Recent Event Highlights: Voting Rights Act, Civil Rights Act, Freedom Summer, and 23 more...
Created by bucklale000 on Apr 18, 2011
Last updated: 05/02/11 at 02:47 AM
Tommie Smith and John Carlos won both the gold and bronze medals for the 200m race in the 1968 Olympics hosted in Mexico. While the national anthem played for US, since we won the gold, both Smith and Carlos bowed there heads down and performed the Black power salute. They wore no shoes, but black socks to represent black poverty. Smith wore a black scarf to represent black pride. Carlos had his tracksuit top unzipped to show solidarity with all blue collar workers in the U.S. and wore a necklace of beads which he described "were for those individuals that were lynched, or killed and that no-one said a prayer for, that were hung and tarred.
On April 11, 1968 President Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1968 (commonly known as the Fair Housing Act, or as CRA '68), which was meant as a follow-up to the Civil Rights Act of 1964
Standing on the balcony at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee King was impaled by a single bullet, penetrating both his face and neck. King was at the Motel with the intentions of leading a peaceful march in support of striking sanitation workers. The assassin was figured to be an escaped criminal James Earl Ray. It was not until two months after the assassination that he was caught. Authorities recovered the gun used to shoot king and traced the purchase of the gun to a Harvey Lowmeyer, later determined to be one of several aliases used by Ray. King's assassination was itself soon followed by the murder of Robert Kennedy, violence at the Democratic National Convention, and a general unraveling of the country into a period of violence and despair.
Thurgood Marshall was an American jurist and the first African American to serve on the Supreme Court of the United States. Before becoming a judge, he was a lawyer who was best remembered for his high success rate in arguing before the Supreme Court and for the victory in Brown v. Board of Education. He was nominated to the court by President Lyndon Johnson in 1967.
The Black Panther Party (originally the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense) was an African-American revolutionary organization established to promote Black Power, and by extension self-defense for blacks. It was active in the United States from the mid-1960s into the 1970s
The National Voting Rights Act of 1965 outlawed discriminatory voting practices that had been responsible for the widespread disenfranchisement of African Americans in the United States.
The March on Selma occurred in the early months of 1965 and was attempted multiple times. The march was from Selma to Montgomery, it was also known as the Voting Rights March. Attempt one took place on March 7th but the marchers were maliciously attacked by police and state troopers. They made it from Browns Chapel to Edmund Pettus Bridge. Two days later on the 9th was the second attempt to march. Marchers traveled to Edmund Pettus Bridge again, this time they knelt down and prayed then returned to Browns Chapel. During the 2nd march Rev. James Reeb was beaten to death by white vigilantes. The 3rd attempt took place on the 21st and this time marchers had the protection of a federal court order and a Federalized National Guard. Marchers made it to the capital where they petitioned for voting rights. March 25th the marchers arrived at the state capitol where Martin Luther King Jr. gave a speech. That night, Viola Luizzo, a marcher, was killed by the KKK. Results of the March on Selma include: President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act of 1965, two black men were elected to the legislature, and a black man was elected Sheriff of Macon County.
Militant Black Nationalist, Malcolm X, was assassinated as he started to address a rally in New York City on the night of February 21, 1965. Malcolm X served as a spokesperson for Elijah Mohammed's Nation of Islam. Malcolm X expressed a deleterious plan that was anti-white and promoted black self help. Malcolm X formed his own political group, breaking away from Elijah, a group that he could express both his national and international concerns. Malcolm was shot 7 times, but described by the bystanders, as many as 30 rounds were fired. The medical examiner performing the autopsy the next morning found bullets of two different calibers as well as shotgun pellets in him. It was determined he died of multiple gunshot wounds. Police arrested Thomas Hagan and charged him with the murder. After some talking police uncovered the meaning behind the shooting. According to Hagan the shooting of Malcolm X was a result of an argument between the followers of Malcolm and extremist members of the group Malcolm had just left, the Black Muslims. Police said there may have been as many as five accomplices to the actual murder, whether it be Hagan or not. Hagan was shot in the left thigh and also had his left leg broken. Police claim to have found a cartridge containing four unused .45 caliber shells in his pocket once Hagan was prison hospital. The next day police made the claim to say that Hagan had used a double barreled shotgun with a shortened barrel and stock had killed Malcolm X.
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was a landmark piece of legislation in the United States 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
In the year of 1964, three civil rights activist groups decided to try to end the ongoing political bind that African Americans had. The groups included the NAACP, CORE, and SNCC. The volunteer groups decided to primarily focus their efforts on Mississippi. Mississippi had the lowest percentage of African American voters in the country, at an astonishing 6.7%. White mobs within the state didn't take too kindly to their new volunteers. Reacting violently, those who opposed to the volunteers' mission to increase the black vote, terrorized property and attacked those who were involved with them or the organization. That summer 67 properties were firebombed by those who opposed to the activists, destroying many homes and churches of the African Americans. White mobs as well as racist police officers took the liberty in beating over 80 of the volunteers who traveled to Mississippi for the philanthropic cause. Topping the cake, in hopes to frighten anymore people to join the organization/ campaign, the KKK (Ku Klux Klan) took the prerogative to take the lives of three innocent men. James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner were the three unfortunate victims of this hate crime. The terrorist crime failed to work and by the end of the summer nearly 70,000 students had partaken in the Freedom Summer Event. The following year President Lyndon B. Johnson tried to persuade congress to pass the Voting Rights Act. Although many in the southern states opposed the president's proposed act, the Voting Rights Act was passed by large majorities in the House of Representatives and the Senate. The legislation empowered the national government to register those whom the states refused to put on the voting list.
