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DHS US History II

DHS US History II

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Over the course of the Civil Rights movement there were many events that lead to the eventual improvement of civil rights. However, one event that is seen as a breaking point for the movement were the “Freedom Rides” that took place on May 4th 1964. The plan was for the group to leave Washington D.C. on a Greyhound bus set to arrive in New Orleans, Louisiana so that they could show supports for the Brown v. Board of Education trial that was currently taking place. These rides were a way to show the world what kind of discrimination that African American and many different races had to endure as they were attempting to go through their typical day. These rides were an attempt to create improvement in how different races were treated. One of the desired effects of these rides was to draw attention to the violations of the Supreme Court ruling that had been set earlier. They did these rides in a public fashion so that they would be able to generate attention within media outlets and hopefully create friction between the government and the people to create change. As defined by “Holt The American Nation Full Volume” the Freedom riders were “A group of civil rights workers who took bus trips through southern states in 1961 to protest illegal bus segregation.” However, they were much more than just a group of Civil Rights workers. These were people who were actively attempting to make a difference even if they had to endure mental and physical pain along the way. These people were a part of CORE (or the Congress of Racial Equality), which meant that they had a large role in changing the way that certain races were being treated. But, not all of these thirteen protesters were of African American descent, seven were African American and six were white American according to an article created by History.com, this meant that at this point in time there was a strong backing for the improvement of civil rights by all races, including John F. Kennedy who supported the rides, but did not want them to end with violence between the people. Which is precisely the opposite of what the rides ended with. According to an article from NPR on May 14th 1961 the bus arrived in Anniston, Alabama shortly after arriving the bus was greeted with around 200 angry white supremacists. While this crowd was expected, a bomb was thrown under the bus and the riders escaped as it was exploding into flames. The group was then brutally beaten using a variety of weapons including metal pipes. They were then transferred onto another bus that was driven to Birmingham, Alabama. Once they arrived they were again brutally beaten. After this incident Greyhound gave up on the group and would no longer transport them. However, due to the impact that this ride was having an activist from the SNCC (The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee) was able to get a group of 10 students from Nashville Tennessee to continue the ride. With all of this pressure on the government from this movement John F. Kennedy secured a driver and bus and sent the riders off from Birmingham, Alabama on May 20th under police escort. However, soon after departing the station the police departed from the bus due to the huge crowds of white supremacist’s rioting around the bus and police escorts. This process continued as they went through Montgomery, Alabama. It was finally put to an end when they reached Jackson, Alabama and they were greeted with hundred of supporters. This that they did the same and these rides happened for several months until change finally came inspired so many people
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Sam Katz Mael P.3 US History II May 2, 2017 Background on the March on Washington; The March On Washington was a giant gathered march to help protest for civil rights for African Americans. The leaders of the civil rights movement and also religious groups organized the march. More than 200.000 Americans were apart of the March on Washington D.C. This march was a huge eye opener to American citizens about the social and political damage that America was inflicting on the African American culture. This march also led to one of the most famous American speeches of all time, delivered by Martin Luther King Jr. The I Have A Dream Speech, is something that will forever be famous in American history, however what many people don’t know is that Martin Luther King Jr. was given the worst speech time slot. He delivered the final speech and it was assumed that most reporters would be gone at that point and that not many people would ever even hear the speech. Surprisingly many people heard the beautifully spoken MLK speech and it would forever be engraved into American history. There is a very famous photo from this I Have A Dream speech, showing just how many people cared about MLK and were still there to listen to him. This speech alone was enough to push many American citizens into social change. It also was enough to sway the government into making political changes involving civil rights. One act that was most likely passed because of this march was Civil Rights Act of 1964, an act that outlaws discrimination based on race or religion. This shows how much of a giant impact this march truly had on America.
