Civil Rights Movement- part 4

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  • Created by: Rosie
  • Created on: 27-04-13 12:41

Kennedy- helped

  • appoint 5 black judges (including Thurgood Marshall) and 40 blacks to top posts
  • Justice Department under Robert Kennedy brought 57 suits for violating black voting rights
  • invited more black's to White House and resigned from exclusive all-white club
  • Mere existence of Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
  • sent National guard and some army to help James Meredith enrol
  • publicly declare black inequality as immoral and unconstitutional
  • used force and injunctions to desegregate buses and terminals 
  • Robert helped greatly at Birmingham- facilities soon desegregated afterwards
  • said Birmingham sickened him - provoked him to really get involved
  • willing to risk his career to push the Civil Rights Bill- approval rating had dropped to 44%
  • Paved the way for the Civil Rights Act and morally commited the presidency to reform
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Kennedy- didn't help

  • symbolic gestures didn't do anything and possibly just politically motivated
  • slow so not to alienate white Southern congressmen
  • Justic Department remained cautious, sometimes backed down to white senators protests
  • forced into action-
    -James Meredith- originally sent 500 poorly equipped marshals- 2 people shot
    - Birmingham- King did it because he felt Kennedy administration was inactive (before)
  • March on Washington- hughly reluctant to allow it= antagonise congress and harm CR bill
  • 1962 literacy bill failed- Southern filibuster
  • CR bill- slow to ask for it
  • Equal Employment Opportunity Commision (EEOC) achieved little
  • approval rating dropped and there was a white backlash to his actions
  • damaged his Democratic Party in South
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Johnson- helped

  • In early career taught at segregated school and tried to help black unemployment
  • As Vice President tried to get funds for EEOC
  • Legislative Revolution-
    -Civil Rights Act (1964)
    -Secondary and Education Acts (1965)- funding, improve education
    -Voting Rights Act (1965)- outlaw tests preventing voting, black politicians increased
    -Social Security Act (1965)- health insurance for poor
    -Fair Housing Act (Civil Rights Act) (1968)
  • appoint Thurgood Marshall to Supreme Court
  • had 2/3 of Congress on his side
  • offered money to desegregated southern schools- encourage desgregation
  • extremely committed and often didn't care what white's thought of his actions
  • achived more than any of his predecessors
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Johnson- didn't help

  • Civil Rights Act (1964)- failures and weaknesses
  • Voting Rights Act (1965)- still not many black southern voters, only 50% in 1966
  • Fair Housing Act (Civil Rights Act) (1968)- limitations, weaknesses and failures
  • inconsistent throughout career on race issues- politically motivated
  • Vietnam war- $700 billion, could be spent on domestic issues, led to criticism by MLK, wedge between them= limited action in 2nd half of presidency
  • white backlash from legislation passed made laws difficult to enforce
  • riots in ghettos due to not enough de facto change
  • local officials reluctant to co-operate but some valuable politically to Johnson so didn't act
  • mass riots in 1965 between whites and blacks- whites felt blamed for problems
  • rising taxes-whites paying, made him unpopular= less likely to be helped
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Civil Rights Act (1964)

  • Background
    • Had been filibustered in the senate
    • NAACP, churches, activists helped by lobbying (voting for those who help it)
    • Kennedy had introduced bill and won over some of Congress
  • Successes
    • outlaw segregation of any facility
    • end of de jure segreation, even in the south
  • Failures
    • did little to facilitate black voting
    • didn't improve race relations
    • provoked riots in ghettos, still suffered from poverty and de facto discrimination
    • white backlash in voting for presidential primaries
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Fair Housing Act (Civil Rights Act) (1968)

  • Background
    • congress unhelpful after 1965 riots
    • pushed through after MLK's assassination
  • successes
    • prohibited housing discrimination
    • contained Indian Bill of Rights- intended to protect Native American's from white and tribal dictatorship
  • failures
    • Indian Bill of Rights caused friction between Native Americans
    • didn't fix anthing de facto, schools not fully integrated
    • very weak
    • Congress didn't help much at all
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Comparing 1945 and 1968


  • most couldn't vote
  • social inferiority enshrined in law
  • white racism
  • segregated schools
  • no access to higher education alongside whites
  • tenant farming, mostly low-skilled jobs, small middle class


