Civil Rights Movement Moving Towards Equality
Georgia Politics - 3 Governor’s Episode • Governor-Elect Eugene Talmadge died before he could take office in 1947 • Several hundred of Talmadge’s supporters, knowing he might die, wrote in Herman Talmadge’s name for governor • When Eugene died, the legislature declared Herman governor while outgoing Gov. Arnall declared Lt. Gov. Melvin Thompson governor • Courts appointed Thompson acting governor; Talmadge won the special election in 1948 • At one point, Arnall, Herman Talmadge, and Melvin Thompson all claimed the office of governor.
Why did the State Supreme Court have to get involved? • State constitution did not address the situation—what to do about gubernatorial succession if a governor-elect died. • Legislature did NOT have the power to appoint a governor • Legislature could not pass a retroactive law to settle the problem; it was necessary to have a solution come from the courts • Court ordered a special election to elect a new governor and created a temporary solution by naming an acting governor until the election could be held using existing law allowing for special elections. • The state constitution was amended to reflect the court order in case a similar situation ever arose again.
White Primary • Law allowing only whites to vote in Primary Elections. • GA essentially a one party state; the person elected in the primary won the general election • Kept the black citizens from having political power by preventing input into party nominees. • 1946: Declared illegal by a federal court. • African Americans now had a voice in Georgia politics .
Plessy v Ferguson (1896)– the court sided with the “separate but equal” doctrine, legalizing segregation. • 1950 - Linda Brown tried to enroll in all white school in Topeka, Kansas. She was denied the right to attend that school. NAACP helped her parents sue the school board. • Brown v Board of Education (1954) – Supreme Court reversed the Plessy & ordered racial integration of US public schools “with all deliberate speed.” US Supreme Court and Segregation
Thurgood Marshall – NAACP lawyer who represented Brown. • He argued that “separate” could never be “equal.” • By their very nature, segregated schools violate the Fourteenth Amendment.
Georgia’s Flag • 1956: In response to the Civil Rights Movement, segregationist Georgia Legislators changed the state flag to include the Confederate Flag
History of GA’s Flag • GA has had 8 state flags • 1956: In reaction to court ordered desegregation laws, segregationist law makers created a flag that incorporated Confederate symbols • 2003: By a 3 to 1 majority Georgia voters selected a new flag removing most of the Confederate symbols
Albany Movement • After the Brown decision city of Albany, GA attempted to halt segregation in its city. • The Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) successfully protested the city’s segregated bus system. Sit-ins Marches Boycotts
The Sibley Commission • 1955 - GA General Assembly voted to cut off state funding to any school system that integrated. • 1960 – Gen. Assembly appointed John Sibley to head a commission to study problem of school integration • By a 3 to 2 margin Georgians would rather close their schools than integrate • Commission recommended local systems decide whether to comply with court ordered integration or close • Many private schools opened to avoid the issue
1961 - Hamilton Holmes & Charlayne Hunter are first African Americans to enroll at UGA • Supported by Gov. Ernest Vandiver Georgia Integrates Schools
The Montgomery Bus Boycott Parks’ arrest and the subsequent boycott enacted against Montgomery’s transit system served to trigger the modern Civil Rights Movement
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. became the spokesman for the Montgomery Improvement Association • - formed by a group of black ministers to protest the arrest of Rosa Parks. • - called for all African-Americans to boycott the Montgomery buses. Montgomery Bus Boycott
Goals 1. Black passengers treated with courtesy. 2. Hire African-American drivers for primarily black routes. 3. Seating on first come basis. Goals and Results Results 1. US Supreme Court ruled segregation on any public transportation system was unlawful. 2. MLK Jr. would become a national figure in the Civil Rights movement.
Dr. King developed his nonviolent approach to solving problems during his studies in theology. • He based his ideas on the writing of Henry David Thoreau and on India’s leader, Mahatma Gandhi. The Nonviolent Approach
Benjamin Mays • Benjamin Mays – This Georgian was the president of Morehouse College • Worked with the NAACP • Became 1st African American president & later Chairman of the Atlanta Board of Education • Mentor/teacher of MLK
MLK’s four pronged approach • 1. Direct nonviolent actions. • Legal solutions. • (Like Brown v Board of Ed) • 3. Elections • 4. Economic boycotts
SCLC – Southern Christian Leadership Conference was formed to use King’s nonviolent approach to civil rights issues. • SNCC – Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee members where college students who had adopted King’s nonviolent approach. African-Americans Organize
The March on Washington to push for a federal civil rights law was a large political rally held at the Lincoln Memorial on August 28, 1963. • Dr. King delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech that called for racial harmony. Approximately 250,000 people took part in the march. March on Washington
The Civil Rights Act was the most important civil rights law since Reconstruction. • Outlawed segregation in all public places. It also made discrimination in businesses and unions illegal. • Also secured the right to vote for 18 year olds. Civil Rights Act of 1964
In spite of the Civil Rights Act, African Americans in many sections of the South could not vote. • Whites & blacks from around the nation came south during the “Freedom Summer” of 1964 to help African Americans to register to vote. Fight for Civil Rights Continues
Dr. King organized the march to bring attention to the issue of voting rights. • On "Bloody Sunday," March 7, 1965, 600 civil rights marchers headed east out of Selma on U.S. Route 80. • They got only as far as the Edmund Pettus Bridge six blocks away, where state and local lawmen attacked them and drove them back into Selma. Selma to Montgomery
Several days after being forced back to Selma, Dr. King applied for a federal permit to hold a march; was granted federal protection against Alabama police officers. • The Selma March influenced Congress to pass the Voting Rights Act. • The Voting Rights Act ended literacy tests and allowed federal workers to register African-American voters in areas that practiced voting discrimination. Voting Rights Act of 1965
April 4 1968: MLK shot on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis while talking to Jesse Jackson. Murdered by James Earl Ray.
Andrew Young • Worked with MLK. • Became executive director of SCLC • Member of the US House of Representatives from GA (1972 – 1976) • 1st African American elected to the House from GA since Reconstruction • Helped the poor and working classes • Supported Jimmy Carter for President • Ambassador to the United Nations • Served as mayor of Atlanta • Helped to solidify black political power • Helped bring the Olympics to Atlanta in 1996.
Maynard Jackson • 1st African American mayor of Atlanta in 1974. • Created Neighborhood Planning Units giving citizens a voice in their politics • Led development & expansion of MARTA • Expanded Hartsfield Airport • Increased programs for the arts • Restored the Cyclorama • Helped bring the Olympics to Atlanta • Airport renamed Hartsfield-Jackson in his honor after his death in 2003
Lester Maddox • Became Governor in 1967 when selected by the GA Gen Assembly after election that saw no candidate win a clear majority • Segregationist • Appointed more African Americans to state boards than all governors before him combined • “People’s Days” -citizens could come and talk about what was on their minds with government officials