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Luke Bernier Mr. Mael 4/30/17 U.S. History II How the Civil Rights Address Movement Affected Civil Rights The Civil Rights Address was a speech given by John F. Kennedy, following the famous stand at the schoolhouse door. During the stand at the schoolhouse door, Governor George Wallace of Alabama stood in the doorway of the University of Alabama in an attempt to block two African American students from entering the school. To get the students in the school, the national guard was required. In response to this event, JFK created a speech that would go down in history as one of the best presidential speeches of all time. Traditionally, JFK had not expressed concern or acknowledged the civil rights movement, as, while he believed in their cause, he could do nothing for the movement. According to the New York Times, “The president had been routinely criticized by black leaders for being timid on civil rights, and no one knew just what to expect when the cameras started filming.” Despite the speculation that he would downplay the event, JFK instead brought the issue of civil rights into the nation’s eye. He calls on the American people and pleads to them to find it within their hearts to accept the African American as just another human. JFK says that he, “hopes that every American, regardless of where he lives, will stop and examine his conscience about this and other related incidents. This Nation was founded by men of many nations and backgrounds. It was founded on the principle that all men are created equal, and that the rights of every man are diminished when the rights of one man are threatened.” JFK truly believes that he can convince the people of America to help their fellow American out, regardless of skin color. The reason this was such an important speech for America was because it had never been done before. No other president had ever brought up civil rights like this before, and especially not on the national stage. What many presidents do when they need to talk about a polarizing issue, like JFK had to do about civil rights, is they try and compromise with both sides, because for many presidents, they want to appease everyone. This is not what JFK decides to do. He calls out racists and bigots across America, and tells them that what they are doing is killing the country, and they are wrong in their beliefs. This is what made the Civil Rights Address so influential; it not only helped out the civil rights movement, it also reached the hearts and minds of the American people. Bibliography “Civil Rights Address.” American Rhetoric. Accessed May 2, 2017. http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/jfkcivilrights.htm. Joseph, Peniel. “Kennedy’s Finest Moment.” New York Times. Accessed May 2, 2017. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/11/opinion/kennedys-civil-rights-triumph.html. Textbook
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During 1961 and 1964, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) had led a voting registration campaign in Selma, the seat of Dallas County, Alabama, a small town with a record of consistent resistance to black voting. Resistance from law enforcement cramped SNCC’s efforts. Local civil rights activists allured Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) to turn Selma’s obstinacy to black voting into a national concern. SCLC also wanted to use the momentum of the 1964 Civil Rights Act to achieve federal protection for a voting rights statute. Over the course of January and February of 1965, King and the SCLC led many demonstrations to the Dallas County Courthouse in Selma. On February 17, during one of these demonstrations, an Alabama state trooper shot protester Jimmy Lee Jackson, fatally wounding him. A protest march from Selma to Montgomery was scheduled for the beginning of March in response to his killing. Six hundred protestors gathered in Selma on Sunday, March 7. They crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge over the Alabama River on their way to Montgomery. Just before the bridge, they found their route blocked by Alabama State troopers and local police who ordered them to turn around back towards Selma. When the protesters refused to turn around, the officers used teargas and entered the enormous crowd, beating the passive protesters with billy clubs and sending over fifty people to the hospital. The big difference between this demonstration and bloodshed and demonstrations before it was that it was televised nationally and internationally. This embarrassed Americans and let Americans who had never witnessed the barbarity of racism see it for the first time. After this atrocity, Martin Luther King, Jr. asked civil rights supporters to come back to Selma for a second march. Members of Congress urged Martin Luther King, Jr. to hold off on the march until a court could decide whether the protesters deserved federal protection. With many prominent civil rights activists now in Selma at Martin Luther King, Jr.’s call, they didn’t want to sit around, they wanted to make change. King found it hard to elect the correct action. Should he passively listen to the government’s requests for patience or should he continue to lead demonstrations and protests to actively help his cause? On March 9, MLK did end leading the second protest. This time, however, he turned the protest around at the beginning of the Edmund Pettus Bridge. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s decisions at this demonstration aggravated the tension between SCLC and the more radical SNCC. The SNCC wanted more violent tactics to be used in order to win reforms to active opposition to racist programs. On March 21 of 1965, the last, and successful march began with federal protection. On August 6 of the same year, the federal Voting Rights Act was passed, making the process successful. In the end, the world witnessed change after bloodshed and a testament to what civil rights can do.
