Frederick Douglas was the editor of an abolitionist
newspaper, The North Star.
Helped slaves escape via the Underground Railroad.
He and his sons
brutally murdered 5
slave masters in
Tried to incite a slave
revolt at Harper’s
Ferry, but failed. The
slaves did not rise
After the War Between the States 18611865, the federal government made strides
Blacks voted, held many political offices.
The Freedmen’s Bureau was a government
program to help Blacks find land, it
established schools and colleges.
The Fourteenth Amendment
guaranteed all citizens with equal
protection under the law.
The Fifteenth Amendment said
the right to vote shall not be
denied on the basis of race.
However. . .
The Supreme Court decided in
Plessy vs. Ferguson that separate
institutions are okay if they are
Jim Crow laws required that
Blacks have separate facilities.
National Association for the
Advancement of Colored People
Started by four white
Joined in 1909 by W.E.B.
Fought for equality as a
later communist and
finally left the U.S. as a
movement of 1.75
Americans out of
the Southern U.S.
to the North and
Midwest and West
from the early
Early Civil Rights Concept Map
Reconstruction to the
Great Migration 18651930
Early Civil Rights
People and Leaders
Early Civil Rights Quiz
1. Name an early civil rights leader and their contribution.
2. Name the two amendments pertaining to freed blacks
and what they concern.
3. What were the laws that allowed segregation?
4. What organization started fighting for civil rights?
5. What was the movement of southern blacks to the north
Brown v. The Board of Education of Topeka, KS was the case in which, on 17 May
1954, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously that racial segregation in public
schools violated the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution, which says that no
state may deny equal protection of the laws to any person within its jurisdiction. The
1954 decision declared that separate educational facilities were inherently unequal.
Based on a series of Supreme Court cases argued between 1938 and 1950, Brown v.
Board of Education of Topeka completed the reversal of an earlier Supreme Court ruling
(Plessy v. Ferguson, 1896) that permitted “separate but equal” public facilities. The 1954
decision was limited to the public schools, but it was believed to imply that segregation
was not permissible in other public facilities.
In 1957, Little Rock, AR became the focus of world attention over the right of nine black
students to attend Central High School under a gradual desegregation plan adopted by
the city school board in accordance with the 1954 decision of the U.S. Supreme Court
holding racial segregation in public schools unconstitutional. The result was a test of
power between the federal and state governments. Governor Orval E. Faubus ordered
state militia to prevent blacks from entering the school, but the state was enjoined from
interfering by U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower, who sent federal troops to the city
to maintain order. Within the next decade, desegregation was accomplished in all
NAACP fought in the courts
Thurgood Marshall was hired by
the NAACP to argue in the
Supreme Court against school
segregation. He won.
He was later the 1st Black
Supreme Court Justice.
Rights have been expanded through legislation. Since 1957, federal Civil Rights Acts and
a Voting Rights Acts have been passed in an effort to guarantee voting rights, access to
housing, and equal opportunity in employment. These have been accompanied by
much state and local civil rights legislation.
Throughout recent history, people have organized to struggle for rights to which they
felt entitled either by law or by a sense of justice. In the United states, black militancy
spread in the 1950’s and ‘60’s through the activities of the Congress of Racial Equality
(CORE), Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) headed by Martin Luther
King, Jr., and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). These groups
achieved major successes in arousing national opinion against segregation in the South
and in stimulating the civil rights legislation of the 1960’s. They failed, however, to
eliminate some of the deep-rooted segregation patterns in urban areas of the country in
the North primarily.
Many black Americans and
whites risked their lives and lost
their lives to remedy this
Rosa Parks was not the first, but
she was the beginning of
Civil disobedience is the act of disobeying a law on the grounds of moral or political
principle. It is an attempt to force society to accept a dissenting point of view. Although
it adopts tactics of nonviolence, it is more than mere passive resistance since it often
takes active forms such as illegal street demonstrations or peaceful occupation of
premises. It is distinguished from other forms of rebellion because the civil disobeyer
invites arrest and accepts punishment.
