Civil Rights Unit Clare,Ashley,Morgan


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Civil Rights Unit Clare,Ashley,Morgan

  1. 1. Were African-Americans able to improve their situation as citizens in terms of gaining equal civil rights and opportunities in the United States? Our Answer: YES
  2. 2. Backgroun d been fighting African Americans have for rights and equality ever since they were freed from slavery in 1865. Since their freedom, African-Americans have been gaining more rights and equality, slowly but steadily. At first, they were distinctly separated from whites everywhere in the country and treated almost like slaves. As they integrated into society, African-Americans have come to know more equality and freedom. Supreme Court decisions and many additional laws and acts helped.
  3. 3. Brown vs. Board of Education • This case was initiated by the NAACP. • It was a class action suit against the Topeka Board of Education. • There were five cases under the heading of “Brown vs. Board of Education”. • It took on the policy of “separate but equal” in schools. • The Supreme Court ruled that “separate but equal” schools were not equal and did not provide equal opportunities for the separated races. • This case led to the desegregation of schools across the nation, giving African-American students he same educational opportunities as white students.
  4. 4. Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycott • This incident occurred on December 1, 1955. • Rosa Parks, a seamstress, took a seat on a bus and refused to move. • The bus driver called the police and Parks was arrested. • The Montgomery Improvement Association organized a boycott with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as its leader. • Blacks filed a lawsuit stating they wouldn’t ride the busses of Montgomery for 381 days. • In 1956, the Supreme Court outlawed bus segregation. • This movement against segregation on busses showed that African Americans could unite and become successful if they put their mind and heart into it. This also proved the power of non-violent resistance. “It was time for someone to stand up-or in my case, sit down,”-Rosa Parks
  5. 5. Dr. Ossian Sweet • Dr. Ossian Sweet was an African-American doctor who studied in France. • When he returned to the U.S. in 1925, he unknowingly bought a house in the “white side” of Detroit. • A white mob attacked his house and Dr. Sweet did his best to defend his home. • Afterwards, Sweet was arrested for murder. • After a second trial, Dr. Sweet was found not guilty by an all-white jury. • This was a big victory for African-Americans, as Dr. Sweet was freed by his peers, including white men. • The court decision showed that African-Americans could stand up for themselves and defend their homes, even in the midst of harsh racism.
  6. 6. The Fair Employment Practices Committee • A. Philip Randolph was an African-American leader who thought blacks should be allowed equality in the work force and help with defense during the war. • He led a march to Washington D.C. for the cause. • In response to this, President Roosevelt signed and Executive Order that banned racial discrimination in any defense industry receiving federal contracts. • This helped integrate the military and defense force, gave African-Americans more rights in the work force, and gave them equal opportunities to get a defense job. Many African-Americans became employed with white co-workers because of this committee.
  7. 7. McGhee vs. Sipes • Orsel and Minnie McGhee, African-Americans, rented a house from a white family in a white neighborhood in Detroit. • The community had signed a restricted covenant saying that African-Americans could not live in their neighborhood. • Orsel and Minnie refused to leave their house. • They were defended by the NAACP. • Through appeals, the case reached the Supreme Court and was combined with two other restricted covenant cases. • In 1948, the court ruled that using state courts to enforce the covenant was unconstitutional and violated the 14th Amendment. • The court ruled that agreements used to restrict occupancy based on race were unconstitutional. • This win was viewed as a win for all African-Americans and minorities. It upheld their right to buy homes free of restricted covenants.
  8. 8. The Passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 • This act was passed on July 2, 1964 by President Lyndon B. Johnson. • It prohibited discrimination because of race, religion, national origin, and gender. • In addition, it gave all citizens the right to enter all public accommodations like libraries, parks, restaurants, and theaters. • This act eliminated the segregation forced on African-Americans after the Plessy vs. Ferguson decision and gave them equal rights and opportunities when it came to public accomodations.
  9. 9. The Selma to Montgomery March • Began March 7, 1965 • Lead by Martin Luther King Jr. • Goal was to abolish literacy tests and allowing black citizens the right to vote. • Stops Along the Way: • *1st- March 7: "Bloody Sunday": Marchers traveled from Browns Chapel to Edmund Pettus Bridge, but were viciously attacked by local police and state troopers. • *2nd-March 9: Marchers trekked to Pettus Bridge, knelt, prayed, and then returned to Browns Chapel, but Rev. James Reeb dies when beaten by white vigilantes. • *3rd-March 21: Marchers with the protection of a federal court order and a Federalized National Guard proceeded to the state Capitol to petition for voting rights. • *March 24: At "Stars for Freedom" rally near Montgomery, world-renowned entertainers performed an inspirational show then joined the march the next day. • *March 25: They arrived at the state Capitol, where MLK Jr. gave a speech; Viola Luizzo, a marcher, was killed by the KKK that night. • The March from Selma to Montgomery aroused sympathetic feelings towards the non-violent marchers because of the beatings and killings that they endured. The march also led to the signing of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 by President Lyndon B. Johnson. This allowed African Americans the right to vote on literacy tests by prohibiting any “voting qualification” which would deny the right of any citizen of the U.S. to vote on account of race or color. “We Shall Overcome”
  10. 10. Conclusion Even though African-Americans didn’t gain the full equality that they wanted, they achieved many improvements that led to more opportunities and equal rights.