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Civil Rights


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Civil Rights

  1. 1. The Civil Rights Movement We Shall Overcome!
  2. 18. Origins of Civil Rights Problems <ul><li>Slavery (of course) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Centuries of slavery created a sense of superiority among whites; generated prejudices and stereotypes that were very difficult to dislodge </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Also created a sense of fear among whites: a fear of rebellion </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Jim Crow laws after the Civil War </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Caste system created, especially in the South. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Daily offenses against blacks: school segregation, separate waiting rooms, water fountains, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Political offenses: blacks kept from voting; serving on juries. </li></ul></ul>
  3. 19. Origins of Civil Rights Problems <ul><li>Sharecropping: Created economic dependency </li></ul><ul><li>Lynching: Created fear among African-Americans. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Late 1800s-early 1900s: avg. 100 lynchings per year. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Worst year- 1892: 161 recorded lynchings. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In excess of 85% of these mob murders occurred in the South. </li></ul></ul>
  4. 22. Emmett Till
  5. 23. A “legal” foundation: Plessey v. Ferguson <ul><li>June 7, 1892, Homer Plessey purchases first class ticket on East Louisiana Railway to Covington. </li></ul><ul><li>50 miles round trip. </li></ul><ul><li>He wanted and expected to be arrested for violating the 1890 state law requiring that “no person or persons shall be permitted to occupy seats in coaches, other than the ones assigned to them on account of the race they belong to.” The law required “equal but separate” facilities. </li></ul>
  6. 24. Plessey v. Ferguson <ul><li>Plessey got on board, sat in white section. </li></ul><ul><li>Conductor ordered him to move. He refused. Arrested and taken to jail in New Orleans. </li></ul><ul><li>Plessey actually had to arrange his arrest because he was so light skinned that he looked white. </li></ul>
  7. 25. Plessey v. Ferguson <ul><li>Case took 4 years to get to Supreme Court. </li></ul><ul><li>By time case reached court, attitudes had become even more hostile towards blacks. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Jim Crow laws began to prevent blacks from voting. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reconstruction laws protecting blacks repealed. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Court ruled against Plessey’s 14th Amendment claims. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ct. differentiated between political and social rights. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ If one race be inferior to the other socially, the Constitution of the United State cannot put them upon the same plane.” </li></ul></ul></ul>
  8. 26. Plessey v. Ferguson <ul><li>Far reaching implications of Plessey . </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Separate but equal doctrine </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Allowed for segregation in many areas. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Schools included. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  9. 27. The Civil Rights Movement in the 1940s <ul><li>Domestic racism interferes with Cold War, especially propaganda and appeals to new nations </li></ul><ul><li>African Americans leave WWII ready to challenge racism and their political power grows in urban north; Truman needs this vote </li></ul><ul><li>Truman also upset by racial violence/inequality </li></ul><ul><li>Creates Committee on Civil Rights and orders desegregation of US Government/military </li></ul>
  10. 28. Supreme Court Decisions on Civil Rights <ul><li>NAACP brings series of cases to challenge segregation as violation of 14th Amendment </li></ul><ul><li>NAACP wins admission of black students to white professional and graduate schools </li></ul><ul><li>In Brown v. Board of Education Of Topeka (1954); Warrens rules “separate but equal has no place” in education </li></ul><ul><li>Energizes African American action/protest </li></ul>
  11. 29. Brown v. Board of Education <ul><li>Brown argument and decision really a combination with other cases </li></ul><ul><li>Briggs v. Elliot , for example. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Briggs from rural S. Carolina where there was a long tradition of Jim Crow. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>70% of Clarendon County residents black. More than 1/3 of blacks over 10 could not read. Children attended very poor schools, most w/o electricity or plumbing. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>County spend $179 per white student; $43 per black student. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Indoor toilets in white schools; outhouses in black. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Desks for every white student; in one black school not a single desk for students. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Whites schools had lunchrooms; none of black schools did. </li></ul></ul>
