US Civil Rights Movement Beginnings through the 60s
Abolitionists • Frederick Douglas was the editor of an abolitionist newspaper.
Harriet Tubman • Helped slaves escape via the Underground Railroad.
John Brown • He and his sons brutally murdered 5 slave masters in Kansas. (1858) • Tried to incite a slave revolt
Reconstruction 1865-77 • After the Civil War 1861-1865, the federal government made strides toward equality. • Blacks voted, held many political offices. • The Freedmen’s Bureau was a Govt program to help Blacks find land, it established schools and colleges.
Reconstruction • 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 “Plessey vs. Ferguson” that separate institutions are okay if they are equal. • Jim Crow laws required that Blacks have separate facilities.
A. Philip Randolph • President of the Brotherhood of sleeping car porters (a mainly Black Trade Union) • 1941 Randolph & other black leaders met with President • They made 3 demands • Immediate end to segregation and discrimination in Federal jobs • An end to segregation in the armed services • Government support to end all discrimination in Jobs • FDR gave in and issued Executive order 8802
Racial tension increases • Detroit 25 Black and 9 White people were killed • 1943 – Harlem New York, 5 black people died in riots • 75 lynching’s reported during WW2 • CORE – founded in 1942 • “Congress of Racial Equality” • Beginning of a mass movement for civil rights • Some Nation of Islam members refused to fight in the war
NAACP National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People • Founded in 1909 by W.E.B. Dubois • Fought for equality • Worked to end lynching. • No national laws: (but did get a number of states to comply.) • 1929: 10 lynching‘s • Worked to get better voting rights for African Americans • NOT much success
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.
Spotlight • What were the Jim Crown laws? • Give an example of a Jim Crow law • What was the Double V campaign? • What does NAACP stand for?
Brown vs. Board of Education 1954 “We conclude that in the field of public education the doctrine of 'separate but equal' has no place.” Oliver L. Brown, was a parent, a welder in the shops of the Santa Fe Railroad, an assistant pastor at his local church. Brown's daughter Linda (8), had to walk six blocks to her school bus stop to ride to Monroe Elementary one mile away, while Sumner Elementary, a white school, was seven blocks from her house
Emmitt Till 1955 The trial was held in September 1955, lasting for five days. The defense's argued that the body pulled from the river could not be positively identified and they questioned whether Till was dead at all. In November 1955 a grand jury declined to indict Bryant and Milam for kidnapping, despite the testimony given that they had admitted taking Till. Till had a photograph of an integrated class at the school he attended in Chicago and he bragged to the boys that the white children in the picture were his friends. He pointed to a white girl in the picture, and stated that she was his girlfriend. One or more of the local boys dared Till to speak to 21-year-old Carolyn Bryant. Till's mother insisted on an open casket. Images printed in black publications The Chicago Defender and Jet magazine of Till made international news and directed attention to the rights of the blacks in the U.S. South Till arrived on August 21, 1955. On August 24, he and cousin Curtis Jones skipped church & joining some local boys went to Bryant's Grocery and Meat Market to buy candy. Emmett Louis "Bobo" Till (July 25, 1941 – August 28, 1955) the Jurors later acknowledged that they knew Bryant and Milam were guiltybut simply did not believe that life imprisonment or the death penalty fit punishment for whites who had killed a black man
Little Rock, Arkansas Little Rock Central high school • The 1st Black student who tried to enter the school was Elizabeth Eckford • Governor of Arkansas sent soldiers to surround the school and not let the black children into the school • An angry mob surrounded the school 1000 Federal troops were sent to protect the children – they stayed for a year.
James Meredith • He was the first African American student at the University of Mississippi • He was denied twice • On May 31, 1961, the “NAACP” Legal Defence and Educational Fund filed a suit in the U.S. District Court alleging that the colour of his skin was the only reason for Meredith not being accepted into the university
James Meredith • The Governor of Mississippi, Ross Barnett, attempted to block his entrance, passing a law that “prohibited any person who was convicted of a state crime from admission to a state school.” This law was directed at Meredith, who had been convicted of “false voter registration.”
James Meredith • A deal was finally reached between the Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy and Governor Barnett and Meredith was allowed to attend the university. • On October 1, 1962, he became the first black student at the University of Mississippi
Montgomery Bus Boycott, 1955 • On December 1, 1955 in Montgomery, Alabama, Parks, age 42, refused to obey bus driver James Blake's order that she give up her seat to make room for a white passenger. February 4, 1913 – October 24, 2005
Rosa Parks had been a member of the NAACP for a number of years. • Her refusal to give up her seat had been planned by local civil rights leaders. • After she was arrested, 50 civil rights leaders met in a Montgomery Church to discuss their plans
Many were arrested for an “illegal boycott” including their leader. . . They decided to… • Boycott the city Bus system • They carpooled and walked through all weather conditions • The Boycott hurt the bus company • 60-70% of bus users were black • Choice - Either desegregate or go out of business
Martin Luther King Jr. January 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968 While the NAACP fought in the courts, MLK’s organization led the boycott.
