POWER POINT for "Social Movements"

The Sociological
Study of
Social Movements
Social Movements
Definitions of Key Concepts
Although there are many definitions of social movements, most
conceptual efforts include the following elements:
collective or joint action;
change-oriented goals;
some degree of organization;
some degree of temporal continuity; and
some extra-institutional collective action, or at least a mixture
of extra-institutional (protesting in the streets) and institutional
(political lobbying) activity.
Social Movements
Definitions of Key Concepts
Blending these elements together, we can define a social
movement as
“a collectivity acting with some degree of organization
and continuity either within or outside of institutional
channels for the purpose of promoting or resisting
change in the group, society, or world order of which
it is a part.”
Adapted from Doug McAdam and David A. Snow, Social Movements:
Readings on Their Emergence, Mobilization, and Dynamics, 1997, p. xviii
Types of Social Movements
Sociologists classify social movements according to several
variables - no one scheme is universally accepted
Degree of Change
Who is
(Promise Keepers)
Types of Social Movements
Aldon Morris and Naomi Braine distinguish three types of
Liberation Movements: populated by members of oppressed
groups who draw on pre-existing “oppositional culture” and
organizations; i.e., black churches were a primary source of
movement leadership and the participatory tradition and
cultural forms of the Church were the backbone of the civil
rights movement.
2. Equality-based Special Issue Movements: focus on specific
issues that affect particular oppressed groups; i.e., the
abortion rights movement
Social Responsibility Movements: challenge certain conditions
that affect the general population; “suddenly imposed
grievances” such as nuclear accidents, oil spills,; MADD
Categories of People Involved in
The Analysis of Social Movements
“Constituents” devote varying
amounts of either their time, energy,
or material resources to the movement;
“activists” vs. “mere supporters”
“Adherents” agree in principle with
the goals but have not contributed
resources to the movement
“Bystanders” are typically indifferent
to the movement or ignorant of the
issues involved.
“Opponents” are generally antagonistic
to the goals and principles of the
Social Movements
Definitions of Key Concepts
Social Movement Sector (SMS): The conceptual space or part of society that
encompasses all social movements and social movement activity.
The SMS competes with other sectors - i.e., economy, polity, religion, education,
family, entertainment/leisure - for individual’s time and material resources.
Social Movements
Definitions of Key Concepts
Social Movement Industry (SMI): The collectivity of all social movement
organizations that identify with and promote the goals of a particular set of
issues and problems.
Social Movements
Definitions of Key Concepts
Green Peace
Friends of
The Earth
Sierra Club
Save the
Social Movement Organization (SMO): A complex, formal organization that
identifies with and promotes the goals of a particular social movement.
Social Movements
Definitions of Key Concepts
Right to
Rights Action
Social Movement Organization (SMO): A complex, formal organization that
identifies with and promotes the goals of a particular social movement.
Social Movements
Definitions of Key Concepts
Congress of
Gay &
Social Movement Organization (SMO): A complex, formal organization that
identifies with and promotes the goals of a particular social movement.
Social Justice
Gay & Lesbian
Rights SMOs
Civil Rights SMOs
Of Racial
Local Movement Centers
Women’s Rights
Other "pre-existing organizations" that exist for other
reasons are often important players in social movements,
including especially professional organizations, unions,
political parties, interest groups, churches and other
religious groups (both local congregations and national
organizations), social clubs, colleges and universities (and
sometimes high schools), and charitable foundations
and organizations.
Social Movement Sector (SMS)
Social Movement Sector
Social Justice
The Cousteau Society
Sierra Club
Green Peace
Friends of the Earth
Social Movement Industry (SMI)
Southern Christian
Leadership Conference
Student Non-Violent
Coordinating Committee
Congress of Racial Equality
Montgomery Improvement
National Organization of
Social Movement Organization (SMO)
Resources &
Strength of
& Processes
Statuses of
Constituents &
& Constraints
Dynamics, &
Outcomes of
Social Movements
SMOs &
Social Movement Leaders
Orienting Questions
What social processes are involved in the emergence of
leaders in social movements?
What social factors– all apart from personality and
leadership style – affect the likelihood that one or
another person is elevated to that position?
