1964: Civil Rights in AmericaBy: Brianna Bennett
Research Question: How did the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and events involving racial segregation during that period (Mississippi Burning Trial, Race riots, etc.) have affect on the way discrimination is viewed in America today?
Civil Rights Act 1964• On July 2, 1964 President Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act into law.Before the government had passed this act, John F. Kennedy was killed and Johnson used the shock of his death to push the act forward to advance African-Americans within the U.S. society ▫ Though Kennedy believed in civil rights for blacks, in 1963 he wanted to proceed slowly with passing the act because he feared political backlash ▫ In LBJ’s words, "no memorial or eulogy could more eloquently honor President Kennedys memory than the earliest possible passage of the civil rights bill for which he fought."It guaranteed that "No person in the United States shall, on the ground of race, color, or national origin, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination.”
Civil Rights Act of 1964 also…authorized the Department of Justice to bring legal action against segregationbanned segregation in all public MLK and Johnson during signing of Civil Rights Act facilities outlawed not only racial discrimination in employment, but religious and sex discrimination as well (Title VII)
Civil Rights Act 1964Though the act could not change the racial opinions of some people in America by force, the law did have positive affects.IMPACTS:• In 1964, only two southern states (Tennessee and Texas) had more than 2% of their black students enrolled in integrated schools.• Because of Title VI, about 6% of the black students in the South were in integrated schools by the next year. ▫ *Title VI protects people from discrimination based on race, color or national origin in programs or activities that receive Federal financial assistance*
Civil Rights Act of 1964IMPACTS:• "Whites only" water fountains, pools and restaurants became illegal• "no blacks need apply" job announcements became a violation of federal law• Women had greater job opportunities also"Male only" job notices became illegal for the first time!
Civil Rights Act of 1964FOLLOWING:• Riots Occurred- some African-Americans in north-eastern cities believed the act did not go far enough
Following…Mississippi FreedomDemocratic Party Steps Up• The Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party demanded to have seats at the Democratic Party Convention in Atlantic City ▫ They believed that they were more representative of the people who lived in Mississippi than the politicians who would usually have attended such conventionsAbout MFDP:1. Established in April 1964 Overall, Johnson was dismayed by the lack of public support
Following… March 1964• Malcolm X breaks with the Nation of Islam, and begins his own group, the Organization of Afro- American Unity.• Promotes peaceful co-existance between whites and blacks as well as equal rights for blacks
July 18, 1964• James Powell, a 15 year old black resident of Harlem, was shot and killed by an off duty white police officer named Thomas G. Gilligan. Powell and his two other friends were involved in horseplay and, supposedly, were bothering and messing around with a building superintendent, Patrick Lynch.• Lynch sprayed the boys with his garden hose. The two other boys chased Lynch and as Powell went to follow along with them, Lt. Gilligan intervened and shot at James twice, with the second bullet being fatal.• Members of Powell’s community were outraged, and like wild fire, their anger spread.
Sparks start • On July 16th through the 17th, protests were organized by the CORE (Congress of Racial Equality) to have the prosecution of the offending officer • CORE addressed the issue of police brutality occurring in the 60’s; it was an issue that concerned the organization greatly • On July 18th, protestors marched on the 28th Precinct in Harlem, NY ▫ Police confronted the protestors, and violence broke out ▫ This was the start of the Harlem Race Riots
Harlem Race RiotsWhat started as a protest march to the police station began to escalate into a six day rampage of violence;*Ironically, it occurred only 2 weeks after President Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964.A few types of examples of police brutality was:• spraying the black crowds with a fire hose,• attack dogs,• and physical abuse with weapons against the riots of the black community.Despite the protests, later on in the year, a grand jury found Lt. Gilligan not guilty and he did not face any criminal charges.
Sounds a little similar… The recent Zimmerman and Martin case, in which the unarmed teenage black boy Trayvon Martin was killed by a white neighborhood watchman, has caused an uproar by members of Martin’s community and efforts for Zimmerman’s arrest to be pushed forth. Resembling the Powell case in the 60’s, these prime examples of racial predjudice show that America is continuing to deal with racial profiling issues today.
Moving Forward• During the midst of the Civil Rights movements, students from Universities from the North went to the South to help African Americans register to vote and participate in the voting process- free from fear and intimidation. Young people were hoping to move the Civil Right’s Act forward by joining organizations and participating in marches for what they believed was right.
