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The Segregation System

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1 Chapter 21 African American Civil Rights Section 1: Taking on Segregation

2 The Segregation System
Civil Rights Act of 1875 Outlawed segregation Supreme Court overturned it in 1883 Plessy v. Ferguson “separate but equal” did not violate the 14th amendment (equal treatment) Allowed Southern states to pass Jim Crow laws (separating the races) Allowed restrictions on inter-race contact

3 Civil Rights Movement WW2 set the stage for the civil rights movement
Opened new job opportunities One million African Americans served Came home and fought to end discrimination During the war, civil rights organizations fought for voting rights and challenged Jim Crow laws

4 Challenging Segregation in Court
Campaign led by the NAACP Focused on inequality between separate schools that states provided Thurgood Marshall argued many of these cases Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka Marshall’s most stunning victory Supreme Court struck down segregation in public schools as a violation of 14th amendment To be implemented “with all deliberate speed”

5 Reaction to Brown Official reaction was mixed
Within a year, 500 school districts had desegregated Some areas resisted Reappearance of KKK Governor of Georgia – “Georgia will not comply”!

6 Crisis in Little Rock State had been planning for desegregation
Governor Faubus ordered the National Guard to turn away the “Little Rock Nine” The 9 African American students who would integrate Little Rock Central High A Federal judge ordered Faubus to let the students attend the school Eisenhower placed the National Guard under federal control to watch the 9 attend school A year later, Faubus shut down the high school

7 Montgomery Bus Boycott
African Americans were impatient with the slow speed of change Took direct action 1955 – Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat and was arrested JoAnn Robinson suggested a boycott of the buses Leaders of the African American community formed the Montgomery Improvement Association (MIA) Elected 26 yr old Martin Luther King to lead

8 Montgomery Bus Boycott
Dr. King made a passionate speech and filled the audience with a sense of mission African Americans boycotted the buses for 381 days and filed a lawsuit Organized car pools Walked long distances 1956 – Supreme Court outlawed bus segregation

9 Martin Luther King, Jr. MLK called his nonviolent resistance “soul force” Influences Jesus – love one’s enemies Henry David Thoreau – concept of civil disobedience (refusal to obey an unjust law) A. Philip Randolph – massive demonstrations Gandhi – non violent resistance

10 Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC)
SCLC founded in 1957 by MLK and other civil rights leaders Purpose – carry on nonviolent crusades against discrimination Used protests and demonstrations Helped organize a student protest group (SNCC) – Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee Challenge the system!

11 Movement Spreads Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) staged the first sit-in in 1942 African Americans would sit at segregated lunch counters and refuse to leave until they were served 1960 – students in North Carolina staged a sit-in at a lunch counter Television crews covered the protest African Americans were non-violent, but white resistance was not Movement spread across nation (sit-ins in 48 cities)

12 Freedom riders Freedom riders expose Southern resistance to federal desegregation rulings. They rode buses throughout the south hoping to provoke white racists and force Kennedy and the administration to act The Freedom Riders were attacked and the bus line refused to take them any further after one bus was fire bombed CORE Freedom Riders stopped, but SNCC (Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee) resumed…

13 Freedom riders (Continued)
When the SNCC riders went to Birmingham the Police Chief “Bull” Connor had them beaten and taken to Tennessee. But they returned and sat in a white only bus terminal until they could get a ride to Montgomery Attorney General, Robert Kennedy finally forced the bus company to take them on May 20, 1961 after waiting for 18 hours In addition, a federal order banning segregation in all interstate travel facilities, including waiting rooms, restrooms, and lunch counters was handed down

14 James Meredith Federal troops are needed to get James Meredith into the all-white University of Mississippi Meredith won a court case that allowed him to enroll The governor, Ross Barnett refused to let him register as a student JFK ordered federal marshals to escort Meredith to the registrar’s office

15 Reaction in mississippi
Barnet appealed over the radio to Mississippians to “never surrender” Riots broke out on September 30, 1962 2 deaths resulted it took 5,000 soldiers, 200 arrests, and 15 hours to stop the rioters Meredith was escorted to class following the incident and nightriders shooting at his parents house forced federal protection

