Presentation on theme: "Jim Crow and Civil Rights The African American Experience."— Presentation transcript:
Jim Crow and Civil Rights The African American Experience
Guiding Questions: What difference did the rise of Jim Crow policies make in the day-to-day lives of African Americans at the turn of the century? How did African Americans respond to the racial hostility they experienced in the Jim Crow era?
What was Jim Crow? The legal and extralegal forms of racial segregation A system of racial domination
When and where did the Jim Crow system exist? 1880s-1900s – codification of the separation of blacks and whites De jure segregation vs. de factor segregation North and South
C. Vann Woodward, The Strange Career of Jim Crow, "segregation would have been impractical under slavery…” Discuss this statement For additional reading see e/VUS08/essay08c.html e/VUS08/essay08c.html
Why race relations worsened in the late 1880s and 1890s is a hotly contested question. it reflected the collapse of the cotton economy, which led many whites to search for scapegoats. also related to a fear among many southern whites that a new generation of African Americans which had been born after the Civil War and not been subjected to slavery would not defer to white authority. a reaction against the increasing economic independence of southern blacks. From 1880 to 1900, black farm ownership increased from 19.6 to 25.4 percent, while sharecropping, declined from to 37.9 percent.
A System of Racial Domination Economics Politics Social
Jim Crow Must help students understand that Jim Crow was more than a series of strict anti-black laws. It was a way of life. List of typical Jim Crow laws Barbers. No colored barber shall serve as a barber (to) white girls or women (Georgia). Blind Wards. The board of trustees shall...maintain a separate building...on separate ground for the admission, care, instruction, and support of all blind persons of the colored or black race (Louisiana). Burial. The officer in charge shall not bury, or allow to be buried, any colored persons upon ground set apart or used for the burial of white persons (Georgia). See “What Was Jim Crow?” by Dr. David Pilgrim at
Jim Crow etiquette A black male could not offer his hand (to shake hands) with a white male because it implied being socially equal. Blacks and whites were not supposed to eat together. If they did eat together, whites were to be served first, and some sort of partition was to be placed between them. Whites did not use courtesy titles of respect when referring to blacks, for example, Mr., Mrs., Miss., Sir, or Ma'am. Instead, blacks were called by their first names. Blacks had to use courtesy titles when referring to whites, and were not allowed to call them by their first names. If a black person rode in a car driven by a white person, the black person sat in the back seat or the back of a truck. White motorists had the right-of-way at all intersections.
Race and Place
Social Jim Crowism: Segregated Transportation Challenges against Segregated Transportation (see “All the Women were White”) Niagara Movement (see next slide) The Niagara Movement was organized in 1905 by W.E.B. DuBois, William Monroe Trotter, Ida Wells Barnett, and other middle-class but militant Black intellectuals. It was a repudiation of the conservative and stifling leadership of Booker T. Washington and the Tuskegee Machine. (see “The Niagara Movement Declaration of Principles” at ) NAACP The NAACP was formed in 1909 through the merger of two organizations: the Niagara Movement and the National Negro Conference.
The black laws / speech of Hon. B.W. Arnett of Greene County, and Hon. J.A. Brown of Cuyahoga County, in the Ohio House of Representatives, March 10, Members [of the Ohio House of Representatives] will be astonished when I tell them that I have traveled in this free country for twenty hours without anything to eat; not because I had no money to pay for it, but because I was colored. Other passengers of a lighter hue had breakfast, dinner and supper. In traveling we are thrown in "jim crow" cars, denied the privilege of buying a berth in the sleeping coach. This monster caste stands at the doors of the theatres and skating rinks, locks the doors of the pews in our fashionable churches, closes the mouths of some of the ministers in their pulpits which prevents the man of color from breaking the bread of life to his fellowmen. This foe of my race stands at the school house door and separates the children, by reason of color, and denies to those who have a visible admixture of African blood in them the blessings of a graded school and equal privileges...We call upon all friends of Equal Rights to assist us in this struggle to secure the blessings of untrammeled liberty for ourselves and prosperity.
Excerpt of “The Niagara Movement Declaration of Principles” (1905) Protest: We refuse to allow the impression to remain that the Negro-American assents to inferiority, is submissive under oppression and apologetic before insults. Through helplessness we may submit, but the voice of protest of ten million Americans must never cease to assail the ears of their fellows, so long as America is unjust. Color-Line: Any discrimination based simply on race or color is barbarous, we care not how hallowed it be by custom, expediency or prejudice. Differences made on account of ignorance, immorality, or disease are legitimate methods of fighting evil, and against them we have no word of protest; but discriminations based simply and solely on physical peculiarities, place of birth, color of skin, are relics of that unreasoning human savagery of which the world is and ought to be thoroughly ashamed. "Jim Crow" Cars: We protest against the "Jim Crow" car, since its effect is and must be to make us pay first-class fare for third-class accommodations, render us open to insults and discomfort and to crucify wantonly our manhood, womanhood and self-respect.