  12. 30. Brown v. Board of Education <ul><li>Psychological research used. Kenneth Clark’s doll study. </li></ul><ul><li>White and black dolls. </li></ul><ul><li>Asked students to identify white and black dolls. They could. </li></ul><ul><li>Asked for the “nice” doll, the “doll you like to play with,” the “doll that looks bad,” the “doll that is a nice color.” </li></ul><ul><li>Black children disproportionately chose white and one to play with and as nice doll, and chose black as the “bad” one. </li></ul><ul><li>This study was done in Clarendon county. Replicated in New York City, Philadelphia, Boston, and communities in Arkansas. </li></ul><ul><li>“ Schools could buy newer books or hire better teachers for black students, but they could not erase feelings of inferiority from their minds. “ </li></ul>
  13. 31. Brown v. Board of Education <ul><li>Warren’s decision stressed psychological impact </li></ul><ul><li>“ Importance of education in a democratic society.” Need schools to foster values and citizenship. </li></ul><ul><li>Separation by race indicates “inferiority of the Negro group.” “To separate them from others of similar age and qualifications soley because of their race generates a feeling of inferiority as to their status in the community that may affect their hearts and minds in a way unlikely to ever be undone.” </li></ul>
  14. 32. Brown v. Board of Education <ul><li>Unanimous decision striking down school segregation. </li></ul><ul><li>“Separate is inherently unequal.” </li></ul><ul><li>Implementation of the decision to take place “with all deliberate speed.” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What does this mean? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>To most of the South, it meant as slow as possible. </li></ul></ul>
  15. 33. White Resistance to Civil Rights <ul><li>KKK violence surges; middle-class White Citizens’ Councils prefer economic pressure </li></ul><ul><li>Southern states pass laws to resist Brown </li></ul><ul><li>Eisenhower refuses to say he will enforce Brown </li></ul><ul><li>Eisenhower eventually acts in Little Rock, AR (1957–58), but only after state resistance and white mobs create potential for violence </li></ul>
  16. 34. A Movement Begins <ul><li>In the mid-1950s, a broad-based movement of African-Americans predicated on a belief in the use of non-violent civil disobedience began. </li></ul><ul><li>The origins of this movement can be found in India. </li></ul>
  17. 35. Gandhi and Non-Violent Civil Disobedience <ul><li>Concept of Civil Disobedience we are familiar w/ from Thoreau </li></ul><ul><ul><li>For Thoreau it seems a rather individual act- to be at peace w/ one’s conscience </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>With Mohandas Gandhi it becomes a tactic of creating social change towards justice. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>First learned principles of non-violent resistance in South Africa </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Laws discriminated against Indians there as against Blacks. </li></ul></ul>
  18. 36. Gandhi and Non-Violent Civil Disobedience <ul><li>Key principle of non-violent resistance: ahisma </li></ul><ul><li>“ non-harm” </li></ul><ul><li>since no group has absolute claim to truth, no group should use violence to compel others to act against their own understanding of truth. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>W/o this thinking, ‘saints’ can become more murderous than ‘sinners’- dogmatic certainty is dangerous. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>influenced by Tolstoy’s The Kingdom of God is Within You </li></ul><ul><ul><li>said he was “overwhelmed” by its argument. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>a Christian argument against the use of force (by individual or government using individuals) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>shows Gandhi’s openness. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  19. 37. Gandhi and Non-Violent Civil Disobedience <ul><li>At first he called this ‘passive resistance’. Later rejected this term- non-violent action is not passive- very energetic. </li></ul><ul><li>He later rejected that term and replaced it w/ satyagraha </li></ul><ul><ul><li>this word combines Hindu words for “truth” and “hold firmly” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>sometimes translated as ‘truth force’ or ‘soul force’ </li></ul></ul>
  20. 38. Gandhi and Non-Violent Civil Disobedience <ul><li>To make satyagraha a practical tool, had to bring pressure to bear on the opponents. </li></ul><ul><li>“ I do not believe in making appeals when there is no force behind them, whether moral or material.” </li></ul><ul><li>Practicality of satyagraha lies in the fact, according to Gandhi, that rulers are dependent upon the cooperation of the ruled for any system to work. But, the ruled have the choice of whether to obey or resist. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Non-cooperation thus becomes a very powerful activity </li></ul></ul>
