History of the Civil Rights Movement in the United States

History of the Civil Rights Movement in the United States

Brown Vs. Board of Education:

This was a landmark decision of the United States Supreme Court that declared state laws establishing seperate public schools for black and white students, unconstitutional. They made this disicion because in Topeka, Kansas a black third-grader named Linda Brown had to walk a mile to get to her black school, evanthough a white school was around seven blocks away. Her father, Oliver Brown, tried to enroll her in the white school but the principal refused. Mr. Brown then went to go ask the NAACP for help. Other black parents agreed with Brown, so they formed an injunction that would forbid the segregation of Topeka's public schools. The U.S District Court heard Brown's case in 1951. At the trail, the NAACP argued that segregated schools sent the message that white's are better which made the schools inherently unequal. The Board of education argued that segregation in schools helped prepare them for the segregation they will during adulthood. The Courts had a hard decision to make. On May 17, 1954 the Court made a decision and it was to desegregate schools across America. This did not end segeregation in restaurants and restrooms but it was a giant step towards complete desegregation of public schools.

Montgomery Bus Boycott:

It was a political and social protest campaign that started in 1955 in Montgomery, Alabama, intended to opoppose the city's policy of racial segregation on its public transit system. The Bus Boycott officailly started on december 1, 1955. That day was when the blacks of Montgomery, Alabama, decided that they would boycott the city buses until they could sit wearever they wanted instead of be told to sit in the back, when a white person boarded. It started after Rosa Parks, an African American woman, was arrested for refusing to give up her seat to a white person. Then on December 20, 1956 a federal ruling took effect, and led to the U.S Supreme Court decision that stated laws for segregating buses was unconstitutional. Those laws were then prevoked and another victory for the African American's.

Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC):

Is an American civil rights organization. SCLC was closely associated with its first president, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The SCLC had a large role in the American Civil Rights Movement. Despite of bombing of homes and churches, 60 people from ten states assembled a confrence on Transportation and Nonviolent Integration. This confrence declared the civil rights are essential to democracy, that segregation must end, and that all Black people should reject segregation absolutly and nonviolently. SCLC is now a nation wide organization made up of chapters and affiliates with programs that affect the lives of all Americans.

Little Rock Cental Highschool:

The Little Rock Nine were a group of African American students who were enrolled in Little Rock Cenral Highschool in 1957. The students were initially prevented from entering the segregated school by Arkansas govener, but after an intervention with President Eisenhower they were admitted to the school. This was considered to be one of the most important events in the African American Civil Rights Movement. On their first day of school, troops from the national guard would not let them enter the school and were followed by mobbs making threats. They took this to court and the court's called for the desegregation of all schools throughout the nations. After that decision the NAACP attempted to regester blacks in previous all-white schools in the South. Little Rock School Board agreed to go threw with the cout's ruling. In September 1957, the NAACP had registered nine black students with good grades and attendence. Ernest Green was one of those nine students, and he was the first African Americans to graduate from Cantral High School.
Sit Ins of 1960's: The Nashville sit ins lasted from February 13 to May 10, 1960. This was a nonviolent direct action campaign to end racial segregation at lunch tables in Nashville, Tenesee. Sit in's were staged at numerous stores in Nashville's central business district. The sit in participants were mainly black college students and were often beeten or verbally attacked by white people. Eventhough they didn't retaliate, over 150 students were arrested for refusing to leave the lunch counters when ordered by the police. At trail, the students were represented by 13 lawyers, including Alexander Looby. Looby's hose was boomed, niether he or his wife were injured. that same day 4000 people marched to City Hall to confornt Mayor Ben West and told him to end desegragation at the lunch counters in Nashville. He agreed and on May 10, six downtown stores began serving black customers, for the first time.