The Twenty-fourth Amendment (Amendment XXIV) prohibits both Congress and the states from conditioning the right to vote in federal elections on payment of a poll tax or other types of tax.
The March on Washington was the result of the built up tension from the racial unrest throughout the US. With the mass amount of people involved and partaking in the march, it was not far off to think that this protest was going to end up in an enormous, violent, and out of control riot so the federal government took precautions by deploying mass amounts of police personnel to maintain order if things were to go astray. Although many did expect this protest to turn out negatively and become violent, the actual result was that the march remained completely peaceful and was a great success. The march started at the Washington Monument and and protestors marched to the Lincoln Memorial. Also at the end of the march, Martin Luther King Jr. presented his legendary, "I Have a Dream" speech at the Lincoln Memorial. Also playing a key role in the success of the march, was the media. This march was the first ever protest to be nationally telecast exclusively on national television. The 1963 March on Washington was easily the largest protest ever seen in Washington D.C. with the massive crowds totaling at approximately 250,000 people. The crowd was somewhat diverse being about 80% blacks and 20% whites and other elasticities. Also speaking to the crowd once the marchers reached the Lincoln Memorial was A. Philip Randolph who spoke. Randolph addressed the crowd and spoke on the topic of "Jobs and Freedom," the chosen theme for reason behind the March on Washington. Randolph also referred to the march as, "a massive moral revolution for jobs and freedom." He freely expressed the demands they had, which the crowd enthusiastically supported. The demands being such: Meaningful civil rights legislation, the protection for all civil rights protestors, an end to all school segregation, a federal law prohibiting racial discrimination within the workplace, a $2 minimum wage, and finally public works program for all unemployed. Finally King closed with his famous, "I have a dream" speech then leaders of the march met up with President Kennedy for further discussion. The protest ended up being hugely successful as well as perfectly peaceful. The outcome later on played a significant roll in the constitution of Civil Rights Act of 1964, which banned racial discrimination in public facilities as well as voting.
The day of September 30, 1962 protestors, including students, locals, and committed segregationists, gathered at the University of Mississippi in Oxford to protest the enrollment of black air force veteran, James Meridith. On the night of September 30th, James was put under federal protection. Riots started to get violent and out of hand while authorities struggled to maintain order. The following morning once things had somewhat settled down to a degree, it was reported that 2 people were found dead, 160 soldiers were injured, and 28 US Marshals were wounded by gunfire. James brought suit against the school and claimed he was denied admission on the basis of race. Although a lower court sided with the university, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit issued a decision in June 1962 ordering the school to admit Meredith the following fall, thereby ensuring a showdown between the federal government and Mississippi's segregationist state government. Finally Meridith was allowed admittance and was able to enroll in his classes. He graduated in August 1963.
After the Boynton v. Virginia case, where the US Supreme Court overturned the original conviction of Boynton and declared that racial segregation on public transportation was unconstitutional and went against the Interstate Commerce Act, people started what was called "Freedom Rides." Freedom Rides were basically civil rights activists who rode public transportation such as interstate buses into the segregated southern United States in attempts to test the decision and declaration declared by the United States Supreme Court in Boynton's case. The first bus left Washington D.C. on May 4, 1961 and was scheduled to arrive in New Orleans on May 17th. Since the Boynton case in 1960, racial segregation in restaurants and waiting rooms in terminals that crossed state lines were outlawed. The Freedom Riders attracted national attention once the blatant and obvious disregard to laws referring to the segregation in the southern states. Riders were arrested on various charges such as trespassing, unlawful assembly, violating local and state Jim Crow laws, as well as other miniscule offenses. With blacks and whites working together to continue "Freedom Rides" and prove their point. At one point Kennedy called for the "cooling off period" to the rides and stated that the rides were unpatriotic, disrespectful, and embarrassing to the nation on a national and world wide level while they were at the height of the Cold War. Varying from city to city and state to state the press coverage of the riders was sporadically portrayed differently everywhere, some places saying positive things while others put the riders down and said negative things. The National Press negatively portrayed the riders which most likely swayed a lot of peoples opinions of the riders. The riders were successful to a degree but must importantly they inspired many subsequent civil rights campaigns, including voter registration, freedom schools, and the black power movement.
Boynton v. Virginia was a case starting on October 5, 1960 in which an African American law student was convicted for trespassing by being in a restaurant in a bus terminal which was "whites only." The case was taken into the hands of the United States Supreme Court. The case was quickly overturned for the law clearly stated that racial segregation in public transportation was illegal because is violated the Interstate Commerce Act. This case more sufficiently and respectively opened the eyes of many and helped to get the United States Federal government to realize how they may regulate and outlaw racial discrimination in the industry.
