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  1. 1. Throughout the history of the United States our nation has been shaped through revolution. The basis of our nation was the uprising which freed us from Britain. The first major rebellions of our nation were those of slavery. Slavery was present throughout our history and the end of it was a sequence of revolutions. First came the slave revolts with their many brilliant revolutionaries. Then came the mutiny of the South against the United States. These revolts started a new type of revolutionary who focused on the individual rights of the citizens of our country. These slavery rebellions were the basis for the civil rights movements since. These civil rights movements include the women's rights movements, race and prejudice riots, and sit-ins and revolts that continue to present day. Slavery has shaped our nation through the revolutions that it inspired and the changes in our country that has made it a better place for all. Revolts Through Time 1966-Division Street Riots 1990’s- LA 1831-Nat Turner’s 1955-Montgomery Bus 1965- Black Riots 1739-Stono Rebellion Slave Rebellion Boycott Panther Party 1966-Days of Rage 1829- Women’s Rights 1954- Brown vs. 1965-Selma to 1965-Watts 1973- Movement Board of Montgomery 1970- Riot Wounded Education Marches Lavender Knee Incident Menace 1896-Plessy vs. 1960- Greensboro Ferguson Sit-ins
  2. 2. Identified as the one of the first slave revolts, this revolt started in South Carolina on the banks of the Stono River. The slaves were inspire by the events of the time. The slaveholders had been weakened by yellow fever and there was talk of a war between Spain and Britain. Also rumors spread of slaves who had escaped to Spanish-controlled territory and lived as free citizens. The slaves gathered at the river and marched to Charleston, chanting “Liberty” in unison. Just after crossing the Stono River Bridge , they stopped at a store, where they seized ammunition and weapons and killed the two store keepers. They proceeded south , burning seven plantations and killing twenty whites. Slaveholders gathered and massacred the rebels the next day. Forty-four slaves were killed in the initial attack, but the rest were decapitated. The heads were then put onto stakes and placed on the trail that the rebellion had followed as a warning to other slaves. Home This was the first real slave revolt. It laid the foundation for later revolts and inspired other slaves to take up arms.
  3. 3. After the slave revolts of the 1700s, a change came upon revolution. Revolution was no longer just simply for the upheaval of government, but instead for the rights of the individual. When African-Americans were given citizenship and the right to vote, other social groups began to question the absence of their power. One group were woman. While woman were considered citizens, they still lacked control of themselves and were mostly tied to their male partners. The first wave of the movement was to get the right to vote. Before that, the most a woman could do to affect the government was to try and get her husband to vote a certain way. Women staged marches, lectures, and wrote books to spread the cause. In the end suffrage was won by peaceful and intellectual methods. Home The Women’s Rights Movement was the first revolution to focus on the rights of the individual after the revolts of slavery.
  4. 4. Nat Turner was born and raised in area with a majority of black residents. From a young age he was seen as smart and was said to have received visions. Turner interpreted these visions as messages from God. He was a great leader and told all of the other slaves of his messages. He was convinced that he was destined for great purposes. The other slaves called him the Prophet. One day, as Turner was working in the field, he received a vision that told him to defeat the serpent (the slave owners). From then on he began planning his rebellion. He used atmospheric conditions as signs for when the rebellion should start. In 1831, there was a solar eclipse, which Turner saw as a Black man’s hand reaching over the sun and a sign to start the revolution. Turner and other slaves went house to house, freeing slaves and killing every white person they met. Overall 60 white men, women, and children were killed. Slave owners gathered and stopped the rebellion with much bloodshed. Nat Turner was executed for starting the rebellion. His lawyer released a book of what he had said while waiting for the trial called The Confessions of Nat Turner. The rebellion was the largest slave revolt and the largest methodical slaughter of whites. It polarized slave owners and moderates in the South and was one of the biggest blows to slave owners before the Civil War. Home Nat Turner was an amazing revolutionary who brought his race together in the presence of injustice.
