Chapter 28 - West Davidson High School

Chapter 28
The Civil Rights Movement
1945 -1966
© 2009 Pearson Education, Inc.
Part One:
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Chapter Focus Questions
What were the legal and political origins of the African
American civil rights struggle?
What accounts for Martin Luther King’s rise to leadership?
How did student protesters and direct action shape the civil
rights struggle in the South?
How did the civil rights movement intersect with national
politics in the 1950s and 1960s?
What did the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting
Rights Act of 1965 accomplish?
How did America’s other minorities respond to the African
American struggle for civil rights?
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Part Two:
American Communities: The
Montgomery Bus Boycott:
An African-American Community
Challenges Segregation
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American Communities: The Montgomery Bus
Boycott: An African-American Community
Challenges Segregation
In 1955, Montgomery’s black community mobilized when
Rosa Parks refused to give up her bus seat and comply with
segregation laws.
Led by Martin Luther King, Jr., a Baptist minister, a boycott
of buses was launched.
A network of local activists organized carpools using private
cars to get people to and from work.
Leaders endured violence and legal harassment, but won a
court ruling that the segregation ordinance was
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Part Three:
Origins of the Movement
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Civil Rights After World War II
A mass migration to the North brought political power
to African Americans working through the Democratic
The NAACP grew in numbers and its Legal Defense
Fund initiated a series of lawsuits to win key rights.
Key ways the African Americans were breaking color
barriers included:
Jackie Robinson’s entrance into major league baseball
Ralph Bunche’s winning a Nobel Peace prize
A new generation of jazz musicians created be-bop.
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Charlie Parker (alto
sax) and Miles Davis
(trumpet) with their
group in 1947, at the
Three Deuces Club
in New York City.
Parker and Davis
were two creative
leaders of the
“bebop” movement
of the 1940s.
Working in northern
cities, boppers
reshaped jazz music
and created a
distinct language
and style that was
widely imitated by
young people. They
challenged older
stereotypes of
African American
musicians by
insisting that they be
treated as serious
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The Segregated South
In the South, segregation and unequal rights
were still the law of the land.
Law and custom kept blacks as second-class
citizens with no effective political rights.
African Americans had learned to survive
and not challenge the situation.
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Signs designating “White” and “Colored” rest rooms, waiting rooms, entrances,
benches, and even water fountains were a common sight in the segregated South.
They were a constant reminder that legal separation of the races in public spaces
was the law of the land.
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Brown v. Board of Education
The NAACP initiated a series of court cases
challenging the constitutionality of
In Brown v. Board of Education, newly
appointed Chief Justice Earl Warren led the
court to declare that separate educational
facilities are inherently unequal.
The court postponed ordering a clear
timetable to implement the decision.
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Crisis in Little Rock
Southern whites declared their intention to nullify the
In Little Rock, Arkansas, a judge ordered integration.
The governor ordered the National Guard to keep AfricanAmerican children out of Central High.
When the troops were withdrawn, a riot erupted, forcing
President Eisenhower to send in more troops to integrate
the school.
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Four African American students
walk swiftly past barricaded
sidewalks as they integrate
Central High School in Little
Rock, Arkansas, in September
1957. Soldiers from the 101st
Airborne Division, sent to Little
Rock by President Eisenhower,
protect the students during the
tense racial confrontation.
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Seeing History Civil Rights on the World Stage
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Part Four:
No Easy Road to Freedom,
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No Easy Road to Freedom, 1957-62
Map: The Civil Rights Movement
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MAP 28.1 The Civil Rights Movement Key battlegrounds in the struggle for racial
justice in communities across the South.
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Martin Luther King and the SCLC
Martin Luther King, Jr. emerged from the bus
boycott as a prominent national figure. A welleducated son of a Baptist minister, King taught
his followers nonviolent resistance, modeled
after the tactics of Mohandas Gandhi.
