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Modern African-American Civil Rights Movement 1947–CICERO © 2008
Table of Contents Jackie Robinson Emmitt Till Freedom RidersEmancipation Proclamation Thirteenth Amendment 14th and 15 Amendments Jim Crow Laws The Start of the Civil Rights Movement Leaders of the Movement Symbols of the Movement Jackie Robinson Brown v. Board Emmitt Till Rosa Parks Montgomery Bus Boycott Little Rock Nine Greensboro Sit-Ins Freedom Riders James Meredith Birmingham Campaign Desegregation of U. of Ala The Murder of Medgar Evers March on Washington 16th St. Church Bombing 24th Amendment Freedom Summer Mississippi Burning Civil Rights Act Selma to Montgomery Voting Rights Act Poor People’s Campaign King Assassination Civil Rights Now End CICERO © 2008
Background Emancipation ProclamationBefore the Emancipation Proclamation, thousands of enslaved African Americans found freedom in the North. Camps were set-up to help blacks learn to read and write. Free blacks fought on the side of the Union Army during the Civil War. After the Battle of Antietam, the Emancipation Proclamation was announced. It went into effect in January 1863. President Abraham Lincoln meets with his Cabinet for the first reading of the Emancipation Proclamation. End CICERO © 2008
Background Thirteenth AmendmentThe Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States was proposed to the legislatures of several states by the 38th United States Congress, on January 31, With Georgia’s ratification, the amendment went into effect. It only needed twenty-seven of the then thirty-six states to ratify it. The last state to ratify the Thirteenth Amendment was Mississippi in 1995. It read: “Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for where of the party shall have been convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction. Section 2. Congress shall have the power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.” End CICERO © 2008
Background Fourteenth and Fifteenth AmendmentsThe main purpose of the Fourteenth Amendment was to secure rights for former slaves. It included Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses. The Fifteenth Amendment stated that no government in the United States may prevent a citizen from voting based on that citizen’s race, color, or, previous condition of servitude, such as slavery. Fourteenth Amendment Fifteenth Amendment End CICERO © 2008
Background Jim Crow Laws 1876–1965The Jim Crow laws were state and local laws enacted in the Southern and border states of the United States and were enforced between the 1876 and These laws basically negated the Fourteenth and Fifteenth amendments. “Separate but equal” became a standard in the South. Every aspect of the South was segregated, and black Americans were treated as inferiors to white Americans. Due to the voting restrictions passed by Jim Crow laws, like poll tax or voting literacy tests, most blacks could not exercise their right to vote, and others did not vote due to fear of retribution. After 1877, the federal government did little or nothing to override these state and local laws that prevented blacks from exercising their constitutional rights. End CICERO © 2008
The Start of the Modern Civil Rights MovementThe American Civil Rights Movement was a reform movement in the United States starting in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Its purpose was to abolish racial discrimination against African Americans and restore blacks’ right to vote. Some of the groups active in promoting African-American rights during this time were the NAACP, founded in 1910, and new organizations like the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). End CICERO © 2008
Leaders of the Civil Rights MovementW.E.B. Du Bois Rosa Parks Medgar Evers Thurgood Marshall James L. Farmer Jr. Stokely Carmichael Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Malcolm X Jackie Robinson Maya Angelou Rev. Jesse Jackson Al Sharpton End CICERO © 2008
Symbols of the Civil Rights MovementEmmitt Till Jackson Robinson James Meredith Little Rock Nine Medgar Evers Rosa Parks Civil Rights Workers Four Little Girls Martin Luther King Jr. End CICERO © 2008
Jackie Robinson Breaking the Color Barrier in Baseball April 15, 1947Jackie Robinson became the first African American in the Major Leagues. He was signed by the Brooklyn Dodgers and made his big-league debut on April 15, He faced constant racism from fans, opponents, and even his own teammates. He went on to be elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame and his number 42 was retired throughout baseball. End CICERO © 2008
Brown v. Topeka Board of Education May 17, 1954Originally, the District Court ruled in favor of the Board of Education, based on the precedent set by the Plessy v. Ferguson case. That meant that the Board of Education won on the grounds of “separate but equal.” Three years later, the United States Supreme Court handed down its decision regarding that the plaintiffs charge that the education of black children in separate schools from white children was unconstitutional. End CICERO © 2008
