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American Civil Rights

American Civil Rights

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American Civil Rights

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  1. American Civil Rights

  2. Background... • 1700-1790: Several black slave revolts occurred; the Constitution of Vermont is the first to abolish slavery • 1790-1810: Manumission of slaves in some free states; in 1808 the importation of slaves in America was banned • 1861-1865: Tens of thousands of enslaved African American slaves escaped to Union lines for freedom (Underground Railroad); the Emancipation Proclamation went into effect • 1865: The Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution went into effects, the abolishment of slavery • 1860s: The Ku Klux Klan is formed in Tennessee by white Confederate veterans • 1870: The Fifteenth Amendment to the Constitution guarantees the right of male citizens to vote regardless of colour or previous condition of servitude

  3. Civil Rights Movement Origins... • Prosperity that was accessible to many whites, was not available to everyone • Black Americans were largely excluded • Example: Suburban neighbourhoods

  4. Experiences of African Americans... • 1950s/1960s • Racism was prominent throughout society • Faced hiring discrimination & unequal pay/opportunity • Discriminatory real estate practice • Kept to inner city neighbourhoods (out of suburbs) • Kept in areas with poor schools and education • In the South, segregation was the law • Required that blacks and whites attend separate schools and churches and use different facilities

  5. First Signs of Activism... • Grew out of political organizations and churches (1950s) • First area of focus was education • 1954: Brown v. Board of Education • Decided that segregation based on race in Educational facilities was no longer legal • Despite this decision, little change resulted Additional Resource (Brown v. Board of Education Video)

  6. Montgomery, Alabama... • Montgomery Bus Boycott (1955) • Non-violent protest of racial segregation on buses • Result of the arrest of Rosa Parks • Refused to give up her seat for other white passengers • Arrested and found guilty • Many participants were arrested or their livelihood was threatened • Law of bus segregation was challenged in court • November 13, 1956- declared unconstitutional Additional Resource (Montgomery Bus Boycott Video)

  7. Little Rock, Arkansas... • Little Rock Central High School (1957) • NAACP made attempts to enrol blacks in white schools after the Brown v. Board of Education decision • Nine African American students selected to attend • On the first day of school, they were prevented from entering by Arkansas National Guard • Were also harassed, threatened and at the centre of protest by other student • President Eisenhower enforced orders of the Federal court and deployed 101st Airborne Division to protect the students

  8. Additional Resource (Central High/Little Rock Video)

  9. Protesting: Sit-Ins... • 1960 • Greensboro, North Carolina • Four black college students sat at Woodworth’s Lunch Counter protesting African American exclusion from that location • Peaceful protest • Inspired other sit-ins (spread to most segregated states) • Some participants escorted from the lunch area and jailed • Led to the formation of the Student Non-Violent Coordination Committee (SNCC) Additional Resource (Greensboro Sit Ins Video)

  10. Freedom Rides... • Journeys on interstate buses into segregated Southern states • First freedom ride departed from Washington on May 4, 1961 • Aimed to integrate bus seating and desegregate bus stations • Including washrooms, drinking fountains and waiting areas • Many participants were violently attacked and injured • Kennedy ordered the re-issue of a desegregation order • Passengers were then permitted to sit anywhere on buses and use integrated facilities

  11. Additional Resource: Freedom Riders Video)

  12. March on Washington... • August 28th, 1963 • 100th anniversary of the Proclamation of Emancipation • Focused on: • Civil Rights Laws • Federal works • Full/fair employment • Decent housing • Adequate integrated education • Martin Luther King Jr. “I have a dream..” speech • Helped pass the Civil Rights Act (1964) and Voting Rights (1965)

  13. Additional Resource: March on Washington Video)

  14. New Legislation... • Civil Rights Act of 1964 • Banned discrimination based on race, colour, religion, sex or national origin in employment practices and public accommodation • Nullified state and local laws legalizing segregation and discrimination • • Voting Rights Act of 1965 • Outlawed discriminatory voting practices • Eliminated the prevention of blacks and other minorities from voting •

  15. Timeline... • 1954- Brown v. Board of Education • 1955- Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycott • 1957- Little Rock Nine • 1961- Freedom Riders and the desegregation of bus terminals • 1963- The Birmingham Campaign/ March on Washington • 1964- Martin Luther King Jr. wins Nobel Peace Prize • 1964 (July)- Civil Rights Act is passed • 1965- March for Freedom/ Voting Rights Act passed • 1968- Martin Luther King Jr. is assassinated • 1972- Congress approves the Equal Rights Amendment • 2008- Barack Obama is elected the 44th president of the United States

  16. Questions to Consider... • Even though the fight for equality has begun many years prior to the 1950s, had much changed since the post Civil War era? • What were African Americans fighting for? • Do you believe that true equality of races has been in achieved in the United States? In the world?

  17. Additional Resources... • Martin Luther King Jr. “I have a dream...” speech (video) • • Martin Luther King Jr. “I have a dream...” speech (text) • • Montgomery Bus Boycott- Online activity •