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In the 1960s, Birmingham, Alabama was one of the most racially segregated cities in the United States. By 1963, Birmingham had earned the nickname “Bombingham” because homemade bombs set of in homes and churches were so common. KKK members would call in bomb threats to black churches to interrupt services and civil rights meetings. Birmingham hosted one of the largest and strongest chapters of the KKK. Because of the severe segregation and violent attitude toward African Americans, civil rights activists used this city as a target for their campaigns. Martin Luther King Jr. was arrested in Birmingham in the spring of 1963 and wrote his famous “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” which was published with images of police brutality, which helped gather support for the civil rights movement. The 16th Street Baptist Church was a significant church for many African Americans in Birmingham and many civil rights marches took place on its steps and many civil rights meetings took place within its walls. On the morning of September 15, 1963, a few bomb threats were called in to the church. These threats were ignored because KKK members called in frequently so as to interrupt church services and civil rights meetings. However, this day was different, these threats had truth to them. Four KKK members of the United Klans of America planted 15 sticks of dynamite under the back stairs of the 16th Street Baptist Church. Around 200 people were in the church at the time before the 11:00 service, most were girls attending Sunday School. At 10:22, the bomb went off. Four girls died in the attack and another twenty were injured. Thousands of angry protesters showed up at the scene of the bombing. Police and State Troopers were sent to break up the protest, but it only caused a stream of violence to break out throughout the city. A few protesters were arrested and two were killed in the conflict. Eventually, the National Guard was sent in to take control over the city and bring order back. The white supremacists of Birmingham were suspected from the start, even individuals were accused of the attack, however no one was brought to justice. Many people called for them to be persecuted, but their calls wouldn’t be answered for a number of years. Those in the government did not agree with the civil rights movement and therefore did nothing. It was even proven that they had information on the attackers by 1965 and still did nothing about it. They turned a blind eye to this act of violence simply because they agreed with those who committed the act and disagreed with the victims. Later, in 1977, the case was reopened by Alabama Attorney General Bob Baxley and brought Robert E. Chambliss, a Klan leader, to trial for the crime. Chambliss was convicted of the bombings and murder of the girls and died in prison in 1985. The case was reopened three other times (1980, 1988, 1997) and two more men, Thomas Blanton and Bobby Frank Cherry, were convicted and received life sentences for their crime. The fourth suspect, Herman Frank Cash, died in 1994 before he could be tried.