Emmitt Till Murder August 28, 1955In August 1955,14-year-old Chicago native Emmitt Till traveled to Money, Mississippi, to visit relatives. One day, on a dare, he flirted with a married, white female shop owner. Days later, the shop-owner’s husband, Roy Bryant, and his half-brother, J.W. Milam, went to the home where Till was staying, dragged him out of bed, threw him into the flatbed of their truck and drove him to a secluded area. There they beat him to within an inch of his life. Till remained strong and fearless, this angered the brothers who wanted to teach Till a lesson. They shot and killed Till, then dumped his body into the Tallahatchie River weighted down by the fan of a cotton gin. His body washed up three days later. The brothers were arrested and put on trial, but were acquitted by an all-white jury. Years later, in a magazine interview, the brothers admitted to murdering Till. End CICERO © 2008
Rosa Parks Mother of the Modern-Day Civil Rights Movement 1913–2005Rosa Parks was an African-American civil rights activist. On December 1, 1955, Parks stepped on the bus driven by James Blake. She encountered Blake years before when he asked her to reenter the bus from the rear, and as she did he drove off, leaving her to walk home in the rain. On this particular day, Parks was already on the bus, and when a white passenger got onto the bus, Blake demanded she give up her seat and move to make room. She refused, and was arrested. This event initiated the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Rosa Parks booking photo after being arrested. End CICERO © 2008
Montgomery Bus Boycott December 1, 1955–December 20, 1956After the arrest of Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jr. organized the Montgomery Bus Boycott. The boycott was a political and social protest campaign started in 1955 in Montgomery, Alabama, intended to oppose the city’s policy of racial segregation on its public transit system. The ensuing struggle lasted from December 1, 1955, to December 20, 1956, and led to a United States Supreme Court decision that declared the Alabama and Montgomery laws regarding bus seating by race unconstitutional. The boycott nearly put the bus company out of business. This is the bus Rosa Parks was removed from, starting the Montgomery Bus Boycott. End CICERO © 2008
Little Rock Nine along with NAACP President, Daisy Bates.The Little Rock Nine was a group of African-American students who were enrolled in Little Rock Central High School in After the students were initially prevented from entering the racially segregated school by Arkansas Governor Orval Faubus, and then allowed to attend after intervention by President Dwight Eisenhower, is considered to be one of the most important events in the American Civil Rights Movement. Troops from the 327th Regiment, 101st Airborne escorting the Little Rock Nine up the steps of Central High School. End CICERO © 2008
Greensboro Sit-ins February 1, 1960Four African-American students, Ezell A. Blair Jr., David Richmond, Joseph McNeil, and Franklin McCain from North Carolina A&T State University, sat at a segregated lunch counter at a Woolworth’s store in Greensboro, North Carolina. The counter only seated whites, while the blacks had to stand and eat. The students were refused service, but were allowed to remain at the counter. Over the next few days, the number of students and protesters grew close to a thousand. The protest sparked sit-ins and economic boycotts that became a trademark of the American Civil Rights movement. Section of the lunch counter, now on display at the Smithsonian Institution. End CICERO © 2008
Freedom Riders Oppose Segregation May 4, 1961Civil Rights activists called Freedom Riders rode in interstate buses into the segregated southern United States to test the United States Supreme Court decision Boynton v. Virginia. The first Freedom Ride left Washington, D.C., on May 4, 1961, and was scheduled to arrive in New Orleans on May 17. Most riders were arrested for trespassing, unlawful assembly, and violations of state and local Jim Crow laws. The rides were sponsored by CORE and SNCC. A map showing the routes taken by Freedom Riders. End CICERO © 2008
James Meredith Enrolls at Ole Miss September 1962More than 5,000 federal troops were sent by President John F. Kennedy to allow James Meredith to register for classes. He attempted to enter campus on September 20 and 25, but was blocked by Mississippi Governor Ross R. Barnett. He proclaimed, “no school will be integrated in Mississippi while I am your Governor.” Riots ensued resulting in the deaths of two people. The University of Mississippi was a publicly funded college and should have been available to every citizen of Mississippi. James Meredith walking to class accompanied by U.S. Marshals. End CICERO © 2008
Birmingham Campaign Desegregation Drive in Birmingham Spring 1963Martin Luther King Jr. and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference opposed local laws that supported segregation. Riots, fire bombings, and police were used against protestors. The protests were aimed at ending the city’s segregated civil and discriminatory economic policies. The campaign lasted for more than two months in the spring of Dr. King and black citizens practiced nonviolent tactics to break laws that would have them arrested and overflow the jails. This is where Dr. King wrote his famous “Letter from Birmingham Jail.” High school students are hit by high-pressure water jet hoses during the Birmingham protests. End CICERO © 2008
