File - OASP History

Name _________________
How much
impact did MLK
have in changing
civil rights for
black Americans?
What area did MLK have the
greatest impact? Would the
movement have succeeded
without him?
Are there any other people or factors
that impacted on civil rights?
What did MLK fail to do or achieve?
What were his limitations?
What did MLK do for civil rights? What
evidence do you have that supports
What are civil rights? Who is MLK?
What were the issues with Civil Rights
before MLK?
Stands For
They were…
Source A
On 13 November 1956, while King was in the courthouse being tried on the legality of the boycott’s
carpools, a reporter notified him that the U.S. Supreme Court had just affirmed the District Court’s
decision on Browder v. Gayle. King addressed a mass meeting at Holt Street Baptist Church the next
evening, saying that the decision was ‘‘a reaffirmation of the principle that separate facilities are
inherently unequal, and that the old PlessyDoctrine of separate but equal is no longer valid, either
sociologically or legally’’
On 17 December 1956, the Supreme Court rejected city and state appeals to reconsider their decision,
and three days later the order for integrated buses arrived in Montgomery. On 20 December 1956 King
and the Montgomery Improvement Association voted to end the 381-day Montgomery bus boycott. In a
statement that day, King said: ‘‘The year-old protest against city buses is officially called off, and the
Negro citizens of Montgomery are urged to return to the buses tomorrow morning on a non-segregated
basis’’ (Papers 3:486–487). The Montgomery buses were integrated the following day.
Source B
King wrote his ‘letter form a Birmingham jail’ in response to a public statement of ‘concern and
caution’ issued by eight Southern white religious leaders. Released soon after, King went ahead with
a protest march on 3 May 1963. Composed mainly of African-American children and teenagers, the
demonstration was planned by SCLC member James Bevel with the intention of filling the already
overcrowded prisons with black youths, thereby embarrassing the Birmingham city officials.
Civil Rights in America, Ron Field
Source C
I remember that day in 1963 when Dr King made his famous speech in Washington DC.
I was an eight-year-old boy living in Pasadena, California…For a Caucasian boy in a racially segregated
city, this was a powerful message.
Hopefully, one day, we'll all rise up in the words of the spiritual: "Free at last, free at last. Thank God
Almighty, I'm free at last."
Mark Praigg, USA
Source D
“I just happened to be here…If M L King had never been born this movement would have taken
place…there comes a time when time itself is ready for change. That time has come in Montgomery,
and I had nothing to do with it?
— Martin Luther King, 1956
Source E
Increasingly pessimistic, King concluded he had overestimated the successes of 1955-65. He said the
‘vast majority’ of whites were racist, ‘hypocritical’, and had committed a kind of ‘psychological and
spiritual genocide’ against blacks. King also felt he had underestimated black rage. He was
exasperated by militant black racists such as Stokely Carmichael. ‘Many people who would otherwise
be ashamed of their anti-Negro feeling now have an excuse.’
Vivienne Sanders, ‘Race Relations in the USA 1863-1980’ 2008
Source F
In Greensboro, North Carolina, four black college students spontaneously refused to leave the allwhite Woolworth’s cafeteria when asked. Other students took up and retained their seats, day after
day, forcing the cafeteria to close. NAACP was unenthusiastic about helping the students and
disgruntled SCLC employee Ella Baker warned them not to let adults like King take over the protest.
Hugh Brogan, Access to History: Race Relations in The USA 1863-1980
Source G
Dear Sir:
The seriousness of this situation demands that immediate steps must be taken to solve this crucial
problem, by those who have genuine concern before the racial powder keg explodes…
If capitalistic Kennedy and communistic Khrushschev can find something in common on which to form a
United Front despite their tremendous ideological differences, it is a disgrace for Negro leaders not to be
able to submerge our "minor" differences in order to seek a common solution to a common problem
posed by a Common Enemy.
…An immediate reply would be appreciated.
