Search Results (55)
Despite the efforts of Radical Reconstructionists, the American South emerged from the Civil War with a system of laws that undermined the freedom of African Americans and preserved many elements of white privilege. No major successful attack was launched on the segregation system until the 1950s.
Civil rights activists in the early 1960s teemed with enthusiasm. The courts and the federal government seemed to be on their side, and the movement was winning the battle for public opinion. Under the protection of federal troops, in 1962 James Meredith became the first African American to attend the University of Mississippi.
As the unquestioned leader of the peaceful Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was at the same time one of the most beloved and one of the most hated men of his time. From his involvement in the Montgomery bus boycott in 1955 until his untimely death in 1968, King's message of change through peaceful means added to the movement's numbers and gave it its moral strength. The legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. is embodied in these two simple words: equality and nonviolence.
The Voting Rights Act of 1965--called "the most successful civil rights law in the nation's history" by Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, chairman of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights--was enacted in order to force Southern states and localities to allow all citizens of voting age to vote in public elections. Although the 15th Amendment, ratified in 1870, guaranteed citizens the right to vote regardless of race, discriminatory requirements, such as literacy tests, disenfranchised many African Americans in the South. In 1965, following the murder of a voting rights activist by an Alabama sheriff's deputy and the subsequent attack by state troopers on a massive protest march in Selma, President Lyndon B. Johnson pressed Congress to pass a voting rights bill with "teeth". The Act, signed into law on August 6, applied to states or counties where fewer than half of the citizens of voting age were registered in 1964--Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Virginia, and numerous counties in North Carolina. For these areas, the law banned literacy tests, appointed Federal examiners to oversee election procedures, and, according to the Act's controversial Section 5, required approval by the U.S. Attorney General of future changes to election laws. In the following letter to a 1969 Senate subcommittee hearing on extending the Act, New Jersey Senator Harrison A. Williams, Jr., provided statistics to show the law's effect. The position described in the letter was Attorney General John Mitchell's proposal to replace Section 5 with an oversight mechanism more amenable to the white South. Ultimately, on June 22, 1970, President Richard M. Nixon signed into law a bill that extended the Act's provisions--including Section 5--for five additional years, and in addition, lowered the voting age throughout the country to 18.
- U.S. History
- Material Type:
- Primary Source
- American Social History Project / Center for History Media and Learning
- Provider Set:
- Many Pasts (CHNM/ASHP)
- Center for History and New Media/American Social History Project
- Date Added:
The purpose of this course is to examine the African American experience in the United States from 1863 to the present. Prominent themes include the end of the Civil War and the beginning of Reconstruction; African Americans' urbanization experiences; the development of the modern civil rights movement and its aftermath; and the thought and leadership of Booker T. Washington, Ida B. Wells-Barnett, W.E.B. Du Bois, Marcus Garvey, Martin Luther King Jr., and Malcolm X. WARNING: Some of the lectures in this course contain graphic content and/or adult language that some users may find disturbing.
This course for middle and high school teachers uses video, online text, classroom activities, and Web-based activities to explore American history from the Pre-Columbian era through Reconstruction. The video programs are divided into three segments: Historical Perspectives, an overview of the historical era; Faces of America, in which biographies of individuals illustrate larger events; and Hands-on History, a behind-the-scenes look at how history is studied, documented, and presented. Additional units introduce methods to strengthen teachers' knowledge of American history, while reviewing content. The online text, facilitator guide, and Web site supplement the video content.
This transcript of an interview for Eyes on the Prize documents the leadership strategies of March on Washington organizer Bayard Rustin.
This collection of primary resources and corresponding activities sheds light on the endurance of peaceful protesters in Montgomery, Ala., who overturned an unjust law.