Economic Jim Crowism
Sharecropping System – the dominate form of labor relations What did black farmers want? What did white planters want? Cycle of debt “fixing the books” “settlin’ time” Debt peonage Credit system Vagrancy laws Convict lease system Involuntary servitude
Sharecropper Contract, 1882 To every one applying to rent land upon shares, the following conditions must be read, and agreed to. To every 30 and 35 acres, I agree to furnish the team, plow, and farming implements... The croppers are to have half of the cotton, corn, and fodder (and peas and pumpkins and potatoes if any are planted) if the following conditions are complied with, but-if not-they are to have only two-fifths (2/5)... All must work under my direction.... No cropper is to work off the plantation when there is any work to be done on the land he has rented, or when his work is needed by me or other croppers.... Every cropper must feed or have fed, the team he works, Saturday nights, Sundays, and every morning before going to work, beginning to feed his team (morning, noon, and night every day in the week) on the day he rents and feeding it to including the 31st day of December....for every time he so fails he must pay me five cents. The sale of every cropper's part of the cotton to be made by me when and where I choose to sell, and after deducting all they owe me and all sums that I may be responsible for on their accounts, to pay them their half of the net proceeds. Work of every description, particularly the work on fences and ditches, to be done to my satisfaction, and must be done over until I am satisfied that it is done as it should be. SOURCE: Grimes Family Papers, Southern Historical Collection, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, in Robert D. Marcus and David Burner, eds., America Firsthand (1992), pp. 306—308.
Sharecropping: Continuity or Change?
Frustrated Sharecroppers Robert Curtis Smith (turn of the century) in Litwack, Trouble in Mind, p. 134 If you make a crop and don’t clear nothin’ and you still wound up won on your sharecrop and on your furnish’ and you try to move, well the police be after you then all right. But if you’re clear well mostly, you cant go too far because of the money. If you move, or if you try to move, they know if they like the way you work they make you pay somethin’ just for holdin’ the house up. If, after you pay that you want to move, well you can’t go too far because…you gonne need money to carry you on to the place where you can get work. And if you caint get work at one place you go to the next place, but you caint go too far, because you aint got enough in hand to go that far.
Sharecropping in Virginia areCropTN.pdf areCropTN.pdf
How did African Americans respond to the limits of Southern labor systems? Maintain self-sufficiency Tenancy A tenant owned the crop he produced, the sharecropper did not Black women’s labor
Housing In the rural South, blacks lived in the same housing that had been built for slaves. What did this housing look like? When did housing improve? How?
Housing , U.S. Department of Agriculture report on housing in the Tuskegee region of Alabama: Practically all the negroes live in cabins, generally built of logs, with only one or at most two rooms. The spaces between the logs were either left open, admitting free passage of the wind in winter as well as in summer, or were chinked with earth or occasionally with pieces of board. The roofs were covered with coarse shingles or boards and were apt to be far from tight. The windows had no sash or glass, but instead, wooden blinds, which were kept open in all weather to admit the light.
W. E. B. Du Bois (1908) As cooking, washing and sleeping go on in the same room an accumulation of stale sickly odors are manifest to every visitor…A room so largely in use is with difficulty to kept clean. ….animals stray into the house; there are either no privies or bad ones; facilities for bathing even the face and hands are poor…The average country home leaks in the roof and is poorly protected against changes in the weather. A hard storm means the shutting out of all air and light; cold weather leads to overheating, draughts, or poor ventilation; hot weather breeds diseases….
Georgia farm operator (turn of the century) The original plantation houses of the South, I regret to say, were mostly 1-room affairs, 20 or 25 feet square, and those were mostly of logs. The modern house is a frame house, boarded and sheathed with 3 rooms – a general family room, which is used only to put the family bed in and then a separate bedroom, and a kitchen. The general modern tenant house is a 3-room house.
1901, Georgia commissioner of Agriculture Landlords have been forced to build better tenant houses and provide them with modern systems that are adapted all around, in order to retain and keep the best labor. That is really the way that a great many of our best people succeed in keeping their labor, and the better class of labor, by making everything around them as comfortable as possible.
The Politics of Jim Crow Disfranchisement and Political Intimidation
Disfranchisement – 2 Parts Disfranchisement I: The Politics and Culture of Violence Use of violence to suppress black political action Disfranchisement II: Literacy Requirements, property qualifications, Poll Taxes, Grandfather Clauses, and Understanding Clauses Disfanchisment Laws had to be carefully crafted to avoid 15th amendment, they could not explicitly use race as a barrier to voting.
The Culture of Violence and Intimidation Chain Gangs Convict Lease System
Taken from the third chapter of "The Reason why the colored American is not in the World's Columbian Exposition," published in 1893 … the convicts are leased out to work for railway contractors, mining companies and those who farm large plantations. These companies assume charge of the convicts, work them as cheap labor and pay the states a handsome revenue for their labor… ..[The] reason our race furnishes so large a share of the convicts is that the judges, juries and other officials of the courts are white men who share these prejudices. They also make the laws. It is wholly in their power to extend clemency to white criminals and mete severe punishment to black criminals for the same or lesser crimes. The Negro criminals are mostly ignorant, poor and friendless. Possessing neither money to employ lawyers nor influential friends, they are sentenced in large numbers to long terms of imprisonment for petty crimes. …Every Negro so sentenced not only means able-bodied men to swell the state's number of slaves, but every Negro so convicted is thereby disfranchised.
