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The Struggle for Civil Rights. I need a new organisational theme for this lecture – more grass-roots stuff? Challenge Montgomery to Selma narrative? Scope.

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Presentation on theme: "The Struggle for Civil Rights. I need a new organisational theme for this lecture – more grass-roots stuff? Challenge Montgomery to Selma narrative? Scope."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Struggle for Civil Rights

2 I need a new organisational theme for this lecture – more grass-roots stuff? Challenge Montgomery to Selma narrative? Scope of the lecture has widened to include post-1964 story, black power etc. This needs MASSIVE editing. Too many slides

3 Signs of Change in the 50s Bi-racial alliances The black vote Popular Culture Legal breakthroughs: Brown and Brown II Civil Rights Act of 1957 Urbanisation, more education for blacks Economic prosperity, increasing consumer power of black people

4 Civil Rights Organisations NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), founded 1909 in New York City by Ida Wells-Barnett, W.E.B. DuBois and others Roy Wilkins, Executive Director of the NAACP in the 1960s

5 Civil Rights Organisations SCLC (Southern Christian Leadership Conference) founded in 1957 in wake of Montgomery Bus Boycott. Lead by Martin Luther King, Ralph Abernathy, Fred Shuttlesworth and others

6 Civil Rights Organisations CORE (Congress for Racial Equality founded 1942 at the University of Chicago by James Farmer, Bayard Rustin and others, influenced by Thoreau and Gandhi: non-violent direct action James Farmer

7 Civil Rights Organisations SNCC (Student Non- Violent Co-ordinating Committee), founded in 1960 in wake of Greensboro sit-ins, inspired by Ella Baker. Leading figures included, Julian Bond, Stokely Carmichael and John Lewis

8 1960: Sit-ins

9 1961: Freedom Rides

10 1962: The Limits of Protest Albany, GA: Laurie Pritchett “Protest becomes an effective tactic to the extent that it elicits brutality and oppression from the power structure.” Bayard Rustin

11 1962: The Limits of Protest “Tokenism” and the difficulty of forcing federal intervention: the ambiguous success of James Meredith at “Ole Miss”

12 Political Power of Segregationists Governors: Ross Barnett and George Wallace Senate: James Eastland, chair of Judicial Committee Hoover hated King and distrusted all Civil Rights activists, condoned and co- operated with segregationist forces

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14 1963: Birmingham

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16 “ The purpose of our direct-action program is to create a situation so crisis-packed that it will inevitably open the door to negotiation.” Martin Luther King, Letter from Birmingham Jail, 1963

17 1963: Birmingham Non-violence losing its power as an energising ideology 15,000 demonstrators arrested in 1963 Revealed the importance of television news “Do I really want to be integrated into a burning house?” James Baldwin, The Fire Next Time (1963)

18 1963 Civil Rights Bill Curbed discrimination in public accommodations Did not deal with local or state elections, or police brutality or racial discrimination in employment

19 1963: The Final Assault on Jim Crow

20 1963: March on Washington

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22 “What counted most at the Lincoln Memorial was not the speeches, eloquent as they were, but the pledge of a quarter million Americans, black and white, to carry the civil rights revolution into the streets. Our task is now to fulfill this pledge through nonviolent uprisings in hundreds of cities.” Bayard Rustin

23 “There wasn’t a single logistics aspect unctrolled… [This was] the Farce on Washington…” Malcolm X

24 Civil Rights Act, 1964 Barred discrimination on the basis of race in public accommodations Justice Dept could bring suits against states that discriminated against women and racial minorities Unlawful for any private company with more than 25 employees to discriminate on the basis of “race, national origin, religion or sex.”

25 Atlantic City, 1964 Democratic Convention: The Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party

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27 Unfinished Business

28 Harlem, 1964

29 Watts Riot, August 1965

30 Malcolm X Nation of Islam: 30,000 members by 1963 How is the black man going to get "civil rights" before first he wins his human rights? Autobiography of Malcolm X

31 “If it is wrong to be violent defending black women and black children and black babies and black men, then it is wrong for America to draft us and make us violent abroad in defense of her. And if it is right for America to draft us, and teach us how to be violent in defense of her, then it is right for you and me to do whatever is necessary to defend our own people right here in this country.” November 9, 1963

32 America now faces a race war… a war in which children are mutilated… the worst war that you can conceive… [the white man] is bringing it down on himself… simply because twenty million ex-slaves are demanding freedom, justice and equality… seeking human dignity … The American white man answers your non-violence with violence.

33 Feb

34 Black Power “Integration is a subterfuge for white supremacy” Stokely Carmichael, “We reject the American dream as defined by white people, and must work to construct an American reality as defined by Afro-Americans.” SNCC, 1966

35 Tommie Smith and John Carlos, Mexico City, 1968

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37 Black Panther Party Poster, 1969

38 “It was the moment Dr King realised the importance of economics” Bayard Rustin

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