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Brown V Topeka Board of Education, 1954
May 1954: Oliver Brown uses the Supreme Court ruling to take the city of Kansas
to court ­ for forcing his daughter to attend a blacks only school a mile away,
instead of being able to go to a whites only school 7 blocks away.
The NAACP supported the case.
They argued that `separate but equal' wasn't true of separate schools as it
sent a message of inequality to black children.…read more

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Bus Boycott, 1955
ROSA PARKS: Had been involved with the NAACP since the early 1940s.
Rosa had clashed with driver James Blake in 1943, and got on his bus in
1955 by mistake!
Parks was perfect for the media: she was very respectable, a Christian
and a valued member of the Community.
Claudette Colvin, a 15 year old girl, had also been arrested for not giving up her seat, despite the fact that she remained
within the law in doing so.…read more

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Desegregated buses began running Dec 1956.
Public awareness.
Change of laws due to the loss of income.
Buses de-segregated.
A success for MLK and his peaceful protest/passive resistance approach
United black people.
What was achieved?
Segregation still on interstate buses as well as segregation in other public areas
What problems remained?
The murder of Emmett Till, 1955
Mississippi, 1955: Emmett Till (14, black boy, from Chicago) was murdered.
Had a white girlfriend in Chicago - Didn't understand this was unacceptable in
the southern states.…read more

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Little Rock, 1957
The governor of Arkansas, Orval Faubus, was determined not to let desegregation happen.
He ordered the National Guard to keep the peace at the school.
Daisy Bates organised a police escort for the 9 ­ but failed to get in touch with Elizabeth Eckford.
4th Sept 1957: - EE tried to enter the school by herself. She was turned away by the guards and
abused by the students.…read more

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It indicated to the rest of the world that the USA had an oppressive nature, and that it was hypocritical in its
criticism of Communist Russia on its human rights.
This put pressure on the government to address Civil Rights issues.
It also alerted American citizens about the extent of racial hatred existing in the southern states.
August 1958: Faubus closed down Little Rock High, rather than desegregate. Students had to attend other schools.…read more

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May 1961: James Farmer of CORE organised the `Freedom Rides', during which
young people tried to test out their legal right to travel on interstate buses. It
involved simply taking an interstate bus from Washington DC through the southern
This was an act of calculated martyrdom ­ the riders knew they would be
attacked.…read more

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The demonstrations in Birmingham began with sitins at lunch counters, and progressed with a number of marches,
during one of which King was arrested.
In response to the protests, Connor ordered his police department to use fire
hoses, police dogs, and batons to break up the demonstrations.
Arrests reached 500 a day
Americans were horrified when they saw the footage of innocent black Americans being
viciously assaulted by American police.…read more

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Credited for helping to pass the Civil Rights Act (1964) and the Voting Rights Act (1965).
Marked the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation by Lincoln.
Martin Luther King gave his "I Have A Dream" speech.
First live international TV coverage, lots of media awareness.
Black nationalist, Malcolm X, in his "Message to the Grass Roots" speech, criticized the march,
describing it as "a picnic" and "a circus".…read more

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Stated that all Americans were entitles to equal employment opportunities
Stated that all Federal projects must include racial integration
The Civil Rights Act, 1964, outlawed racial discrimination and segregation in all walks of American life.
Banned discrimination in public places.
School integration encouraged.
Govt agencies integrated - segregated organisations not funded by govt.
New President supported it; Southern states accepted it.
What was achieved?
No actual integration of schools made law.
Private clubs continued to be "white only".…read more


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