  • most could vote
  • full (legal) citizenship
  • white racism
  • more integrated schools
  • greater access to higher education alongside whites
  • less tenant farming, mostly low-skilled jobs, growing middle class
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Achievements of Peaceful Protest

  • Education- more and more places being desegregated thanks to legislation, blacks and whites entitled to same resources- sweatt v painter, more blacks in universities, however many places still segregated (97% in 1957 despite Brown)
  • Transport- segregation of interstate illegal (Morgan v Virginia), Montgomery boycotts and Browdert v Gayle meant segregation of all transport illegal, de facto change was slow in south, CRA 1964 meant federal government had power to enforce desegregation
  • Public Places- sitins forced many places to desegregate, but local authorities often opposed it e.g. closing public parks, CRA 1964 forced desegregation,
  • Voting Rights- CRA 1957 and 1960 largely inneffective, voting rights act 1965 more successful, still quite slow in encouraging people to register, number of blacks elected into government positions
  • Employment and income- improvement but not full equality, pressure on state gov. successful, still quite large unemployment, CRA 64 outlaw discrimination, lower income still- 1965 Moynihan Report, by 1968 gap had closed in white and black unemployment, income risen
  • Housing- despite 1968 fair housing act and campaigns and pressure on politicians little change
  • Public support- many support supreme court decisions, but many whites don't want to live near them,
  • conclusion- loads of de jure, fewer de facto successes
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Malcolm X- background

  • disadvantaged early life, joined NYC criminal underworld, 10yrs in prison
  • Nation of Islam -advocated black supremacism and seperatism, attractive to working class black men in northern cities, converted to NOI in prison, led by Muhammed
  • believed integration would bring a subtle form of enslavement, MLK as Uncle Tom
  • black nationalism- self-determination, blacks should have power over own community and their taxes spent on themselves, only possible in black community excluding whites
  • self defence- advocated gun ownership, wiolence was empowering, "by any means necessary"
  • break with NOI- Muhammed gets jealous, MX leaves and forms OAAU= Organisation of Afro-American Unity
  • OAAU- aim to re-educate blacks, voting campaigns, school boycotts, social programmes, emphasise black pride
  • Integration- later years attitude shifts, votes for black politicians, works with SNCC and CORE, after Hajj witnesses harmony between blacks and whites, visits africa sees whites helping blacks
  • assassination- FBI= reports Muhammed ordered it, shot 1965 15x at rally, shooters members of NOI, OAAU collapses afterwards, aims became central to other radical groups (SNCC and Black Panther Party)
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Black Panthers- aims and ideology

  • BPP founded  1966 by Huey Newton and Bobby Seale, radical, used violence, Malcolm X role model to them, critcal of blacks working with whites (MLK),
  • focused on
    • black liberation- self defence (don't trust justice system, "off the pigs"), organise own militia patrolling neighbourhoods, uniform of black beret, leather jackets
    • improve conditions in northern ghettos- campaigns to demand gov. investment , welfare schemes
  • black nationalists, emphasise anti colonialism and domination of 3rd world countries, inspired by revolutionary chinese government expelling white oppressors (Mao Zedong)
  • stressed solidarity, oppose Vietnam war, violence seen as essential
  • Newton and Seale's emphasis on revolution- Karl Marx- no freedom under capitalism, freedom only obtained by revolution
  • Newton and Seale attempt to organise American Black working class through Black Panther party
  • 1968- only 5000 members, newspaper readership of 1million, high approval rating with GI's in Vietnam
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Black Panthers- Ten Point Programme (1966)

  • power to determine own destiny
  • free healthcare
  • end to police brutality, murder
  • end to all wars of aggression (Vietnam)
  • full employment
  • end to capitalist robbery of black communities
  • housing improvements
  • education- exposing true nature of society
  • freedom for all blacks in prison and trials by jury of blacks
  • land, bread, housing, education, clothing, justice, peace, people's control of technology
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Black Panthers- Methods (Patrol the Pigs)

  • in California keep police under surveillance and prevent blacks from abuse of power
  • observe any arrest of blacks (Newton would carry law books and intervene in incidents, questioning police)
  • highlighted abuses of police
  • educated local blacks of their legal rights
  • great suppor= BPP grew and campaign expanded into other cities
  • Californian state gov. felt threatened, attempt to ban patrols
  • in response panthers got media attention for further support, very successful by 1967 with several local groups in many states
  • more publicity from free "free Huey" campaign after Newton arrested on murder charges in 1967, relased in 1970
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Black Panthers- Methods (Survival Programmes)

