Civil Rights Movement

  • Created by: Abby18
  • Created on: 08-05-15 11:37

Murder of Emmett Till 1955 Achievements

  • Till wolf-whistled at a white girl
  • Mother demanded open casket coffin at the funeral
    • So people knew what they did to her boy
  • Brothers found not guilty of the murder
    • All-white jury
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Murder of Emmett Till 1955 Significance

  • Funeral of Emmett Till attracted a lot of media attention
    • Known all over America
      • Photos of his battered body were shown everywhere
  • All-white Jury
    • Lawyers defending the brothers had never even heard the story
    • Was not defending 2 murders but the ways of the South
  • In the South, brothers were seen as martyrs
  • 1st time a white person had been arrested for the murder of a black person
  • North had finally seen what segregation in the South was really like
  • Trial showed that even children were safe from violence of the South
  • Murder inspired Rosa Parks
  • Launch of the civil rights movement
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The Montgomery Bus Boycott 1955-56 Achievements

  • Lasted for just over a year
    • 85% of Montgomery's black citizens refused to use buses
  • At the same time
    • NAACP fought Browder v. Gayle (1956)
      • Challenged the legality of segregation on public transport
  • NAACP won case
  • The Montgomery Bus Company officially desegregated buses
    • 21st Dec.1956
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The Montgomery Bus Boycott 1955-56 Significance

  • Highlighted the economic power of black Americans
    • During boycott, the revenue of the bus company fell by $250,000
  • Attracted a great deal of favourable media attention
    • Put pressure on the bus company to change
  • Boycott demonstrated the effectiveness of coupling peaceful protest & legal action
  • Launched the career of MLK
    • Resulted in the foundation of a new civil rights organisation
      • Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC)
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Little Rock 1957 Achievements

  • Following media attention
      • Eisenhower ordered the National Guard
      • To protect students & allow them to enrol
    • Faubus responded by closing all schools in Little Rock
      • Claiming that desegregation would lead to racist violence
  • NAACP challenged the closure of schools in the court case 
    • Cooper v. Aaron (1958)
      • Supreme Court ruled in NAACP's favour
        • Argued that it was illegal to prevent desegregation for any reason
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The Little Rock Campaign 1957 Significance

  • Protest showed effectiveness of using peaceful protest to test Supreme Court rulings
    • Ensures the de jure change led to de facto change
  • Forced Eisenhower to intervene in defence of civil rights 
  • Showed lengths to which white racists would go to prevent desegregation
  • Demonstrated local/national authorities reluctance to enforce BROWN
  • Blacks realised that they couldn't just rely on Supreme Court decisions
    • Start of real civil rights campaigning
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The Greensboro sit-ins 1960 Achievements

  • NAACP was reluctant to help
    • Thought it could turn violent
    • Thurgood Marshall refused to represent 'crazy coloured students'
  • Got SCLC full support
    • Encouraged MLK to join
  • The Greensboro Woolworth's store was desegregated in May 1960
  • By 1962
    • 70,000 people had taken part in some kind of protest against segregation
  • Start of SNCC
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The Greensboro sit-ins 1960 Significance

  • The Greensboro Woolworth's store was desegregated in May 1960
  • By begining of 1962
    • 70,000 people had taken part in some kind of protest against segregation
      • Black and white
  • End of 1961
    • 810 towns in the Southern states has desegregated public places
  • Sit-ins focused onto mass-action
  • Helped erode Jim Crow Laws
    • Loss of buisness made Woolworth desegregate its lunch counters
      • By end of 1961
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The Greensboro sit-ins 1960 Significance

  • Success of the sit-ins led to the foundation of a new organisation
    • the Student Non-violent Co-ordinating Committee (SNCC)
  • Protests demonstrated continuing media interest in the campaign for civil rights
  • Highlighted economic power of black Americans
    • Woolworth's profits decreased by 1/3 during protest
  • Showed widespread willingness of young black people to stand up for their rights
  • Eisenhower publicly expressed support for those campaigning for greater civil rights
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The Freedom Rides 1961 Achievements