King’s sacrifice • King was arrested thirty times in his 38 year life. • His house was bombed or nearly bombed several times • Death threats constantly
Browder v. Gayle December 20, 1956 Rev. Ralph D. Abernathy Coretta Scot King Rev. Martin Luther King Jr “The enforced segregation of Negro and white passengers on motor buses operating in the City of Montgomery violates the Constitution and laws of the United States,"
The creation of SCLC • Formed in response to Montgomery protest • “Southern Christian Leadership Conference” • In a meeting on January 1957, 60 leaders discussed non-violent resistance • Originally composed affiliate churches and some community organisations, not individual members • Early 1960s became organiser of campaigns • Martin Luther King Jnr was elected president of SCLC
Citizenship schools: supposed to be adult literacy classes, but actually black history, civil rights struggle Albany Movement: sought desegregation of Albany, Georgia. not considered successful despite sit-ins and protests Birmingham Campaign: single goal, desegregation Birmingham’s downtown merchants. Confronted with police brutality, MLK imprisoned, Kennedy intervened SCLC: Key campaigns
SCLC: Key campaigns • March on Washington: 1963, for jobs and freedom, 2-300,000 participated, ‘I have a dream’ speech • St. Augustine Protest:1964, protests in Florida met with arrests and KKK response. Requested SCLC support – leaders sent, demonstrations in North, sit-ins, MLK arrested, resulted brutality, • Built support for Civil Rights Act of 1964 • Selma Voting Rights: 1% black voters registered, result literacy test, economic pressure and violence • e.g. 32 teachers fired by all-white school board for registering
SCLC • SCLC was key civil disobedience organisation • Differed from NAACP, as focused on direct action vs. legislation and education • 1960s took on organising role, but generally did not act alone • In the mid-1960s the civil rights movement became fragmented, with increasing calls for a more militant stance, • SNCC (Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee)
What to do next? • You can’t boycott something that doesn’t want your business anyway! • A new, nonviolent tactic was needed.
Sit ins This was in Greensboro, North Carolina
Sit-in Tactics • Dress in you Sunday best. • Be respectful to employees and police. • Do not resist arrest! • Do not fight back! • Remember, journalists are everywhere!
Not only were there sit-ins. . • Swim ins (beaches, pools) • Kneel ins (churches) • Drive ins (at motels) • Study-ins (universities)
CORE “Congress of Racial Equality” • James Farmer and several Christian pacifists founded CORE in 1942. • The organization's purpose was to apply direct challenges to American racism by using Gandhian tactics of non-violence.
Freedom Rides! • CORE and SNCC organized a Series of interracial bus trips • Attempted to stage non-violent protests and push desegregation where they went • Freedom Riders were pulled off the bus, beaten and driven to Tennessee by the Birmingham Police, led by Commissioner “Bull” Connor. • They came back to occupy “white-only” waiting rooms anyway
Freedom Riders • The first Freedom Ride left Washington D.C. on May 4, 1961. • Arrested in Mississippi for trespassing, unlawful assembly, and violating state and local Jim Crow laws.
Freedom Riders attacked! • May 17th 1961 a new set of riders took a bus to Birmingham where they were beaten and arrested. • Reports of the bus burning and beatings reached U.S. Attorney General Robert Kennedy. • May 20th the riders set out for Montgomery again with same result.
Kennedy’s Reaction • Officials told Robert Kennedy that they would protect the freedom riders, but didn’t send help! • When they did not show and the freedom riders were beaten, the President stepped in • JFK sends 400 US Marshals to guide the freedom riders into Jackson, MS • Interstate highway travel facilities were also ordered to be desegregated!
Freedom Summer • A campaign to register as many African American voters as possible in Mississippi. • In 1962 only 6% of African-Americans were registered to vote in Mississippi. • Organized by the NAACP, CORE, the SCLC and SNCC • The goal was to register black voters and influence Congress to pass voting rights acts.
Voter Registration • If Blacks registered to vote, the local banks could call the loan on their farm.
These volunteers risked arrest, violence and Death every day.
The Fight • This man spent 5 days in jail for “carrying a placard.” • Sign says “Voter registration worker”