How do leaders gain legitimate authority in social
movements once they attain that position?
Is leadership democratic, autocratic, charismatic?
Social Movement Leaders
Orienting Questions
What are the different types of functional roles that
leaders fill?
Are their different levels of leadership, each with
specific goals and spheres of influence?
How are differences in opinion over goals, tactics, and
overall strategy – which invariably occur – managed?
How does all this – and more – affect the emergence,
dynamics, and outcomes of social movement processes?
Leaders are critical to social movements: they inspire commitment,
mobilize resources, create and recognize opportunities, devise strategies
frame demands, and influence outcomes.
Any approach to leadership in social movements must examine the
actions of leaders within structural contexts that both limit and facilitate
opportunities, recognize the different levels of leadership, and understand
the various functional roles filled by different types of movement leaders at
different stages in movement development.
Four ideal types of leadership tiers often exist within movements:
Formal Leaders
Leadership Team
Bridge Leaders
Formal Leaders
The first tier consists of leaders who occupy the top formal leadership
positions. The formal leaders typically the most visible members and the
spokesperson of any given movement – they provide the public face of
the movement.
In addition to articulating the main positions of the movement, devising
movement strategies, and rallying the movement base, successful leaders
are able to capitalize on connections to elites in other sectors such as
political parties, unions, and mass media and turn them into allies
Martin Luther King
Elizabeth Cady Stanton
Susan B. Anthoney
Cesar Chavez
Leadership Team
The second tier consists of those who constitute the immediate leadership
team of formal leaders. Such leaders often occupy secondary formal positions
within movements.
Social movement leaders in these two tiers tend to come from the educated
middle and upper classes, are disproportionately male, and usually share
the race or ethnicity of their supporters
James Farmer
Fred Shuttlesworth
Bridge Leaders
The third leadership tier consists of bridge leaders. Bridge leaders are
those neighborhood and community organizers who mediate between top
leadership and the vast bulk of followers. Such leaders also perform the bulk
of a movement’s emotional work and may play dominant roles during
periods of crisis and spontaneity. During the civil rights movement, many
women who were previously active in churches and in community
organizations became bridge leaders who connected other members
of the community to the movement.
Ella Baker
Septima Clark
1898 - 1987
The fourth tier of leadership consists of those organizers who, in addition
to building connections between members of the local movement and
helping them develop organizations, also routinely engage in leadership
Bridge leaders and organizers typically learn “what works” through on the
job hands-on experience. They affect movement success through their work
within the movement, mobilizing the support necessary to carry out
collective action tactics, which result in concrete gains for the movement.
Leaders: “Insiders” vs. “Outsiders”
Leaders who emerge from those groups most affected by
the problem-situation – “insiders” – are likely to share the
interests of these groups and to enjoy advantages in
mobilizing their social bases that outsiders lack.
They are often rooted in the pre-existing institutional
structures and culture of the movement group and enjoy
legitimacy given their shared group membership and
shared fate – Black ministers in the civil rights
All “Insiders” Are Not Alike
[basic structural fact]
Different types of leaders come out of different types of preexisting
organizational structures. Leaders from different types of backgrounds
– even when they share “insider” status – shape organizational
structures in accordance with their previous experiences, thus
influencing the mobilization, strategies, and outcomes of movements.
In the American women’s movement, for example, “older branch”
leaders came out of experiences in traditional voluntary organizations,
unions, and political parties with formalized structures, whereas
“younger branch” feminists came from groups that shunned leaders
and formal structures out of a desire for participatory democracy.
Schisms emerged as “older” feminists, stressing the impossibility of a
truly leaderless, structureless group, argued that in the absence of a
formal structure, an informal structure will develop with unaccountable
leaders who are selected through friendship networks.
“Insiders” can also be “Outsiders”
[basic structural fact]
Martin Luther King and the SCLC favored
mobilizing the community around a particular
campaign to capture national attention and, as
a result, SCLC members stayed in communities
for short periods of time
Bob Moses and the Student Non-Violent Coordinating
Committee believed that “each and every one of us can
strike a blow for freedom,” and made certain that
SNCC members remain for the long haul, looking to
develop local leadership and address the issues of
concern to local people.
