Lack of improvement CRM after 1968

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  • Why was there a lack of success in the CRM in the late 60s?
    • Internal divisions
      • The failure of the Poor People's March showed how ineffective and divided the CRM was without MLK
      • Under Carmichael's leadership, SNCC dropped the non-violent from its title and expelled all white members. This divided SNCC and greatly reduced its effectiveness
      • Violence at MLK's march in Memphis in 1968 showed how difficult it had become to hold the movement together behind non-violence
    • Death of Malcom X and MLK
      • April 1968: MLK's death symbolised the end of the non-violent CRM. LBJ called for a national day of mourning but this provoked riots in 130 cities
      • It took 70,000 troops to quell the burning and looting which MLK certainly wouldn't have approved of
        • April 1968: MLK's death symbolised the end of the non-violent CRM. LBJ called for a national day of mourning but this provoked riots in 130 cities
      • Malcom X was murdered by Elijah Mohammed's loyalists after splitting from the Nation of Islam to attempt to reach out to the rest of the civil rights movement
    • Whites became less sympathetic on poverty
      • In 1968 CORE excluded white moderates  from the CRM, making them hostile to the blacks and unwilling to further their support for black poverty
      • Most whites believed the Civil Rights problems had been solved by the Voting Rights Act in 1964
      • also talk of Black Power and the outbreak of violence at the March in the West Side ghetto in July 1966 made this worse
        • Most whites believed the Civil Rights problems had been solved by the Voting Rights Act in 1964
      • Improving poverty would mean whites having to pay more tax, and therefore they were more reluctant to support the blacks in getting out of the violent ghettos / poverty
    • Black power an white backlash
      • Black Power could be traced back to 1954 but Stokeley Carmichael was the first Civil Rights campaigner to use the slogan in 1966
      • The main ideas of black power was rejection of non-violence, exclusion of whites, black supremacy and seperation and radical social and economic change
      • They also regarded MLK as an 'Uncle Tom' and a 'tool of the white man'
        • This shows how they were against MLK's views, which seperated them from the rest of the CR campaigners and turned whites against them/made them less sympathetic
    • Tactics were less effective in the North
      • There was no de jure segregation in the North so problems could not be solved by simply changing law: de facto segregation was much harder ro conquer
      • The SCLC did not have the manpower to reach all of the blacks in the North
      • Many of the Northern blacks had previously turned to Black Power, a more radical approach to the CRM, losing them white support
      • Blacks in the North were not so influenced by Churches and they did not see the minsters as their leaders which was so effective in the South
        • so MLK found it harder to understand them as he could not use a religious approach
    • Loss of support from the federal government
      • In January 1967, MLK felt compelled to speak out against the Vietnam War on moral grounds
        • He knew that he would be heavily criticised for doing this but he felt his conscience demanded that he speak out
      • He knew that he would be heavily criticised for doing this but he felt his conscience demanded that he speak out
      • LBJ felt betrayed by this after his previous support for MLK's campaigns, and he described him as a "naive black preacher"

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