  • Federal Government
    • Promised to enforce desegregation of interstate buses & bus facilities
  • By September 1961
    • All signs enforcing segregation was removed from intense transport
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The Freedom Rides 1961 Significance

  • The Rides demonstrated unity between civil rights organisations
    • CORE, SNCC, and the SCLC all contributed
  • Violent reaction to the protest forced JFK to act
    • Demonstrated his reluctance to support direct action
    • Refused to protect the protestors
      • Instead offering them grants to abandon their campaign
    • After protest. Kennedy asked for a 'cooling off' period
      • He meant an end to direct action campaigns
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Albany campaign 1961-2 Achievement

  • Pritchett made vague promises to end segregation
    • But took action to ensure that his desegregation measures were meaningless
      • E.g.
        • Desegregated parks were closed
        • Chairs were removed from desegregated libraries
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Albany campaign 1961-2 Significance

  • Demonstrated importance of gaining media attention
    • Without this, the campaigners couldn't force effective change
  • Campaign led to divisions within the civil rights movement
    • Some radicals in SNCC began to argue
      • In favour of abandoning strategy of non-violence
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The Birmingham campaign 1963 Achievements

  • SCLC successfully negotiated the desegregation of department stores
  • Connor's high-pressure water hoses tore clothes off students backs
    • & a commitment to end racial discrimination in employment
  • Media coverage of police violence shocked America/world
    • Forcing Kennedy to publicly back a bill to end segregation
  • Soon SCLC enlisted school children as young as 6 to march
    • 500 young marchers were soon in custody
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The Birmingham campaign 1963 Significance

  • Soviet Union devoted 1/5 of its news coverage to the protest
    • Highly embaressing for America in the context of the Cold War
  • The campaign and international reaction
    • Convinced Kennedy of the need for a civil rights act
  • Media coverage and Kings 'Letter from Birmingham Jail'
    • Won over enormous white support for civil rights campaign
      • Particularly in the North
  • Divisions among civil rights groups intestified
    • SCLC was criticised for putting children in harm's way
  • White violence continued after the campaign
    • KKK bombed a black church in Birmingham
      • Killing 4 young girls
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The March on Washington 1963 - Achievements

  • SCLC, SNCC, CORE and the NAACP all worked together
  • March commemorated 100th anniversary of the end of slavery
  • 250,000 people marched
    • 50,000 were white
  • Forced Kennedy to make a good on his promise
    • Began to work on a Civil Rights Act
  • Peaceful nature of the march
    • Also led to great deal of positive media coverage
  • Civil rights leaders began working closely with the Federal Government during the campaign
  • King made his famous 'I have a dream' speech
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The March on Washington 1963 - Signifcance

  • Demonstrated unity of the civil rights movement in its call for desegregation
  • Positive media attention
    • Ensured sustained white support for desegregation
  • Kennedy had been reluctant to permit the March
    • Fearing that it would become violent
      • King assured Kennedy that it would peaceful
        • Persuaded Kennedy to back the march
          • Demonstrated that the President held King in high regard
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Civil Rights Act 1964 - Why was the Act passed?

  • Campaigns gained media attention and public support
    • Particularly in the Northern states
  • Kennedy's assassination in 1963
    • Increased public sympathy for the Act
      • Johnson said the Act would be a fitting legacy for Kennedy
  • 1964 Congressional elections had replaced many Dixiecrats
    • With new liberal Democrats who were more sympathetic to civil rights
  • Johnson threw his weight behind the bill
    • Persuading senior members of Congress to back it
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Civil Rights Act 1964 - Provisions of the Act

  • Civil Rights Act outlawed all segregation of public facilities/places
  • Established the Commission on Civil Rights
    • Empowered to enforce desegregation
  • Outlawed racial discrimmination in employment
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Civil Rights Act 1964 - Effectiveness of Act