"We found [in the hospital section] twenty-six inmates, all of whom have been lately brought there off the farms and railroads, many of them with consumption and other incurable diseases, and all bearing on their persons marks of the most inhuman and brutal treatment. Most of them have their backs cut in great wales, scars and blisters, some with the skin pealing off in pieces as the result of severe beatings. Their feet and hands in some instances show signs of frostbite, and all of them with the stamp of manhood almost blotted out of their faces.... They are lying there dying, some of them on bare boards, so poor and emaciated that their bones almost come through their skin, many complaining for the want of food.... We actually saw live vermin crawling over their faces, and the little bedding and clothing they have is in tatters and stiff with filth. As a fair sample of this system, on January 6, 1887, 204 convicts were leased to McDonald up to June 6, 1887, and during this six months 20 died, and 19 were discharged and escaped and 23 were returned to the walls disabled and sick, many of whom have since died." Jackson Weekly Clarion, printed in 1887 the inspection report of the state prison in Mississippi:
Why the convict lease system? no black crime spree Southern governments wanted to control the black population. The system used by the planter class and industrialist to intimidate black sharecroppers and provide workers for the South’s growing industry. The system reaffirmed white feelings of racial superiority Helped maintained racial hierarchy of southern society.
Other Helpful Websites: Especially see sections on “Jim Crow Laws,” “Lynching and Riots,” and “Jim Crow Stories.” The lesson plans and activities are also useful.
Disfranchisement Almost all southern states passed statutes restricting suffrage in the years from 1871 to 1889 But, it was in the 1890s that a formal movement for disfranchisement emerged in full force. Why the Delay? The Fifteenth Amendment prohibited states from depriving a citizen of his vote due to race, color, or condition of servitude. Four main ways disfranchisement was accomplished Poll Tax, Literacy requirements, Property requirements, Residency requirements
Escape clauses designed so that poor and illiterate whites could still qualify to vote. (1) Understanding clause Literacy and educational requirements 2/Vote172.shtml LA Literacy Test 2/Vote172.shtml Grandfather clause Could not vote if grandfather could not have voted prior to 1867
African-American Responses to Jim Crow Politics Booker T. Washington The Atlanta Compromise Speech of 1895 (see for document) The Washington-DuBois Debate “Of Mr. Booker T. Washington and Others” published within The Souls of Black Folk (1903) (see for document)
W.E.B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk Chapter III: Of Mr. Booker T. Washington and Others …it has been claimed that the Negro can survive only through submission. Mr. Washington distinctly asks that black people give up, at least for the present, three things,— First, political power, Second, insistence on civil rights, Third, higher education of Negro youth,— and concentrate all their energies on industrial education, the accumulation of wealth, and the conciliation of the South. This policy has been courageously and insistently advocated for over fifteen years, and has been triumphant for perhaps ten years. As a result of this tender of the palm-branch, what has been the return? In these years there have occurred: The disfranchisement of the Negro. The legal creation of a distinct status of civil inferiority for the Negro. The steady withdrawal of aid from institutions for the higher training of the Negro. These movements are not, to be sure, direct results of Mr. Washington’s teachings; but his propaganda has, without a shadow of doubt, helped their speedier accomplishment. The question then comes: Is it possible, and probable, that nine millions of men can make effective progress in economic lines if they are deprived of political rights, made a servile caste, and allowed only the most meagre chance for developing their exceptional men? If history and reason give any distinct answer to these questions, it is an emphatic No.
Racist Publications and Black Response
How are African Americans represented in these photographs?
Do you see any similarities to depicting people as inferior and the use of violence against them? Negative images used to justify discrimination and segregationist system
Defending black identity Henry M. Turner “A man must believe he is somebody before he is acknowledged to be somebody…Respect Black.” (Litwack, Trouble in Mind, p. 462)
Black Progress/Black Resistance
The Quest for an Education Discussion starter: Ask students what the importance of education is to them. How significant is it in their lives?
The Value of an education Elderly black woman,” deer fesser, please accept this 18 cents it is all I have. I save it out of my washing this week. God will bless you. Send you more next week.” A teacher’s diary, “Aunt Hester gave a pound of butter and a dime. Grandma Williams a chicken. Effie McCoy, a cake and five cents; Bessie a dress.” See Richard Wormser, The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow, p. 49
The value of an education: from another perspective Montgomery Alabama Lawyer, “It is a question of who will do the dirty work…If you educate the Negroes they won’t stay where they belong; and you must consider them as a race, because if you let a few rise it makes the others discontented.” Unknown, “It tends to make the negro unwilling to work where he is wanted and desirous of working where he is not wanted…” See Litwack, Trouble in Mind, p. 95
The Quest for Education Why were students afraid? One Virginia county man, “down in my neighborhood they are afraid to be caught with a book.” Caroline Smith, 1871, Georgia “They would not let us have schools. They (KKK) went to a colored man there, whose son had been teaching school, and they took evry book they had and threw them into the fire; and they said they would dare any other [negro] to have a book in his house…
Booker T. Washington and W. E. B. Du Bois Identify significant differences in the early lives of Washington and Du Bois. Where was each man born? Who was born a slave? Where did they go to school? What early experiences played a role in shaping their differing philosophies on elevating African-Americans in American society? Contrast the educational theories of both men. What did each man believe should be the purpose of education for African Americans?
