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Using the founding documents to fight for the cause.

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Presentation on theme: "Using the founding documents to fight for the cause."— Presentation transcript:

1 Using the founding documents to fight for the cause

2 172 Years too late? “There are those who say to you-we are rushing this issue of civil rights. I say we are 172 years late.” - Who said it? - Guess the year it was said.

3 The Founding Documents of the Nation The Declaration of Independence The Bill of Rights “We hold these truths to be self evident- that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.” (The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America; July 4, 1776) “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” (Amendment I of the United States Constitution, 1789)

4 The Fourteenth Amendment All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws. (Section I, Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, 1865)

5 Lesson Overview 1. Work in groups to interpret and analyze resources from the Civil Rights Movement 2. Whole class discussion about what you have done in these groups 3. Create a situation based on what we have discussed 4. Closing Discussion

6 Activity Groups

7 Dr. Martin Luther King alludes to the Declaration of Independence. “This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the “unalienable Rights” of “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.” (Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.; August 28, 1963)

8 Segregated Schools

9 Jim Crow Laws: Separate but Equal

10 Brown v The Board of Education The 1954 United States Supreme Court decision in Oliver L. Brown et. al. v. the Board of Education (KS) declared that discriminatory nature of racial segregation… “violates the 14 th amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which guarantees all citizens equal protection of the laws.”

11 The Role of Courts and Social Equality Thurgood Marshall (center ) following the Brown v Board of Education decision, which declared segregation in schools unconstitutional. How were the Declaration of Independence and the Fourteenth Amendment in some of these landmark civil rights court cases?

12 The Aftermath of the Brown v the Board of Education Decision The Little Rock Nine Central High School; Little Rock, Arkansas 1957

13 Southern reaction to desegregation Attempting to block desegregation at the University of Alabama, Governor George Wallace stands defiantly at the door while being confronted by Deputy U.S. Attorney General Nicholas Katzenbach. June 11, 1963

14 Southern reaction to desegregation While many schools throughout the south were confronted with protesters attempting to prevent integration, Miss Mary Brent, principal of the previously all white Glenn Elementary School in Nashville greets black and white students, without incident, on the first day of school.

15 Race in Schools: Still an Issue?

16 Powerful Photographs of the Civil Rights Era




20 The Problem We All Live With -Norman Rockwell, Look Magazine, 1964

21 Left: Women arrested for reading in a “white’s only” Library Right: Participants in a “sit- in” protest in Jackson, MS (Anne Moody, Coming of Age in Mississippi)

22 How could some of these pictures, appeal to everyday Americans who believed in the “unalienable rights” join the causes?

23 March on Selma- “Bloody Sunday”- March 7, 1965

24 Lyndon B. Johnson- “We Shall Overcome”- March 1965

25 Bob Dylan- “Only a Pawn in Their Game” (1963)

26 Differences in Opinion: Malcolm X

27 The Ballot or the Bullet by Malcolm X April 3, 1964 Cleveland, Ohio We're all in the same boat and we all are going to catch the same hell from the same man. He just happens to be a white man. All of us have suffered here, in this country, political oppression at the hands of the white man, economic exploitation at the hands of the white man, and social degradation at the hands of the white man. Now in speaking like this, it doesn't mean that we're anti-white, but it does mean we're anti- exploitation, we're anti-degradation, we're anti-oppression. And if the white man doesn't want us to be anti-him, let him stop oppressing and exploiting and degrading us. Whether we are Christians or Muslims or nationalists or agnostics or atheists, we must first learn to forget our differences. If we have differences, let us differ in the closet; when we come out in front, let us not have anything to argue about until we get finished arguing with the man. If the late President Kennedy could get together with Khrushchev and exchange some wheat, we certainly have more in common with each other than Kennedy and Khrushchev had with each other……