Mississippi Summer Project A civil rights movement in 1964, named Freedom Summer, was a campaign launched to get African Americans in the southern United States registered to vote. Thousands of students and civil rights activists, both white and black, joined the organization Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) and traveled to southern states to register voters. They mostly emphasized voter registration rather than desegregation as a goal.
Mississippi Summer Project• It was launched in June, 1964 and ended in late August 1964 ▫ GOAL: to get as many of the state’s African Americans to vote as possibleWhite supremacists responded by harassing, arresting, and attacking (in some cases fatally) the activists.• Between June 20 and August 26, the following events had occurred in Mississippi: ▫ 4 activists killed ▫ 4 critically injured ▫ 80 were beaten ▫ Roughly 1,000 were arrested ▫ 37 churches were burned/bombed ▫ 30 homes/businesses as well
Volunteers and Activists- Every DayOccurancesWhen the buses arrived in Mississippi , protesters against the civil rights activists violently attacked; buses were set on fire, mobs used clubs to hit the volunteers, and guns were shot.Reported witness William Orrick of the Justice Department: “People with no apparent connection were beaten, a boy’s leg was broken, and another boy had inflammable liquid poured over him and set on fire.”Frank Cieciorka stated, “I was beaten once, involved in high-speed chases twice, and jailed four times.”Deborah Rand recalled, “As I walked down the street with my Freedom School students, cars swerved trying to hit us.”
Freedom Summer Cont.• On June 14, 1964 the ﬁrst group of summer volunteers began training at Western College for Women in Oxford, Ohio.• Of the approximately 1,000 volunteers, the majority were white northern college students from middle and upper class backgrounds.• The training sessions were intended to: ▫ prepare volunteers to register black voters, ▫ teach literacy and civics at Freedom Schools, ▫ and promote the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party’s challenge to the all-white Democratic delegation at that summer’s Democratic National Convention in Atlantic City, New Jersey.Only one week after their meetings in Oxford, 3 civil rights workers are reported missing….
The Mississippi Burning TrialOn August 4 in Neshoba County, Mississippi, 3 bodies are found in a dam after 6 weeks of investigation by the FBI (backed by the President) Michael Schwerner, Andrew Goodman, and James Chaney were three civil rights activists involved with the Mississippi Summer Project who were killed by members of the Ku Klux Klan.BEFORE THE KILLING• Schwerner and Chaney were working near Neshoba County, Mississippi to accomplish tasks such as opening “Freedom Schools”, organizing black boycotts of white-owned businesses , and to register African-Americans to vote. ▫ *The work these activists were doing enraged members of the Ku Klux Klan, who were becoming very active in Mississippi during the 60’s. They wanted to get rid of as many prominent workers as they could *
The Mississippi Burning Trial• Michael Schwerner became a target by members of the Klan because he was successful in organizing a boycott of a variety store in Meridian until the store hired its first African-American employee.• The hatred the Klan grew for him was also because Schwerner was Jewish, and the KKK referred to him as “Jew Boy” or “Goatee”.• Sam Bowers was the Imperial Wizard of the White Knights during "Freedom Summer" and had an intense dislike for Schwerner. He was the one who ordered Schwerner to be killed by activating “Plan 4” Sam Bowers
The Mississippi Burning TrialPLAN 4• The Klan was aware that Schwerner had a meeting at Mount Zion Church, which was to be a future location for one of the many Freedom Schools that were opening throughout Mississippi.• However, the KKK were misinformed because when they showed up to the church, Schwerner was not there; he was actually in Oxford, Ohio along with Chaney and Goodman attending a seminar. With rage, members began beating the church members before they burned it to the ground.• Learning about the fire, all 3 activists returned to investigate the church. It was there in Neshoba County, Mississippi that they learned from other community members that they were being targeted by some local white men.
The Mississippi Burning Trial• Heading back to Meridian and a few miles outside of Philadelphia, the three driving in a blue Core-Wagon were spotted by Klan member, Deputy Sheriff Cecil Price.• Price pulled the wagon over and arrested the three students for being under suspicion of arson in the Mount Zion Church fire.• Price freed the three jailed men around 10 p.m. and followed them as they drove down Highway 19.• The CORE group realized that Price was chasing them, and a high speed chase occurred until Chaney stopped the car and surrendered to Price.