The most ambitious and perhaps most successful examples of mass civil disobedience
were those of Mohandas K. Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. Gandhi called civil
disobedience—satyagraha, a term meaning “truth-force,” and taught it as an austere
practice requiring great self-discipline and moral purity. With a versatile use of
disobedience, Gandhi led the campaign for Indian independence. In the 1940’s,
American blacks and their white sympathizers began to use forms of civil disobedience
to challenge discrimination in public transportation and restaurants, but the major
movement began in 1955 with illegal sit-ins in support of boycotts of segregated
establishments. King was the chief advocate of nonviolent civil disobedience in the civil
rights movement of the 1960’s.
Montgomery Bus Boycott, 1955
Rosa Parks was arrested for violating the segregation laws of
Free At Last, Free At Last
After a black woman, Rosa Parks, was arrested for refusing to move to the Negro section
of a bus in Montgomery, AL on 1 Dec 1955, blacks staged a one-day local boycott of the
bus system to protest her arrest. Fusing these protest elements with the historic force of
the Negro churches, a local Baptist minister, Martin Luther King, Jr., succeeded in
transforming a spontaneous racial protest into a massive resistance movement, led from
1957 by his Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). After a protracted boycott
of the Montgomery bus company forced it to desegregate its facilities, picketing and
boycotting spread rapidly to other communities. During the period from 1955 to 1960,
some progress was made toward integrating schools and other public facilities in the
upper South and the border states, but the Deep South remained adamant in its
opposition to most desegregation measures.
In 1960, the sit-in movement (largely under the auspices of the newly formed Student
Nonviolent Coordinating Committee- SNCC) was launched at Greensboro, NC, when
black college students insisted on service at a local segregated lunch counter. Patterning
its techniques on the nonviolent methods of Indian leader Mohandas K. Gandhi, the
movement spread across the nation, forcing the desegregation of department stores,
supermarkets, libraries, and movie theaters. In May 1961, the Congress of Racial
Equality (CORE) sent “Freedom Riders” of both races through the South and elsewhere
to test and break down segregated accommodations in interstate transportation. By
September, it was
Free At Last, Free At Last (cont’d)
estimated that more than 70,000 students had participated in the movement, with
approximately 3,600 arrested; more than 100 cities in 20 states had been affected. The
movement reached its climax in Aug 1963 with a massive march on Washington, D.C., to
protest racial discrimination and demonstrate support for major civil-rights legislation
that was pending in Congress.
In Response. . .
For over a
through all weather
Many were arrested for an “illegal
boycott” including their leader. . .
While the NAACP fought in the
courts, MLK’s organization led the
King was arrested thirty
times in his 38 year life.
His house was bombed or
nearly bombed several
Death threats constantly
King to be
Violence never solves problems. It only
creates new and more complicated ones. If
we succumb to the temptation of using
violence in our struggle for justice, unborn
generations will be the recipients of a long
and desolate night of bitterness, and our
chief legacy to the future will be an endless
--Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Facing the
Challenge of a New Age
This was in Greensboro, North Carolina
They were led not by MLK but by college
Coordinating Committee (SNCC)
Dress in your Sunday best.
Be respectful to employees and police.
Do not resist arrest!
Do not fight back!
Remember, journalists are
Students were ready to take your
place if you had a class to attend.
People around the
world will convert
to your cause if
they see you on
TV or on the front
page of the
White America saw 500 kids get
arrested and attacked with dogs.
There was much support now for
civil rights legislation.
Civil Rights Act of 1964
Banned segregation in
public places such as
Everybody Gets to Vote
The Voting Rights Act was passed by the U.S. Congress in 1965. In 1957 and
1960, Congress had passed laws to protect the rights of black voters, and the 24th
Amendment (1964) banned the use of poll taxes in federal elections. Nevertheless, in
the presidential elections of 1964, blacks continued to have difficulty registering to vote
in many areas.
Voter registration drives met with bitter, and sometimes
violent, opposition. In March 1965, Martin Luther King, Jr., led a march from Selma to
Montgomery, AL, to dramatize the voting issue. Immediately after the march, President
Lyndon B. Johnson sent a voting bill to Congress, and it was quickly passed.