Desegregation of the University of AlabamaIn June 1963, Governor George Wallace tried to prevent two black students, Vivian Malone and James Hood, from registering for classes at the University of Alabama. This famously became known as the “Stand in the Schoolhouse Door.” Wallace was forced to step aside by federal marshals, Deputy Attorney General Nicholas Katzenbach, and the federalized Alabama National Guard. Governor George Wallace (second from left) stands in the doorway of the University of Alabama, preventing Vivian Malone and James Hood from entering. End CICERO © 2008
The Murder of Medgar Evers June 11, 1963Head of the Mississippi chapter of the NAACP, Medgar Evers, was shot outside of his Jackson home on the same night that President John F. Kennedy addressed the nation on race, asking “Are we to say to the world …that this is a land of the free except for Negroes.” Ku Klux Klan member Byron De La Beckwith was arrested and charged with the murder, and was tried twice for murder in Both trials ended in mistrials by all-white juries. A third trial was held in 1994, this time in front of a jury consisting of eight blacks and four whites. De La Beckwith was convicted and sentenced to life in prison. Medgar Evers was gunned down in his driveway. Medgar Evers’ home in Jackson, Mississippi. End CICERO © 2008
March on Washington August 28, 1963Almost 200,000 blacks and whites met at the Washington Monument during the March on Washington. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his historic “I Have a Dream …” speech advocating racial harmony at the Lincoln Memorial during the march. The march was organized by a group of civil rights, labor, and religious organizations. Following the march, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the National Voting Rights Act of 1965 were passed. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. performs his “I Have a Dream …” speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. Close to 200,000 blacks and whites meet at the Washington Monument during the March on Washington. End CICERO © 2008
16th Street Baptist Church Bombing September 15, 1963The 16th Street Baptist Church bombing was a racially motivated terrorist attack on September 15, 1963 by members of the Ku Klux Klan. The bombing in Birmingham, Alabama, resulted in the deaths of four girls, Denise McNair, Carole Robertson, Cynthia Wesley, and Addie Mae Collins. Robert Chambliss was convicted of the murders in 1977 and sentenced to several terms of life imprisonment. The case was reopened in 2000 and two more men were tried and convicted. Bobby Frank Cherry and Thomas Blanton were sentenced to life in prison. The 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama. Four girls who were killed End The aftermath of the bombing CICERO © 2008
The Passing of the 24th Amendment January 1964Poll taxes had been enacted in eleven Southern states after Reconstruction as a measure to prevent poor people from voting. These taxes stayed in force until an amendment to the Constitution made them illegal in At the time of this amendment’s passage, only five states still preserved the poll tax: Virginia, Alabama, Texas, Arkansas, and Mississippi. However it wasn’t until the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 6-3 in Harper v. Virginia Board of Elections that all state poll taxes were declared unconstitutional because they violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. 24th Amendment End CICERO © 2008
Mississippi Summer Freedom Project Summer 1964Freedom Summer was a campaign in the United States launched in June 1964 in an attempt to register as many African-American voters as possible in Mississippi, which at that time had almost totally excluded black voters. The project was organized by Council of Federated Organizations (COFO), an umbrella of four established civil rights organizations, NAACP, CORE, SCLC, and SNCC. There were more than 1,000 volunteers, mostly whites from the North, many of them were Jewish. CORE was active during Freedom Summer End CICERO © 2008
Mississippi Civil Rights Workers Murders June 1964During Freedom Summer 1964, two CORE workers from New York, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner, along with Mississippi Civil Rights worker, James Chaney, were looking to set up a CORE branch in Meridian, Mississippi. While there, they heard of the bombing of a black church in Philadelphia, Mississippi, and decided to investigate. On their way back, they were stopped and arrested by Philadelphia deputy Cecil Price. Price was also a member of the KKK. While the men were in lock-up, Price notified his fellow Klan members of who he had in custody. Later that night, Price released the three young men, but followed them before the could reach the county border. He pulled them over again, but this time with a group of Klan members. They shot and killed the three young men. Their bodies were not found until August. Price and seven others were found guilty of violating the young men’s civil rights and were given light sentences. The sheriff and six others were acquitted. A verdict was not reached for Edgar Ray Killen, and two others. Killen was later convicted of manslaughter in 2005, and is currently serving three twenty-year terms. Andrew Goodman, James Chaney, and Michael Schwerner End CICERO © 2008