  21. 39. Gandhi and Non-Violent Civil Disobedience <ul><li>Satyagraha not for saints- all people could prepare themselves and use the method. </li></ul><ul><li>Preparation important. Not enough to have self-rule. Must also have self-discipline. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Thich Nhat Hanh- have Statue of Liberty on east coast, should have Statue of Responsibility on west coast. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Gandhi believed that needed to purge society of weaknesses brought by British (commercialism, for example) and home-grown weaknesses (caste system, forced marriages) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Gandhi early in his work in India sought to erase barriers, between Hindu/Muslim, men/women, castes </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Freedom a personal as well as a political condition. </li></ul>
  22. 40. Gandhi and Non-Violent Civil Disobedience <ul><li>The Method: </li></ul><ul><li>Declare opposition to the unjust law </li></ul><ul><ul><li>do not try to be secretive </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>make moral arguments </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>appeal to justice </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Break the unjust law </li></ul><ul><ul><li>refuse to comply w/ injustice </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>do so out in the open </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>do not engage in general lawlessness- break only the unjust law </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Suffer the consequences </li></ul><ul><ul><li>may be legal consequences (prison, fine, etc.) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>may be physical abuse </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>may be social consequences </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Do so in a way that brings pressure to bear on the perpetrators of injustice </li></ul>
  23. 41. Gandhi’s Guide to Action <ul><li>Keep thoughts positive, because thoughts become words. </li></ul><ul><li>Keep words positive because words become behavior. </li></ul><ul><li>Keep behavior positive because behavior becomes habit. </li></ul><ul><li>Keep habit positive because habit becomes values. </li></ul><ul><li>Keep values positive because values become destiny. </li></ul>Thoughts » Words » Behavior » Habits » Values » Destiny
  24. 42. <ul><li>Wealth without Work </li></ul><ul><li>Pleasure without Conscience </li></ul><ul><li>Science without Humanity </li></ul><ul><li>Knowledge without Character </li></ul><ul><li>Politics without Principle </li></ul><ul><li>Commerce without Morality </li></ul><ul><li>Worship without Sacrifice </li></ul>Gandhi's Seven Deadly Sins <ul><li>An 8 th (added by Gandhi’s grandson): </li></ul><ul><li>Rights without Responsibility </li></ul>
  25. 43. Civil Rights Movement and Non-violence From Gandhi to King and Beyond <ul><li>1936 Dr. Howard Thurman, African-American minister, met w/ Gandhi. 1 year later two others came. To see if Gandhi’s methods would work in US South. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Gandhi told them that non-violence “cannot be preached. It can only be practiced.” Not just by individuals as if a moral choice, but “on a mass scale.” </li></ul></ul>
  26. 44. Civil Rights Movement and Non-violence <ul><li>Montgomery Bus Boycott and the Beloved Community </li></ul><ul><li>Dec. 1, 1955- Rosa Parks arrested for violating bus segregation laws. </li></ul><ul><li>Women in community who had been active in civil rights decided to organize a one day boycott for Monday Dec. 5. Expanded into more. </li></ul>
  27. 45. Civil Rights Movement and Non-violence <ul><li>Formed an organization Montgomery Improvement Association. Dr. King elected President. </li></ul><ul><li>New in town. Not all that well known. Preacher at Joanne Robinson’s church, and she was one of the prime organizers of the original boycott. </li></ul><ul><li>His opening speech- p. 22, Beloved Community . </li></ul><ul><li>As Boycott grew and expanded in time, King’s philosophy of non-violence developed in the face of increasing threats against him, and the bombing of his house. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>King’s words, p. 37-9, Beloved Community . </li></ul></ul><ul><li>King spoke of the power and dignity of resisting injustice non-violently. “With love and unrelenting courage.” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>In anticipation of “the coming new world in which men will live together as brothers.” </li></ul></ul>
