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American Civil Rights Movement 1950s & 1960s AP US History Situation in the U. S. 1877 – 1950s Forward Progress • 13th Amendment • 14th Amendment • 15th Amendment • Abolished slavery and guaranteed rights— including voting—to African Americans Situation in the U. S. 1877 – 1950s Push Back • Jim Crow Laws • Poll Tax • Literacy Test • Grandfather Clause • Southern states restricted African-Americans despite Constitutional protections Situation in the U. S. 1877 – 1950s Push Back • Plessy v. Ferguson • Supreme Court declared segregation was legal as long as facilities were “separate but equal” Situation in the U. S. 1877 – 1950s Push Back • Lynching • Mob executions • Used by whites in the South to terrorize African-Americans and enforce the Jim Crow system Strange Fruit • Southern trees bear strange fruit Blood on the leaves Blood at the root Black bodies swinging in the southern breeze Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees Pastoral scene of the gallant south The bulging eyes and the twisted mouth The scent of magnolia sweet and fresh Then the sudden smell of burning flesh Here is a fruit for the crows to pluck for the rain to gather for the wind to suck for the sun to rot for the tree to drop Here is a strange and bitter crop Origin of the Civil Rights Movement • World War II • 1. African-Americans left sharecropping jobs for industrial jobs in Northern cities • 2. 700,000 African-Americans served in WW II – “We return from fighting. We return fighting.” • 3. During WWII, AfricanAmericans successfully protested against Jim Crow Early Actions • 1948 – President Truman orders the desegregation of the Armed Forces – First large scale desegregation effort Playing for the Dodgers Branch Rickey, president and General Manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers, noticed Robinson’s exceptional talent. In 1946 Branch Rickey signed Jackie Robinson. Jackie Robinson, at the age of 27, became the first Black Baseball player in Major League history. He played his first game on April 15th 1947. (almost 66 years ago) Jackie and Civil Rights Jackie Robinson’s Actions affected the world far beyond Major League Baseball. His courage and discipline in standing up against racism were a preview of the actions taken by many members of the Civil Rights Movement. The success of the Jackie Robinson experiment was a testament to fact that integration could exist. Who was Linda Brown? • Brown v. Board of Education (Topeka, Kansas) 1954 – Facts • Linda Brown = 8 year old African American student • Nearest elementary school = 4 blocks from the Brown home (all white) • Linda Brown’s school (all black) = 21 blocks from the Brown home • NAACP sues Bd of Education challenging the separate but equal Origin of the Civil Rights Movement • Thurgood Marshall • NAACP Lawyer who argues Linda Brown’s case • Later became the first African-American Supreme Court Justice Most Significant Victory • Brown v. Board of Education – “Separate educational facilities are inherently unequal.” • School Districts across the nation began to desegregate • Catalyst for desegregating other aspects of American society The Story of Emmett Till The Story of Emmett Till • August 21: Emmett Till arrives in Money, Mississippi, and goes to stay at the home of his great uncle. • August 24: Emmett joins a group of teenagers, seven boys and one girl, to go to Bryant's Grocery and Meat Market for refreshments to cool off after a long day of picking cotton in the hot sun. Bryant's Grocery, owned by a white couple, Roy and Carolyn Bryant, sells supplies and candy to a primarily black customers Some of the kids outside the store will later say they heard Emmett whistle at Carolyn Bryant. The Story of Emmett Till • August 28: About 2:30 a.m., Roy Bryant, Carolyn's husband, and his half brother J. W. Milam, kidnap Emmett Till from Moses Wright's home. They will later describe brutally beating him, taking him to the edge of the Tallahatchie River, shooting him in the head, fastening a large metal fan used for ginning cotton to his neck with barbed wire, and pushing the body into the river. • August 29: J. W. Milam and Roy Bryant are arrested on kidnapping charges in LeFlore County in connection with Till's disappearance. They are jailed in Greenwood, Mississippi and held without bond. • August 31: Three days later, Emmett Till's decomposed corpse is pulled from Mississippi's Tallahatchie River. Moses Wright identifies the body from a ring with the initials L.T. The Story of Emmett Till The Story of Emmett Till • September 19: The kidnapping and murder trial of J. W. Milam and Roy Bryant opens in Sumner, Mississippi, the county seat of Tallahatchie County. Jury selection begins and, with blacks and white women banned from