Wayne RobertsThe Mississippi Burning Trial• The three men were placed in Prices patrol car and Price, followed by two cars of young Klan members, drove down a dirt road called Rock Cut Road.• Price then handed the men over to the other members of the KKK in the two cars.• The three were taken from the car, and were beaten severely. 26- year-old Wayne Roberts, shot Schwerner, then Goodman, then Chaney.
•On August 4, the FBI discovered their bodies hidden in a dam lying on a nearby farm. •19 of the men were arrested, but a week later, charges were dismissed by Federal Judge William Harold Cox (extreme segregationist) •It was not until March, 1966 that the U.S. Supreme Court would over-rule Cox Andrew’s father issued a statement that was published nationwide: “Our grief, though personal, belongs to the nation. The values our son expressed in his simple action of going to Mississippi are still the bonds thatAndrew Goodman, James Chaney bind this nation together.”and Michael Schwerner (Left to right)
Lawrence Rainey, Neshoba County Sheriff, and his deputy, Cecil Price at 1964 hearingThe Mississippi Burning Trial:WHAT HAPPENED AFTERWARDS……. Price and Posey received six years.Roberts (shooter) and Bowers (planner) received ten years.All others (15 KKK members involved with Plan 4) received four years.
Mississippi Burning MovieReceiving 7.8 stars out of 10, the 1988“Mississippi Burning” movie was anemotionally powerful film that was based onthe murders of Chaney, Schwerner, andGoodman.1964: When America was at war… withitself
“It is not enough to say we must notwage war. It is necessary to love peaceand sacrifice for it.”
Martin Luther King Jr.Martin Luther King played a huge part in fighting for civil rights in the 60’s and was recognized for his achievements. He was….• leader of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference• named Time Person of the Year in 1963• awarded the American Liberties Medallion by the American Jewish Committee for his "exceptional advancement of the principles of human liberty“ in 1965• awarded the Margaret Sanger Award for “his courageous resistance to bigotry and his lifelong dedication to the advancement of social justice and human dignity.” in 1965 as well• awarded the Marcus Garvey Prize for Human Rights by Jamaica in 1968.
Nobel Peace Prize of 1964Martin Luther King Jr. was the youngest man to have received the Nobel Peace Prize, at the age of 35. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for his work in settling racial disputes with nonviolence and his belief in equality. After winning the award, he announced that he would donate the prize money of $54,123 to the furtherance of the civil rights movement.
Oral HistoryWho? – My great-grandma OrrShe’s in her early 80’s; during the 60’s she was in her 30’s.She is a very interesting person to talk to!
Oral HistoryQuestion #1:The South was known for its strong racism in the 60’s. (Mississippi) Living in Ohio during the 1960’s, were there any signs of segregation in the North? If so, can you give me some examples?Answer: “No, I do not remember any signs of segregation where I lived. There were definitely no separate bathrooms, eating areas, water fountains and such for black and whites where I lived; some places in the south were a whole’nother story.”
Oral HistoryQuestion #2: What do you remember about the deaths of the 3 civil rights workers in Neshoba, Mississippi? (near Philadelphia, Miss.) Was it a big deal here or did it only make headlines in the South?Answer: “Oh, I don’t recall the names of the fellows, but I DO remember hearing about the murders of the civil rights workers. Yes, I do remember! But I don’t remember how much they talked about it here… I believe it was a bigger deal in some areas then others. I just remember hearing about it.”[Begins talking about babysitting in Nova Scotia]
Oral HistoryQuestion #3: Many race riots occurred in the 60’s, such as the Harlem Race Riots. Where there any
Oral HistoryQuestion #3: When the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed, did you think it was a step forward towards racial equality?Answer: “I believe so. It outlawed many issues with discrimination, and I think it made a positive change on America.
sourceshttp://www.kingian.net/ Site for teens on non violence and the ideas of Martin Luther King Jr.http://www.thekingcenter.org/ Speeches, biography, educational activities from the• King Center in Atlanta• http://www.factmonster.com/ce6/history/A085 8852.html
sources• http://crime.about.com/od/history/p/ms_burn. htm• http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/peace/ laureates/1964/king.html• http://crdl.usg.edu/events/ny_race_riots/?Wel come james powell• http://www.detroits-great- rebellion.com/Harlem-riot.html