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Civil rights


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Civil rights lecture

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Civil rights

  1. 1. Quiz #3: Answer one of the following questions • Describe how the process of Americanization led Jade Snow Wong to question the gender norms & ideals she’d been raised to believe. • Danielle McGuire offers a new interpretation of the Montgomery Bus Boycott, one of the seminal moments in the 1950s Civil Rights movement. What does McGuire reveal that prior historians have generally neglected?
  2. 2. Women and the Civil Rights Movement
  3. 3. Why have women’s contributions been overlooked? • Patriarchal character of the movement – Gender conservatism of black ministers • Press coverage highlighted leaders, not members • Historians have followed the narratives established by journalists – Focus tends to be on key organizations • NAACP; SCLC; SNCC – Tendency to lionize Martin Luther King
  4. 4. Women backbone of the movement Stokely Carmichael: “The ones who came out first for the movement were the women. If you follow the mass meetings, not the stuff on TV, you'd find women out there giving all the direction. As a matter of fact, we used to say, ‘Once you got the women, the men got to come.’” Fannie Lou Hamer: Explained that her husband would have been killed if he’d been as active as she was.
  5. 5. The King Family: MLK as patriarch
  6. 6. Summit Conference on Civil Rights, New York, 1964. Bayard Rustin; Jack Greenberg (NAACP); Whitney Young, Jr., (National Urban League); James Farmer, (CORE); Roy Wilkins, (NAACP); Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.; John Lewis, (SNCC); and A. Philip Randolph, Chairman of the National Negro American Labor Council
  7. 7. March on Washington • Female civil rights activists recognized, but not allowed to speak; were told to walk with the wives of male civil rights leaders • Pauli Murray: “Not a single woman was invited to make one of the major speeches or be part of the delegation of leaders who went to the White House. The omission was deliberate.”
  8. 8. March on Washington, 1963
  9. 9. “I Am a Man” Poor People’s Campaign, 1968
  10. 10. Nashville students at newly integrated luncheon counter, May 16, 1960
  11. 11. Montgomery Bus Boycott First Baptist Church applauding for the leaders of the boycott, February 1956
  12. 12. Rosa Parks • More political than most people realize • Family background: mother a teacher; father a skilled craftsman; grandfather owned his land and was fiercely independent – Taught Rosa race pride/solidarity • Did not share MLK’s commitment to non-violence • Was secretary for the Montgomery branch of the NAACP prior to boycott • Had attended the Highlander Folk School six months before her arrest
  13. 13. Recy Taylor case • Young married woman/mother • Brutally gang raped by 6 men walking back from church in Abbevill County, AL • NAACP sent Rosa Parks to investigate the case • Others who would also later be involved in the Montgomery bus boycott played important roles in pursuing the case (E.D. Nixon) • Case was dismissed; in 2011 AL House of Representatives apologized on behalf of state for failure to prosecute
  14. 14. Recy Taylor
  15. 15. Rosa Parks and Septima Clark at Highlander Folk School, six months before the boycott
  16. 16. Billboard red-baiting the Highlander Folk School
  17. 17. Jo Ann Robinson • Teacher at a HBCU • Not used to southern segregation (from North) • 1949: Humiliating experience on a bus • Brought the issue to the Women’s Political Council • Conceived of the idea of a boycott
  18. 18. Claudette Colvin • 15-year-old student • Refused to surrender bus seat 9 months before Parks did • Later became pregnant • Black leaders did not want to use her as a figurehead • “Politics of respectability”
  19. 19. E.D. Nixon • Union man, pres. of the local NAACP • Urged ministers to back the women’s protest • Helped persuade MLK to get involved
  20. 20. Ella Baker • Emphasis on participatory democracy – “Strong people don’t need strong leaders.” • Believed in direct action – Skeptical of legal strategy of the NAACP • Active in Civil Right Mov. since the 1930s – Field secretary for the NAACP in the 1940s – Helped found SCLC • Her relations with male leaders were strained • Helped found SNCC
  21. 21. Ella Baker, 1964
  22. 22. Diane Nash, Fisk University junior and leader of a student protest group April 9, 1960
  23. 23. Pauli Murray (1910-85) • Bridge b/n Civil Rights and feminist movements – Strategy for combating discrimination • Using the 14th Amendment • Raised by aunts in NC • Law degree from Howard – Led sit-ins in 1943-44 – Denied admission to Harvard
  24. 24. Pauli Murray