serving, an all-white, 12-man jury made up of nine farmers, two carpenters and one insurance agent is selected. • September 23: Milam and Bryant are acquitted of murdering Emmett Till after the jury deliberates only 67 minutes. One juror tells a reporter that they wouldn't have taken so long if they hadn't stopped to drink pop. Roy Bryant and J. W. Milam stand before photographers, light up cigars and kiss their wives in celebration of the not guilty verdict. Celebrating the acquittal Montgomery, Alabama • Rosa Parks • Refused to give up her seat to a white man. • Was arrested. • Became a symbol of the Civil Rights Movement The Arrest On December 1, 1955 Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat to a White man on a bus. Parks was arrested and charged with the violation of a segregation law in The Montgomery City Code. 50 African American leaders in the community met to discuss what to do about Rosa’s arrest. “People always say that I didn't give up my seat because I was tired, but that isn't true. I was not tired physically, or no more tired than I usually was at the end of a working day. I was not old, although some people have an image of me as being old then. I was forty-two. No, the only tired I was, was tired of giving in.” Rosa Parks Autobiography Montgomery Bus Boycott On December 5, 1955, African Americans in Montgomery began to boycott the busses. 40,000 Black commuters walked to work, some as far as twenty miles. The boycott lasted 382 days. The boycott ended after the Supreme Court ruled the law unconstitutional. Martin Luther King Jr. • In 1953, at the age of 26, King became pastor at the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery Alabama. • His start as a Civil Rights leader came during the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Montgomery, Alabama • King organized a boycott of buses in Montgomery • Lasted 382 days • King’s home was bombed • Supreme Court finally outlawed segregation on buses Montgomery, Alabama • Martin Luther King Jr. • Studied tactics of Thoreau, Gandhi, and others • Preached about soul force—non-violent resistance • “We will not hate you, but we cannot . . . obey your unjust laws” Non-Violent Tactics • Boycott • Refusing to buy a good or service • Sit-in • Sitting in segregated areas and refusing to move • March • Marching with a large group to draw attention to a cause King Becomes a National Figure • Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) • Civil Rights group organized by King • Included over 100 African-American ministers Little Rock, Arkansas—1957 • Nine African-American students were to integrate Central High School • Governor ordered Arkansas National Guard to turn the students away • Federal judge ordered the governor to allow the students entry • Governor refused—African-American students were turned away Little Rock, Arkansas—1957 • Eisenhower responds • Put 1,000 paratroopers in Little Rock • Stationed in the High School—escorted students to class, maintained order U-46 Schools • Try to guess the % by race / group for the five U-46 high schools: – – – – White Hispanic Black Asian The Movement Grows • Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) • Group of AfricanAmerican college students in North Carolina In the summers and over school-holidays volunteers came south to join the fight for freedom and justice. Most — but certainly not all — were college students or recent grads. Most — but certainly not all — were from the North. Most — but certainly not all — were white. Most returned to their campuses and jobs, but some stayed on as full time freedom fighters. Changes in Philosophy What was the goal? What was the strategy? Greensboro, North Carolina • SNCC used sit-ins to protest segregated lunch counters • Media coverage showed racism to the entire country Separate Everything Colored Fountain Notice the arm band? • By 1960, 48 cities had desegregated lunch counters Who says the KKK doesn’t know how to relax? Freedom Riders • Wanted to test enforcement of Supreme Courts decision to desegregate interstate buses. • Blacks and Whites rode through the South Getting Ready to Meet the Bus!! Name the gender? Freedom Riders • Peck (a civil rights activist) rode on Bus One. At the Alabama state line, a half dozen white racists got on the bus, carrying chains, brass knuckles, and pistols. They yanked the young AfricanAmerican riders from their seats and shoved them into the aisle. Peck and a 60-year-old white freedom rider tried to intervene. The thugs knocked Peck unconscious and kicked the old man repeatedly in the head until his brain hemorrhaged. Freedom Riders • When Bus One got to Birmingham, Alabama, a mob was waiting at the bus terminal, many holding iron bars and pipes. As they entered the white waiting room, they were