Life for black people: treated as inferior, faced serious racism, poor facilities, lived in run odwn areas, poor quality healthcare and education
NAACP- National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People
CORE- The Congress Of Racial Equality
SCLC- The Southern Christian Leadership Conference
Direct Action- visible protest, non-violent, pictures in media, MLK encouraged this so that it was clear who was being opressed by who.
Issues tackled by the Civil Rights Movement:
1. Public Transport- should be allowed to sit anywhere, first come, first served
2. Voting- very hard for black people to register as they would have to pass a test which was made alot harder so that they would fail, others passed but were toild they had failed anyway.
Montgomery Bus Boycott 1955
Rosa Parks 1st December was arrested for refusing to give up her seat on a Montgomery bus.
On the day of the trial (5th Dec) a one day boycott of the buses took place. Rosa was found guilty and fined $10.
The Montgomery Improvement Association's new chairman Martin Luther King on the 5th December decided on a longer boycott. The MIA asked for all black people to boycott the buses (70% of bus users were black) until the laws were changed (381 days). The boycott was well planned, lifts/ car shares were organised & black taxi firms agreed to charge less during this time.
Almost every blck person and some white people boycotted the buses. Consequences: bus companys lost a large amount of money, boycotters lost their jobs, leaders arrested, homes firebombed, montgomery recieved very bad press
The state government were refusing to act and so the Supreme Court on 19th December 1956 declared that segregation on buses was illegal. As of the 21st December black people began again to ride the buses, however the ruling was very unpopular with white people.
Court Cases etc.
The 14th Amendment of the US constitution- Black people are full US citizens and segregation of any kind is illegal
Plessy vs Ferguson- Segregation is acceptable if facilities are 'seperate but equal'
Brown vs Board of Education 1954- Ruled that all segregation within schools was illegal but is set no date for integration. Some schools integrated peacefully however many more did not.
White Citizens' councils set up all over the south opposing the integration
Only two states obeyed the Brown vs Board of education ruling (Kansas & Texas)
In Little Rock school officers chose 9 out of the 75 black people due to start that year in order to ease the integration process. The Governor of Arkansas, Orville Faubus was opposed to the integration and so called in the Arkansas National Guard to 'protect' the school (keep the 9 out).
NAACP arranged for the 9 to arrive together but a mix up meant that Elizabeth Eckford arrived alone. She got through the mob outside (threatening her with lynching) but was turned away by the guards. The same happened to the 8.
Eisenhower sent federal troops and put the Arkansas National Guard under federal control. They were ordered tpescort the nine in and around school but this didnt stop the hate mail, abusive phone calls & the fact that they were ignored by the teachers.
The next year Faubus closed the school to stop the integration.
The nine were given an equal education and one student did graduate. However they faced violence and one girl was expelled when she reacted to this.
Sit-ins and Freedom Rides
Greensboro February 1960
Sit-in to increase publicity regarding the treatment of black people in AMerica. It was a particularly important event as it sparked protests all across the south.
Raleigh, North Carolina March 1960
A group of young people set up the Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) to organise the growing sit-in movement. They offered courses to protesters, giving them tips on how to stay peaceful when put in violent situations.
Freedom Rides- to 'test' desegregation in the south after the 1961 Supreme Court ruling to desegregate bus stations- SNCC & CORE organised freedom rides.
Buses full of both black and white people drove through the south and as expected were met with hostility, especially the white people on the buses.
All riders were attacked, buses were firebombed, riders were imprisoned (400)and killed (3) but the riders continued.
The KKK and the White Citizens' Councils
The Klu Klux Klan- they were a 'secret society' hoever in the smaller american towns everyone knew who the klan members were. Members included judges, policemen, soldiers and politicians. The Klan was formed in the 1850s by a soldier and by 1924 it had 4.5 million members.
Dress: White robes with very large hoods
They paraded, attacked coloured people & lynched black people, catholics and jews.
The White Citizens' Coucil- protested and attacked balck people
Not as violent or extreme as the KKK
James Meredith 1962 was the first black person to go to Mississippi university. Federal troops were called in to stop the student riots, lots were injured and 2 killed.
Meredith did graduate in 1964 but federal troops had to remain with him the entire time.