Social movement leaders drawn from outside of the
challenging group are valuable because they may be
anchored in social networks otherwise unavailable to
the challenging group and they often bring fresh insights
and analyses to the table from cultural sources outside
the movement.
Especially relevant are collective action repertoires
outsiders may have learned from other movements. Thus,
the civil rights movement drew on leaders who had been
active in the Communist, labor and peace movements.
Leaders: “Insiders” vs. “Outsiders”
Nevertheless, outside leaders often create problems by “taking over”
leadership positions and creating animosity and jealousy, which can
lead to disintegration and factionalism.
Even more important, if outsiders dominate the leadership process
they can make poor strategic choices because of their lack of
understanding of the challenging group, lower levels of motivation,
and the likelihood that they will not be accountable to movement
Research indicates that movements consisting of both “insiders” with
links to constituencies and “outsiders” with normative or professional
commitments, of leaders with strong and weak ties to constituencies,
and leaders with diverse repertoires of collective action tend to be
more successful. It appears that movements that employ leaders from
the outside but make sure that they are not dominant numerically or
strategically are likely to have a greater chance of success.
Tactics and Strategies
Tactics and strategies will vary depending upon the immediate
goal – i.e., attracting members and mobilizing resources,
publicizing grievances to reach a national audience, confronting
the perceived cause or those responsible for the grievance.
Tactics and strategies will change during the life-course of
the movement as it matures.
Tactics and strategies will change in response to both local
and national circumstances – i.e., past successes and failures
of movement tactics and the response of the targeted group.
Tactics and Strategies
Tactics and strategies are affected by the structural
constraints and opportunities of the situation – the rise and
importance of mass media; the schism in the Democratic Party
once President Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act.
There will be times when leaders of different SMOs, sensitive
to their local constituents and concerns, will advocate different
tactics and strategies, causing strains and fractures in the
larger movement - SCLC & SNCC.
In the early days of the civil rights movement, litigation and
lobbying for legislative change were the focus of civil rights
Moore v. Dempsey, 1923
The Supreme Court interpreted the due process clause of the 14th
Amendment to forbid criminal convictions obtained while howling
mobs surrounded courthouses demanding that the defendant(s) be
turned over for lynching.
Powell v. Alabama, 1932
The Supreme court ruled that the due process clause requires state
appointment of counsel for indigent defendants in capital cases and
overturned convictions where defense counsel had been appointed
the morning of the trial.
Norris v. Alabama, 1935
The Supreme Court, invoking the equal protection clause, revised the
rules that had previously made it nearly impossible to prove that blacks
had been intentionally excluded from juries.
Brown v. Mississippi, 1936
The Supreme Court construed the due process clause to forbid
convictions based on confession extracted through torture.
Chambers v. Florida, 1940
Broadening the Brown decision, the Supreme Court overturns
convictions of four young black defendants accused of murdering
an elderly white man, holding that they were based on confessions
obtained under circumstances that were inherently coercive.
Smith v. Allwright, 1944
The Supreme Court ruled that exclusion of African Americans from
voting in Texas primary elections violates the Fifteenth Amendment.
Morgan v. Virginia, 1946
The Supreme Court outlawed state requirements for segregated
seating on interstate buses. [Led to the Freedom Rides]
Patton v. Mississippi, 1947
The Supreme Court ruled against strategies that excluded African
Americans from criminal juries, and reverses a conviction obtained
from one such jury.
Shelley v. Kraemer, 1948
Barrows v Jackson, 1953
In these cases the Supreme Court established that the federal
Constitution prohibited state courts from enforcing racially restrictive
covenants, either by attempting to bar the transfer of property in
violation of the covenants or by awarding damages, if the transfer
was permitted.
Missouri ex rel. Gaines v. Canada (1938)
Lloyd Gaines
After the University of Missouri refused to admit Lloyd Gaines to its law
school, the Supreme Court invalidates state laws that required AfricanAmerican students to attend out-of-state graduate schools rather than
admit them to their states’ all-white facilities. The Court left open, however.
the question of whether, if Missouri had a separate law school for AfricanAmericans, the state could have fulfilled its constitutional requirements.
