3. The 1960s Readings.docx - The 1960s Martin Luther King...

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Rep. John Lewis John Lewis The 1960s Martin Luther King and John Lewis the Civil Rights Movement I can describe the role of individuals (Martin Luther King, Jr. and John Lewis) in the Civil Rights Movement. (41b) As the leader of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, King, along with other civil rights groups, supported desegregation efforts in Albany, Georgia called the Albany Movement in 1961. Although considered to be less successful than the bus boycotts, useful lessons were learned on how to organize a successful protest. In 1963 these lessons were put to the test in Birmingham, Alabama where King orchestrated very organized protests with very specific goals. Accordingly, the protests were more successful. In August 1963 the civil rights movement staged its largest gathering ever, with as many as 250,000 participants at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. King's "I Have a Dream" speech was the most memorable event of the day and confirmed him as black America's most prominent spokesperson. In 1964 King was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, Norway. The same year, Congress passed the 1964 Civil Rights Act, outlawing segregation in public facilities. In 1965, King and the SCLC campaigned in Selma, Alabama, for black voting rights. The campaign led to the passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, which abolished legal impediments to voting rights for African Americans and initiated greater federal protection for blacks at the polls. In the following years, King fought against poverty in African-American society with mixed success. Then, in April of 1968, Dr. King was assassinated in Memphis, TN. Nonetheless, King was instrumental in ending segregation and changing America’s views on race and racial equality. Unfortunately, while he did not live to see the fruits of his labor, his efforts and leadership have led to an America where some of the ideals from his “I Have a Dream” speech have been met. U. S. Representative John Lewis (b. 1940), born to sharecroppers in Pike County, Alabama, Lewis became an integral part of Georgia’s history through his leadership in the Civil Rights Movement. Active in the 1960’s sit-ins to protest Jim Crow laws, Lewis also participated in the Freedom Rides of the early 1960’s. He became the chair of the new organization, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC - pronounced “snick”), an Atlanta-based organization of young college students devoted to civil rights change. With Dr. King, Lewis was a keynote speaker at the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. In 1965, Lewis also led over 600 marchers across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama only to be beaten by Alabama state troopers. Television coverage of this “Bloody Sunday” event brought much needed attention to the Civil Rights Movement. In the late 1960’s and 70’s, Lewis continued his dedication to seeking civil rights through voter registration and volunteer programs. Elected to the Atlanta City Council in 1981, he advocated for ethics in government and community preservation. In November 1986, Lewis was elected to the United States Congress from the Fifth

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