USA - A Divided Union? - African American Civil Rights

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1 USA - A Divided Union? - African American Civil Rights In 1865 slaves the Southern states of America were freed - however African Americans across America continued to face discrimination, especially in the South. - World War Two Over 1 million black soldiers joined the armed forces. It wasnʼt until 1944 that black soldiers were allowed into combat. Segregation existed in the army Example In one incident in the South a rail company restaurant refused to serve black USA soldiers, but they WOULD serve the German prisoners of war they were guarding. - Double V Campaign Victory abroad and victory at home on civil rights. Black combat units had fought with distinction at the Battle of the Bulge and the Battle of Iwo Jima. Decision Truman desegregates the army I will integrate the army After the Second World War significant steps were taken to prevent racial discrimination in the army, this encouraged those trying to win equality for black people. 1950s USA - Southern States Law - Jim Crow Southern states enforced strict segregation in areas such as schools, buses and parks. Law - Registering to vote In America you have to register to vote - however in the south black people faced the very real threat of violence, which prevented them from registering to vote e.g. in Mississippi in 1950 only 5% of the black population was registered to vote.

2 Life in the South for African Americans Many police not only failed to stop attacks on black people, they sometimes took part in them. White juries always freed whites accused of killing blacks. Black Americans faced official and legal discrimination in areas such as education. In 1958 Clemson King was committed to a mental asylum for applying to the University of Mississippi. Southern States of the USA The Civil Rights Movement There were many campaigners working to win equal rights for African Americans, but there was also a powerful minority of whites resisting them. These people believed that giving civil rights to black people was a grave danger to their way of life. Terms Segregation - whites and blacks strictly separated Integration - whites and blacks allowed together ʻSeparate but equalʼ - how education was described in the south, where education was segregated. NAACP - a organisation set up in 1911 to campaign for Black civil rights using legal and non-violent methods. Brown versus Topeka Board of Education The Supreme Court declared that ʻseparate but equalʼ education in the south was ILLEGAL. The Supreme Court ordered the southern states to set up intergrated schools ʻwith all deliberate speedʼ. The NAACP had won a legal victory - this was how they would continue to campaign. Supreme Court - the Highest court in America. They decide on cases which involve the constitution and if they say something is ILLEGAL the southern states have to do something about it. Little Rock Little Rock in Arkansas still had not integrated 3 years later. In 1957 the Supreme Court ordered the Governor Orval Faubus to let nine black students attend a white school in Little Rock. Orval Faubus sent out state troops to prevent the black students from attending the school (he said they were there to protect their safety)

3 Faubus only backed down when President Eisenhower sent the army down to guarantee the safety of the nine black students. The army stayed for six weeks. One of the black students attending the ʻwhite onlyʼ school in Little Rock. This picture of her having abuse shouted at her was shown across the USA. Learning Both these key events are an example of NON-VIOLENT protest used by the civil rights movement in the 1950s. It was the first time the Supreme Court and the President had been on the side of the civil rights movement. Montgomery Bus Boycott The buses in Montgomery, Alabama, were strictly segregated. Rosa Parks decided to challenge this law and she refused to give up her seat for a white man - she was arrested. Rosa Parks - in prison They decided to boycott the buses and they tried to get as much publicity as possible. The boycott was a success - the bus company lost 65% of their income - this shows the economic power of black people. Black people shared cars or walked to work for over a year. The civil rights lawyers had taken Rosa Parkʼs case to court. In Dec 1956 the Supreme Court declared segregated buses to be ILLEGAL. The buses now had to be integrated. Learning It was the first major example of the power of non-violent protest. It showed how powerful black people could be when working together. It was the first time that Martin Luther King emerged as a leader in the civil rights movement.

