Created By: Jessica Hernandez
The primary goal of the Civil Rights Movement was to end discrimination against African Americans and end racial segregation. In addition, it wanted to secure African Americans an equal access to and opportunities for the basic privileges and rights of U.S. citizenship. The roots of the movement can actually go back to the 19th century; however, it peaked in the 1950s and 1960s. African American men and women, along with whites, organized and led the movement at national and local levels. They pursued their goals through legal means, negotiations, petitions, and nonviolent protests. The civil rights movement was largest social movement of the 20th century in the United States. It even influenced the modern women's rights movement and the student movement of the 1960s.
Jackie Robinson Joins Brooklyn Dodgers
In 1947, Jackie Robinson became the first African American to play for Major Baseball Leagues; he broke baseball’s “color barrier,” a 50-year-old tradition of segregation.In the beginning, Robinson was rejected by fans and even his own teammates; but, Robinson focused only on improving and being the best Jackie Robinson’s Actions affected the world far beyond Major League Baseball.His courage and discipline in standing up against racism were a preview of the actions taken by many members of the Civil Rights Movement.Jackie Robinson proved that integration could exist.
On December 1, 1955 Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat to a white man on a bus.Parks was arrested and charged with the violation of a segregation law in The Montgomery City Code.On December 5, 1955, the African Americans in Montgomery began to boycott the buses.Approximately 40,000 Black commuters walked to work, some as far as twenty miles!The boycott lasted 382 days.The bus companies finances struggled, until the law that called for segregation on buses was finally lifted.
In 1957, nine African American students, recruited by Daisy Bates, President of the Arkansas branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), made the brave decision of accepting to attend Little Rock Central High School, an all-white high school.These nine students were role models as they gave hope to other African AmericansOn the first day of school at Central High, a white mob gathered in front of the school to prevent the black students from entering. Despite the rough start and the harassment the African American students experienced in high school, they successfully graduated from Little Rock Central High School.
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 ended segregation of African Americans in public places and banned employment discrimination on the basis of race and color (as well as religion, sex or national origin)It is considered one of the greatest achievements of the African-American Civil Rights MovementIt was first proposed by President John F. Kennedy, but faced many oppositions from southern members of Congress.The act was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson. The Civil Rights act paved the way for another two major laws: The Voting Rights Act of 1965 and The Fair Housing Act of 1968
Voting Rights Act of 1965
The passage of the 24th Amendment strengthened the Civil Rights movement and pressured President Lyndon Johnson for a Voting Rights Act Congress passed that act in 1965The Voting Rights Act prohibited literacy tests and other discriminatory voting practices.The Voting Rights Act of 1965, in combination with the 24th Amendment, resulted in a quarter of a million new black voters by the end of the year. Ten years later the number of black voters more than tripledAfrican Americans also began serving in Congress and state legislative bodies in record numbers.
The 24th amendment was important to the Civil Rights Movement because it ended mandatory poll taxes that prevented many African Americans from voting.Poll taxes, combined with grandfather clauses and intimidation, effectively prevented African Americans from having any sort of political power, especially in the South. The 24th Amendment said that neither the states nor the federal government could deny a citizen the right to vote because of failure to pay a tax of any kind. Its passage strengthened and energized the Civil Rights movement
Brown v. Board of Education
This court case’s decision energized the Civil Rights Movement in the 1950s and 1960s.The Brown v. Board of Education case ended in a Supreme Court decision that overturned the Plessy vs. Ferguson decision in 1896 (which had ruled that segregation in public places was legal)The Brown v. Board of Education case ruled that that separate educational facilities are inherently unequal and that racial segregation of children in public schools violated the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment. This expanded civil liberties because the Court’s decision ensured equal opportunities and treatment for African American and White students.
"You must never be fearful of what you are doing when it is right." - Rosa Parks
Rosa Parks was an active member of The Civil Rights Movement and joined the Montgomery chapter of National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in 1943.Rosa Parks grew up in the South, where Jim Crow laws segregated African Americans and Whites in almost every aspect of life.By refusing to give up her seat in a city bus to a white man on a Montgomery, Alabama in 1955, Rosa Parks helped initiate the Civil Rights Movement in the United States. The bus boycott was the first major event of the modern Civil Rights era and helped bring down Jim Crow laws.