The civil rights movement was deeply rooted in
the traditions of the African-American church.
King founded the Southern Christian Leadership
Conference to promote nonviolent direct action
to challenge segregation.
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Sit-Ins: Greensboro, Nashville,
African-American college students, first in
Greensboro, North Carolina, began sitting in
at segregated lunch counters.
Nonviolent sit-ins were:
widely supported by the African-American
accompanied by community-wide boycotts of
businesses that would not integrate.
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The second day of the sit-in at the Greensboro, North Carolina, Woolworth lunch
counter, February 2, 1960. From left: Joseph McNeil, Franklin McCain, Billy Smith, and
Clarence Henderson. The Greensboro protest sparked a wave of sit-ins across the
South, mostly by college students, demanding an end to segregation in restaurants and
other public places.
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SNCC and the “Beloved
A new spirit of militancy was evident among
young people.
120 African American activists created the
Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee
(SNCC) to promote nonviolent direct
challenges to segregation.
The young activists were found at the
forefront of nearly every major civil rights
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The Election of 1960 and Civil
The race issue had moved to center-stage by 1960.
As vice president, Nixon had strongly supported
civil rights.
But Kennedy pressured a judge to release Martin
Luther King, Jr. from jail.
African-American voters provided Kennedy’s
margin of victory, though an unfriendly Congress
ensured that little legislation would come out.
Attorney General Robert Kennedy used the Justice
Department to force compliance with desegregation
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Freedom Rides
The Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) sponsored a
freedom ride of biracial teams to ride interstate buses in the
The FBI and Justice Department knew of the plans but were
absent when mobs firebombed a bus and severely beat the
Freedom Riders.
There was violence and no police protection at other stops.
The Kennedy administration was forced to mediate a safe
conduct for the riders, though 300 people were arrested.
A Justice Department petition led to new rules that
effectively ended segregated interstate buses.
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A Freedom Riders’ bus burns after being firebombed in Anniston, Alabama, May 14, 1961.
After setting the bus afire, whites attacked the passengers fleeing the smoke and flames.
Violent scenes like this one received extensive publicity in the mass media and helped
compel the Justice Department to enforce court rulings banning segregation on interstate
bus lines.
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The Albany Movement: The Limits
of Protest
Where the federal government was not present,
segregationists could triumph.
In Albany, Georgia, local authorities kept white
mobs from running wild and kept police brutality
down to a minimum.
Martin Luther King, Jr. was twice arrested, but
Albany remained segregated.
When the federal government intervened, as it did in
the University of Mississippi, integration could take
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Part Five:
The Movement at High
Tide, 1963-65
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In conjunction with the SCLC, local activists in
Birmingham, Alabama, planned a large desegregation
Demonstrators, including Martin Luther King, Jr., filled
the city’s jails.
King drafted his Letter From a Birmingham Jail.
A TV audience saw water cannons and snarling dogs
break up a children’s march.
A settlement was negotiated that desegregated businesses.
Birmingham changed the nature of the civil rights
movement by bringing in black unemployed and working
poor for the first time.
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JFK and the March on Washington
The shifting public consensus led President
Kennedy to appeal for civil rights legislation.
A. Philip Randolph’s old idea of a march on
Washington was revived.
The march presented a unified call for change
and held up the dream of universal freedom
and brotherhood.
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Part of the huge throng of marchers at the historic March on Washington for
“jobs and freedom,” August 28, 1963. The size of the crowd, the stirring
oratory and song, and the live network television coverage produced one of
the most memorable political events in the nation’s history.
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LBJ and the Civil Rights Act of
The assassination of John Kennedy threw a
cloud over the movement as the new
president, Lyndon Baines Johnson, had
never been a good friend to civil rights.
LBJ used his skills as a political insider to
push through the Civil Rights Act of 1964
that put a virtual end to Jim Crow.