Booker T. Washington Washington was "born a slave on a plantation in Franklin County, Virginia..." (Up From Slavery) in After emancipation, he and his family moved to Malden, West Virginia. The nearby Kanawha Sapines salt furnaces provided wage work for many freed slaves in West Virginia, including members of Washington's family. A prominent white family, the Ruffners, hired the young Washington as a domestic. Washington later said the lessons he learned from them were "... as valuable to me as any education I have gotten anywhere since." see woverview.htm woverview.htm
from "Nineteenth Annual Report of the Principal of the Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute" by Booker T. Washington T. Washington The chief value of industrial education is to give to the students habits of industry, thrift, economy and an idea of the dignity of labor. But in addition to this, in the present economic condition of the colored people, it is most important that a very large proportion of those trained in such institutions as this, actually spend their time at industrial occupations. Let us value the work of Tuskegee by this test...Our students actually cultivate every day, seven hundred acres of land, while studying agriculture. The students studying dairying, actually milk and care for seventy- five milch cows daily...and so I could go on and give not theory, nor hearsay, but actual facts, gleaned from all the departments of the school.
from "The Primary Needs of the Negro Race" by Kelly Miller Miller The first great need of the Negro is that the choice youth of the race should assimilate the principles of culture and hand them down to the masses below. This is the only gateway through which a new people may enter into modern civilization...The Roman youth of ambition completed their education in Athens; the noblemen of northern Europe sent their sons to the southern peninsulas in quest of larger learning...The graduates of Hampton and other institutions of like aim are forming centers of civilizing influence in all parts of the land, and we confidently believe that these grains of leaven will ultimately leaven the whole lump.
W. E. Burghart Du Bois, "The Talented Tenth," September 1903 The Negro race, like all races, is going to be saved by its exceptional men. The problem of education, then, among Negroes must first of all deal with the Talented Tenth; it is the problem of developing the Best of this race that they may guide the Mass away from the contamination and death of the Worst, in their own and other races. ….. How then shall the leaders of a struggling people be trained and the hands of the risen few strengthened? There can be but one answer: The best and most capable of their youth must be schooled in the colleges and universities of the land. We will not quarrel as to just what the university of the Negro should teach or how it should teach it — I willingly admit that each soul and each race-soul needs its own peculiar curriculum. But this is true: A university is a human invention for the transmission of knowledge and culture from generation to generation, through the training of quick minds and pure hearts, and for this work no other human invention will suffice, not even trade and industrial schools.
The Niagara Movement and the NAACP Niagara Movement – 1905 NAACP – 1909 Heirs to the 19 th century abolitionist movement NAACP mission “to ensure that African Americans be physically free from peonge, mentally free from ignorance, politically free from disfranchisement, and socially free from insult.” Booker T. Washington declined to join, so did Ida B. Wells
Discussion Question Do you think that you could have lived as a black person in the Jim Crow South? How would you have coped? What would you have done to survive? What would have been the most difficult thing for you as a young black person to have accepted or coped with in Virginia at the peak of Jim Crow? Answer the same questions from the perspective of a young white person.
Going North – The Great Migration Two phases Phase 1 – Phase 2 – WWI to 1930
The Chicago Defender, April 7, 1917
Albert Alex Smith, "They Have Ears But They Hear Not," The Crisis, XXI (November, 1920), p. 17.
Great Migration One Way Ticket (Langston Hughes) I pick up my life, And take it with me, And I put it down in Chicago, Detroit, Buffalo, Scranton, Any place that is North and East, And not Dixie. I pick up my life And take it on the train, To Los Angeles, Bakersfield, Seattle, Oakland, Salt Lake Any place that is North and West, And not South.
Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Photographs and Prints DivisionSchomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Photographs and Prints Division The Chicago Commission on Race Relations, The Negro in Chicago: A Study of Race Relations and a Race Riot (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1922)The Chicago Commission on Race Relations, The Negro in Chicago: A Study of Race Relations and a Race Riot (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1922)
For Images and Maps about Migration North see ions/landing.cfm ions/landing.cfm Great Migration lesson plan -- center.org/content/2247 center.org/content/2247
Migration Series by Jacob Lawrence odonnell/w1010/edit/migration/migra tion.html
"Interview of Jacob Lawrence" from African American Frontiers: Slave Narratives and Oral Histories Alan Govenar ABC-CLIO (Santa Barbara, My family was a part of the migration. That is, my mother, my sister, and my brother. My father and my mother were separated. I was born in Atlantic City, New Jersey. They were moving up the coast, as many families were during that migration. And I was part of that. We moved up to various cities until we arrived—the last two cities I can remember before moving to New York were Easton, Pennsylvania, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. And then we finally settled in New York City. So that was my upbringing. My young years were spent just doing that: traveling as part of the migration, and that was it. I was aware of people moving, older people like my mother's peers—I would hear them talk about how another family has arrived. And these were the people who would mention the fact that they had been here a few years and they were seeing the new migrants coming in and settling or moving on. And I didn't realize what it was at the time, of course; it's only in later years that I realized what was going on.