The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) was one of the principal organizations of the American Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s. It emerged from a series of student meetings led by Ella Baker held at Shaw University in Raleigh, North Carolina in April 1960.
Nine black students were enrolled in Little Rock Central in September 1957. Since May 17, 1954 the decision was made that all segregated schools to be deemed unconstitutional. So May 24, 1955 the Little Rock Central High School's school board unanimously decided to start a gradual integration program for the school. Nine black students of a high caliper, having excellent grades and attendance, were selected to attend the school starting in the fall of 1957. When the time came the Arkansas governor, Orval Faubus, prevented the nine black students from going to the school. After much fight the first day of school arrived and the nine students all showed up but were met by the Arkansas National Guard whom were blocking and refusing to allow the students to enter the school. Little Rock Mayor, Woodrow Nilson Mann, alerted President Eisenhower and requested for him to send federal troops to enforce the integration and protect the nine students. On the day of September 24 the 101st Airborne Division of the United States Army arrived at Little Rock to ensure the admittance and protection of the nine students. At the same time the president ordered that the 10,000 strong Arkansas National Guard be taken out of the hands of Governor Orval Faubus.
SCLC stood for Southern Christian Leadership Confrence. Basic decisions made by the founders at these early meeting included the adoption of nonviolent mass action as the cornerstone of strategy, the affiliation of local community organizations with SCLC across the South, and a determination to make the SCLC movement open to all, regardless of race, religion, or background.
On December 1, 1955 Rosa Parks, 42 year old black female, was arrested on charges of refusing to give up her bus seat to a white male on a Montgomery bus. This was just a spark that ignited an already volatile situation. Blacks having to deal with ridiculous rules such as sitting in the back of the bus, giving up seats to whites, mistreatment from other passengers as well as the bus drivers, and other cruel and inappropriate treatment that nobody deserves. Finally being fed up with the ridiculous conditions a one day boycott was set up to take place on December 5th. President of the M.I.A. as well as a minister, 25 year old Martin Luther King Jr. became the spokesperson for the boycott. King accurately and articulately depicted to the people the reasons behind this non violent boycott and the reasons why everyone must partake. With motivational and strategical meetings being held by the boycott leaders it was decided that they would extend the just one day boycott until the city would meet basic demands of the protestors. Protestors arranged car pools, walking, and other ways of transportation to help further avoid using the buses for longer. Representatives and city officials still refused to comply with the demands of the protestors. Soon things started to get out of hand, boycott leaders were arrested by city officials and some white extremists even went as far as bombing the homes of the boycott leaders. Having nearly the participation of 40,000 blacks in just this one city as well as the other extreme events taking place such as the bombings soon got the attention of the US Supreme Court when protestors were attempting to sue the city for the complete elimination of segregation on city buses. Finally on December 20th the US Supreme Court declared that segregation on public buses to be unconstitutional. This lead to the beginning of the Modern Civil Rights Movement as well as the rise of public speaker Martin Luther King Jr.
In August 1955 fourteen year old Emitt Till went south from Chicago to Mississippi to visit relatives. Not being used to the extreme segregation there was in the south, Emitt said "Bye baby" to a (white) woman working in a store as he left, not knowing that that was in fact the store owners wife. Roy Bryant, the owner of the store, and J.W. Milam, his brother-in-law, kid napped young Emitt a few days later. They brutally tortured and eventually kill Emitt. His body was found in the Tallahatchie River.
Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka was a landmark decision of the United States Supreme Court that declared state laws establishing separate public schools for black and white students unconstitutional. The decision overturned the Plessy v. Ferguson decision of 1896 which allowed state-sponsored segregation. Handed down on May 17, 1954, the Warren Court's unanimous (9–0) decision stated that "separate educational facilities are inherently unequal.
Inspired by Ghandi and his teaching of nonviolent resistance, CORE, was founded in 1942 by an interracial group of students in Chicago. Bernice Fisher, James Robinson, James Farmer, Joe Guinn, George Houser, and Homer Jack were the main founders of CORE. CORE stood for Congress of Racial Equality and they desired to change the racist attitudes of people
The Nation of Islam was an African American religious movement founded in 1930 by Wallace D. Fard Muhammad in Detroit, MIchigan. Muhammad's goal was to improve the spiritual, mental, social, and economic condition of the Black men and women of America. From 1934-1975, the NOI was led by Elijah Muhammad, who established businesses, large real estate holdings, armed forces and schools.
NAACP was an interracial organization that was founded in 1909. The goals of NAACP was to abolish segregation and discrimination and achieve political and civil rights for African Americans.
Plessy v. Ferguson was a case that was sent to and decided by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1896. The court supported the decision of creating and mandating the use of racially segregated but equal railroad carriages. The court also stated that the fourteenth amendment, which specifies who are legal citizens of the United States and their protections under the law, that the amendment only applied to political equality and not social equality.