Presentation on theme: " Freedom Riders—Civil Rights activists who rode buses through the South in the early 1960s to challenge segregation—to challenge segregated seating on."— Presentation transcript:
Freedom Riders—Civil Rights activists who rode buses through the South in the early 1960s to challenge segregation—to challenge segregated seating on interstate bus routes and segregated facilities in bus terminals. Angry whites blow up a bus---the freedom riders get out just in time. SNCC volunteers were ready to pick up where the freedom riders left off.
The SNCC volunteers rode into Birmingham Alabama, policemen pulled them from the bus and beat them. When they returned the bus driver refused to drive them---fearful for his life. The Riders then wait in an all white terminal for eighteen hours. Attorney General Robert Kennedy convinced bus officials to tell the driver to proceed--- the riders set out for Montgomery on May 20, 1961.
Alabama officials promised Kennedy the riders would be safe. A mob of whites attacked the riders when they arrived in Montgomery---they beat them. The violence provoked newspapers to cover to beatings nationally---exactly what the Riders wanted. JFK gave the Freedom Riders support---sent 400 U.S. marshals to protect the riders on their journey to Jackson, Mississippi. Result= eventually segregation gets banned in all travel facilities.
—James Meredith---won a federal court case that allowed him to enroll in the all-white university—Ole Miss. When Meredith arrived Mississippi governor, Ross Barnett, refused to let him register as a student. Many people follow Barnett and protest--- two deaths—200 arrests---15 hours of non stop rioters Meredith is allowed in the university because of JFK.
JFK orders Gov. George Wallace of Alabama to honor a court order desegregating the University of Alabama. Birmingham was a highly segregated in Alabama that many riots occurred in—MLK Jr. eventually got Birmingham desegregated, after many protests.
more than 250,000 people marched on the nation’s capital. They assembled on the grassy lawn of the Washington Monument and marched to the Lincoln Memorial. People listened to speakers demand the immediate passage of the civil rights bill. MLK Jr. gives his famous “I have a Dream Speech.”
Two weeks after King’s speech four young Birmingham girls were killed when a rider in a car hurled a bomb in their church window. Two months later an assassin shot and killed JFK.---Lyndon B. Johnson promised to continue JFK’s work. Immediately LBJ signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964-prohibited discrimination based on race, religion, national origin, and gender. It gave citizens the right to enter all public facilities.
The right of all African Americans to vote remained an issue. CORE and SNCC workers in the south began registering as many African Americans as they could to vote. The project to try and influence Congress to pass a voting rights act was known as Freedom Summer—focused in Mississippi.
Many people help register African Americans to vote. As a result 3 civil rights workers disappeared in Mississippi. Later was found that the 3 men were murdered. Throughout the summer, murders continued as well as the burning of homes and businesses.
In order to gain a seat in Mississippi’s all- white democratic party SNCC created the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party. Fannie Lou Hamer—the voice of the party. Hamer gave powerful speeches---she gets 2 seats to the MFDP with a promise to ban discrimination at the 1968 convention.
Voting Rights Act of 1965-eliminated the so- called literacy tests that had disqualified many voters. Also stated that federal examiners could enroll voters who had been denied suffrage by local officials. Marked a major civil rights victory. Some felt the law did not go far enough.