As a result, southern states quickly began to set up separate graduate
programs for minorities. The next goal for the NAACP was to prove that
these hastily assembled programs could not possibly be equal to the long
established programs thatexisted for white students.
Sipuel v. Board of Regents of the University
of Oklahoma, 1948
The Supreme Court ruled that the state of Oklahoma must provide instruction
for Blacks equal to that of whites. In order to comply, the state of Oklahoma
created the Langston University School of Law, located at the state capital.
Further litigation was necessary to prove that this law school was inferior to
the University of Oklahoma law school. Finally, in 1949, Sipuel was admitted
to the University of Oklahoma law school becoming the first African American
woman to attend an all white law school in the South.
The law school gave her a chair marked "colored," and roped it off from the
rest of the class. In addition, Sipuel had to eat in a separate chained-off
guarded area of the law school cafeteria.
McLaurin v. Oklahoma State Regents, 1950
The Supreme Court holds that an African-American student admitted
to a formerly all-white graduate school could not be subjected to practices
of segregation that interfered with meaningful classroom instruction and
interaction with other students, such as making a student sit in the
classroom doorway, isolated from the professor and other students.
Sweatt v. Painter, 1950
Herman Sweatt
The Supreme Court rules that a separate law school hastily established for
black students to prevent their having to be admitted to the previously
all-white University of Texas School of Law could not provide a legal
education "equal" to that available to white students. The Court ordered
the admission of Herman Marion Sweatt to the University of Texas Law
Brown v. Board of Education, 1954
June 1, 1918
May 4, 1918
May 29, 1920
Billie Holiday, “Strange Fruit” (1939)
Southern trees bear strange fruit,
Blood on the leaves and blood at the root,
Black body swinging in the Southern breeze,
Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees.
Pastoral scene of the gallant South,
The bulging eyes and the twisted mouth,
Scent of magnolia sweet and fresh,
And the sudden smell of burning flesh!
Here is a fruit for the crows to pluck,
For the rain to gather, for the wind to suck,
For the sun to rot, for the tree to drop,
Here is a strange and bitter crop.
The Civil Rights Act of 1964
The Voting Rights Act of 1965
Greensboro, North Carolina Sit-in,
February 1, 1960
A group of Negro students from North Carolina A&T College,
who were refused service at a luncheon counter reserved for
white customers, staged a sit-down strike at the F.W.Woolworth
store in Greensboro. Ronald Martin, Robert Patterson and
Mark Martin are shown as they stayed seated throughout the day.
The white woman at left came to the counter for lunch but
decided not to sit down.
UPI Report
Greensboro, North Carolina Sit-in, 1960
On the second day of the sit-in at the
Woolworth's in Greensboro, Joseph
McNeil and Franklin McCain are
joined by William Smith and
Clarence Henderson.
Courtesy of the News and Record of Greensboro
Hundreds of students, civil rights organizations, churches, and
members of the community joined in a six-month-long protest at
the lunch counter and, later, organized an economic boycott of the
store. Their defiance heightened many Americans' awareness of
racial injustice and ultimately led to the desegregation of the F. W.
Woolworth lunch counter on July 25, 1960.
By the end of 1960, nearly seventy thousand people participated
in sit-ins in 150 cities. Roughly three thousand six hundred people
had been arrested. At least 50 percent of those who participated
were women.
Rosa Parks & the Montgomery, Alabama,
Bus Boycott, 1955
Rosa Parks & the Montgomery, Alabama,
Bus Boycott, 1955
E. D. Nixon & Jo Ann Robinson
The Montgomery Bus Boycott, 1955
E. D. Nixon, a lifelong organizer with only a
third grade education, was president of the
local Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters,
an organizer of the Montgomery’s Voter’s
League, and president of Montgomery’s
NAACP from 1939 to 1951.
Looking for a test case to attack bus segregation,
Nixon - after rejecting two other possible cases put his full weight behind Parks and convinced
Rev. Martin Luther King, a new minister in town,
to allow a meeting of community members and
local ministers at his church.