During the less than 13 years of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s leadership of the Civil Rights Movement (from December, 1955 until April 4, 1968), African Americans achieved more progress toward racial equality in America than the previous 350 years He got his inspiration from both his Christian faith and the peaceful teachings of Mahatma Gandhi Dr. King led a nonviolent movement in the late 1950’s and ‘60s to achieve legal equality for African-Americans in the United States.Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech and “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” are some of just a couple things that made him so memorableSome of Dr. King’s most important achievements include:In 1955, he was recruited to serve as spokesman for the Montgomery Bus Boycott, which was a campaign by the African-American population of Montgomery, Alabama to force integration of the city’s bus lines. In 1957, Dr. King was elected president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), an organization designed to provide new leadership for the now burgeoning civil rights movement. He served as head of the SCLC until his assassination in 1968.In 1963, he led numerous civil rights groups in a nonviolent campaign aimed at Birmingham, Alabama, which at the time was described as the “most segregated city in America.” Later in 1963, Dr. King was one of the driving forces behind the March for Jobs and Freedom, more commonly known as the “March on Washington,” which drew over a quarter-million people to the national mall. It was at this march that Dr. King delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech, which cemented his status as a social change leader and helped inspire the nation to act on civil rights. Dr. King was later named Time magazine’s “Man of the Year.”In 1964, at 35 years old, Martin Luther King, Jr. became the youngest person to win the Nobel Peace Prize. Also in 1964, partly due to the March on Washington, Congress passed the Civil Rights Act, eliminating legalized racial segregation in the United States. The next year, 1965, Congress went on to pass the Voting Rights Act, which was an equally important set of laws that eliminated the remaining barriers to voting for African-Americans (This legislation resulted directly from the Selma to Montgomery, AL March for Voting Rights lead by Dr. King.)Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s less than thirteen years of nonviolent leadership ended tragically on April 4th, 1968, when he was assassinated at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee.
"I Have a Dream" - By Martin Luther King Jr.
“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” – Martin Luther King Jr. in his “I Have a Dream” Speech on August 28, 1963
Martin Luther King Jr's powerful speech expressed his desire of living in a world where Black’s and Whites can coexist equally.About 250,000 people gathered in Washington, DC and listened to his “I Have a Dream” speech on August 28, 1963. (It was the largest gathering in Washington, DC’s history)His speech used The Bible, The Declaration of Independence, The United States Constitution and The Emancipation Proclamation as sources.As a result of the march and the speech, Americans began to put more and more pressure on President John F. Kennedy, encouraging him to push for civil rights laws to pass through Congress and become recognized on a national level.
"Civil Rights Movement." History.com. A&E Television Networks. Web. 24 Mar. 2015.
"Martin Luther King Jr." Bio. A&E Television Networks, 2015. Web. 23 Mar. 2015.
"Rosa Parks Biography -- Academy of Achievement." Academy of Achievement. 26 Feb. 2010. Web. 3 June 2014.
"Jackie Robinson's Historic Impact." Jackie Robinson's Historic Impact. Web. 24 Mar. 2015.
"History of Brown v. Board of Education." USCOURTSGOV RSS. Web. 24 Mar. 2015.
"Voting Rights Act of 1965." Congress of Racial Equality. Web. 24 Mar. 2015.
"Timeline: A History of the Voting Rights Act." American Civil Liberties Union. Web. 24 Mar. 2015
United States. National Park Service. "We Shall Overcome -- Selma- to-Montgomery March."National Parks Service. U.S. Department of the Interior. Web. 24 Mar. 2015.
"Martin Luther King, Jr. | Biography - American Religious Leader and Civil-rights Activist."Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica. Web. 24 Mar. 2015.
"Martin Luther King Jr., Civil Rights Leader." Martin Luther King Jr., Civil Rights Leader. Web. 24 Mar. 2015