In 1948, President Harry Truman took an early step towards civil rights reform by issuing Executive Order 9981, which eliminated racial segregation in the military. After World War II, African Americans ? then often called Negroes or "coloreds," began to mobilize against discrimination. They demanded an end to segregation and fought for equality in education, housing, and employment opportunities. The images in this topic show that by the 1960s, their struggle ? which began in the segregated South ? had reached California. As a number of photographs in this topic show, many Californians showed their support for Civil Rights activists and victims of racial discrimination in the South by holding marches, rallies, and demonstrations urging equality for African Americans. In one image three white children in San Francisco hold a sign in support of the four young black girls killed in the 1963 bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama. Photographs also show people in San Francisco boycotting Kress and Woolworth's department stores, sites of racial discrimination in the South. Documents shown here include a flyer urging the boycott of the stores; and a Western Union telegram sent in 1963, stating that Civil Rights activists Roy Wilkins and Medgar Evers were arrested attempting to picket Woolworth's in Jackson, Mississippi. Two photographs of memorials for slain civil rights leaders ? a march in honor Medgar Evers in 1963, in Los Angeles, and a memorial in the San Francisco Bay Area for Martin Luther King, Jr., in 1968 ? show racially mixed crowds in attendance. But not all Californians sympathized with the Civil Rights movement. Images of racial hatred and prejudice are reflected in the photograph of an African American woman holding a rock that had been thrown through an office window, and Klu Klux Klan graffiti spray-painted on a home. Various groups formed to fight in the struggle for equal rights. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), formed in 1909, entered a new phase during this period, leading in the organized struggle for civil rights. An example of how the NAACP communicated about events is reflected in a letter from the Alameda County branch of the NAACP on June 13, 1950, which reported segregation on the Southern Pacific Railroad trains leaving Los Angeles. A flyer promoting the boycott of California grapes exemplifies NAACP support for other rights movements, in this case the United Farm Workers. Other flyers urged Californians to fight sharecropper wages and "Keep Mississippi Out of California." Groups such as the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) and student groups also protested segregation and incidents of racial discrimination in the South. Several important African American leaders ? including Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, Thurgood Marshall, and Ralph Abernathy ? all came to California, as documented by photographs included here. Sometimes, the price of fighting for social justice was high. Two images capture events held for leaders in the social justice movement who were assassinated: the 1963 memorial march in Los Angeles for civil rights leader Medgar Evers; and a crowd attending a Martin Luther King, Jr., Memorial Rally in honor of the slain civil rights leader.
Conversations host Harry Kreisler welcomes Judge Thelton Henderson for a discussion of the U.S. civil rights movement and its implications for international law. (43 min)
This site contains resources that span the scope and sequence of an American History course at the high school level. Each unit includes primary source documents, digital history files, GIS resources, audio and visual resources, and sites that include lesson plans ranging from America's conception to modern day.
Diane Nash was a college student when she started leading sit-in demonstrations to protest discrimination. In this interview, recorded for Eyes on the Prize, Nash describes her role in the Civil Rights movement.
Students will learn about the juxtaposition of image and text to define the social and psychological mood of the civil rights movement in the United States.
This collection of excerpts from legislation and court decisions documents key phases of the legal struggle to gain and implement equal education.
Nikki Giovanni's poem 'The Funeral of Martin Luther King, Jr.' is paired with Dr. King's "I Have a Dream" speech, taking students on a quest through time to the Civil Rights movement.
This collection uses primary sources to explore Fannie Lou Hamer and the civil rights movement in rural Mississippi. Digital Public Library of America Primary Source Sets are designed to help students develop their critical thinking skills and draw diverse material from libraries, archives, and museums across the United States. Each set includes an overview, ten to fifteen primary sources, links to related resources, and a teaching guide. These sets were created and reviewed by the teachers on the DPLA's Education Advisory Committee.
This collection uses primary sources to explore The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin. Digital Public Library of America Primary Source Sets are designed to help students develop their critical thinking skills and draw diverse material from libraries, archives, and museums across the United States. Each set includes an overview, ten to fifteen primary sources, links to related resources, and a teaching guide. These sets were created and reviewed by the teachers on the DPLA's Education Advisory Committee.
In this lesson, students will use a primary source—an NBC news report from 1961—to investigate the Freedom Rides. The lesson will also explore segregation in the South and the tenets of nonviolent protest.
The National Humanities center presents this collection of essays by leading scholars on the topic ŇFreedomŐs Story: Teaching African American Literature and HistoryÓ. Topics include the affect of slavery on families, slave resistance, how to read slave narratives, Frederick Douglass, reconstruction, segregation, pigmentocracy, protest poetry, jazz, the Harlem Renaissance, the Civil Rights Movement, and more.