SCLC • The Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) was organized by MLK Jr. - It raised funds for integration campaigns throughout the South - They became the spiritual force behind the non-violent movement
Little Rock Nine: Arkansas 1957 • Nine black students were chosen to integrate to Central High School because of their High Academics. • Governor Orval Faubus ordered troops to surround the school to keep the nine students from entering. • Elizabeth Eckford (one of the students) was mobbed, spit upon, and cursed at and National Guard soldiers turned her away.
Little Rock Nine: Arkansas 1957 • Faubus finally agreed to listen to a Federal judge and let the students in, however they were unable to stay because Faubus removed the troops, but did not offer any protection. - A violent white mob gathered outside the school and the children had to sneak out. • President Eisenhower ordered in troops. For the rest of the school year, US soldiers escorted the children from class to class. The following year Faubus shut down all public schools for one year.
Lunch Counter Sit-ins: Greensboro, North Carolina 1960 • Four Black college students began the lunch counter sit-ins at a Woolworth’s Store. They were protesting Segregated restaurants.
Lunch Counter Sit-ins: Greensboro, North Carolina 1960 • The sit-ins in NC sparked youth in more than 100 Southern cities to conduct sit-ins. In addition to segregated restaurants, they protested segregated parks, pools, libraries & theatres.
Freedom Riders: 1961 • The purpose of the Freedom Rides was to test a Supreme Court order that outlawed segregation in bus terminals • The 1st bus of Freedom Riders in Anniston was met by a white mob. They caught up with the bus and threw a fire bomb through the window. As the freedom riders ran out the bus they were brutally beaten. Consequent freedom riders were beaten with clubs and given no police protection.
Freedom Riders: 1961 • When one of the buses arrived in Montgomery, they were met by a mob of more than 1000 whites. A presidential aide was injured. Robert Kennedy allowed officials to enforce their segregation laws if they guaranteed to riders safety. When the riders arrived in Jackson, they were arrested. He thought this was the only way to protect them.
Birmingham • MLK Jr. chose Birmingham to lead anti-segregation boycotts and mass marches because it was the most segregated city in the south and if he could desegregate Birmingham, he could desegregate any other city.
Birmingham • The largest opposition to King was Commissioner Eugene Bull Connor who ordered police to respond with force and use fire hoses, clubs and dogs.
Birmingham • MLK Jr.’s message in his famous Letter from a Birmingham Jail “was that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.” • The Kennedy administration was horrified into action with the jailing of young school children.
A Shared Dream: March on Washington for Jobs & Freedom 1963 • 250,000 people marched on Washington to support John F Kennedy’s Civil Rights Bill • King delivered his I Have a Dream speech at Lincoln’s Memorial; this was significant because it was 100 years after Lincoln emancipated the slaves (1863)
Civil Rights Act • Two events caused increased public support for a comprehensive civil rights law: - The Birmingham bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church that killed 4 Sunday School girls - The assassination of JFK • In 1964, Congress passed the Civil Rights Act that was signed by President Johnson.
“Fighting for the Ballot” • The tactics used to prevent Blacks from voting, included physical (fire bombings, beatings and harassment), legal (poll taxes, literacy tests) and economic (loss of job, food cut-offs in relief programs and rent increases) forms of terrorism.
“Fighting for the Ballot” • Through voting, Blacks could be recognized as citizens and put political pressure on officials • Without the vote, they had no political strength and could not force the local, state, and federal governments to listen to them.
“Fighting for the Ballot” • - The Council of Federated Organizations (COFO) helped blacks fill out the complicated voter registration forms. They also helped poor people get government assistance and taught black children how to read and write.
“Fighting for the Ballot” • The COFO launched in 1964 the Freedom Summer campaign to bring attention to the voting abuses. 1000 college students were brought to Mississippi to help blacks register to vote and teach in Freedom Schools.
“Fighting for the Ballot” • It was important that many of the registrars were White because violence against white civil rights workers resulted in immediate national reaction, whereas violence done to blacks was often ignored. • Martin Luther King Jr. issued a nationwide appeal for support.
“Fighting for the Ballot” • In response to the Selma March and the murders of activists Jackson, Reeb & Liuzzo, Congress passed what the Voting Rights Act in 1965. The bill outlawed obstacles to black voting and authorized federal officials to enforce fair voting practices.
“Days of Rage” • Some of the younger civil rights activists criticize MLK Jr. for devoting resources to mass marches instead of grassroots political organizing. Some questioned the doctrine of non-violence and others did not want whites to have a role and they wanted to build their own independent political structures.
“Days of Rage” • As a result, an alternative youth organization was formed. They asked whites to leave their organization. Black Power was their slogan with Malcolm X as their spokesperson.
“Days of Rage” • Some of the urban youth were influenced by the message of black militancy because they were not affected by the successes of the civil rights movement. They lived in the midst of crime and poverty, they attended inadequate schools and dropped out early.
“Days of Rage” • They had little to no chance of finding a good job. Many youth dealt with their frustrations by inciting riots.
MLK planned for 1968 “A Poor People’s March in Memphis”. He hoped to bring together all poor people- black and white. • MLK in was shot in 1968 while standing on the balcony of his room at the Lorraine Hotel in Memphis, Tennessee by James Earl Ray.