Military Service A.K.A League for Non-Violent Civil Disobedience. ▫ July 26, 1948 – President Truman issued Executive Order 9981 which abolished racial segregation in the armed forces.• 1950 – Cofounded the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights with Roy Wilkins and Arnold Aronson. • August 28, 1963 – Organized March on Washington to demand fair and equal treatment of blacks in the workplace.
Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas (1954)• In the early 1950‟s, racial segregation in schools was the norm.• 3rd grader Linda Brown had to walk through a railroad switchyard to get to her all black school, when an all white school was just 7 miles away.• Her father tried to enroll her in the white school, was denied, then went to the NAACP for help.• 1951 - NAACP requested an injunction that would forbid segregation of Topeka‟s public schools.• The District Court saw the case and decided in favor of the Board of Education because of the precedent set by Plessy v. Ferguson.• Brown and NAACP appealed to SCOTUS and on May 17th, 1954 SCOTUS struck down the precedent of Plessy v. Ferguson and required desegregation of schools across America.
Emmett Till• August 20, 1955 – 14 year old Emmett Till traveled from Chicago to Money, Mississippi to visit relatives.• This was soon after the SCOTUS ordered school to be desegregated, and racial tensions and violence ran high in the south.• Emmett Till allegedly talked to a white woman in an „inappropriate‟ manner on a dare, and the woman‟s husband Roy Bryant and his half- brother J. W. Milam decided they had to teach Emmett a lesson.• Bryant and Milam kidnapped Emmett from his great-uncle‟s house and drove him away, later claiming they turned him loose that night.• 3 days later a fisherman found Emmett‟s body in the Tallahatchie River.• The two men were acquitted on September 23, 1955.• “Before Emmett Till‟s murder, I had known the fear of hunger, hell and the Devil. But now there was a new fear known to me – the fear of being killed just because I was black.” ~ Anne Moody.
Emmett Till Roy Bryant and J. W. Milam Mamie Carthan, Emmett‟s mother
White Citizen‟s Council• Brown v. Board of Education spurred formation of the Citizen‟s Council, a white supremacist group consisting of urban, middle- class whites that fought desegregation.• First meeting: July 11, 1954 in Mississippi.• Civil rights activists called them the “white-collar Klan”, after the Ku Klux Klan.• Wanted to control blacks more through economic reprisals than violence.• A Council leader said their goal was “to make it difficult, if not impossible, for any Negro who advocates desegregation to find and hold a job, get credit, or renew a mortgage.”• Organization mainly in southern states.
Montgomery Bus Boycott Dec 5, 1955 – Dec 21, 1956• More than 75% of ridership on buses in Montgomery, Alabama consisted of black people. Without their patronage, the bus system couldn‟t run.• Boycotts were staged all over Montgomery, and black people were arrested for not giving their seats to white people.• Dec 1st, 1955 – Rosa Parks refuses to give up her seat to a white man and is arrested.• Jo Ann Robinson, president of the Women‟s Political Council, helped organize the boycott.• The boycott was successful, the Montgomery public transportation system was crippled economically and on June 4th, 1956 the federal district court ruled that Alabama‟s bus segregation laws were unconstitutional.
"Another woman has been arrested and thrown in jail becauseshe refused to get up out of her seat on the bus for a white personto sit down. It is the second time since the Claudette Colvin casethat a Negro woman has been arrested for the same thing. Thishas to be stopped. Negroes have rights too, for if Negroes did notride the buses, they could not operate. Three-fourths of the ridersare Negro, yet we are arrested, or have to stand over emptyseats. If we do not do something to stop these arrests, they willcontinue. The next time it may be you, or your daughter, ormother. This womans case will come up on Monday. We are,therefore, asking every Negro to stay off the buses Monday inprotest of the arrest and trial. Dont ride the buses to work, totown, to school, or anywhere on Monday. You can afford to stayout of school for one day if you have no other way to go exceptby bus. You can also afford to stay out of town for one day. Ifyou work, take a cab, or walk. But please, children and grown-ups, dont ride the bus at all on Monday. Please stay off all busesMonday."
Montgomery Bus Boycott (cont.)• MLK Jr. was chosen as the president of the Montgomery Improvement Association, an organization of black community leaders and ministers who were instrumental in organizing the boycott.• MIA‟ goal was “to carry on nonviolent crusades against the evils of second-class citizenship.”• MLK Jr. was arrested under an old Alabama statute that said people couldn‟t boycott. This helped bring national attention to the Montgomery boycott.