E. D. Nixon & Rosa Parks
E. D. Nixon & Jo Ann Robinson
The Montgomery Bus Boycott, 1955
In the years preceding the boycott, the most active
and assertive Black civic group in Montgomery had
been the Women’s Political Council (WPC), headed
by Jo Ann Robinson, then a professor of English at
Alabama State. Near the end of 1949, Robinson
(while boarding a public bus) was humiliated by an
abusive Montgomery City Lines bus driver, and she
set out to use the WPC to target racial seating practices
on Montgomery buses.
Jo Ann Robinson
1910 - 1992
In May 1954, more than eighteen months before the arrest of Rosa Parks
but just several days after news of the U.S. Supreme Court's Brown v.
Board of Education decision, Robinson wrote to Montgomery's
mayor in her capacity as WPC president, gently threatening a Black
boycott of city buses if abuses were not curtailed.
E. D. Nixon & Jo Ann Robinson
The Montgomery Bus Boycott, 1955
Jo Ann Robinson
1910 - 1992
Following Rosa Park’s arrest in December 1955, Robinson played a central
role in the start of the protest by producing the leaflets that spread word of
the boycott among the Black citizens of Montgomery. She became one of
the most active board members of the Montgomery Improvement
Association, but she remained out of the limelight in order to protect her
teaching position at Alabama State
The Montgomery Bus Boycott, 1955
At first, the WPC called for a one-day boycott - on the day
Parks was arraigned in court. That night, five thousand
people attended a mass meeting, formed the Montgomery
Improvement Association (MIA) and voted to continue the
The Montgomery Bus Boycott, 1955
Black taxis made regularly scheduled stops
and charged black riders bus fare in order
to get them to work.
Many blacks - and some whites - who had
cars volunteered to drive people to and from
Trying to break the boycott, the city outlawed
the carpools and ruled that taxis could not
charge cheap fares.
Ninety were arrested for their roles in the carpools.
E.D. Nixon’s house was bombed.
Browder v. Gayle, 1956
Although Rosa Parks' civil disobedience on a bus in 1955 galvanized the
African American activist community into organizing a successful boycott
of the Montgomery City bus system, four women — Aurelia Browder,
Susie McDonald, Claudette Colvin and Mary Louise Smith — refused to
yield their bus seats to White patrons months before Rosa Parks' actions
on December 1, 1955.
These four women served as plaintiffs in the legal action challenging
Montgomery's segregated public transportation system. It was their case —
Browder v. Gayle — that a district court and, eventually, the U.S. Supreme
Court would use to declare city bus segregation laws unconstitutional,
thereby ending Montgomery bus boycott.
Browder v. Gayle, 1956
The specific legal question before the court was whether the segregation
of the Whites and Blacks on so-called "privately" owned buses operated
by the City of Montgomery violated the Fourteenth Amendment of the
U.S. Constitution.
On June 19, 1956, the three-judge panel ruled that Montgomery
segregation codes "deny and deprive plaintiffs and other Negro
citizens similarly situated of the equal protection of the laws and
due process of law secured by the Fourteenth Amendment."
The court essentially decided that the precedent of Brown v. Board of
Education (1954) could be applied to Browder. The U.S. Supreme Court
affirmed the decision in December 1956.
Text of flyer circulated by Montgomery Improvement
Association following settlement of boycott
December 19, 1956
Integrated Bus Suggestions
This is a historic week because segregation on buses has Now been
declared unconstitutional. Within a few days the Supreme Court
mandate will reach Montgomery and you will be re-boarding
integrated buses. This places upon us all a tremendous responsibility
of maintaining, in face of what could be some unpleasantness, a calm
and loving dignity befitting good citizens and members of our Race.
If there is violence in word or deed it must not be our people who commit
For your help and convenience the following suggestions are made.
Will you read, study and memorize them so that our non-violent
determination may not be endangered. First, some general suggestions:
Integrated Bus Suggestions
Not all white people are opposed to integrated buses. Accept goodwill on the
part of many.
2. The whole bus is now for the use of all people. Take a vacant seat.
Pray for guidance and commit yourself to complete non-violence in word
and action as you enter the bus.
Demonstrate the calm dignity of our Montgomery people in your actions.
In all things observe ordinary rules of courtesy and good behavior.
Remember that this is not a victory for Negroes alone, but for all
Montgomery and the South. Do not boast! Do not brag!