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Malcolm X who was born in Omaha, Nebraska on May 19th 1925 from his mother Louise Norton Little and his father Earl Little. He was one of 8 children and grew up in a very proactive household. His father, Earl who was a baptist minister was very outspoken and was a large supporter of the Black Nationalist leader Marcus Garvey. Being outspoken came with its consequences, his father would receive death threats from a white supremacist organization Black Legion. They were forced to move to avoid the threats but less than a year later their house was burned, and two years later he was found dead. It was presumed an accident and after his death his mother became insane and had to go to a mental institution in which all the kids went to foster care. As Malcolm grew up he bounced from home to home and eventually in 1946 he was arrested for burglary. During his time in prison he reflected on his life and his brother would visit him, he introduced him to Nation of Islam. He then took very close following of the leader Elijah Muhammad, and when he got out he decided to get involved. He then changed his name from Malcolm Little to Malcolm X to get rid of his slave name. Most importantly he became the spokesperson for the NOI because he was very intelligent and articulate. He used television, radio and newspapers to spread his beliefs and ideas with the world. The NOI grew from 500 to 30,000 followers in 10 years. Malcolm X was very controversial and his statements brought outrage from the public. He told his followers to break away from racism “by any means necessary” which means violence is acceptable. Separate from his rival Martin Luther King who was anti-aggression, Malcolm often scolded MLK for being friends with the white man. He said “You don’t have a peaceful revolution” and “You don’t have a turn the cheek revolution. There’s no such thing as a nonviolent revolution”. These words had an effect on the people of America due to his pro-violence views. These statements won him large amounts of followers but also brought many critics. One of the critics was MLK himself saying “I feel that Malcolm has done himself and our people a great disservice.” showing the feelings he has for Malcolm’s opinions. In 1963 Malcolm was betrayed by his most coveted friend Elijah Muhammad. He had followed Muhammad’s teachings for many year only to find out that Elijah himself was breaking some of the most important rules of his religion. He was having affairs with numerous women and it caused a huge outbreak for Malcolm to handle. He then separated himself from NOI and moved on to start his own organization. The death of Malcolm X was monumental for the civil rights movement. He was killed in 1965 at the Audobon ballroom in Manhattan. He was shot 15 times at point blank range by members of the NOI. This allowed Martin Luther King to take Malcolm’s followers and move forward with the civil rights movement. Without Malcolm X the civil rights movement would have been drastically different.
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The Black Panther Party was created in 1966, in Oakland, California. It was established in California but it spread throughout the US including many different cities in the following years, a few of them being: Boston, Chicago, and New York. The founders of this party were Huey P. Newton and Bobby Steale, and they made it clear of their goals and the needs of this party. They did this by creating a ten point program, which consisted of many different things that involve equal rights for all. “We want freedom. We want power to determine the destiny of our Black Community. We want full employment for our people. We want decent housing, fit for shelter of human beings.We want education for our people that exposes the true nature of this decadent American society. We want all Black men to be exempt from military service. We want an immediate end to POLICE BRUTALITY and MURDER of Black people. We want all Black people when brought to trial to be tried in court by a jury of their peer group or people from their Black Communities, as defined by the Constitution of the United States. We want land, bread, housing, education, clothing, justice and peace.” This list was the goals made by the the Black Panthers. They followed through with some of these goals very forcefully. For example for their goal to end the brutality and murder of black people by the police, they would follow white police officers around with guns in order to make sure they were not harming any black person. This is one of the reasons why the Black Panthers were so unique. The government could not ignore them like some other civil rights movements at the time. The FBI got involved to follow some of the leaders of the Black Panthers to make sure that nothing got too out of hand. There were many different parts of this party that made them unique their dress code, the contribution of women, and the sense of community that they established all showed how this party was one of a kind. The Black Panthers made it evident that “they would do whatever it takes” in order to achieve these goals. They made this very prominent with their dress code. Their dress code consisted of a leather jacket with a blue shirt underneath but in their hands they would have loaded shotguns. They held the weapons not always as a threat but to show that they too are citizens of the United States and they too have the right to bare arms. Although the Black Panthers had their goals set since the beginning not everything stayed the same in the party. The main thing that changed after a year of the party being founded was women and their role. In the beginning this was an all males organization with no women in it. This started to change when more and more women wanted to get involved they opened the group to them. The Black Panthers did not stop there not only did the open the group up to women but they made it so women were then important players in this game. Women were public speakers for the party, they would go to the rallies and protests as well. Because of the big role that women played more and more women joined the group. After several thousands of women joining the party, they took another turn. The Party used to stand for only black men should be treated equal to a white man, they then changed it to both black men and women should be treated equal to white men and women. The last thing that made the Black Panther Party one of a kind was the sense of community that they had. Everyone that was apart of the party was also part of the community. This community that they established constantly would help out families who were in poverty. Two of the things that they created was a preschool for children for families that could not afford to pay for their child to go to preschool. And the other one being daily breakfasts. The Black Panthers would have a common area where they would set up breakfast lines to serve people food.
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