The Music of the Great Migration m/defmigration.html m/defmigration.html Harlem Music lesson Plan-- center.org/content/2258 Harlem childrens games lesson plan - center.org/content/2249
“Times Is Gettin Harder”: Blues of the Great Migration Times is gettin' harder, Money’s gettin' scarce. Soon as I gather my cotton and corn, I’m bound to leave this place. White folks sittin' in the parlor, Eatin' that cake and cream, Nigger’s way down to the kitchen, Squabblin' over turnip greens. Times is gettin' harder, Money’s gettin' scarce. Soon as I gather my cotton and corn, I’m bound to leave this place. Me and my brother was out. Thought we’d have some fun. He stole three chickens. We began to run. Times is gettin' harder, Money’s gettin' scarce. Soon as I gather my cotton and corn I’m bound to leave this place. (find at Historymatters.gmu– see also:"Sir I Will Thank You with"Sir I Will Thank You with All My Heart": seven Letters from the Great Migration
What life was like for African Americans in the Jim Crow North in the early the 20th century?
PROMISE LAND? Chicago, Illinois, July 1941 LOC Prints and Photographs Division
Chicago Housing Chicago, Illinois, July 1941 LOC Prints and Photographs Division
Torched school in New Jersey from Scott Nearing, Black America (New York: The Vanguard Press, 1929)
The New Negro
African American Responses: Organized Protest National Urban League in New York City Churches Universal Negro Improvement Association
African American Responses: WWI Complex factor: WWI W.E. B. Dubois “Returning Soldiers” May 1919 “We are returning from war! The Crisis and tens of thousands of black men were drafted into a great struggle. For bleeding France and what she means and has meant and will mean to us and humanity and against the threat of German race arrogance, we fought gladly and to the last drop of blood; for America and her highest ideals, we fought in far-off hope; for the dominant southern oligarchy entrenched in Washington, we fought in bitter resignation. For the America that represents and gloats in lynching, disfranchisement, caste, brutality and devilish insult—for this, in the hateful upturning and mixing of things, we were forced by vindictive fate to fight also. But today we return! We return from the slavery of uniform which the world's madness demanded us to don to the freedom of civil garb. We stand again to look America squarely in the face and call a spade a spade. We sing: This country of ours, despite all its better souls have done and dreamed, is yet a shameful land.”
Red Summer “If We Must Die” (1919) Claude McKay If we must die, let it not be like hogs Hunted and penned in an inglorious spot, While round us bark the mad and hungry dogs, Making their mock at our accursed lot. If we must die, O let us nobly die, So that our precious blood may not be shed In vain; then even the monsters we defy Shall be constrained to honor us though dead! O kinsmen we must meet the common foe! Though far outnumbered let us show us brave, And for their thousand blows deal one deathblow! What though before us lies the open grave? Like men we'll face the murderous, cowardly pack, Pressed to the wall, dying, but fighting back!
The Harlem Renaissance and the “New Negro” paintings by Jacob Lawrence and Aaron DouglasJacob Lawrence Aaron Douglas sculptures by Augusta SavageAugusta Savage picture quilts by Faith RinggoldFaith Ringgold Poetry by Langston HughesLangston Hughes Lesson plan -- center.org/content/2248/
More websites Portrait of Place, Portrait of a Family center.org/content/2259 Portrait of Place, Portrait of a Family center.org/content/2259
Between the Wars “Direct Action during the Depression contrasted sharply both quantitatively and qualitatively with the history of such tactics during the entire preceding century” A. Meier and E. Rudwick Increase in Black Political Awareness Newspaper circulation doubled NAACP membership increased Increased militancy Marcus Garvey – UNIA “Don’t Buy Where You Can’t Work” ( ) Harlem Riot- 1935
The Fight for Civil Rights: Toward a Social Movement (pre-Brown) Focus: The early twentieth-century civil rights efforts of African American – with particular attention on individual acts and local organization such as church groups, and national organizations (i.e. NAACP, NUL and CORE). Goal: Help students understand that long before the African American struggle for rights became a mass movement, local resistance in black communities took many forms.
Rising Black Militancy Langston Hughes (1931) “Tired” I am so tired of waiting, Aren’t you For the world to become good And beautiful and kind? Let us take a knife And cut the world in two— And see what worms are eating At the rind.
World War II and the Rise of African-American Protest Politics A.Philip Randolph and the March on Washington Movement B.The president of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, a primarily black union, was A. Philip Randolph ( ). March 1941, Randolph proposed a new civil rights strategy: a massive march on Washington D. C. Three demands: The immediate end to segregation and discrimination in federal government hiring. An end to segregation of the armed forces. Government support for an end to discrimination and segregation in all American employment.
Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) Est on the University of Chicago campus. The creation of CORE marked the beginning of a mass movement for civil rights. CORE PHILOSOPHY Interracial founders committed to Gandian techniques of “nonviolent direct action” Their tactics provided an important example for later civil rights activists. strikes, demonstrations, boycotts “Don’t Buy Where You Can’t Work” ( ) Sit-ins by Howard Univ. students (
Jackie Robinson: Civil Rights Advocate The first black man to "officially" play in the big leagues, First game with Dodgers in ns/jackie-robinson/
Barbara Johns and Beyond: Rising Expectations, Barbara Johns, April 23, Brown v. Board of Education, May Montgomery Bus Boycott, December Central High School, Little Rock, Arkansas, September 1957 Key Point: “Students took the initiative in seeking to transform legal rights into tangible racial advances.”
The Brown Decision Immediate Reaction to the Decision: Comparing Media Coverage Compare and contrast different regions’ newspaper reportage. How did Virginia newspapers report the decision? Get Local Were Loudoun County schools segregated? Was segregation de jure (by law) or de facto (in fact)? Make sure the students understand that even if schools were not legally segregated (de jure), they could have been segregated in fact (de facto) because people of color were excluded from moving into certain neighborhoods and communities, and the segregated communities created segregated schools. How and when did the schools become integrated? m
African Americans in Montgomery Protest Segregation Transportation Half a century before the Montgomery Bus Boycott African Americans in the city had conducted a two-year boycott when the city council enacted a trolley-car segregation bill. “Like the bus boycott of , the Montgomery streetcar boycott of was part of a larger regional black protest against Jim Crow urban transit.” ( August Meier and Elliott Rudwick, “The Boycott Movement Against Jim Crow Streetcars in the South, ,” Journal of American History, 55, 4 (March 1969), 756. (pdf) ( August Meier and Elliott Rudwick, “The Boycott Movement Against Jim Crow Streetcars in the South, ,” Journal of American History, 55, 4 (March 1969), 756. Slide from presentation by Elsa Brown, 2002
Known Streetcar Boycotts Atlanta, Augusta, 1898 Savannah, 1899 Atlanta and Rome, 1900 Augusta, Jacksonville, 1901 Montgomery, Mobile, 1902 New Orleans and Shreveport, Little Rock, 1903 Columbia, 1903 Slide from presentation by Elsa Brown, 2002 Houston, Vicksburg and Natchez, 1904 San Antonio, Richmond, Memphis, Chattanooga, and Knoxville, 1905 Jacksonville and Pensacola, 1905 Nashville, Danville, Lynchburg, Petersburg, and Norfolk, 1906 Newport News, Savannah,
Who are these Women? March 2, 1955December 1, 1955
Montgomery Bus Boycott Mary Louis Smith, Claudette Colvin – Who were they? ery_bus_boycott.htm ery_bus_boycott.htm Montgomery Bus Boycott—Organizing Strategies and Challenges Activity at andouts.htm andouts.htm Jo Ann Robinson – Who was she? Women's Political Council (WPC) of Montgomery, Alabama May 21, 1954 letter to Mayor INTERVIEW: a/pdfs/ROBINSON-JO%20ANN.pdf a/pdfs/ROBINSON-JO%20ANN.pdf
Slide from Slide from presentation by Elsa Brown, 2002
Flyer announcing boycott Slide from presentation by Elsa Brown, 2002
Teaching the Bus Boycott Toni Morrisson’s Remember on_remember.shtml on_remember.shtml tt.htm tt.htm Teaching With Documents: An Act of Courage, The Arrest Records of Rosa Parks
Student Activism and the Emergence of a Mass Movement, Focus: College students developed new strategies and revitalized old ones that help to escalate the civil rights struggle and broaden its base. Their tactics included sit- ins, freedom rides, jail-ins, boycotts, voter registration drives, and marches. Goal: To help students understand how/why the involvement of college students brought transformed the movement.
Freedom Songs of the Civil Rights Movement Sweet Chariot: The Story of the Spirituals MUSIC OF THE CIVIL RIGHTS ERA, Eyes on the Prize Lesson Smithsonian Folkways Recordings Search for “Sing For Freedom: The Story of the Civil Rights Movement Through Its Songs” and “Voices of the Civil Rights Movement: Black American Freedom Songs ” There are audio clips for both CDs available online.