  5. 5. Homer Plessy was jailed for sitting in a “white” railroad car. Plessy was only one-eighth black and seven-eights white, but in Louisiana law he was still seen as black. Plessy argued that the Separate Car Act, which separated whites from other ethnic groups on railroads, as unconstitutional and that it violated the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Amendments. The Judge was John Ferguson, who had previously deemed the Act unconstitutional for trains that went through multiple states. However, Plessy was still found guilty by Ferguson, because the railway was in Louisiana and therefore should follow Louisiana law. He appealed to the Supreme Court which also found him guilty. The only justice who found was for Plessy was Justice John Harlan. He said, “Our Constitution is color-blind, and neither knows nor tolerates classes among citizens. In respect of civil rights, all citizens are equal before the law...In my opinion, the judgment this day rendered will, in time, prove to be quite as pernicious as the decision made by this tribunal in the Dred Scott case...The present decision, it may well be apprehended, will not only stimulate aggressions, more or less brutal and irritating, upon the admitted rights of colored citizens, but will encourage the belief that it is possible, by means of state enactments, to defeat the beneficent purposes which the people of the United States had in view when they adopted the recent amendments of the Constitution." While he was eventually proven right, “the separate but equal” laws still held until the case Brown v. Board of Education. Home Plessy vs. Ferguson established a precedent that aided discrimination even after African Americans were supposed to be equal citizens.
  6. 6. A black third-grader had to walk one mile to school across railroad switchyards to go to her public school when a white public school was seven blocks away. This was because of the separate but equal laws that were started with Plessy vs. Ferguson. When the principal of the white school refused to let her in, her father, Oliver Brown took the case to the NAACP. In the trial Brown argued that education could not be equal under segregation, because removing a race from a school was inherently unequal. Also they argued that black schools were far inferior to white schools in teaching and materials. The judges agreed with Brown, but because of the court case of Plessy v. Ferguson had to rule against him. The case was taken to the supreme court, where the court ruled in favor of the plaintiff and required all public schools to be desegregated. Home Brown vs. Board of Education was the first step in stopping the intolerance and unfairness which had been present since Plessy vs. Ferguson and before.
  7. 7. In Montgomery, Alabama 42,000 blacks boycotted the city buses for a year. They were protesting the segregation of seating and “[…] a full scale racial the arrest of Rosa Parks. The segregation included a barrier, going to the war." front of the bus to pay and then having to re-board in the back, and drivers pulling away before they could enter the bus. Originally the Women’s Political Council planned a one day boycott against the trial of Rosa Parks. E.D. Nixon, Martin Luther King Jr., and Ralph Abernathy also helped endorse and plan the event. After the first day, the Montgomery Improvement Association was formed to continue the boycott until they won their case. The Association kept on being refused, but they remained peaceful and nonviolent even when they were harassed and attacked. Bombs were thrown into protesters homes, which the MIA responded to by launching a federal suit against the segregation. The federal court ruled against the MIA, who then appealed to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court ruled in favor of the The Montgomery Bus Boycotts set in motion plaintiff and made all public transportation become the civil rights revolutions which would use desegregated. This went farther than the simple issue of nonviolence and determination to obtain buses, this case put civil rights into the national consciousness and put Martin Luther King into the public superior results. eye. Home
  8. 8. ‘With their very bodies they obstructed the wheels of injustice.” Four black students were sitting at a segregated lunch counter at a North Carolina Woolworth. The white customers were allowed to sit on stools, but the African American customers had to stand. The four students: Ezell A. Blair, David Richmond, Joseph McNeil, and Franklin McCain simply sat at a white counter. They were refused service, but continued to sit and came back the next day. The second day 28 students came, the next 300, and finally 1000 protesters sat at the Woolworth protesting the segregation. This Sparked Civil rights sit-ins and boycotts across the country. Finally, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 mandated desegregation in public accommodations. For more detailed information and a great site click here. The Greensboro Sit-Ins thoroughly brought the issue of the existing Home injustice and intolerance that existed under the “separate but equal” system to the public view.
  9. 9. The Selma to Montgomery Marches consisted of three marches, which was the political and emotional peak of the Civil Rights Movement. Although in Dallas County 57 percent of its population was black, only one percent of them were registered to vote. Amelia Boynton, Reverend L.L. Anderson, J. L. Chestnut, Marie Foster, and the DCVL tried to help register African American residents, but state and local officials wouldn’t allow it. Bernard Lafayette, a registration organizer, was nearly beaten to death by opposing whites. The activists continued to discuss the topics and host meetings. Dr. King and SCLC joined the movement. Dr. King addressed a meeting in Brown Chapel in defiance of an injunction filed to stop meetings of more than two people who discussed voter registration. The SCLC expanded voter registration drives and protests. On March 7, 600 marchers headed east out of Selma. Their goal was to reach Montgomery and talk to Governor Wallace about the problem. The Group only made it six blocks, where Wallace ordered the police to stop it at all costs. This event was named ”Bloody Sunday” after police brutality injured many of the peaceful marchers. The whole event "We have gained a new sense of was seen across America in the media and increased the support for the cause. The second march was on March 9 when 2,500 went to the border dignity and destiny. We have of the town. The leaders attempted to get a court order to stop police discovered a new and powerful interference, but instead the court ordered a restraining order against the weapon—nonviolent resistance” march until the event could be looked into. On the third march the judge ruled in favor of the Marchers and they completed their trek to Montgomery. Within Home five months of the march the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was put in motion. The Marches established the way to change was through peaceful revolt.