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Mississippi Freedom Summer
In 1964, civil rights activists targeted
Mississippi for a “freedom summer” that saw
900 volunteers come to open up this closed
Two white activists and a local black activist
were quickly killed.
Tensions developed between white volunteers
and black movement veterans.
The project riveted national attention on
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Bob Moses of the
Student Nonviolent
Coordinating Committee
was one of the driving
forces behind the 1964
Freedom Summer
Project. Here he instructs
student volunteers
gathered in Oxford, Ohio,
before they leave for
voter registration and
other community
organizing work in
Mississippi. Moses, who
had been working for
voting rights in
Mississippi since 1961,
played a key role in
persuading SNCC to
accept white volunteers
from the North.
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Malcolm X and Black
Many younger civil rights activists were drawn to the vision
of Malcolm X, who:
ridiculed integrationist goals
urged black audiences to take pride in their African heritage
break free from white domination
He broke with the Nation of Islam, made a pilgrimage to
Mecca, and returned to America with changed views.
He sought common ground with the civil rights movement,
but was murdered in 1965.
Even in death, he continued to point to a new black
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Born Malcolm Little,
Malcolm X (1925–65)
took the name “X” as a
symbol of the stolen
identity of African slaves.
He emerged in the early
1960s as the foremost
advocate of racial unity
and black nationalism.
The Black Power
movement, initiated in
1966 by SNCC
members, was strongly
influenced by Malcolm X.
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Selma and the Voting Rights Act of
In Selma, Alabama, whites had kept blacks off the voting lists and
brutally responded to protests.
A planned march to Montgomery ended when police beat
Just when it appeared the Selma campaign would fade, a white
gang attacked a group of Northern whites who had come to help
out, one of whom died.
President Johnson addressed the nation and thoroughly identified
himself with the civil rights cause, declaring “we shall overcome.”
The march went forward.
In August 1965, LBJ signed the Voting Rights Act that authorized
federal supervision of voter registration in the South.
Map: Impact of the Voting Rights Act of 1965
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MAP 28.2 Impact of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 Voter registration among
African Americans in the South increased significantly between 1960 and 1971.
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Part Six:
Civil Rights Beyond Black
and White
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Mexican Americans & Mexican
Mexican Americans formed groups to fight
for their rights and used the courts to
challenge discrimination.
Legal and illegal Mexican migration
increased dramatically during and after
WWII. During the 1950s, efforts to round up
undocumented immigrants led to a denial of
basic civil rights and a distrust of Anglos.
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Delegates to the 1948 National Convention of the League of United Latin American
Citizens met in Kingsville, Texas. After World War II, LULAC grew to about 15,000
members active in 200 local councils, mostly in Texas and California.
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Puerto Ricans
Although Puerto Rican communities had
been forming since the 1920s, the great
migration came after WWII.
Despite being citizens, Puerto Ricans faced
both economic and cultural discrimination.
In the 1960s and 1970s, the decline in
manufacturing jobs and urban decay severely
hit them.
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Japanese Americans
During the 1950s, Congress removed the
old ban against Japanese immigration and
By 1965 some 46,000 immigrant Japanese
had taken citizenship oaths.
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Indian Peoples
During the 1950s, Congress passed a series of
termination bills that ended tribal rights in return for
cash payments and division of tribal assets.
Indian activists challenged government policies leading
to court decisions that reasserted the principle of tribal
Reservation Indians remained trapped in poverty.
Indians who had left the reservation lost much of their
tribal identities.
Urban Indian groups arose and focused on civil instead
of tribal rights.
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Remaking the Golden Door: The
Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965
In 1965 Congress abolished all origin quotas
and substituted overall hemispheric limits.
The consequences for the Asian American
community were profound.
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A Korean couple working behind the counter of their newly opened restaurant in
Los Angeles, ca. 2000. In the thirty-five years after the Immigration and Nationality
Act of 1965, the city’s Asian American population had grown to over 1.2 million,
including the largest Korean community outside of Korea.
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Part Seven:
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