16 Problems in birmingham
Television coverage of the brutal treatment of marchers in Birmingham leads President Kennedy to call for passage of a new civil rights bill Birmingham was strict on its total segregation policy and had 18 bombings between 1957 and 1963 MLK Jr. and SCLC invited to Birmingham to desegregate city by Fred Shuttlesworth, head of Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights MLK Jr. arrested and write a “letter from Birmingham jail” Economic boycott and negative press convinced Birmingham officials to end segregation

17 “I have a Dream…” August 28, ,000 people (75,000 whites) march on Washington and hear MLK Jr. deliver his improvised “I have a Dream” speech The violence continued with more bombings of churches. President Johnson pushes the Civil Rights Act of 1964 through Congress

18 Civil Rights Act of 1964 This act prohibited discrimination because of race, religion, national origin, and gender. It also gave citizens the right to enter libraries, parks, washrooms, restaurants, theaters, and other public accommodations.

19 Freedom summer Violence and intimidation prevent millions of African Americans in the South from registering to vote Two groups, the SNCC and CORE began going through the south to register as many people as possible. This became known as the “Freedom Summer” The group consisted of primarily student volunteers, mostly white. In June of 1964, three workers disappeared in Mississippi. It was later found out that local police and KKK members had killed them. Through the summer, the beatings continued, along with the burning of businesses, homes, and churches

20 Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party (MFDP)
African Americans wanted a voice to try and make the political changes occur. In 1964, the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party was formed. They were led by Fannie Lou Hamer The MFDP were given 2 seats in the Mississippi Democratic Convention. Hamer’s response “We didn’t come all this way for no two seats.”

21 The Selma Campaign In the beginning of 1965, the SNCC began a major voting rights campaign in Selma, Alabama. After demonstrator Jimmy Lee Jackson was killed, a march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama was announced. This was lead by Martin Luther King Jr. 600 protestors set out on March 7, 1965. That night, police swung whips, clubs, and used tear gas to stop the march. On March 21, 1965, 3,000 marchers set out again for Montgomery with federal protection. Soon the number grew to 25,000

22 The Voting Rights Act of 1965
In the summer of 1965, the Voting Rights Act was finally passed. It prohibited any literacy tests that had previously stopped many voters. In Selma, 10% of African Americans were registered to vote in 1964. By 1968, 60% of the population was registered. Some felt the law did not go far enough

23 African-americans Seek Greater Equality
In the mid 1960s differences over tactics create divisions in the civil rights movement. In the north, de facto segregation traps many African Americans in decaying slums. De facto segregation exists by practice and customs De jure segregation is created by laws. Urban riots revealed that many African Americans suffer economic and political inequality. 1964 – Riots broke out in Harlem over the death of a 15 year old student. 1965 – One of the worst riots in the nation’s history took place in the Watts area of Los Angeles. The rage baffled whites since they had accomplished so much in the south.

24 New Leaders Voice Discontent
Malcom X appeals to a growing sense of African American pride. He encouraged African-Americans to take control of their communities, livelihoods, and culture. His later efforts to temper African American separatism alienate many Black Muslims, three of whom assassinate him. Stokley Carmichael and the Black Panthers signal the growing radicalism of some segments of the African American community. The Black Panthers were started by Huey Newton and Bobby Seale in Oakland, California, Even though militant, the efforts of the Black Panthers to improve neighborhoods won support from many in the ghettos.

25 1968 – A Turning Point in Civil Rights
Martin Luther King attempts to organize a Poor People’s Campaign to counter the angry rhetoric of Black Power. King is assassinated in Memphis, where he was helping African-American trash collectors fight for fair treatment from the city. King’s death sets off the worst wave of race riots in the nation’s history.

26 Legacy of the civil Rights MOvement
The civil rights movement wipes out de jure segregation from the laws of America. De facto segregation and unequal economic opportunities remain entrenched. The lingering affects of racism, as reported by the Kerner Commission, remain one of the greatest challenges facing the nation in the years ahead.

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