  28. 46. Civil Rights Movement and Non-violence <ul><li>King related the non-violent struggle to “picking up one’s cross.” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>non-violent resistance embodies the event of the cross in the human struggle for justice. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>King looked for guidance to Gandhi’s work. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>saw his activities as “complementing the long tradition of our Christian faith” (relate to Gandhi’s reading of Tolstoy, the consilience of religions) . Gandhi supplied the Christian doctrine of love w/ a strategy of social protest. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>King’s copies of Gandhi’s works became worn and tattered over time w/ reading. </li></ul></ul>
  29. 47. Civil Rights Movement and Non-violence <ul><li>The Beloved Community. </li></ul><ul><li>“where the kingdom of God meets the American dream.” </li></ul><ul><li>belief in love between people, human progress. </li></ul><ul><li>rather like the social gospel movement we studied earlier. </li></ul><ul><li>“segregation is the blatant denial of all we have in Jesus Christ.” The beloved community is a new space of reconciliation introduced into history. </li></ul>
  30. 48. Civil Rights Movement and Non-violence <ul><li>Nashville Sit-Ins </li></ul><ul><li>Jim Lawson- teacher of non-violent methods of civil disobedience. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Had read about Gandhi- who got good coverage in black newspapers. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Went to prison for refusing to submit to draft in Korean War. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Went to India after college. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Went to be a missionary/teacher at a college. While he went to teach, his true mission was to learn- about Gandhi and his methods. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>For Lawson, being Gandhian and being Christian became the same thing. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>While in India, read about the bus boycott in 1955. He came home in ’56, prepared to participate in the struggle. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  31. 49. Civil Rights Movement and Non-violence <ul><li>Nashville saw itself as a progressive city, but segregation still very persistent: Couldn’t eat at lunch counters; had to enter movie theaters through alley door and sit in balcony; excluded from public pools and golf courses; in banks, department stores, and restaurants, could only work in back, out of sight. </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A virtual caste system. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Significant number of young blacks in town attending predominantly black colleges, such as Fisk. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>some had lived w/ segregation their whole lives as southerners </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>some feeling it for the first time as northerners who came to college. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Most not eager to do anything on civil rights- afraid to make waves. </li></ul></ul>
  32. 50. Civil Rights Movement and Non-violence <ul><li>Some students were eager. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Diane Nash- from Chicago. John Lewis- a poor southern student. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Lawson began organizing workshops. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Taught the philosophy of non-violence: its morality and how it would be effective. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Taught techniques of handling verbal and physical assaults </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>the strong and courageous are unharmed by words. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>curl up and protect internal organs and head when struck. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Also taught that there would be negative consequences to their actions, and they had to be prepared for that </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Self-discipline built through the workshops. Lawson emphasized “the necessity of fierce discipline and training and strategizing and planning and recruiting … That can’t be done spontaneously. It has to be done systematically.” Anything less would dissolve under the force that would meet them. </li></ul></ul>
  33. 51. Civil Rights Movement and Non-violence <ul><li>Nashville students began their sit-ins in February of 1960. </li></ul><ul><li>Pressure on system- </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Students to fall in behind students who were arrested and take their seats- fill the jails </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Boycott of downtown by adults </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>March after bombing- confrontation w/ Mayor West on steps. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Key role of Diane Nash: After CT Vivian attacked the Mayor verbally, Nash appealed to Mayor’s sense of decency. When he admitted he though segregation of the counters was wrong and should be ended, the system crumbled. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>This was the sort of transformation that Gandhian satyagraha was supposed to produce. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  34. 52. Civil Rights Movement and Non-violence <ul><li>By end of April, sit-ins had spread to 78 cities in the South. About 70,000 students protested. About 3,000 went to jail at some point. </li></ul><ul><li>The days of Jim Crow were numbered. When the ruled refuse to cooperate w/ injustice, the injustice will fall. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Gandhi’s message was being implemented in America. </li></ul></ul>
