African American Civil Rights

key information.

  • Created by: student
  • Created on: 02-06-11 08:54

13th amendment 1865

Officially abolishes slavery in all U.S. states.

Although it brought freedom, southern states introduced black codes to restrict the freed mean who were not citizens yet.

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Freedmans Bureau 1865

A government body that helped blacks economically.

However, Congress discontinued its funding.

Closed down in 1877.

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15th amendment 1870

Gave blacks the right to vote.

However, individual states put in place voting requirments such as Grandfather clauses and literacy tests, that prevented blacks from being able to vote (1898).

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Slaughterhouse Cases 1873

Voted against the 14th amendment.

Said that state rights were different from US citizenship.

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14th Amendment 1868

Granted the freedmen U.S. citizenship and equal protection under the law.

Although it showed the congress trying to help blacks, the amendments were ignored.

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Jim Crow Laws 1877

Saw the end of reconstruction by Hayes.

Introduction of Jim Crow Laws- de jure segregation.

went on too mid 60's

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Booker. T. Washington


  • set up Tuskegee in 1881- education for blacks.
  • had good political contacts- president Roosevelt.
  • Role model for many blacks- set a strict standard of behaviour.
  • worked on the idea that if blacks became educated they could eventually be seen as economic/job equals.


  • appeared to accept lower position in society of blacks.
  • had a negative view on the importance of the vote.
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Plessy v Fergusson 1896

Court ruling of seperate but equal facilities for blacks.

Legal precident- not overturned until 1954.

Facilities not equal- but gave legal proof for seperate facilities.

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W.E.B Du Bois


  • 1909- set up NAACP.
  • Proved to be a very significant group- 1935 won first supreme court case.
  • First A-A to get P.h.D- good role model for blacks.


  • openly critised Washington.
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Marcus Garvey and UNIA

UNIA (1914)- campaigned for black independence not to be intergrated into white US society. Encouraged them to set up black businesses etc.


  • gave a sense of African Pride- united blacks.
  • Black Starline- important symbol.
  • He was a good speaker.


  • lacked any political stratergy.
  • ran into economic problems.
  • spoke with KKK- undermined his cause.
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Philip A Randolph

  • President of Sleeping Car Porters Union- first black trade union- tried to promote equal working rights (1937).
  • 1941- Roosevelt ordered him an executive order forbidding racial discrimination in the federal govt.
  • 1948- persuaded Truman to end segregation in the armed forces.
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FDR's New Deal 1933

Gave financial aid to blacks- 1935- 30% of blacks on relief- showed fair application of financial policy towards blacks.

Still high unemployment, particulary in black sharecroppers in the south who were not helped by legislation.

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Elanor Roosevelt

Encouraged A-A civil rights- especially in the New Deal.

She gave blacks an influential voice when it came to political policies.

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Gaines v Canada- 1938

Seperate but equal must really be equal.

could be used by blacks to help improve conditions.

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Migration to Northern cities for wartime jobs --> greater safety from white supremecy and greater economic position.

Randolph's March on Washington 1941 led to the setting up of the FECP to promote equal oppurtunities in war time industry- was high rise in employment of A-A due to this.

CORE was founded in 1942- non-violent, direct protest- sit-ins + boycotts.

However- increase in black employment and migration to north caused riots due to whites seeing them as competiton for jobs and housing --> era of racial tension --> riots e.g. the race riots all over in 1943.

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Brown v Board of Education 1954

Supreme court rules against seperate but equal.

Overturned Plessy v Ferguson- LEGAL PRECIDENT.

1958- declares school segrgation unconstitutional.

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Montgomery Bus Boycott- 1955

Started by Rosa Parks- arrested for refusing to give up seat.

led to Browder v Gayle 1956- outlaws segregation on buses.

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Little Rock 1957

Orville Faubus orderd national gaurds to block intergration of little rock high school.

Eisenhower then interviens and orders national troops to intergrate school escorting A-A children into school.

led to signing of 1957 Civil Rights Act (not very influencial).

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President of SCLC in 1957.


  • Birmingham Campaign 1963- forced JFK into action
  • March on Washington 1963- 'I have a dream...'
  • led to 1964 civil rights act and 1965 voting right act.


  • hypocritical- man of god yet slept with prostitutes.
  • Albany 1962- invited by SNCC- police knew they needed media coverage so stopped violence. Blacks lost faith.
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Greensboro 1960

Start sit-ins in woolworths lunch counter--> Greensboro sit-ins.

SNCC set up 1960.

Civil Rights Act 1960 signed by Eisenhower.

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1961 Freedom Rides

Started by CORE- intergrate interstate buses.

Also joined by SNCC.

Mobbed and bombed by racists--> media coverage for A-A campaign.

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Albany 1962

Trying to desegregate public facilities.

MLK invited.

Although there are protests- they needed media coverage of violence towards them but this was pre-empted by the police and governer so all violence was suspended.

Campaign failed- many people lost faith in MLK.

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Birmingham and The March on Washington 1963

Organised by MLK and SCLC.

Started mass protests- violence in the form of police dogs and hoses used to remove them- as ordered by Bull Connor.

They had mass media coverage --> outrage.

Led to JFK and LBJ to draw up and sign the 1964 Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act 1965

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Civil Rights Act 1964

  • Banned exclusion from restaurants, shops etc
  • Law suits could be filed to speed up desegregation, mixed schools and voting rights.
  • FEPC set up on a permanent legal basis.
  • No racial, sexual or religious discrimination.
  • no discrimination on any federal aided programmes.
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Voting Rights Act 1964

following conditions for voter registration were made illegal:

  • demonstration of educational achievement.
  • knowledge of any subject.
  • ability to interpret material.
  • proof of moral character.

Blacks could now register to vote on equal basis to whites.

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Affirmative Action 1969

Enforced by Nixon.

Make allowences for the lack of oppurtunity blacks had had in the past- promoted equal employment and educational oppurtunities.

Quoted no of A-A's that had to employed in industry--> increase in employment.

Supported by congress by passing the Equal Opportunity Act 1972.

Also supported by the Supreme Court with their Griggs v Duke Power Company 1971- not allowed to ask for diploma or literacy test on employment of blacks on account of past educational discrimination.

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Malcom X


  • pushed seperatism.
  • spokesperson of NOI.
  • Promoted Black Power- united blacks.
  • 1964- set up Organisation of Afro-American Society


  • didn't achieve any legislation.
  • openly critised MLK.
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Black Panther Party 1966

Led by Heuy Newton.

Formed armed 'neighbourhood police.'

V. radical.

Supported communism.

Infiltrated by police spys.

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Swann v Charlotte-Mecklenburg 1971

supports affirmative action.

Supports desegregation busing of children to achieve intergration.

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Bakke Case 1978

White challenge to Affirmative action but supreme court upholds affirmative action plan.

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Jesse Jackson


  • was a member of SCLC- gained knowledge from MLK.
  • Formed PUSH 1971- supported affirmative action.
  • Was part of the rainbow coalition.


  • caught drink driving- negative role model.
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Rodney King and LA riots

1991- Rodney Kimg beated by four white Police officers- significant because it still showed discrimination and violence of authorities against A-A.

1992- L.A. riots errupt after the officers that beat Rodney King are acquitted.

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Economic position= still significantly lower than whites.

  • economic gap between blacks and whites still huge- 1/7 households having an annual income of over $50,000
  • 2x as many blacks unemployed.
  • Poor black ghettos still prevalent in cities

However, the number of blacks graduated from school was almost equal to whites.

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really useful information well done ! and thankyou !



Really good information .. THANKS !!!



thanks, really need essay examples though 

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