  • Newton's arrest led to new leadership and change in direction
  • base was in St Augustine's Church in Oakland
  • aim to improve northern ghettos from 1968
  • funded by black businesses people and celebrities e.g James Brown and Jimi Hendrix
  • Free Breakfast for School Children Programme- highly successful, by 1969 10,000 children fed per day
  • Free health clinics- offer tests e.g. for sickle cell disease, offer emergency medical care, contraception advice, very popular and women and hispanic groups follow idea, by 1974 200 free clinics helping 200,000 per year
  • free 'liberation schools'- staffed by volunteers in local church halls, backs of shops and people's homes, teach struggles, actions and achievements of blacks, focus on black history and culture, inspire self confidence and sense of identitiy
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Black Panthers- decline

  •  FBI's COINTELPRO-  believe future violent revolution, paranoia, dirty tricks campaign e.g phone tapping, bugging offices, infiltrate to attempt to weaken and destroy movement, forge letters to claim BPP was sending deaths threats to government officials- led to loss of support, frequent arrests of BPP members meant money had to be spent on legal fees (loss of money for survival programmes)
  • Differences between leaders- Newton wants to play down use of violence and emphasise survival programmes, Eldridge Cleaver ( party's presidential candidate) committed to militancy
  • Women- object to macho image of party, conflict between original male members and female recruits who ran health and education, object to Eldridge Cleaver's high profile - convicted of ****
  • all loosened strength, by 1977 party fell apart
  • successful patrol the pigs and survival programmes
  • failed to stamp out police racism
  • fell victim to FBI attacks
  • inspire other groups
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Radicalisation of SNCC and CORE

  • 50's+early 60's king prove peaceful effective, SNCC+CORE organise peaceful campaigns
  • but King's and SCLC's failure in northern cities = impatience and disillusionment
  • race riots and ghetto riots as a result, multiple deaths, injuries, arrests, damage to ghetto businesses
  • ghettos reject CR organisations- look to new leaders
  • SNCC-

 Stokely Carmichael leader in 1966, need to use violence, more militant and radical, Rap Brown leader in 1967- urge blacks to take over white stores in ghettos, use violence if necessary

  • CORE-

1966 advocated black power, condemn non violence inappropriate defence method, 1968 exclude white members, new more militant leader after Farmer and McKissick resign

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Sources of Tension in Movement

  • ideology towards violence, peaceful effective in north?
  • should blacks and whites collaborate
  • how far did de jure lead to de facto
  • should blacks seek integration or seperatism
  • MLK- Uncle Tom, glory seeker, SCLC stir up trouble then leave, treat SNCC and CORE as junior partners, links to white politicians
  • divisions over Vietnam
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Divisions in the movement- positive/ negative

  • Positive-
    •  radicalism frightens white authorities
    • show government alternative vision
    • arguably created more social and economic success
  • Negative-
    • difficult to organise campaigns together with a fragmented movement
    • damage King's reputation- spokesperson for CRM
  • Conclusion- unity was a facade concealing personal differences, CORE and SNCC's radicalism help breakdown of movement,
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Black Power- achievements

  • Organise northern blacks who reject MLK
  • SNCC's work gained millions of government funding
  • win rights to elect own school boards
  • help thousands with schools, health, police brutality bringing media attention to problems
  • Black Identity- study black history and heritage, Malcolm X surname in recognition of lost African name, afro hairstyle became popular (Angela Davis), refer to themselves as black not negroes or coloured = positive control of language
  • Music- all black bands, use of non western instruments, traditional african music, modern black styles, Jimi Hendrix, James Brown
  • Media portrayal- inter-racial kisses in films e.g. star trek, black catwoman, blacks play highly educated characters rather than stereotypical dumb people and villains, films showing blacks side to police brutality were hits, black power symbol in 1968 Mexico Olympics receiving medals= symbolic, no shoes, black scarves, necklaces

Conclusion- black power had a huge cultural and social impact , forge new identity, change race relations forever, became models for women and Hispanic and Native Americans

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