Be quiet but friendly; proud, but not arrogant; joyous, but not boistrous.
Be loving enough to absorb evil and understanding enough to turn an enemy
into a friend.
Now for some specific suggestions:
The bus driver is in charge of the bus and has been instructed to obey
the law. Assume that he will cooperate in helping you occupy any vacant
2. Do not deliberately sit by a white person, unless there is no other seat.
3. In sitting down by a person, white or colored, say "May I" or
"Pardon me" as you sit. This is a common courtesy.
4. If cursed, do not curse back. If pushed, do not push back. If struck, do
not strike back, but evidence love and goodwill at all times.
In case of an incident, talk as little as possible, and always in a quiet
tone. Do not get up from your seat! Report all serious incidents to
the bus driver.
Now for some specific suggestions:
6. For the first few days try to get on the bus with a friend in whose
non-violence you have confidence. You can uphold one another by
glance or prayer.
7. If another person is being molested, do not arise to go to his defense,
but pray for the oppressor and use moral and spiritual forces to carry
on the struggle for justice.
8. According to your own ability and personality, do not be afraid to
experiment with new and creative techniques for achieving
reconciliation and social change.
9. If you feel you cannot take it, walk for another week or two. We have
confidence in our people.
The Rev. M. L. King, Jr., President
Economic Boycotts
Forcing Compliance
With Federal Law
Irene Morgan
Morgan v. Virginia, 1946
Supreme Court outlaws state requirements
for segregated seating on interstate buses.
Eleven years before Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a Montgomery,
Alabama, city bus, Irene Morgan made history with a similar act of defiance
on a Greyhound bus traveling from Gloucester, Virginia, to Baltimore,
Tired and recovering from a miscarriage, Morgan boarded a bus in
Gloucester and sat in the section reserved for blacks in the rear. A half-hour
later, a young white couple boarded the bus and the driver ordered Morgan,
and the black woman seated next to her holding an infant, to give up their
seats to the white couple. When Morgan refused, she was dragged off the
bus and arrested.
Irene Morgan
Morgan v. Virginia, 1946
Morgan later pleaded guilty to the charge of
Resisting arrest, and was fined $100. But she
refused to plead guilty to violating Virginia’s
segregation law, giving her attorney, Spottswood
Robinson, III, the opportunity to argue that
segregation laws unfairly impeded interstate
Morgan was found guilty and fined $10. Robinson,
later joined by the Legal Defense Fund’s chief
legal counsel, Thurgood Marshall, appealed
Morgan’s arrest and fine all the way to the
U.S. Supreme Court. In 1946, the Court ruled
6-1 in Morgan’s favor in a landmark decision that
struck down Jim Crow segregation in interstate
The Journey of Reconcilliation
The Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) was founded in 1942 by an
interracial group of students in Chicago. The organization was initially
co-led by white University of Chicago student George Houser and black
student James Farmer. Members of CORE had been deeply influenced
by the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi and the nonviolent civil disobedience
campaign that he used successfully against British rule in India. The
students became convinced that the same methods could be employed by
African Americans to obtain civil rights in America.
With few Southern states enforcing the Morgan
decision, George Houser, Bayard Rustin and
other leaders of the Congress of Racial Equality
devise the idea of an interstate "Journey of
Reconciliation" to the Upper South, in which
whites and blacks would travel together,
purposely violating local Jim Crow laws.
The Journey of Reconcilliation
During the two-week period from April 9 to April 23, 1947, 16 men - 8
white and 8 black - visited fifteen cities in Virginia, North Carolina,
Tennessee, and Kentucky. Arrests occurred on six occasions, with a total of
twelve men arrested.
Members of the Journey of Reconciliation in 1947. Left to right: Worth Randle, Wallace Nelson,
Ernest Bromley, James Peck, Igal Roodenko, Bayard Rustin, James Felmet, George Houser and
Andrew Johnson.
The Journey of Reconcilliation
In North Carolina, two of the African Americans, Bayard Rustin
and Andrew Johnson, were found guilty of violating the state's Jim Crow
bus statute and were sentenced to thirty days on a chain gang. However,
Judge Henry Whitfield made it clear he found that behaviour of the
white men even more objectionable. He told Igal Roodenko and Joseph
"It's about time you Jews from New York learned that you
can't come down her bringing your niggers with you to upset
the customs of the South. Just to teach you a lesson, I gave your
black boys thirty days, and I give you ninety."
