zam - History 17C Final Questions Part 1 Question 1 Intro...

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History 17C Final Questions Part 1 Question 1: Intro: The Civil Rights Movements of 1964 and 1965 marked a turning point in the United States as discrimination and racism became seen as a violation of basic human rights. The public’s general understanding of this movement is often over simplified and misconstrued. As a master narrative explains the average American is taught that through the leader of Martin Luther King…. Lawson: Top Down -Lawson would say that civil rights started long before Brown V. Board of Education…started in WW2 (ppl fighting for their country yet not getting equal rights, completely hypocritical) -Believes that is was not possible for Blacks to achieve their liberties without the help of important leaders, such as MLK, and the government’s support. -President, Congress, and the Supreme Court provided the legal tools to challenge against these racial injustices - Because these institutions had the power and authority to defeat state gov. that wanted to keep blacks subordinate - Leading groups very influential: NAACP, SCLC- they had the resources necessary to attract media - Government made it a national cause; the national organizations were the top leaders who inspired the grassroots - acknowledges that blacks were helpful, but it wasn’t possible without the people at the very top aka government, MLK, gave them room to maneuver -WWII- Roosevelt couldn’t’ ignore black inequality -blacks fought for desegregation of military and right to vote -in 1944 Smith vv. Allwright, Sup. Court ruled that Demo must be open primaries to African American voters -sill literacy tests kept many from voting -Truman created Civil Rights Committee -Document: The Secure These Rights -the president’s committee on civil rights issued this document -desegregation of the military -measure to end lynching and voting discrimination -a civil rights division in the justice department to prosecute any civil rights violations -Cold War- was first priority rather than civil rights movement -“Red Scare” blurred the lines and hindered advancement -Civil Rights Act 1957 -right to vote, government -bill was stalled in congress and didn’t pass until after Kennedy in 1964 Payne: Bottom Up
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--putting so much emphasis on national leadership and institutions diminishes the importance of the local struggle and takes away from the role that “ordinary” people played in making a difference in the country - the media puts so much attention on King and the final act but made it seem like that was the whole story and nothing beyond that..didnt give any attention to the “little people” (everyone in society) who helped make a change…ex. Montgomery Bus Boycotts, sit-ins, riots, Rosa Parks etc.. -- Leaving these people out we lose the complexity of the process --Narrative: naïve, doesn’t give enough attention to the struggle that actually took place -Brown v. Board of Education -blacks exposed themselves to physical violence -black teachers who fought for equal pay, fired cause involved
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