Little Rock – Sep 4, 1957 Racist. • “Little Rock Nine” – group of African American students barred from entering Little Rock Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. • Governor Orval Faubus sent the Arkansas National Guard to prevent the students from entering the school. • On September 4th, President Eisenhower ordered the 101st Airborne Division to escort the students inside amidst screaming of lynching from the crazy mob surrounding them.Elizabeth Eckford
Sit-Ins• Feb 1, 1960 – 4 college students staged a sit-in at the lunch counter of an F.W. Woolworth in Greensboro, NC.• This first sit-in was not very effective, but a larger group returned the next day and college campuses and news outlets started spreading the word.• In some instances black students were attacked by white gangs, and the police arrested them for „disorderly conduct‟.• As a result of these sit-ins, the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee was formed.• Non-violent protest is awesome guys.
SCLC• Southern Christian Leadership Conference• Established in 1957.• President: MLK Jr.• Formed to coordinate and support nonviolent direct action as a method of desegregating bus systems across the South during and after the Montgomery Bus Boycott.• Called on the power and independence of black churches throughout the South.
SNCC• Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee.• Grew from a series of student meetings led by Ella Baker held at Shaw University in Raleigh, North Carolina in April 1960.• Played a major role in sit-ins and freedom rides.• Organized voter registration drives all over the South, especially in Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi.
Freedom Riders• Civil rights activists who rode interstate buses into the segregated southern United States in 1961 to try and desegregate bus terminals.• These activists were usually members of SNCC and CORE.• They were often arrested and faced violent mobs.• On May 14th, 1961 the KKK attacked a Greyhound bus, one of two in a group, and firebombed it in Anniston, AL. When the passengers escaped the mob started beating them and only stopped when policeman fired in the air.• When the second bus, a Trailways, arrived in Anniston, the KKK boarded the bus and beat the passengers and left them on the bus. Later, when the bus arrived in Birmingan, AL, more KKK members attacked the riders. This mob was aided by notorious Commissioner Bull Connor who was notorious for using his law enforcement to terrorize African Americans.
CORE• Congress of Racial Equality• Founded in Chicago in 1942 by James L. Farmer, Jr., George Houser, James R. Robinson, and Bernice Fisher.• Sought to apply the principles of nonviolence as a tactic against segregation.• Funded most of the Freedom Rides.• Stated to be open to "anyone who believes that all people are created equal and is willing to work towards the ultimate goal of true equality throughout the world.”
James Meredith• First black student to attend the University of Mississippi.• Applied twice, but was rejected so he filed a complaint with the courts that he had been rejected by the university simply because he was black.• His complaint was rejected by a district court, but on appeal, the Fifth Judicial Circuit Court supported him and ruled against the district court stating that the University of Mississippi was indeed maintaining a policy of segregation in its admissions policy.• He received threats, and all this hullabaloo caused riots.• He attended the university anyway because he‟s just that awesome.
March on Washington ~ August 28th, 1963 • Called for civil and economic rights for African Americans. • MLK Jr. gave his “I Have A Dream Speech” here. • Between 200,000 and 300,000 people were in attendance. • It is largely credited with helping pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. • Organized by A. Philip Randolph.
Birmingham Church Bombing• 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama was bombed on Sunday, September 15, 1963 as an act of racially motivated terrorism.• 4 young girls were killed, 22 other people were injured.• Birmingham was one of the most violent anti- integration cities in the south, church bombings were common.• This violent act was committed by the KKK.• This incident inspired the poem „The Ballad of Birmingham‟ by Dudley Randall.
Important Legislation• 24th Amendment: Eliminated poll tax, ratified in 1964.• Civil Rights Act of 1964: Outlawed major forms of discrimination against African Americans and women, including racial segregation, also ended unequal application of voter registration requirements and racial segregation in schools, at the workplace and by facilities that served the general public. Signed into law by LBJ.• Voting Rights Act of 1965: Outlawed discriminatory policies such as literary tests for blacks at the voting booths. LBJ did this as well.• Executive Order 11246: Employers can‟t discriminate when hiring, LBJ again.
More Court Cases• Loving v. VA (1967): Legalized interracial marriage. Plaintiffs Mildred Loving and Richard Perry Loving went up against the state of VA, the SCOTUS overturned VA‟s Racial Integrity Act of 1964.• Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education (1971): Were federal courts constitutionally authorized to oversee and produce remedies for state-imposed segregation? Yes, basically told schools to find ways to integrate.
Works Cited• The American Pageant Textbook• Eyes on the Prize: America‟s Civil Rights Years, 1954-1965 by Juan Williams• http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/aaohtml/exhibit/aopart8.html• http://www.slideshare.net/menmaatre.kiya/african-american-civil- rights-notes-18651992• http://www.pbs.org/wnet/aaworld/timeline/civil_01.html• http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/01/17/i-have-a-dream- speech-text_n_809993.html• http://www.watson.org/~lisa/blackhistory/early- civilrights/brown.html• http://www.jimcrowhistory.org/resources/lessonplans/hs_es_emm ett_till.htm