  • Successes
    • 1964-68
      • The Act was used to force 53 cities to desegregate
    • By 1968
      • Black unemployment was 7%
        • Not far above white unemployment (5%)
    • Over the next decade
      • Led to the wholesale dismanting of segregation in the South
  • Limitations
    • By 1968
      • 58% of Southern black schoolchildren
        • Remained in segregated schools
      • Average income of black workers
        • 61% of average income of white workers
    • Didn't address inequalities in the provision of housing
    • Didn't address black voting rights
    • Did not affect Northern blacks
    • Last city to desegregated in 1974
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Civil Rights Act 1964 - Significance

  • Gave government the power to enforce desegregation across the South
  • Gave blacks social standing
  • More equality
    • America was not completely equal though
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The Mississippi Freedom Summer 1964

  • Fcoused on voting rights 
  • Around 800 activists from SNCC, CORE and SCLC targeted Mississippi
    • Only 6.2% of black adults were registered to vote
  • During campaign
    • 17,000 black people tried to register to vote
      • Due to white opposition only 1,600 succeeded
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The Selma campaign 1965

  • SNCC and SCLC organisers plaaned march
    • Selma to Montgomery
      • To mark 10th anniversary of bus boycott
  • 1st attempt
    • Failed due to police intervention
    • Violent
    • Attacking the protestors with teargas, clubs, whips and electric cattle prods
      • While white spectators yelled encouragement
  • 2nd attempt
    • Stopped shortly after Johnson appealed directly to King to draw a halt
  • 3rd attempt
    • 25,000 protestors successful completed the march
  • March showed continuing unity between SCLC and SNCC 
    • Also, demonstrated King's good relationship with Johnson
  • Following march
    • Johnson proposed Votings Rights Act to Congress
  • King was criticised by black radicals for giving into Johnson's request to delay the march
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The Voting Rights Act 1965

  • Outlawed all tests and clauses that prevented American citizens from voting
    • Such as literacy test and grandfather clauses
  • Gave the Federal Government the power to oversee voter registration across America
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The Voting Rights Act 1965 - Impact

  • 1965-66
    • 230,000 black people registered to vote across the Southern states
  • More black people were elected to government positions
  • By 1966
    • 4 Southern states had fewer than 50% of their black citizens registered to vote
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Opposition to civil rights - Presidents

  • None of the presidents publically supported segregation
    • None wholeheartedly supported the methods of the civil rights movement
  • Eisenhower
    • Refused to show leadership in the fight against segregation
    • Believed that balck people needed to be patient
      • Thought change would come naturally over time
    • Unwilling to use his authority to force Congress to pass meaningful legislation
  • Kennedy
    • In favour of extending balck rights
    • Set up the Voter Education Project
      • Programme was an attempt to persuade civil rights activists
        • To abandon their own initiatives and collaborate with the Government on voter education
    • Johnson
      • Belived King's Northern campaigns were too ambitous
      • Refused to work with King
        • Following his criticism of America's involvement in Vietnam
      • Civil Rights Act and Voter Rights Act
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Opposition to civil rights - Congress

  • Watered down bills
    • E.g. penalities for denying black citizens their right to vote
      • Established in the 1957 Civil Rights Act
        • Penalty was a $1,000 fine or 6 months in jail
  • Congressmen filibustered to hold up legislation
    • E.g. in 1960, 18 Southern Dixiecrats filibustered for 125 hours
      • An attempt to kill Eisnhower's bill
    • 1964 Civil Rights Act
      • Senators staged a filibuster of 83 days
        • Longest in American history
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Opposition to civil rights - FBI

  • FBI Chief Hoover was convinced the civil rights movement had been infiltrated
    • By communists dedicated to undermining the American Government
  • He set up COINTRLPRO
    • To infiltrate the civil rights movement
  • FBI agents pretended to be civil rights campaigners 
    • Were instructed to foster disagreements and rivalry
      • In order to weaken the civil rights movement from within
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Opposition to civil rights - Local authorities

  • Local police chiefs used a variety of methods to hinder the movement
  • 'Bull' Connor in Birmingham
    • Used violence to try to intimidate civil rights activists
      • Counter-productive as it gained valuable media attention
  • Laurie Pritchett
    • Undertood the importance of overt white racism
    • Combated the movement in a more sophisticated way
      • By ordering police officers to treat protestors with respect
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Opposition to civil rights - Local politicians