28 Differences in Opinion: Malcolm X The Ballot or the Bullet by Malcolm X April 3, 1964 Cleveland, Ohio The government has failed us. You can't deny that. Any time you're living in the 20th century, 1964, and you walking around here singing "We Shall Overcome," the government has failed you. [applause] This is part of what's wrong with you, you do too much singing. [laughter] Today it's time to stop singing and start swinging. [laughter, applause] You can't sing up on freedom. But you can swing up on some freedom. [cheering]….. If we don't do something real soon, I think you'll have to agree that we're going to be forced either to use the ballot or the bullet. It's one or the other in 1964. It isn't that time is running out -- time has run out!....... It's time now for you and me to become more politically mature and realize what the ballot is for; what we're supposed to get when we cast a ballot; and that if we don't cast a ballot, it's going to end up in a situation where we're going to have to cast a bullet. It's either a ballot or a bullet.

29 Differences in Opinion: Malcolm X Malcolm X speaks about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.- February 1965

30 Differences in Opinion: The Black Panther Party “We must serve notice on our oppressors that we as a people are not going to be frightened by the attempted assassination of our leaders. For my assassination—and I'm the low man on the totem pole—I want 30 police stations blown up, one southern governor, two mayors, and 500 cops, dead. If they assassinate Brother Carmichael, Brother Brown... Brother Seale, this price is tripled. And if Huey is not set free and dies, the sky is the limit!” -James Forman, Black Panther Party Minister of Foreign Affairs, February 17, 1968

31 Differences in Opinion-Best Methods?

32 The Civil Rights Act of 1964 An act to enforce the constitutional right to vote, to confer jurisdiction upon the district courts of the United States of America to provide relief against discrimination in the public accommodations, to authorize the Attorney General to institute suits to protect constitutional rights in public facilities and public education, to extend the Commission on the Civil Rights, to prevent discrimination in federally assisted programs, to establish, to establish a Commission on Equal Employment Opportunity, and for other purposes.

33 The Voting Rights Act of 1965 AN ACT To enforce the fifteenth amendment to the Constitution of the United States, and for other purposes. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That this Act shall be known as the "Voting Rights Act of 1965." SEC. 2. No voting qualification or prerequisite to voting, or standard, practice, or procedure shall be imposed or applied by any State or political subdivision to deny or abridge the right of any citizen of the United States to vote on account of race or color.

34 Using the Declaration of Independence to Argue Against Civil Rights ? “It is therefore a cruel irony that the President of the United States has only yesterday signed into law the most monstrous piece of legislation ever enacted by the United States Congress. It is fraud, a sham, and a hoax.” (George C. Wallace, “The Civil Rights Movement: Fraud, Sham, Hoax”) July 4, 1964

35 How can these founding documents be used for civil rights in today’s world? Create a scenario in which a person or group of people in American society today might use the Declaration of Independence or Bill of Rights to defend their civil rights. How would the leaders of the Civil Rights movement help defend this person or group? Some ideas: Arab-Americans, Immigrants, Religious groups, Gay rights groups

36 Going Back to Where We Started “There are those who say to you – we are rushing this issue of civil rights. I say we are 172 years late.” Any guesses?

37 Hubert Humphrey! 1948 Democratic National Convention “He [Thomas Jefferson] did not proclaim that all the white, or the black, or the red, or the yellow men are equal; that all Christian or Jewish men are equal; that all Protestant and Catholic men are equal; that all rich and poor men are equal; that all good and bad men are equal. What he declared was that all men are equal; and the equality which he proclaimed was the equality in the right to enjoy the blessings of free government in which they may participate and to which they have given their support. My friends, to those who say that we are rushing this issue of civil rights, I say to them we are 172 years late. To those who say that this civil-rights program is an infringement on states’ rights, I say this: The time has arrived in America for the Democratic Party to get out of the shadow of states’ rights and to walk forthrightly into the bright sunshine of human rights. People – human beings – this is the issue of the 20 th century. People of all kinds – all sorts of people – and these people are looking to America for leadership, and they’re looking to America for precept and example.

38 The Assassination of Dr. King

39 April 4, 1968- 6:01 P.M.

40 “Somewhere I read….” Final Speech- Memphis, TN April 3, 1968

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