Chapter 4 Civil rights The Civil Rights Struggle: • After the Civil War, African Americans routinely faced discrimination, or unfair treatment based on prejudice against a certain group. • “Jim Crow” laws passed in the south required the social separation of the races which was known as segregation. • It would take more than 100 years for African Americans to secure their civil rights – the rights of full citizenship and equality under the law. “Separate but Equal” • “Jim Crow” laws had mandated the “separate but equal” status for blacks in America. • Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) • Beginning to Change - Executive Order 9981 (1948) from President Harry Truman ordered an end to segregation in the nation’s armed forces. • The biggest victory for equality of rights came with the decision in 1954. • Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, KS (1954) • NAACP lawyers successfully argued that segregation in public schools was unconstitutional. • It violated the 14th Amendments principle of “equal protection under the law” Montgomery Bus Boycott • In 1955, one year after the Brown decision, an African American woman named Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to give up her seat to a white man. • Arrested for violating Alabama’s segregation laws. • Her arrest spurred the local African American community to organize a boycott of the Montgomery, AL bus system. • A year later, Supreme Court ruled that public bus segregation was unconstitutional. • Rosa Parks and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gained national prominence from their actions • Her arrest spurred the local African American community to organize a boycott of the Montgomery, AL bus system. Peaceful Protests • Dr. King was a Baptist minister and one of the main leaders of the civil rights movement. • His ability to speak and his belief in non-violent resistance helped move the cause. • King helped organize marches, boycotts, and demonstrations that opened people eye’s to the treatment of blacks and that change was needed. • Students were known for staging “sit-ins” at lunch counters that served only whites • African Americans and whites sympathetic to the cause were “Freedom Riders” who traveled together on buses to protest segregation • King’s “I Have a Dream Speech” was and still is inspirational to those who hope for racial equality. Civil Rights Act of 1964 • In response to the growing demand for government action, Congress passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964. • This law prohibited discrimination in: - public facilities - employment - education - voter registration • It banned discrimination by race, color, gender, religion, and national origin. • Strengthened the 14th Amendment Other Steps to Equality • Ratification in 1964 of the 24th Amendment to protect African Americans when it came to registering and voting; banned poll taxes in America. • The Voting Rights Act of 1965 ensured all citizens the right to vote, regardless of race. Affirmative Action • In the 1970’s, the federal government created programs that were intended to make up for past discrimination. • These programs encouraged the hiring and promoting of minorities and women, and the admission of more minority students to colleges. • From the beginning, affirmative action has been controversial. • Critics complain that affirmative action programs give preferential treatment to women and minorities, amounting to discrimination against men and whites. “reverse discrimination” Racial Profiling • The struggle for equal rights continues today. • Each year, the federal government receives more than 75,000 complaints of workplace discrimination. • Many people are subject to racial profiling • Racial profiling is being singled out as suspects because of the way they look. • Some Americans are also victims of hate crimes – acts of violence based on a person’s race, color, national origin, gender, or disability. Write 3 paragraphs using the following terms to summarize the civil rights movement: discrimination, segregation, civil rights, affirmative action, racial profiling Also address the following – Why was the civil rights movement started? What other groups besides African Americans are struggling for equality under the law today?