  • Orval Faubus, Governor of Arkansas
    • Used heavy-handed techniques
      • Such as employming the National Guard and closing schools
    • Ineffective
      • Federal Government was forced to act to protect the rights of protestors
  • Richard Daley, Mayor of Chicago
    • Used more subtle methods and making promises that he did not intend to keep
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Opposition to civil rights - Public Opposition

  • KKK continued to use violence against protestors
    • 16th Street Church bombing
    • Firebombed 30 houses during Mississippi Freedom Summer
  • North witnessed 'white flight'
    • White Americans moved out of integrated neighbourhoods
      • Creating de facto segregation
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Martin Luther King

  • Used media to get his message across
  • Commitment to peace gave him enourmous moral authority
  • Willing to work with senior politicians in movement
  • Charismatic
    • Black church made him an ideal spokesman for the Christian Southern black community
    • Better alternative to millitant activists
      • Malcolm X
  • Criticised following the Albany campaign
    • For not fully grasping the nature of the problems he addressed
  • Lesser-known black leaders argured that the SCLC imposed its own campaigns
    • Without working with local organisations
  • Some members of the SNCC accused King of treating them as the youth wing of the SCLC
  • Black movement radicalised during the 1960s
    • Some activists described King as an 'Uncle Tom'
      • Meaning that he was too willing to work with white authorities
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President Kennedy

  • Made big promises concerning civil rights during his election campaign
    • But slow to act was in power
  • Early measures were largely symbolic
    • Appointed 5 black judges to federal courts
      • And invited many black leaders to the White House
  • Only willing to show decisive leadership on civil rights
    • Following the violence of the Birmingham campaign
  • Was only after the March on Washington
    • That he threw his full weight behind a civil rights bill
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President Johnson

  • Committed to building a 'Great Society'
  • Passed Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act
  • He backed the Elementary and Secondary Education Act 1965
    • The Higher Education Act 1965
      • Both Acts targeted government spending at the poorest schools & unis
        • Therefore benefited many black students
  • Johnson's attention was diverted from 'Great Society' to the Vietnam War
  • Civil Rights Act of 1968
    • Addressed discrimination in housing
      • Much less successful than earlier Acts
      • Essentially, the Act outlawed racial discrimination in the sale or rental of property
      • Congress refused to support the sections of the Act
        • That gave the government power to enforce fair housing
    • Made little impact on racial discrimmination in the house market
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Desegregation - Key campaigns/legislation

  • Montgomery Bus Boycott (1955-1956)
  • Little Rock (1957)
  • Greensboro sit-ins (1960)
  • Freedom Rides (1961)
  • Albany Campaign (1962)
  • Birmingham Campaign (1963)
  • March on Washington (1963)
  • Civil Rights Act (1964)
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Desegregation - Achievements

  • Civil Rights Act of 1964 explicitly outlawed segregation
    • Gave the Government the power to force integration
  • Prior to this, segregation on transport and in transport facillities had been declared illegal
  • By 1968, only 42% of black schoolchildren in Southern states attended intergrated schools
  • By 1965, the Civil Rights Act had been used to force desegregation of 53 cities in South
    • Total of 214 Southern cities had been desegregation
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Voting - Key campaigns

  • Civil Rights Act 1957
  • Civil Rights Act 1960
  • Mississippi Freedom Summer 1964
  • Selma campaign 1965
  • Voting Rights Act 1965
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Voting - Achievements

  • In total, Eisenhower's Cvil Rights Acts added only 3% more black voters to the electorate
  • Voting Rights Act 1965 outlawed voting tests
    • Gave the Government the power to assist black voter and registration
  • Between 1965-1966
    • 230,000 black people registered to vote across the South
  • By 1966
    • Only 4 Southern states had less than 50% of their black citizens registered to vote
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Poverty - Key campaigns

  • Civil Rights Act 1964
  • Elementary and Secondary Education Act 1965
  • Higher Education Act 1965
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Poverty - Achievements

