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Notes: The Civil Rights Movement The Beginning of the Civil Rights Movement (1950s): 1.The Supreme Court, in a decision handed down by new Chief Justice.

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Presentation on theme: "Notes: The Civil Rights Movement The Beginning of the Civil Rights Movement (1950s): 1.The Supreme Court, in a decision handed down by new Chief Justice."— Presentation transcript:

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2 Notes: The Civil Rights Movement

3 The Beginning of the Civil Rights Movement (1950s): 1.The Supreme Court, in a decision handed down by new Chief Justice Earl Warren, ruled that school segregation was unconstitutional in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka (1954). The decision overturned Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) and the “separate but equal” doctrine. It opened the way for challenges to segregation in other institutions. Winning attorney Thurgood Marshall was the future first black Supreme Court justice.

4 2.Rosa Parks refused to give up her bus seat to a white man in Montgomery Alabama in 1955, leading to her arrest and the Montgomery Bus Boycott. The black community refused to ride the buses and successfully ended bus segregation. The boycott gave the Civil Rights Movement its most important leader, Dr. Martin Luther King. His idea of nonviolent and active protest became the method of the Civil Rights movement.

5 3.The 1955 murder of 14 year old Emmett Till for whistling at a white woman brought national attention to the crimes of the south. His killers were not brought to justice.

6 4.The 1957 efforts to integrate schools in Little Rock Arkansas caused chaos when the governor blocked integration of Central High School. President Eisenhower was forced to call out the military to restore order and force integration.

7 Events of the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s: 1.In February of 1960, four students began a sit in at a Greensboro NC lunch counter that didn’t serve blacks. The movement spread, and thousands faced arrest and attack by challenging segregation.

8 2.Sit in leaders formed the Student Non-violent Coordination Committee (SNCC) 3.In 1961, two buses loaded with “Freedom Riders” traveled to the South. They were attacked, their buses burned, and the riders beaten. President Kennedy was outraged and the Supreme Court outlawed segregation on interstate travel.

9 4.Birmingham AL was seen as the most segregated city in the U.S. King led protests there that resulted in his own arrest. He wrote his “Letter from Birmingham Jail” Other protestors in Birmingham were beaten by police who were led by Bull Connor. Fire hoses and attack dogs were used on the protestors, causing outrage among the U.S. population watching on TV.

10 5.In 1963, the March on Washington brought 200,000 blacks to the nation’s capital. Singing the Civil Rights anthem “We Shall Overcome”, they gathered around the Washington Monument. King gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech, one of the highlights of the Civil Rights Movement.

11 6.LBJ, as part of his “Great Society” programs, signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that JFK had endorsed. It prohibited discrimination in employment and public accommodations based on race. 7.Still seeking voting rights, King led a march from Selma AL to Montgomery in The marchers were attacked and beaten by police on the Edmund Pettus Bridge, but completed their march on the third attempt.

12 8.The 24th Amendment to the Constitution outlawed poll taxes and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 forbid literacy tests for voters. Thousands of black regained the vote.

13 Alternate Civil Rights Approaches: 1.The Nation of Islam (Black Muslims) encouraged racial separatism and the use of violent retaliation for white violence. 2.Malcolm X was a leader of this movement. He eventually broke with the Nation of Islam, which was later responsible for his assassination.

14 3.The “Black Power” movement encouraged black pride and black control over their own businesses and communities. The Black Panthers are an example of this movement. 4.Several race riots in cities outside of the South proved that race was a national and not a regional problem. Some of the riots were the result of the 1968 assassination of Martin Luther King in Memphis TN.

15 5.White backlash appeared as some believed that programs like affirmative action took the Civil Rights Movement too far. 6.Other groups responded to the Civil Rights Movement with movements of their own. Women, college students, counterculture Hippies, Mexican Americans, and Native Americans fought for their rights during the turbulent 60s and 70s.


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