4 Martin Luther King Person Martin Luther King He was a Baptist Minister. He was a fantastic orator. He believed in non-violent protest. Not all civil rights activists agreed with his peaceful methods. SCLC - Southern Christian Leadership Council Formed by Martin Luther King Trained civil rights activists in techniques of non-violent protest and how to handle the police, the law and the media. SNCC - Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee Formed by white and black students who were deeply moved by the civil rights movement and went on to play a major role in the movement. CORE - Congress of Racial Equality Founded by another civil rights activist, James Farmer. SNCC campaigns In North Carolina in 1960, they started a campaign of sit-ins at restaurants to end segregation in restaurants. In Tennessee, in 1960, 500 students organised sitins at restaurants. The students were attacked and abused. The Mayor - Ben West - eventually backed down and desegregated Tennessee. White and black students at a sit in - suffering abuse. CORE campaigns Many states by 1961 still hadnʼt desegregated the buses. CORE started the freedom rides across the south to ensure the buses were integrated. They suffered terrible violence and 200 freedom riders were arrested. The SNCC joined the freedom rides as well. A bus with freedom riders on being attacked by white racists.

5 How had the civil rights situation improved by 1961? A single day in the civil rights movement - June 11th 1961 Positive Negative JFK was elected President of the USA A leading civil rights activist - Medger He committed himself to a wide Evers - was murdered by a known ranging civil rights programme of laws. Racist. The police actually investigated case - but the killer was freed by the all white jury. What did JFK want to do JFK wanted to concentrate on the issue of voting rights - he thought that enough black people were registered to vote then they would have great power over the decisions that politicians made. The NAACP and other civil rights groups were happy to support this. They organised courses for blacks in how to register to vote. Remember - this took great courage - Mississippi Burning ʻThe voting rights campaign was helped by the fact that the civil rights movement was now becoming a major national issue.ʼ March in Birmingham, Alabama - organised by King in 1963 The city had not desegregated and itʼs police force contained several racists. The aim of the march was to get media attention. Police chief Bull Connor obliged by turning dogs and water hoses on non-violent protestors. Non-violent protesters having very powerful water-hoses used against them by the Birmingham police.

6 JFK intervened and forced the Governor George Wallace to integrate Birmingham, although it remained a very divided place. In Sept a KKK bomb killed four black girls in a church. Four Little Girls - killed by the KKK bomb. March on Washington in Aug ,000 people (black and white) travelled to Washington to attend a peaceful protest to persuade JFK to pass a Civil Rights Law. Marting Luther King gave his famous ʻI have a dream speech.ʼ Civil Rights Act passed in 1964 After JFK was assassinated his Vice President - Lyndon Baines Johnson (LBJ) signed the Civil Rights Act - this made it ILLEGAL for state governments to discriminate against anyone because of colour/race in areas like housing and employment. LBJ and MLK at the signing of the Civil Rights Act. March in Selma, Alabama, in 1965 MLK organised a march because only 2.4% of Selmaʼs black people were registered to vote and the sheriff was a racist - Jim Clark. The march was banned by Jim Clark, however they went ahead (without King) they were brutally attacked - the media called it ʻBloody Sunday.ʼ King rearranged them March, but it was only a token effort and they turned back to avoid more violence. This angered more radical black activists, however the compromise helped LBJ pass et Voting Rights Act, which stopped discrimination against black people when voting. Bloody Sunday

7 Black Nationalism and Black Power - violent protest s Most black nationalists rejected the non-violence of the civil rights movement. They felt that force was justified in order to achieve equality for black Americans. Others did not want equality so much as complete separation. and people National of Islam - led by Elijah Muhammad. Malcolm X - critical of Martin Luther Kingʼs methods. He wanted to see black Americans rise up and create their own separate state in the USA, using violence if necessary. Malcolm X Person The SNCC became more radical when Stokely Carmichael was elected chairman in He first used the term black power and he was also critical of Martin Luther King. The Black Panthers were a political party but also a small army. They believed that black Americans should arm themselves and force the white to give the equal rights. They clashed with the police - killing nine police officers between 1967 &1969. Race riots between Riots took place in American cities, between the police and black people. Most USA cities were divided along race lines. Many poorer black people felt they had not been given the same protection from crime as white people. Many rioters were influenced by black nationalists. President Johnson asked the Governor of Illinois to investigate the riots and his conclusion that racism was the cause - he talked of two USAs - one black and one white. Assassination of MLK in The end of an era for the civl rights movement.

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