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Outine+14+Civil+Rights+Movement - Development of American...

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Unformatted text preview: Development of American History THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT IN THE 19505 Theme: the civil rights revolution of the 1960s that ended state-sanctioned racial segregation in the United States had its roots in the long struggle of black Americans to secure racial justice for themselves. During the early 20th century, persistent agitation for racial justice by groups such as the NAACP prepared the way, but the primary impetus for change came in the aftermath of World War 11. During the 1950s, black southerners--fanners, school teachers, minister; women as well as men--frustrated by racial oppression took action to end the humiliation and discrimination of the Jim Crow system of state segregation. _ Prologue: Joseph Albert DeLaine of Clarendon County, South Carolina 1. Why Blacks "Began" the Civil Rights Movement in the 1950s A. Founding of the NAACP (1909) and William E. B. DuBois B. Howard University and the Best (Black) Lawyers in the Nation C. White Philanthropy (the Rosenwald Fund) and the Jewish Connection D. The Great Migration, Black Voting Power, and the New Deal Coalition E. Black Soldiers and the Post-World War 11 Attack on Colonialism II. The NAACP's Legal Assault on "Separate but Equal" A. Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) B. Gradualism and the New Deal Supreme Court: Sweatt v. Painter (1950) and McLaurz‘n v. Oklahoma (1950). C. Road to Brown: South Carolina, Virginia, Delaware, DC, and Kansas D. Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas (1954, 1955) III. The Montgomery Bus Boycott and the Role of Black Ministers A. Rosa Parks and Segregation in Urban Alabama B. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Bus Boycott C. Boycott Turns Violent D. Victory IV. Start of the 1960s: the Greensboro Sit-Ins and SNCC V. LBJ ’s Civil Rights Revolution: 1964: Civil Rights Act (1964), Economic Opportunity Act (1964), Voting Rights Act (1965) V1. Black Power and Malcolm X Epilogue: New Jersey Identification: Brown v. Board of Education, Martin Luther King, Jr.; Montgomery Bus Boycott; SNCC; LBJ ’s Civil Rights Legislation; Malcolm X Melba Patillo Beals describes the initial effort to integrate Little Rock’s Central High School in September 1957, from her autobiographical account, Warriors Don '1‘ Cry. “Two, four, six, eight, we ain’t gonna integrate!” Over and over, the words rang out. The terrifying frenzy of the crowd was building like steam in an erupting volcano. "We have to find the others," Mama yelled in my ear. "We'll be safer with the group." She grabbed my arm to pull me forward, out of my trance. The look on her face mirrored the terror I felt. Some of the white men and women standing around us seemed to be observing anxiously. Others with angry faces and wide-open mouths were screaming their rage. Their words were becoming increasingly vile, fueled by whatever was happening directly in front of the school. The sun beat down on our heads as we made our way through the crowd searching for our friends. Most people ig- nored us, jostling each other and craning their necks to see whatever was at the center of the furor. Finally, we got closer to the hub of activity. Standing on our toes, we stretched as tall as we could to see what everyone was watching. "Oh, my Lord," Mother said. It was my friend Elizabeth they were watching. The anger of that huge crowd was directed toward Elizabeth Eckford as she stood alone, in front of Central High, facing the long line of soldiers, with a huge crowd of white people screeching at her back. Barely five feet tall, Elizabeth cradled her arms as she desperately searched for the right place to enter. Soldiers in uniforms and helmets, cradling their rifles, towered over her. Slowly, she walked first to one and then another opening in their line. Each time she approached, the soldiers closed ranks, shutting her out. As she turned toward us, her eyes hidden by dark glasses, we could see how erect and proud she stood despite the fear she must have been feeling. As Elizabeth walked along the line of guardsmen, they did nothing to protect her from her stalkers. When a crowd of fifty or more closed in like diving vultures, the soldiers stared straight ahead, as if posing for a photograph. Once more, Elizabeth stood still, stunned, not knowing what to do. The people surrounding us shouted, stomped, and whistled as though her awful predicament were a triumph for them. I wanted to help her, but the human wall in front of us would not be moved. We could only wedge through partway. Finally, we realized our efforts were futile; we could only pray as we watched her struggle to survive. People began to applaud and shout, "Get her, get the nigger out of there. Hang her black ass!" Not one of those white adults attempted to rescue Elizabeth. The hulking soldiers continued to observe her peril like spectators enjoying a sport. Under siege, Elizabeth slowly made her way toward the bench at the bus stop. Looking straight ahead as she walked, she did not acknowledge the people yelping at her heels, like mad dogs. Mother and I looked at one another, suddenly conscious that we, too, were trapped by a violent mob. Ever so slowly, we eased our way backward through the crowd, being careful not to attract attention. But a white man clawed at me, grabbing my sleeve and yelling, "We got us a nigger right here! " Just then another man rugged at his arm distracting him. Somehow I managed to scramble away. As a commotion began building around us, Mother took my arm, and we moved fast, sometimes crouching to avoid attracting more attention. We gained some distance from the center of the crow and made our way down the block. But when I looked back, I saw a man following us, yelling, "They're getting away! Those niggers are getting away!" Pointing to us, he enlisted others to join him. Now we were being chased by four men, and their number was growing. We scurried down the sidewalk, bumping into people. Most of the crowd was still preoccupied watching Elizabeth. Panic—stricken, I wanted to shout for help. But I knew it would do no good. Policemen stood by watching Elizabeth being accosted. Why would they help us? "Melba, . . . take these keys," Mother commanded as she tossed them at me. "Get to the car. Leave without me if you have to." I plucked the car keys from the air. "No, Mama, I won't go without you." Suddenly I felt the sting of her hand as it struck the side of my face. She had never slapped me before. "Do what I say!" she shouted. Still, I knew I couldn't leave her there. I reached back to take her arm. Her pace was slowing, and I tried to pull her forward. The men were gainng on us. If we yelled for help or made any fuss, others might join our attackers. Running faster, I felt myself begin to wear out. I didn't have enough breath to keep moving so fast. My knees hurt, my calves were aching, but the car was just around the next corner. The men chasing us were joined by another carrying a rope. At times, our pursuers were so close I could look back and see the anger in their eyes. Mama's pace slowed, and one man came close enough to touch her. He grabbed for her arm but instead tugged at her blouse. The fabric ripped, and he fell backward. Mama stepped out of her high—heeled shoes, leaving them behind, her pace quickening in stocking feet. One of the men closest to me swung at me with a large tree branch but missed. I felt even more panic rise up in my throat. Ifhe hit me hard enough to knock me over, I would be at his mercy. I could hear Grandma India's voice saying, God is always with you, even when things seem awful. I felt a surge of strength and a new wind. As I turned the corner, our car came into sight. I ran hard-faster than ever before-unlocked the door, and jumped in. Mother was struggling, barely able to keep ahead of her attackers. I could see them turning the corner close on her heels, moving fast toward us. I swung open the passenger door for Mother and revved the engine. Barely waiting for her to shut the door, I shoved the gearshift into reverse and backed down the street with more speed than I'd ever driven forward. I slowed to back around the corner. One of the men caught up and pounded his fists on the hood of our car, while another threw a brick at the windshield. Turning left, we gained speed as we drove through a hail of shouts and stones and glaring faces. But I knew I would make it because the car was moving fast and Mama was with me. ...
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