Of the 20 century th

Of the 20th century
A. Fourteenth Amendment — all citizens are entitled to “equal protection under the law”
 What does this mean?
B. July 26, 1948 -- Executive Order 9981: mandated "equality of treatment and
opportunity to all persons in the Armed Services without regard to race"
 1. signed by President Truman
 2. integrated the armed forces
C. May 17, 1954 -- Brown vs. Board of Education:
"separate educational facilities are inherently unequal"
 1. segregation is illegal and unconstitutional
 2. de-segregation must proceed with “all deliberate speed”
 3. Case argued by NAACP lawyer, Thurgood Marshall
A. Montgomery Bus Boycott
1. December 1, 1955 -- Rosa Parks was arrested in Montgomery, Alabama for refusing to
give her bus seat up to a white person
2. African American community in Montgomery launched a boycott of the buses (later
expanded to downtown businesses that discriminated)
3. new leader emerged: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., a Baptist preacher in Montgomery,
advocated civil disobedience and a non-violent approach
4. December 21, 1956 -- Montgomery buses are desegregated by federal law
B. Southern Christian Leadership Council (SCLC)
1. formed in 1957 to unify African-Americans to fight segregation
2. Martin Luther King, Jr is the president
3. Two strategies
A. civil disobedience — refusing to obey an unjust law
B. non-violence
 1. Preached Christian love towards whites
 2. His strategy was non-violent civil disobedience
 Break unjust laws w/out violence
 Patterned after Gandhi
 Draw media attention
 3. Elected president of the Montgomery Improvement
Association and the Southern Christian Leadership
Conference (SCLC)
C. Central High School: Little Rock, Ark. “The Little Rock Nine”
 1.1957: nine African American students are selected to integrate Central
High School
 September 2, 1957: Governor Faubus calls in the National Guard to prevent the
students from entering the school
 September 23, 1957: President Eisenhower sends in Federal troops to protect the
students Each student is assigned two soldiers to protect them for the rest of the
school year
D. Reaction to Integration
 1. Massive Resistance — White southerners resisted obeying Brown v.
 2. Public schools in some Virginia counties were closed to prevent
 3. Ku Klux Klan became active again
The Sit-ins
 1. February 1960: Woolworth in Greensboro, North Carolina – site of
1st “sit-in”, movement quickly spreads across nation
 2. SNCC: Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee — a group of
college students who organized to protest segregation
 3. African-Americans sit at “white-only” lunch counters until they are
Freedom Rides
 1. 1961 – the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) organized groups
of white and black people to ride buses all over the South
 2. Southerners reacted with violence
“I guess it is easy for those who have never felt the stinging darts of
segregation to say ‘Wait’. But when you have seen vicious mobs lynch
G. Birmingham
your mothers and fathers at whim; when you have seen hate filled
policemen curse, kick, brutalize and even kill your black brothers
and sisters… When you have to concoct an answer for a 5 year old
 1. 1963: King and other ministers
arrested for demonstrating in
Birmingham, AL,
son asking ‘Daddy, why do white people treat colored people so
mean?’…then you will understand why it is so difficult to wait.”
- Letter from
a Birmingham Jail
 2. King wrote “Letter from a Birmingham
H. March on Washington
 1. August 28, 1963: 250,000 people march on Washington, DC for
“jobs and freedom”
 2. Dr. King gives “I Have a Dream” Speech
I. Civil Rights Act of 1964
 1. July 2, 1964 – President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights
Act of 1964
 2. Made all segregation and discrimination on the basis of race illegal
J. Voting Rights Act of 1965 -- signed by LBJ on August 6, 1965
 1. allows federal (rather than state) examiners to register voters
 2. suspends literacy tests
A. Malcolm X and the Nation of Islam
 1. Malcolm X was a member of the Nation of Islam
 2. advocated “armed self-defense” instead of non-violence
 3. suggested that blacks should remove themselves from white
 4. After a pilgrimage to Mecca, he changed his violent views and
began to work for voting rights (“ballots or bullets”)
 5. February 21, 1965: Malcolm X was assassinated by other Black
B. Black Power
 1. Stokely Carmichael (from SNCC) called for “black
people to begin to define their own goals”
 2. Black Panther party — formed to fight police brutality in
the ghetto; preached armed revolt
C. Watts Riots
 1. August 11 - 16, 1965: 34 people are killed in riots in the
Watts section of Los Angeles after a young black man was
arrested for drunk driving
 2. non-violence aspect of the movement is fading
D. Assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.
 April 4, 1968: MLK is shot on a hotel balcony in Memphis TN
Civil Rights Gains:
• Ended de jure segregation
• Passed the most important legislation since reconstruction:
• The Civil Rights Act of 1964
• The Voting Rights Act
• The 24th Amendment
• The Civil Rights Act of 1968 (ended discrimination in housing)
• Many African Americans went to high school and finished college.
• Gave African Americans greater pride in their racial identity.
• Increase of black studies programs
• African Americans began appearing more frequently in movies and television.
• More African Americans were registered to vote.
• A dramatic increase in the number of African Americans holding public office.