EYES ON THE PRIZE Paul and Silas bound in jail Had no money for to go their bail Keep your eyes on the prize, hold on Paul and Silas thought they was lost Dungeon shook and the chains come off Keep your eyes on the prize, hold on Freedom's name is mighty sweet And soon we're gonna meet Keep your eyes on the prize, hold on I got my hand on the gospel plow Won't take nothing for my journey now Keep your eyes on the prize, hold on Hold on, hold on Keep your eyes on the prize, hold on Soozie! Only chain that a man can stand Is that chain o' hand on hand Keep your eyes on the prize, hold on I'm gonna board that big greyhound Carry the love from town to town Keep your eyes on the prize, hold on Hold on, hold on Keep your eyes on the prize, hold on
Sit-ins Greensboro Lunch Counter Sit-in (1960) “Bigger Than a Hamburger” and “A Conference on the Sit-ins” [see handout] Consider the following statement by journalist Louis Lomax, "They [the sit-ins] were proof that the Negro leadership class, epitomized by the NAACP, was no longer the prime mover in the Negro's social revolt. The demonstrations have shifted the desegregation battles from the courtroom to the marketplace.“ See “Greensboro Sit-ins: Launch of a Civil Rights Movement” at Site contains photographs, documents, and audio clips from Greensboro participants and civil rights leaders.http://www.sitins.com/index.shtml
Ella J. Baker (June, 1960) “Bigger than a Hamburger” The Student Leadership Conference made it crystal clear that current sit-ins and other demonstrations are concerned with something much bigger than a hamburger or even a giant-sized Coke. Whatever may be the difference in approach to their goal, the Negro and white students, North and South, are seeking to rid America of the scourge of racial segregation and discrimination - not only at lunch counters, but in every aspect of life…. By and large, this feeling that they have a destined date with freedom, was not limited to a drive for personal freedom, or even freedom for the Negro in the South. Repeatedly it was emphasized that the movement was concerned with the moral implications of racial discrimination for the "whole world" and the "Human Race."
Ella Baker SNCC Ella Baker 1940s (NAACP);1950s (SCLC); 1960s (SNCC) “Baker left the SCLC after the Greensboro sit- ins. She wanted to help the new student activists and organized a meeting at Shaw University for the student leaders of the sit-ins in April From that meeting SNCC was born.” Different leadership style than MLK Baker believed in “group centered leadership” vs “leadership-centered group”
A Movement in Transition: SNCC SNCC went through three stages. First: 1960 to 1963 (Sit-ins and Freedom Rides) Second: 1963 to 1964 (Freedom Summer) A time of transition which sparked a reconsideration of nonviolence Nearly 1,000 volunteers worked in Mississippi that summer. During those months, 6 people, were killed, 80 beaten, 35 churches burned, and 30 other buildings bombed. Third: 1965 to A trip to Africa by several SNCC leaders, discussions with and about Malcolm X, and growing alienation between blacks and whites inside SNCC was capped by the Watts riot in August, The following June, "Black Power" became SNCC's battle cry in a march led by James Meredith in Mississippi.
Freedom Rides Define: The Freedom Riders left Washington DC on May 4, They were scheduled to arrive in New Orleans on May 17, the seventh anniversary of the Brown decision. The Freedom Riders never made it to New Orleans. Outcome: led to the end of segregation in interstate bus travel in a ruling, -- took effect in September Website: African American Odyssey-Library of Congress See ro.html ro.html especially the “Civil Rights Era” section.
Birmingham: “Project C” ('Confrontation Birmingham' ) New campaign in Birmingham. Goal: to activate the black community and to force complete desegregation of all the city's facilities. ““Letter from Birmingham City Jail” Written in response to a letter in the local paper, the Birmingham News by eight white Alabama clergymen. The clergymen stated that the demonstrations by "impatient" "outsiders" was "unwise and untimely". They thought that the civil rights movement should wait and give Birmingham citizens a chance to reform their city on their own. MLK “Perhaps it is easy for those who have never felt the stinging darts of segregation to say, “Wait.” …comes a time when the cup of endurance runs over, and men are no longer willing to be plunged into the abyss of despair. I hope sirs, you can understand our legitimate and unavoidable impatience For more information about the letter, listen to the following NPR radio report:
ALABAMA CENTENNIAL, by Naomi Long Madgett They said, "Wait." Well, I waited. For a hundred years I waited In cotton fields, kitchens, balconies, In bread lines, at back doors, on chain gangs, In stinking "colored" toilets And crowded ghettos, Outside of schools and voting booths. And some said, "Later." And some said, "Never!" Then a new wind blew, and a new voice Rode its wings with quiet urgency, Strong, determined, sure. "No," it said. "Not 'never,' not 'later." Not even 'soon.' Now. Walk!" And other voices echoed the freedom words, "Walk together, children, don't get weary," Whispered them, sang them, prayed them, shouted them. "Walk!" And I walked the streets of Montgomery Until a link in the chain of patient acquiescence broke. Then again: Sit down! And I sat down at the counters of Greensboro. Ride! And I rode the bus for freedom. Kneel! And I went down on my knees in prayer and faith. March! And I'll march until the last chain falls Singing, "We shall overcome." Not all the dogs and hoses in Birmingham Nor all the clubs and guns in Selma Can turn this tide. Not all the jails can hold these young black faces From their destiny of manhood, Of equality, of dignity, Of the American Dream A hundred years past due. Now!