dragged into the alley and beaten with the pipes. Peck was again knocked unconscious, this time he needed 53 stitches in his head and face. Freedom Riders • In Anniston, Alabama, 200 whites attacked Bus Two and slashed its tires. Six miles out of town, the bus was crippled. The mob barricaded the door, smashed a window, and tossed a fire bomb into the bus. The freedom riders were barely able to force the door open and escape before the bus exploded. Freedom Riders • Another group of freedom riders rode from Tennessee into Alabama. When they reached Birmingham, the Police Chief had them pulled off the bus, beaten and driven back to Tennessee. The freedom riders returned to Birmingham. When they proceeded to Montgomery, a white mob had formed and no police were present. The freedom riders were again beaten. John F. Kennedy finally sent 400 U. S. Marshals to protect the riders as they continued to Mississippi Ole Miss • James Meredith won a court case that would make him the first African-American student at the University of Mississippi. Ole Miss • Federal Marshals escorted Meredith to register • Riots ensued – 2 dead, 200 arrested, 5000 soldiers needed to stop the rioters • 1966 Meredith was shot during a freedom march in Mississippi – he survived Ole Miss • Mascot – Rebels • Symbol – Confederate Flag No Segregation!! Hotel owner pouring muratic acid in his pool Police ‘escorting’ swimmers from a white only beach Birmingham, Alabama – 1963 • • • • • 1963 Video Demonstrations to protest segregation King was arrested – released Children’s March- 959 were arrested 2nd Children’s March – police used fire hoses, attack dogs against the marchers • Finally, negative media attention, boycotts, and protests led to desegregation Jackson, Mississippi – 1963 • Civil Rights activist Medgar Evers was killed in his driveway • The killer, Byron de la Beckwith was released after two trials (hung jury) • Convicted in 1994 for violating Evers civil rights – dies in jail 2001 Washington, D. C. – 1963 • March organized to persuade Congress to pass Civil Rights Bill • 250,000 met to hear speeches, music • “I Have a Dream” speech – Martin Luther King, Jr. • After Kennedy was shot, Civil Rights Act of 1964 passed I Have a Dream Mississippi – 1964 • Freedom Summer – 1000 college students went to Mississippi to register AfricanAmericans voters • Met violent resistance—4 dead many wounded, churches and businesses burned Mississippi Burning Selma, Alabama – 1965 • Voter registration drive – 2,000 African-Americans arrested, police beatings • Police killed a demonstrator • King announced a protest March from Selma to Montgomery • State police beat marchers, used tear gas • Federal government stepped in protected marchers • 25,000 marchers reached Selma • The March crosses Lowndes County, a stronghold of the Ku Klux Klan. – Population: 81% Black, 19% white. Voter registration: Blacks 0, whites 2240 (118%) Selma, Alabama – 1965 • Voting Rights Act of 1965 passed— eliminated the literacy test • Allowed federal government to enroll voters who were denied suffrage • Twenty-Fourth Amendment— eliminated the poll tax Changes in Philosophy What was the goal? What was the strategy? Black Power • Slogan coined by Stokely Carmichael (SNCC) • African-Americans should separate from whites, define their own goals, and lead their own organizations • Signaled a shift away from non-violent resistance Black Power Mexico City, 1968 Black Panther Party • • • • U.S. African American Militant group. Founded in 1966 in Oakland. Led by Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale. Believed violent revolution was the only way to receive freedom. • Urged African Americans to arm themselves. Black Panthers • Sold copies of Mao Zedong’s Little Red Book to raise money so they could purchase shotguns • Attended protests and rallies with shotguns and law books! Black Panthers • Black Power • Black Militancy—suggested armed revolt – “Power flows out of the barrel of a gun” • Communist • Got into shootouts with police Black Panthers • Started free daycare and free breakfast program in urban ghetto • Made them popular in Northern cities Black Panthers Black Panthers Black Panthers • J. Edgar Hoover (head of the F. B. I.) declares that the Black Panthers were the "greatest threat to the internal security of the country." Black Panthers • Begin to unravel • Leaders are sent to jail, flee the country, killed by police Malcolm X X His father was killed by White Supremacist in Michigan, in 1931. X After time, Malcolm moved to Harlem where he became involved in gambling, drug dealing and robbery. X Malcolm was arrested at the age of 20 for armed robbery. In jail he studied the teaching of Elijah Muhammad. Elijah Muhammad X Elijah Muhammad was the leader of the mostly Black political and