  35. 53. Protests against Segregation & for the Vote <ul><li>SCLC and SNCC use sit-ins; CORE uses Freedom Rides; ‘63 freedom vote also tried </li></ul><ul><li>In response, JFK begins to act (U of MS, ‘62; U of AL, ‘63; submits legislation, ‘63) </li></ul><ul><li>In March on Washington (Aug.’63) 250,000 peacefully protest in support of legislation </li></ul><ul><li>TV records white violence: death of Evers, Birmingham police, church bombing (‘63) </li></ul>
  36. 54. LBJ’s Great Society <ul><li>Program builds on ideas of FDR, HST, JFK </li></ul><ul><li>Civil Rights Act of ‘64 bans discrimination in public accommodations and employment </li></ul><ul><li>Empowers Justice Dept. to end school segregation and promote voting rights </li></ul><ul><li>24th Amendment bans poll taxes (‘64) </li></ul><ul><li>Equal Employment Opportunity Comm (‘64) investigates job discrimination </li></ul>
  37. 55. Election of 1964; Voting Rights Act of 1965 <ul><li>LBJ appeals to majority desire for continued economic growth and social justice </li></ul><ul><li>Crushes Goldwater; Dems dominate Cong, ‘65-66 and pass most reforms since New Deal </li></ul><ul><li>Att Gen able to supervise voter registration </li></ul><ul><li>See Map 30.1 for explosion in black voting </li></ul><ul><li>Elementary and Secondary Education Act ‘65 provides first federal funding to education </li></ul>
  38. 56. War on Poverty <ul><li>Start with Economic Opportunity Act (1964) and then create/expand Job Corps, Head Start, Upward Bound, VISTA, Model Cities </li></ul><ul><li>Medicare (elderly) and Medicaid (poor), 1965 </li></ul><ul><li>See Table 30.1* for flurry of legislation </li></ul><ul><li>Mixed success: “community action” angers mayors; confusion of so many programs </li></ul><ul><li>Rural poverty doesn’t drop much; still migration </li></ul><ul><li>* A People & a Nation, Sixth Edition </li></ul>
  39. 57. War on Poverty (cont.) <ul><li>Great Society and economic growth cuts poor from 25% to 11% of population by 1973 </li></ul><ul><li>Big drop in elderly poverty (40% to 16%) </li></ul><ul><li>Poverty drops for families headed by males, but many women/children (11 million) in female-headed homes remain poor by 1973 </li></ul><ul><li>See Figure 30.1 for poverty change by race: poverty drops faster for whites than blacks </li></ul>
  40. 58. The Warren Court <ul><li>Continues liberal reform even when Great Society stalls over Vietnam and race riots </li></ul><ul><li>Baker v. Carr (1962): one person, one vote </li></ul><ul><li>Griswold v. CT (1965): right of privacy voids legal restrictions on access to birth control </li></ul><ul><li>Gideon (1963), Escobedo (1964), and Miranda (1966) increase protections for accused </li></ul><ul><li>Court bans prayer/Bible readings in schools </li></ul>
  41. 59. Civil Rights Disillusionment <ul><li>Democrats’ response to MFDP (1964) alienates activists; anti-civil rights actions by Hoover and FBI increase alienation </li></ul><ul><li>Early race riots occur in NY and NJ (1964) in response to white police brutality </li></ul><ul><li>Northern African Americans upset with lack of improvement in ghettos (same for West) </li></ul><ul><li>Suffer poverty, unemployment, segregation </li></ul>
  42. 60. Race Riots, 1965–68 <ul><li>Watts (1965) is first major riot as blacks loot white-owned stores and fight white police </li></ul><ul><li>Violence grows; 1967 very bloody (Newark and Detroit); same in 1968 after King’s death </li></ul><ul><li>National Advisory Committee on Civil Disorders (1968) blames white racism as source of riots </li></ul><ul><li>Many blacks (especially in North) start to question effectiveness of nonviolent protest </li></ul>
  43. 61. Malcolm X <ul><li>Spokesman for Nation of Islam; espouses black pride and separation from “white devil” </li></ul><ul><li>Advocates self-defense when faced with white violence; rejects King’s passive resistance </li></ul><ul><li>Fellow Muslims assassinate him (1965) when he softens his opposition to whites and expresses cautious support for nonviolence </li></ul><ul><li>Becomes hero to Black Power Movement </li></ul>
  44. 62. Black Power (post-1965) <ul><li>Growing movement among young blacks </li></ul><ul><li>Stress need for African Americans to control their own institutions/organizations </li></ul><ul><li>SNCC (1966) and CORE (1967) expel white members and reject goal of integration </li></ul><ul><li>Black Panthers blend black nationalism with revolutionary communism; institute programs to improve ghetto life </li></ul>