Freedom Riders:

Were civil rights activists that rode interstate buses into the segregated southern United States to test the U.S. Supreme Court decision. The first freedom ride left Washington, D.C, on May 4, 1961 and arrived in New Orleans in May 17. The riders were arrested for trespassing and violating state and local laws. The Freedom writers were inspired by the young colledge students and their sit ins throughout the South. The riders' rights were not enforced, and their actions were considered crimminal acts. Upon arrival in Mississippi. their journey ended imprisonments and one of thier journey's ended with burning down of a bus.

Letter from Birmingham Jail:

A letter that is also known as The Negro Is Your Brother, was an open letter written on April 16, 1963 by Martin Luther King, Jr. King wrote the the letter from the city hall jial in Birmingham, Alabama. The letter was a planned non violent protest against racial segregation by Birmingham's city government . It was smuggled out of jail in a toothpaste tube to avoid the jail's guard. It was written in response to a statment made by eight white Alabama clergymen.

March on Washington:

This march for jobs and freedom was a large political rally in support of cival and economic rights for African Americans. It took plac in Washington D.C on August 28, 1963. This is when Martin Luther King gave his " I have a dream" speech. Thier were around 200,000 police and over 300,000 leaders of the march. 70-80 % of the marchers were black the rest was white and othre minorities. The march helped pass the Civil Rights Actin 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Freedom Summer:

Also known as the Mississippi Summer Project, was a campaign launched in June 1964 to attempt to register as many African American voters as possible in Mississppi which had excluded most blacks from voting. The project also helped set up many Freedom schools, houses and community centers in small towns throught Mississippi to help the blacks. It was organized by the COFO. Freedom Summer was possible because of years of earlier work done by african americans that lived in Mississippi. African Americans were discouraged to vote because of the white's bombing and burning down thier housing. Well over 1,000 out-of-state volenteers participated in Freedom Summer alongside thousands of blacks from Mississppi and most of the volenteers were young. Orginizers focusesd on Mississippi because it had the lowest percentage of african American Voters. White officials kept blacks from voting by charging high poll taxes and forcing them to take hard literary tests. They organizors provided health systems and education to voters.

Civil Rights Act of 1964:

Was a landmark piece of legislation in the U.S that outlawed major forms of discrimination against blacks and women, including racial segregation. It ended unequal application of voter registration requirements and racial segregation in schools, at the workplace and by facilities that served the general public ("public accommodations"). Powers given to enforce the act were initially weak, but were supplemented during later years. Congress asserted its authority to legislate under several different parts of the United States Constitution, principally its power to regulate interstate commerce under Article One (section 8), its duty to guarantee all citizens equal protection of the laws under the Fourteenth Amendment and its duty to protect voting rights under the Fifteenth Amendment.

The Voting Act of 1965:

Is a landmark piece of national legislation in the United States that outlawed discriminatory voting practices that had been responsible for the widespread disenfranchisement of African Americans in the U.S. The Act prohibits states from imposing any voting qualifications to deny the right os any citizen of the United States to vote because of rate or color. The Act established extensive federal oversight of elections administration, providing that states with a history of discriminatory voting practices could not implement any change affecting voting without first obtaining the approval of the Department of Justice, a process known as preclearance. The Act is widely considered a landmark in civil-rights legislation, though some of its provisions have sparked political controversy.Congress nonetheless voted to extend the Act for twenty-five years with its original enforcement provisions left intact.
Selma to Montgomery March: The Selma to Montgomery March for voting rights ended three weeks and three events that represented the political and emotional peak of the modern civil rights movement. On "Bloody Sunday," March 7, 1965, some 600 civil rights marchers headed east out of Selma on U.S. Route 80. They got only as far as the Edmund Pettus Bridge six blocks away, where state and local lawmen attacked them with billy clubs and tear gas and drove them back into Selma. Two days later on March 9, Martin Luther King, Jr., led a "symbolic" march to the bridge. Then civil rights leaders sought court protection for a third, full-scale march from Selma to the state capitol in Montgomery. March 21, about 3,200 marchers set out for Montgomery, walking 12 miles a day and sleeping in fields. By the time they reached the capitol on March 25, they were 25,000 marchers. Less than five months after the last of the three marches, President Lyndon Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act of 1965.