The Passing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 July 1964The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was landmark legislation in the United States that outlawed segregation in U.S. schools and other public places. First conceived to help African Americans, the bill was amended prior to passage to protect women in courts, and explicitly included white people for the first time. It also started the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. It prohibited discrimination in public facilities, in government, and in employment, eliminating the Jim Crow laws in the Southern United States. President Lyndon Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act of 1964 End CICERO © 2008
Selma to Montgomery Marches March 1965The Selma to Montgomery Marches were peaceful marches held in March The purpose of the marches was to help blacks in the South register to vote. The first march was held on March 7, but was cut short when Alabama state and local police would not allow the marchers to cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge. Some marchers were severely beaten by the police. Photos of the beatings made national headlines. The second march was led by Dr. Martin Luther King on March 9. The marchers made it to the Edmund Pettus Bridge, and had a prayer session and dispersed. At the third march, the marchers were granted a court order and were permitted to march peacefully without police intervention from Selma to Montgomery. The march covered fifty-four miles in five days and four nights. The first march led by Hosea Williams and John Lewis Police attacking the marchers End CICERO © 2008
Voting Rights Act August 6, 1965The National Voting Rights Act of 1965 outlawed the requirement that would-be voters in the United States take literacy tests to qualify to vote, and it provided for federal registration of voters in areas that had less than 50 percent of eligible minority voters registered. The act also provided for Department of Justice oversight to registration, and the department’s approval for any change in voting law in districts that had used a “device” to limit voting and in which less than 50 percent of the population was registered to vote in 1964. End CICERO © 2008
Poor People’s Campaign 1968In 1968, Martin Luther King Jr. and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference organized the Poor People’s Campaign to address issues of economic justice. The campaign culminated in a march on Washington, D.C., demanding economic aid to the poorest communities of the United States. The march originated in Mark, Mississippi. From there, Dr. King crisscrossed the country to assemble “a multiracial army of the poor” that would descend on Washington — engaging in nonviolent civil disobedience at the Capitol, if need be — until Congress enacted a poor people’s bill of rights. Before the campaign was completed, Dr. King was assassinated. End CICERO © 2008
Martin Luther King Jr. Assassination April 4, 1968In April 1968, Dr. King was in Memphis, Tennessee, to speak at the Mason Temple. There he would perform his final speech, “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop.” While in Memphis, Dr. King always stayed in the same room at the same motel, room 306 at the Lorraine Motel. He and his colleague, Ralph David Abernathy, stayed there so often it came to be known as the King-Abernathy Suite. At around 6 p.m. on April 4, Dr. King stepped out onto the balcony, and was gunned down. He died an hour later. That day presidential candidate, Robert F. Kennedy was set to give a speech in Indianapolis. Upon hearing of King’s death, he immediately changed the concept of his speech. He first notified the crowd of the death, many of whom were hearing it for the first time. But he was able to relate to them, explaining how he felt when his brother was assassinated. That brought calm and comfort to the crowd, and might have saved the city from rioting. However, it was not the same in other cities in the United States. Their were deadly riots in Chicago, Illinois; Baltimore, Maryland; Washington D.C., and Louisville, Kentucky, as a result of the King assassination. James Earl Ray was later convicted for King’s murder. Dr. King was shot on the second floor balcony of the Lorraine Motel. End CICERO © 2008
Civil Rights Now Today, the civil rights movement has made strides in its attempt to grant equality for all Americans. During the years, policies such as affirmative action were created to level the playing field for all minorities. However, many may feel that affirmative action would be a step backward from the civil rights movement. Many feel that due to affirmative action, a person worthy enough and with the right credentials may be passed over, just because of skin color. Nonetheless, minorities in the United States have come a long way. Colin Powell was the first black Secretary of State. After Powell’s resignation, Condoleezza Rice became the first black female Secretary of State. Illinois Senator Barack Obama became the front-runner for the 2008 Democratic nomination for President of the United States. Colin Powell Condoleezza Rice End Barack Obama CICERO © 2008
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