The Voting Rights Act authorized the U.S. Attorney General to send federal examiners to
register black voters under certain circumstances. It also suspended literacy tests in
states in which less than 50% of the voting-age population had been registered or had
voted in the 1964 election. The law had an immediate impact. By the end of 1965, a
quarter of a million new black voters had been registered, one third by federal
examiners. The Voting Rights Act was readopted and strengthened in 1970, 1975, and
to Mississippi to
register Blacks to
These volunteers risked arrest, violence and death
This man spent 5
days in jail for
Sign says “Voter
"Your work is just beginning. If you
go back home and sit down and
take what these white men in
Mississippi are doing to us. ...if you
take it and don't do something
about it. ...then *%# damn your
— Mississippi CORE leader Dave Dennis delivering the
eulogy for James Chaney, murdered by cops and Klan in
Philadelphia MS, 1964.
vote, the local
banks could call
the loan on their
Lyndon B. Johnson ’63-’68
Pushed Civil Rights
his own Democratic
Passed more procivil rights laws
than any other
Lyndon Baines Johnson (LBJ)
Civil Rights Act of
Civil Rights Act of
Voting Rights Act of
banning poll taxes
Not only were there sit-ins. .
Swim-ins (beaches, pools)
Drive-ins (at motels)
Augustine, FL Swimming Pool
In 1964, a few young blacks decided to take a dip in a whites-only pool at a
whites-only hotel in St. Augustine, Florida. The hotel’s owner, James Brock,
reacted by emptying jugs of hydrochloric acid into the water to expel the
This act of civil disobedience was one among many in the small city on the
northeast coast of Florida, which in 1964 was celebrating its 400th anniversary.
Because of that anniversary, the national spotlight was already on America’s
oldest settlement, and the leaders of the civil rights movement took advantage
of that attention to bring some to their own cause.
Modern Civil Rights Begins
Modern Civil Rights Begins Quiz
Name 2 other civil rights leaders other than Martin
Luther King, Jr.
Whose arrest sparked the Montgomery Bus
Name one of the Civil Rights Groups formed
during the 1950s-60s.
Who inspired MLK’s nonviolent strategies?
Which Supreme Court case integrated schools?
The Civil Rights Bill of 1957
The Civil Rights Act of 1957 was introduced in Eisenhower’s presidency and was the act that
kick-started the civil rights legislative programme that was to include the 1964 Civil Rights
Act and the 1965 Voting Rights Act. Eisenhower had not been known for his support of the
civil rights movement. Rather than lead the country on the issue, he had to respond to
problems such as in Little Rock. He never publicly gave support to the civil rights
movement believing that you could not force people to change their beliefs; such changes
had to come from the heart of the people involved, not as the result of legislation from
However, he did push through during his presidency the 1957 Civil Rights Act. Cynics have
stated that this was simply to win the ‘Black Vote’. Up to 1957, and for a variety of reasons,
only 20% of African Americans had registered to vote. In Britain, the government takes the
initiative in sending out voter registration forms which individuals have to return. In
America it is up to each person to take the responsibility to register their vote. In the South
plain intimidation and official apathy and obstacles meant that very few African Americans
registered their vote. Those that did not disqualified themselves from voting.
The 1957 Civil Rights Bill aimed to ensure that all black Americans could exercise their right
to vote. It wanted a new division within the federal Justice Department to monitor civil
rights abuses and a joint report to be done by representatives of both major political parties
(Democrats and Republicans) on the issue of race relations.
The Civil Rights Bill of 1957 (cont’d)
Eisenhower, perhaps shocked by the news broadcasts of Little Rock, publicly supported the
bill (it was, after all, his Attorney-General who had produced the bill). However, the final act
became a much watered done affair due to the lack of support among the Democrats. The
Senate leader, Lyndon Baines Johnson, was a Democrat, and he realised that the bill and its
journey through Congress, could tear apart his party as it had right wing Southern senators
in it and liberal west coast ones.
In keeping with Congressional procedure, Johnson sent the bill to a judiciary committee
which would examine it for flaws, controversial and unconstitutional points etc. This
committee was led by Senator James Eastland - senator for Mississippi. Committee heads
have great powers in changing bills and altering them almost beyond recognition. Eastland
did just this especially after the very public outburst by Senator Richard Russell from
Georgia who claimed that it was an example of the Federal government wanting to impose
its laws on states, thus weakening highly protected states rights of self-government as
stated in the Constitution. He was most critical of the new division which would be created
within the Justice Department.