Freedom Rides, 1961
Mass Marches
[Mass Media]
The Silent Protest Parade, 1917
On July 28, 1917, in New York City, a silent parade was staged in protest of
the East St. Louis, Illinois, massacre of July 2, 1917, as well as the recent
lynchings in Waco, Texas, and Memphis, Tennessee. The march was
organized by the NAACP, churchmen and other civic leaders to protest
the violent events against African Americans around the country.
Children in the Silent Protest Parade, 1917
March on Washington, 1941
A. Philip Randolph, who had earlier founded the
Black newspaper the Messenger and had helped
organize a union for black railroad porters,
began organizing a March on Washington in
1941 to publicize demands that the federal
government end racial discrimination in the
armed services and in the hiring practices of
defense contractors.
Fearful of the negative international publicity
of a mass march of blacks on Washington,
President Roosevelt met with Randolph and
agreed to prohibit discrimination in war
industries and government positions in
exchange for Randolph canceling the march.
Roosevelt issued Executive Order 8802 and
established the Fair Employment Practices
Birmingham, Alabama, Police Commissioner
Eugene “Bull” Conner
In May of 1963, hundreds of schoolchildren and teenagers marched with
the demonstrators to Kelly Ingram Park to protest segregation. In a move
recorded by national and international news, Bull Connor released police
dogs and fire hoses on the marchers. As the dogs tore the children's
clothing and the fire hoses knocked them down, Connor arrested
thousands of demonstrators.
March on Washington, 1963
Eighteen days later . . . .
in Birmingham
Addie Mae
January - February 1965
A full-scale voter-registration drive begins in Selma, Alabama. Hundreds
of demonstrators are forcibly arrested by Sheriff Jim Clark.
In nearby Marion, on February 18, a nighttime demonstration turned
Violent when police and angry white citizens attacked protesters.
While trying to rescue his injured grandfather, 26-year old Jimmy
Lee Jackson was whipped by the police and then shot at close range.
Bloody Sunday
Edmund Pettus Bridge
Selma, Alabama
May 7, 1965
Bloody Sunday
Edmund Pettus Bridge
Selma, Alabama
May 7, 1965
Bloody Sunday
Edmund Pettus Bridge
Selma, Alabama
May 7, 1965
"Turnaround Tuesday”
March 9, 1965
King leads the second Selma march over the Pettus Bridge and then
right back to Selma. That evening Rev. James Reeb, a white Unitarian
Minister from Boston, is clubbed to death by three white men.
Selma to Montgomery
March 21 - 25
Under the protection of a federalized National Guard, the Selma to
Montgomery march proceeds to the state capitol, where a rally of 50,000
people is held.
Voter Registration
[Freedom Summer]
Paul Burney Johnson
Governor of Mississippi, 1964 - 1968
In a speech delivered in 1964, Governor
Johnson said that the initials of the
NAACP stood for “niggers, apes,
alligators, coons, and possums.”
Samuel Bowers
Imperial Wizard of the Mississippi White
Knights of the Ku Klux Klan
Samuel Bowers, Imperial Wizard of the
Mississippi White Knights of the Ku Klux
Klan, called the Mississippi Freedom Summer
Project as a “nigger-communist invasion,” a
“crucifixion” of the “innocent people of God”
instigated by “the savage blacks and their
Communist masters.”
Bowers was convicted in 1998 of murder in the Jan. 10, 1966, fire bombing
that mortally injured Vernon Dahmer Sr., who helped register blacks to
vote. Four previous trials -- including two state murder trials in the 1960's -let Bowers stroll free after all-white juries deadlocked
Training Workshops
Freedom Summer training conducted at the Western College for Women
(now Miami University) in Oxford, Ohio
Freedom Schools
The Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party
That summer, more than 80,000 blacks registered and
voted in separate MFDP elections to select 68 delegates
to represent Mississippi at the national Democratic
convention in Atlantic City.
Civil Rights Movement