religious group, The Nation Of Islam. His teachings, often perceived as racist, preached complete separation from Whites in society. He often expressed the idea the Blacks were the first people to rule the world and that the Whites tricked them out of power and oppressed them. Young Malcolm X developed his adept speaking skills and political ideas under the direction of Elijah Muhammad. Nation Of Islam X The Nation Of Islam (NOI) was an activist group that believed that most African slaves were originally Muslim. X The NOI urged African Americans to reconvert to Islam in effort to restore the heritage that was stolen from them. X The NOI wanted to create a second Black nation within the United States. X The “X” in Malcolm’s name symbolizes the rejection of his slave name. Malcolm X: The Activist X Malcolm X made constant accusations of racism and demanded violent actions of self defense. X He constantly retold the injustices his people suffered in the past. X Malcolm X gathered wide spread admiration from African American’s and wide spread fear from Whites. Malcolm X Speaks, 1965 X “Be peaceful, be courteous, obey the law, respect everyone; but if someone puts his hand on you, send him to the cemetery.” X “Nobody can give you freedom. Nobody can give you equality or justice or anything. If you're a man, you take it.” X “You can't separate peace from freedom because no one can be at peace unless he has his freedom.” Malcolm X Quotes (On King) X He got the peace prize, we got the problem.... If I'm following a general, and he's leading me into a battle, and the enemy tends to give him rewards, or awards, I get suspicious of him. Especially if he gets a peace award before the war is over. X I'll say nothing against him. At one time the whites in the United States called him a racist, and extremist, and a Communist. Then the Black Muslims came along and the whites thanked the Lord for Martin Luther King. X I want Dr. King to know that I didn't come to Selma to make his job difficult. I really did come thinking I could make it easier. If the white people realize what the alternative is, perhaps they will be more willing to hear Dr. King. X Dr. King wants the same thing I want -- freedom! End of X • After a pilgrimage to Mecca X changed his philosophy to promote change without violence (if possible) and equality of races • Assassinated 1965 – allegedly by members of the Nation of Islam – unsolved today! Last Testament? • "Well, I don't know what will happen now. We've got some difficult days ahead. But it doesn't matter with me now. Because I've been to the mountaintop. And I don't mind. Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I'm not concerned about that now. I just want to do God's will. And He's allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I've looked over. And I've seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land. And I'm happy, tonight. I'm not worried about anything. I'm not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord." • — The final words from Martin Luther King's last speech, given in Memphis Tennessee the night before he was assassinated on April 4, 1968 Martin Luther King, Jr. • Assassinated in April, 1968 James Earl Ray Died 1998 Conspiracy Theory?? • A racist petty criminal looking to make a name for himself stalks a well-protected black civil rights leader and finally slays him, then manages to make an almost-clean getaway – but not before dropping the murder weapon (with prints) and his personal radio with his prison ID engraved on it. • It’s almost too perfect because nobody would be that stupid. It must be a CIA-FBI-White House plot. Has to be. There is no way that James Earl Ray, the high-school dropout, Army throw-away, petty thief could stalk Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., kill the most influential civil rights leader of the era and evade an international manhunt for more than two months, only to be busted by Scotland Yard going through a customs checkpoint he wasn’t supposed to be at. Violence Erupts • 125 cities experience rioting Watts Detroit Washington, D. C. Kerner Commission • Appointed by President Johnson after urban riots • Decides that the main cause of urban violence is white racism Civil Rights Act of 1968 • Banned segregation in housing (this wasn’t included in the 1964 Act) De Jure Segregation • Defined as: segregation that is imposed by law • Outlawed by Civil Rights Acts, Voting Rights Act, and amendments De Facto Segregation • Defined as: segregation that happens in fact although not required by law • Difficult to overcome • Involves changing attitudes, not laws Affirmative Action • Making special efforts to hire or enroll groups that have suffered from discrimination in the past. • Very controversial—is it reverse discrimination?