Johnson had other reasons for taking his stance. No civil rights act had been introduced
into America for 82 years. If this one went through successfully and had support from both
parties, it would do his position within the Democrats a great deal of good as he had plans
in 1957 to be the party’s future presidential candidate. If he
The Civil Rights Bill of 1957 (cont’d)
could get the credit for maintaining party unity and get the support of the South’s
Democrats for ‘killing the bill’, then his position would be greatly advanced. If he was seen
to be pushing through the first civil rights act in 82 years he hoped to get the support of the
more liberal west and east coast Democrat senators. However, he required Eisenhower to
remove Section 3 of the bill before passage. Section 3 allowed the Federal Attorney
General to bring suit for matters of civil rights violations.
The Civil Rights Act of 1957 maintained the mood of the bill - it aimed to increase the
number of registered black voters and stated its support for such a move. However, any
person found guilty of obstructing someone’s right to register barely faced the prospect of
punishment as a trial by jury in the South meant the accused had to face an all-white jury as
only whites could be jury members.
March on Washington 1963
President Kennedy was pushing
for a civil rights bill.
To show support, 500,000 black
Americans went to Washington
The event was
King's "I Have a
in front of the
August 28, 1963.
The attitude of many Northern and Southern schools after
the 1954 Brown decision was like:
When Federal troops are sent to make
states follow federal laws, this
struggle for power is called federalism.
The Civil Rights Movement was mostly
getting the federal government to
make state governments to follow
States ignored the ’54 Brown decision, so
Feds were sent in.
The Federal Government Acts
The federal government under presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower (1953-61) and John F.
Kennedy had been reluctant to vigorously enforce the Brown decision when this entailed
directly confronting the resistance of Southern whites. In 1961-63, President Kennedy
won a following in the black community by encouraging the movement’s leaders, but
Kennedy’s administration lacked the political capacity to persuade Congress to pass new
legislation guaranteeing integration and equal rights. After President Kennedy’s
assassination (Nov 1963), Congress, under the prodding of President Lyndon B. Johnson,
in 1964 passed the Civil Rights Act (q.v.). This was the most far-reaching bill in the
nation’s history (indeed, in world history), forbidding discrimination in public
accommodations and threatening to withhold federal funds from communities that
persisted in maintaining segregated schools. It was followed in 1965 by the passage of
the Voting Rights Act, the enforcement of which eradicated the tactics previously used in
the South to disenfranchise black voters. This act led to drastic increases in the numbers
of black registered voters in the South, with a comparable increase in the numbers of
blacks holding elective offices there.
Dwight D. Eisenhower
John F. Kennedy
Called Coretta Scott
King to pledge support
while MLK was in jail.
Eventually sent federal
protection for freedom
Proposed need for civil
Federal Government Intervenes
stand here 'till it
‘Till it falls,
‘Till it falls,
stand here 'till it
The Supreme Court ruled that protesters
had a 1st Amendment right to march.
This woman was
killed by the KKK
while on her way
to join voter
Who was she?
Sacrifice for Suffrage
This is the interior of Viola Liuzzo's car with
blood everywhere and her shoes still on the
floor of the automobile. She was shot in the
head twice by members of the Ku Klux Klan
while driving a participant from the Selma to
Montgomery freedom march to the
Viola Fauver Gregg Liuzzo (April
11, 1925-March 25, 1965), a
Unitarian Universalist committed
to work for education and
economic justice, gave her life for
the cause of civil rights. The 39year-old mother of five was
murdered by white supremacists
after her participation in the
protest march from Selma to
The highways were obviously
James Meredith, right, pulled himself to cover against a
parked car after he was shot by a sniper. Meredith had been
leading a march to encourage black Americans to vote. He
recovered from the wound, and later completed the march.
June 7, 1966
Malcolm X and MLK
There was no love lost
between these two
They despised each
other’s method to
achieve racial equality
Left to right: Hosea
Luther King Jr., Rev.
Abernathy on the
balcony of the
Memphis hotel, a
day before King's
Aides of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King point out to police the path of
the assassin's bullet. Joseph Louw, photographer for the Public Broadcast
Laboratory, rushed from his nearby motel room in Memphis to record the
scene moments after the shot. Life magazine, which obtained exclusive
rights to the photograph, made it public. April 4, 1968.
The Final Push Frayer Model
Selma to Montgomery Marches
The Close of the