Birmingham: cont… On Sept. 15, 1963, the all-Black Sixteenth Street Baptist Church was bombed. Sunday school was in session. See “Ballad of Birmingham” Websites: /lesson.plans/05/02/church.bombing/ Includes Lesson Plan /lesson.plans/05/02/church.bombing/
Ballad of Birmingham "Mother dear, may I go downtown Instead of out to play, And march the streets of Birmingham In a Freedom March today?" "No, baby, no, you may not go, For the dogs are fierce and wild, And clubs and hoses, guns and jails Aren't good for a little child." "But, mother, I won't be alone. Other children will go with me, And march the streets of Birmingham To make our country free." "No, baby, no, you may not go, For I fear those guns will fire. But you may go to church instead And sing in the children's choir." She has combed and brushed her night-dark hair, And bathed rose petal sweet, And drawn white gloves on her small brown hands, And white shoes on her feet. The mother smiled to know that her child Was in the sacred place, But that smile was the last smile To come upon her face. For when she heard the explosion, Her eyes grew wet and wild. She raced through the streets of Birmingham Calling for her child. She clawed through bits of glass and brick, Then lifted out a shoe. "O, here's the shoe my baby wore, But, baby, where are you?"
The Militant Years, Focus: The changing face of the civil rights movement. Goal: Help students understand why the expectations created by the civil rights movement met with frustration in the mid-1960s and how their disappointment and frustration aroused a new urgency among black civil rights activist.
A NEW KING Have students identify the ways in which Martin Luther King, Jr. is portrayed in the mass media, and specifically, which of his ideas are communicated to the public. Have students read and discuss a range of King’s ideas almost completely unknown to most of the public today. Homework: Read excerpts of King’s speeches and writings. Identify lines that stand out as interesting, deep, meaningful, moving or surprising.
MICHAEL ERIC DYSON ON MARTIN LUTHER KING Martin Luther King, Jr., kept getting up morning after morning, knowing they [the FBI and other government agencies] were after him, knowing they were possessed of this zealous intensity that was illegal and immoral! And so he was a danger to America. Why? Because he loved democracy so much he wanted to see it become real. He wanted to march democracy from parchment to pavement. He wanted to see it become a reality in this nation. That’s why he had a dream. But America has frozen him. Now they freeze King in this posture of dreaming before the sunlit summit of expectation at the height of his national fame in Washington, D.C., where he said, “I have a dream.” He said more than that. We ought to have a moratorium on that speech for the next ten years. I don’t want to hear it no more! And if you’re gonna play the speech, play the other parts of the speech: “We have come to the nation’s capital to cash a check marked ‘insufficient funds.’ ” [In other words,] “Where’s my money?!” That’s the part we ought to play. Right? We ought to play the part where King says, “The foundations of this nation will continue to shake.” He said, “The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of this nation until the Negro is granted his full citizenship rights.” Play that part, too!
MLK ON NONVIOLENT DIRECT ACTION Letter from Birmingham Jail, April 16, 1963: The purpose of our direct-action program is to create a situation so crisis-packed that it will inevitably open the door to negotiation… …My friends, I must say to you that we have not made a single gain in civil rights without determined legal and nonviolent pressure. Lamentably, it is an historical fact that privileged groups seldom give up their privileges voluntarily…We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.
A PART OF “I HAVE A DREAM” THAT WE DON’T USUALLY HEAR Speech to the March on Washington for Jobs and Justice, August 28, 1963: …There will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the colored citizen is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.
MLK on Poverty Speech to Teamsters and Allied Trade Councils, New York City, May 2, 1967: Today Negroes want above all else to abolish poverty in their lives, and in the lives of the white poor. This is the heart of their program. To end humiliation was a start, but to end poverty is a bigger task. It is natural for Negroes to turn to the Labor movement because it was the first and pioneer anti-poverty program…... I am now convinced that the simplest approach will prove to be the most revolutionary. The solution to poverty is to abolish it directly by a now widely discussed measure: the guaranteed annual income. We are likely to find that the problems of housing and education, instead of preceding the elimination of poverty, will themselves be affected if poverty is first abolished…
MLK ON THE POOR PEOPLE’S MARCH ON WASHINGTON, PLANNED FOR SPRING 1968 From Inconvenient Hero (1997), by Vincent Harding: He was planning to bring the poor of every color, to stand and sit with the poor where they could not be missed. MLK said, “We’ve got to camp in – put our tents in front of the White House… We’ve got to make it known that until our problem is solved, America may have many, many days, but they will be full of trouble. There will be no rest, there will be no tranquility in this country until the nation comes to terms with our problem.”
MLK on a REVOLUTION OF VALUES "Beyond Vietnam," Address,” Riverside Church, New York, April 4, 1967: … I am convinced that if we are to get on the right side of the world revolution, we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. We must rapidly begin the shift from a thing-oriented society to a person-oriented society. … …A true revolution of values will soon look uneasily on the glaring contrast of poverty and wealth. … A true revolution of values will lay hands on the world order and say of war: "This way of settling differences is not just." … Our only hope today lies in our ability to recapture the revolutionary spirit and go out into a sometimes hostile world declaring eternal hostility to poverty, racism, and militarism.
For more on MLK see essonplans/mlk2/materials_s3.html essonplans/mlk2/materials_s3.html
Lessons Learned: The Walk Away Points 1. African Americans have suffered great challenges to realizing full freedom and equality. 2. They have a long history of resisting oppression and racism 3. Individuals can make a difference/students can make a difference
Please note this presentation is for workshop purposes only. Please address all source inquiries to the presenter: Wendi N. Manuel-Scott