  10. 10. The Black Panther Party was an association to promote Black Power and self-defense through social agitation. The Party was founded in Oakland, California by Huey Newton and Bobby Seale in 1966. They started to protect black neighborhoods against police brutality and prejudice. In 1967, the party reached 5,000 members and had spread across the country. They created the ten-point program for “Land, Bread, Housing, Education, Clothing, Justice and Peace.” The party began to focus more on socialism and less on black nationalism. They were seen as violent and this led to a decline in membership and eventually the total collapse of the party in the 1970’s. The Black Panther Party was a key group in the fight against racism and other Home forms of bigotry.
  11. 11. The Watts Riot was the first racial-fuelled rebellion of the 1960’s. It began with the arrest of a 21 year old African American who was pulled over by a policeman. A crowd formed which taunted the policeman and who subsequently called in reinforcements. Apparently the officer began to beat the crowd and news spread across the South Central Neighborhood, which erupted in violence. The crowd began to loot and burn local stores . The Riot lasted for five days, where 34 people died, 1000 were injured, and 200 million dollars in damage was done. Afterwards the protestors showed that they had only harmed white stores and left all other stores untouched. This was the first major lesson to the American public of the volatility of the segregated inner city neighborhoods. The Watts Riot demonstrated the extreme measures to which the Home oppressed and exploited will go to incite change
  12. 12. The Division Street Riots refer to the riots of civil unrest in Chicago from June 12 to June 14. It is known as the first Puerto Rican Rebellion and was a response to the shooting of a young Puerto Rican by police. The underlying cause was the national urban crisis of the time and ethnic conflicts in the city. The riots drew the public’s attention to the poor and the strained relations between the Puerto Ricans and the police. Eventually the community concerns were addressed and changed. The Division Street Riots illustrated to the rest of America the problems with injustice and poverty which afflict different ethnic groups. Home
  13. 13. "The Elections Don't Mean Shit—Vote Where the Power Is—Our Power Is In The Street” The Days of Rage were a series of events in 1969 organized by a group called the Weathermen. They were a militant offshoot of another group called Students for a Democratic Society. The Weathermen wanted to take a national action against the war. John Jacobs was their leader and he wanted to “turn the imperialists’ war into a civil war.” The riots were highly violent and chaotic and were seen by some as pointless except for the media attention they received. The riots were so bad that the Black Panther Party actively denounced the organization. Home The Days of Rage demonstrated how far a revolutionary group would go to change a country in which the government did not listen to the people. This group exceeded the needs of the situation but the idea itself was not flawed.
  14. 14. The term Lavender Menace was coined by the National Organization for Women in 1969 to refer to lesbians in women’s rights. Later a feminist gay rights group took it as their name. Many key members included Rita Mae Brown, Karla Jay, Lois Hart, and Barbara Lee. One of their major events was when they took over the stage at the Second Congress to Unite Women. The members stormed the stage and turned the discussion to lesbian issues and heterosexism. They educated feminists on sexism, homophobia, and heterosexism. The Lavender Menace was an important group in establishing that race and gender Home were not the only aspects of a person that were discriminated against.
  15. 15. The American Indian Movement took over the town of Wounded Knee, South Dakota in 1973. they controlled the town for 71 days while the town was cordoned off by US marshals. The Oglala Lakota of Pine Ridge Indian Reservation seized the town as an act against the Oglala chairman in office. It was the longest civil discord in the history of the Marshals Service. The American Indian Movement claims that during the siege members were beaten, harassed, and murdered. It also calls it a reign of terror that was started by the officials present and not the movement. To this day no consensus has been reached and the event simply stands out as an act of the movement. Home Wounded Knee was the desperate attempt of a group that had been oppressed for hundreds of years to stop some of the injustice.
  16. 16. During the 1990’s a series of riots, also called Rodney King riots, were held all over Los Angeles. It started after a court trial in which four policemen were acquitted of beating an African American motorist. The beating had been videotaped, but the jury still came to the decision of not guilty. Thousands rioted in Los Angeles for six days straight. Looting, assault, arson, and murder all occurred during the riots. Property damage ran up to one billion dollars and 53 people died. Federal troops and the National Guard had to be called in to stop the riots. Six months later the policemen were retried and two were found guilty. There were no subsequent riots. The Los Angeles Riots demonstrated the chaotic and violent revolts that result from years of injustice and intolerance. Home