Your Brother,
Malcolm X
Malcom X: Letter to Martin Luther King (July 31, 1963)
Source H
‘LBJ devoted the greatest effort to civil rights..during the first two weeks of his Presidency, he meet
with the principal leaders of the civil rights movement – Whitney Young, James Farmer, A Philip
Randolph and Martin Luther King Jr. – and warned them to lace up their sneakers because he was going
to move so fast on civil rights that they would have trouble keeping up with him. In his memoirs, LBJ
explained… ‘There comes a time in every leader’s career when he has to put in all his stack. I decided to
shove in all my stack’ on the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Historian Bruce Schulman (1995) The Civil Rights Movement
Source I
The Greenboro Sit-Ins of 1960 provoked all manner of emotions when they occurred and they remain
an important part of civil rights history. Accepting and taking to the limit Martin Luther King’s idea of
non-violence and peaceful protests, the sit-ins provoked the type of reaction the Civil Rights movement
wanted - public condemnation of the treatment of those involved but also continuing to highlight the
issue of desegregation in the South. The sit-ins started in 1960 at Greensboro, North Carolina.
Source J
Photographs of the burning Greyhound bus and the bloodied riders appeared on the front pages of
newspapers throughout the country and around the world the next day, drawing international attention
to the Freedom Riders’ cause and the state of race relations in the U.S. Following the widespread
violence, CORE officials could not find a bus driver who would agree to transport the integrated group,
and they decided to abandon the Freedom Rides.
Source K
The first thing I learned on our Freedom Rides was that most people in the Civil Rights Movement did not
have Civil Rights as their number one cause. Everyone, from Jim Zwerg — a white man who was beaten with
a lead pipe in Alabama — to Diane Nash — the lead organizer of the second round of the rides — had an
underlying loyalty that was the foundation of all their actions in their surface level causes: a loyalty to NonViolence.
Source L
King had won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964, and his higher profile would help draw international attention
to Selma during the eventful months that followed. On February 18, white segregationists attacked a group
of peaceful demonstrators in the nearby town of Marion. In the ensuing chaos, an Alabama state trooper
fatally shot Jimmie Lee Jackson, a young African-American demonstrator. In response to Jackson’s death,
King and the SCLC planned a massive protest march from Selma to the state capitol of Montgomery, 54
miles away. A group of 600 people set out on Sunday, March 7, but didn’t get far before Alabama state
troopers wielding whips, nightsticks and tear gas rushed the group at the Edmund Pettis Bridge and beat
them back to Selma. The brutal scene was captured on television, enraging many Americans and drawing
civil rights and religious leaders of all faiths to Selma in protest.
Source M
On 25 March 1965, Martin Luther King led thousands of nonviolent demonstrators to the steps of the
capitol in Montgomery, Alabama, after a 5-day, 54-mile march from Selma, Alabama, where local African
Americans, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and the Southern Christian Leadership
Conference (SCLC) had been campaigning for voting rights. King told the assembled crowd: ‘‘There never
was a moment in American history more honorable and more inspiring than the pilgrimage of clergymen
and laymen of every race and faith pouring into Selma to face danger at the side of its embattled Negroes’’
(King, ‘‘Address at the Conclusion of the Selma to Montgomery March,’’ 121).
Source O
The boycott marked the first major direct-action protest of the post Brown civil rights era and a “decisive
turning point” for southern Negroes. While Gayle v. Browder (1956)invalidated bus segregation laws and
effectively desegregated Montgomery buses, Klarman downplays the court decisions significance on the
modern civil rights movement and highlights the actual boycott as having the lasting impact, noting that
the Montgomery bus boycott “demonstrated black agency, resolve, courage, resourcefulness, and
leadership” and “enlightened millions of whites about Jim Crow” (372).
Michael Klarman, From Jim Crow to Civil Rights
Bus Boycott
Who was
How did it help civil
What was the role of
How great was MLK’s
impact? (1-5) Explain