February 1st, 1960 • On February 1st, 1960, four college students (Joseph McNeil, Franklin McCain, David Richmond, and Ezell Blair, Jr.), walked into an F.W. Woolworth Company in Greensboro, North Carolina and staged a sit-in at the lunch counter. • This event helped touched off a new mass movement for civil rights.
More Sit-ins • By 1961 sit-ins were held in more than 100 cities. • Many African American college students joined the sit-in movement. Students like Jesse Jackson thought sit-ins were a way to take things into their own hands.
Fearful of what the youth might do • At first, the leaders of the NAACP and the SCLC were concerned about the sit-ins. • They feared that the students might fight back if attacked. • The students remained peaceful, despite being punched, kicked, and beaten.
Ella Baker • As the sit-ins spread, student leaders realized that they needed to create an organization of their own. • Ella Baker, the executive director of the SCLC, organized a convention at Shaw University and urged students to establish the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC).
SNCC • The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) was instrumental in desegregating public places in many communities. • Members of SNCC began working in the rural areas of the Deep South.
Robert Moses • Robert Moses, a SNCC volunteer from New York began the Voter Education Project that helped rural African Americans register to vote.
Freedom Riders • In 1961 civil rights volunteers began traveling to the South. • They hoped to draw attention to the South’s segregation of bus terminals. • These teams of African Americans and whites who traveled into the South in 1961 were known as Freedom Riders. • White mobs often attacked the Freedom Riders when they arrived in Southern cities.
JFK’s view on civil rights • President John F. Kennedy decided he had to do something to stop the violence. • At first Kennedy seemed as cautious as Eisenhower on civil rights. • Kennedy needed the support of Southern senators to get his legislation passed. • He did not want to challenge these senators on the subject of civil rights.
JFK’s move on civil rights • However, Kennedy did name about 40 African Americans to high-level government jobs. • JFK also supported the civil rights movement by allowing the Justice Department, which was run by his brother Robert Kennedy, to file lawsuits to help African Americans register to vote.
ICC • Additionally, JFK ordered the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) to tighten regulations against segregated bus terminals.
University of Mississippi • Meanwhile, activists worked to integrate public schools. • African American James Meredith applied to the University of Mississippi but was denied admittance by the governor. • President Kennedy ordered army troops to protect Meredith.
Birmingham, Alabama • To force Kennedy to support civil rights, Martin Luther King, Jr., ordered demonstrations in Birmingham, Alabama. • The demonstrations turned violent and were broadcast on national television. • Kennedy then prepared a new civil rights bill.
University of Alabama • In June 1963, Alabama governor George Wallace stood in front of the University of Alabama’s admissions office. • He was trying to stop two African Americans from enrolling. • Federal marshals ordered him to move. • President Kennedy used this event to present his civil rights bill.
I Have a Dream • To build public support for JFK’s civil rights bill, Martin Luther King, Jr., took part in a large march in Washington, D.C. • On August 28, 1963, more than 200,000 demonstrators gathered peacefully at the nation’s capital. Dr. King delivered his powerful “I Have a Dream” speech. The march built support for Kennedy’s civil rights bill.
Two events delayed the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; the first was JFK’s assassination in November 1963. • When Lyndon Johnson became president, he felt it was his responsibilities to fulfill JFK’s legacy by having the civil rights bill pass and become law. • Subsequently, the civil rights bill passed the House of Representatives in February 1964. • The second event that delayed the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 occurred in the U.S. Senate. • Southern Democrats participated in a filibuster, meaning that they kept speaking and refused to allow cloture, or ending debate. • The bill finally passed and it was the largest civil rights law Congress had ever enacted. • It gave the federal government broad power to prevent racial discrimination.
Elements of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 • Key elements of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 included: • Making segregation illegal • Gave citizens equal access to facilities • Gave the attorney general more power to enforce school desegregation • Established the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
EEOC • The EEOC is an agency created to end discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin in employment and to promote programs to make equal employment opportunity a reality.
Alabama March • To keep the pressure on the president and Congress to act on voting rights, Dr. King and others organized an Alabama march from Selma to Montgomery. It began on March 7, 1965.
Alabama March • At one point in the march, state troopers and deputized citizens rushed the demonstrators. • The attack left more than 70 African Americans hospitalized. • The nation was shocked at the brutality it saw on television. President Johnson was furious. • He went before Congress to present a new voting rights law.
Voting Rights Act of 1965 • In August 1965, Congress passed the Voting Rights Act of 1965. • It ordered federal examiners to register qualified voters. • It ended discriminatory practices such as literacy tests. • The civil rights movement had achieved its two goals. • Segregation had been outlawed, and laws were in place to protect voting rights.
New Focus… • The focus of the civil rights movement after passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was how African Americans could achieve full social and economic equality.