  • Fourfold increase in the number of black students attending college and uni during the late 1960s
  • By 1968
    • Only 7% of black Americans were unemployed
      • Compared to 5% of white Americans
  • Average wage of black workers rose from 53% of that of white workers in 1965
    • To 61% in 1968
  • 1977
    • Study revelaed that discrimination still occured in 21% of housing transactions
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Nation of Islam

  • Malcolm X's father was murdered by white supremacists
    • Mother had a nervous breakdown
  • In jail
    • Joined NOI
  • Taught people that Allah created black people
    • White people were created by an evil scientist
      • Making them incapable of goodness
  • NOI argued in favour of black separation
    • Thought black people could only be free in an environment away from white people
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Organisation of Afro-American Unity (OAAU)

  • 1964
    • X left NOI
  • X's relationship with Elijah Muhammad was difficult
    • Due to Muhammad's jealousy of X
      • And Muhammad's affairs
  • X formed OAAU
    • As a political organisation that would collaborate with other civil rights group
      • To campaign for better housing and education
  • Assassination of Malcolm X
    • February 1964
    • Shot 15 times at close range
    • 3 convicted of murder
      • All NOI members
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Black Nationalism

  • X described himself as a 'Black Nationalist freedom fighter'
  • Black Nationalists are categorised into 2 categories
    • Political Black Nationalism
      • Black people should govern themselves
    • Economic Black Nationalism
      • Black people should control the economy within their communities
  • This was extremely popular in the black ghettos of the North 
    • As it asserted black independence and dignity
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The Meredith March

  • 1962, James Meredith was the first black student to enrol at the University of Mississippi
  • 1966, Meredith staged a one-man march
    • To celebrate his achievement
  • During march
    • he was shot and wounded by a white racist
      • SCLC and SNCC continued march on his behalf
  • Stokely Carmichael, leader of SNCC
    • Argued that Meredith's shooting necessitated a change in strategy
    • White people were prepared to use violence against unarmed black people
      • Therefore the time had come to embrace self-defence
    • Carmichael's new slogan was 'Black Power'
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Black Power

  • 1966, SNCC and CORE embraced Black Power
  • For Carmichael
    • Meant that black people should direct their own struggle for freedom
      • Consequently, SNCC expelled its white members in 1966 and CORE in 1968
  • Black Power focused on issues of integration, community control and black culture
  • Thought movement was too involved in integration
    • Argued that black people needed to fight for better education and housing facilities
    • Improving conditions of black people was the primary goal
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Brown Case 1954

  • NAACP went to court in support of black schoolgirl
    • Linda Brown
  • Brown lived 5 blocks from an all-white school
    • But twenty blocks from a black school
  • NACCP argued that she was at a disadvantage to white students
    • Supreme Court ruled in Brown's favour
      • Stating that the education should be desegregated
  • Impact was limited
    • Did not draw up a timetable for this desegregation
    • Little immediate change
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Brown II 1955

  • Due to limitations of Brown I ruling
  • NAACP went back to court
  • This time
    • Supreme Court ruled that desegregation in education should occur
      • 'With all deliberate speed'
  • Failed to specify an actual deadline for desegregation 
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Brown II 1955

  • Due to limitations of Brown I ruling
  • NAACP went back to court
  • This time
    • Supreme Court ruled that desegregation in education should occur
      • 'With all deliberate speed'
  • Failed to specify an actual deadline for desegregation 
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Brown Case - Signficance

  • Outlawed racial segregation in public education facilities
    • Argued that separate education could never truly be equal
      • Ending the doctrine of ;seperate but equal' established by Plessy v. Ferguson
    • By overtuning the ruling of Plessy
      • Ruling undermined legal basis for segregation
  • Both Brown cases demonstrated Supreme Court sympathy for movement
    • But reluctant to enforce a timeframe for change
  • Southern white opposition
    • 'white blacklash'
      • Middle-class southern whites set up White Citizens' Councils
        • To oppose desegregation of schools
          • 1956 - 250,000 members
  • Increase in KKK violence
    • E.g. Emmett Till
  • Impact
    • Did not lead to widespread/immediate desegregation
      • 1957 - 97% of black students in Southern states went to segregated schools
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