A VERY RARE PHOTOGRAPH BY AFRICAN AMERICAN PHOTOGRAPHY STUDIO A. ORIGINAL NEGATIVE AND A PORTRAIT WITH STUDIO STAMP IN ORIGINAL MANILA SLEEVE. PHOTO MEASURES APPROXIMATELY 4 1/4 X 3 1/4 WHILE THE NEGATIVE MEASURES APPROXIMATELY 4X5 INCHES AND BOTH FEATURE CARVERY NEBLETT CIVIL RIGHTS LEADER. African American civil rights worker and SNCC field secretary in South Georgia featured in the Alabama Department of Public Safety's publication, Individuals active in civil disturbances. Charles "Chuck" Neblett (born 1941) is a civil rights activist best known for helping to found and being a member of The Freedom Singers.I had intended to contact Charles Neblett ever since I heard him speak at a program held in the nation's capital last year to recognize the 40th anniversary of the March on Washington. At a performance featuring the surviving members of the Freedom Singers, I was particularly moved by a Neblett composition called Fighting for My Rights. I resolved then to talk with him someday.
Two recent events, the reopening of the Emmett Till murder case and the 50th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education, provided an opportunity to obtain some valuable perspective from Neblett. When I reached him at his home in Russellville, Ky. Our wide-ranging conversation also touched on the revelations of prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib.I learned that Neblett composed "Fighting For My Rights" while he was an abused prisoner in Charleston, Mo. Along with fellow activist Charles Dunlap, he was locked up after he began to help the town's black residents organize.
Some of what he endured may sound familiar. "They'd beat us up and throw us in jail, " he said.They turned the heat on, shut the windows and wouldn't let us have any contact with the outside. The sheriff would come in there and knock us around the cell. We had no cold water and it was really hot in there. We had no mattresses and had to sleep on a steel bed with straps on it. They just kept us in a miserable state. We knew we had to go through it, that we had to be there awhile. So we would just sing. During his first 10-day stint in the Charleston jail, Neblett improvised lyrics that, sung to the tune of Ray Charles' "Lonely Avenue, " became a standard among "freedom songs" associated with the civil rights movement.
His voice sounded as strong and melodic as ever when he agreed to recite my favorite passage. My father he told me.
If my son don't get his freedom. I'd rather see him dead. That's why I'm fighting for my rights.
Neblett was also jailed in Georgia and in Mississippi, where he was beaten and given only rotten food to eat. "You talk about being terrorized, " he said. In Mississippi, you'd get terrorized when you got picked up to the minute you got out. In Missouri, the sheriff would ride up and down the black neighborhood shooting dogs. You could hear dogs whining all along the block.Neblett said the Brown case deeply affected him during his boyhood in Tennessee. He was in eighth grade when the decision was announced. "I was going to a one-room country school with a potbellied stove, " he recalled. I remember always walking by this fancy white school that was two stories tall and being sickened by that. I was also sickened by the fact that we only got buses after the white folks got new buses. We got books only after they got new books. "When the Brown decision came about, I thought that immediately things were going to be OK, " he added with a dry chuckle. But Neblett didn't attend an integrated school until his freshman year at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale. "That's the first time I had ever sat down and interacted with white kids in my life, " he said. The murder of Emmett Till and the Montgomery bus boycott, both of which occurred in 1955, influenced Neblett most of all. "Because we were the same age, I saw Till as myself, " he said. I saw myself being killed like him, with none of the institutions of justice to protect me. Images of the boycott helped him transform that depressing thought into a willingness to work for change.
"When I looked at the TV and saw those black men standing up, I got religion, " he said. It was like I got the holy ghost. Neblett's life since SNCC has included political organizing and serving as the first black elected magistrate in Logan County, Ky.
By all indications, he still has plenty of fighting spirit. Work as an organizer from being a student leader in my home town of Albany, Georgia. My work as an organizer, and singer was combined in my work as a Freedom Singer and field secretary for SNCC. We sang wherever we could find an audience, from concert halls, to living rooms to elementary schools.
The Freedom Singers were organized by Cordell Reagon in 1962. After witnessing the power of the singing in the Albany mass meetings, Peter Seeger suggested to James Forman that a singing group would be very supportive of the organization in building support, sharing information and raising funds.. Cordell, one of the SNCC field secretaries who came to Albany Georgia in 1961 was a wonderful tenor singer out of the Nashville Sit-in Movement.
The youngest member of SNCCs staff, by 1961 he had been on the Freedom Rides, worked in voter registration in McComb MS, sit-in demonstrations in Cairo, Il, and Alabama. He formed the first group of Freedom Singers from the movements he had been active in: Rutha Harris, soprano from Albany, Charles Neblett, bass from Cairo, Il and I sang alto. It was an amazing way to see the country, carrying the stories of local movement campaigns to audiences across the nation in song.
If you were walking Thursday afternoon past the UW-Whitewater Old Main Ballroom, you could hear voices from the 1964 Freedom Summer. Charles Neblett, a veteran of the intensely violent civil rights movement in the nation's South during the'60s, recalled his fellow Freedom Riders and their work, which resulted in jail time for someand death for others. "I got involved in the movement before I knew what the movement was, " Neblett told an audience of fellow Freedom Riders and UW-W officials including Chancellor Richard Telfer.
When I was a kid in Nashville going to a one-room school, we would walk past a big brick school for the whites. We got white kids' books when they got new ones. He decided as a youngster he was not going to accept being a second-class citizen. "I knew then that something just wasn't right, " he said. I decided I wasn't going to take it.Neblett said his life changed when he heard about the Aug. 28, 1955, murder of 14-year-old Emmett Till, an African-American accused of flirting with a white woman. "They beat him to death, shot him in the head and then dumped his body in the river, " Neblett said. The incident made him sick, depressed and angry, Neblett said. "I realized then that I had no rights white people would respect, " Neblett said.
I was the same age as Till, and I decided right then and there I had to do something. It was like I got religion. I knew it wouldn't be long before I joined the movement.As a college student at Southern Illinois University, Neblett and two friends printed what he called a "scandal sheet" earning them a meeting with the university president. "The police knew what we did before we did it, " he said. Neblett said he complained to the president about discriminatory housing and other campus issues, and the president agreed to correct them. "The next semester, he did, " Neblett said. That was it for me. I realized we could make a difference. Neblett joined the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, becoming a field secretary for the group.
He was a founder and bass singer in the Freedom Singers. "The music was an important part of the movement, " Neblett said. We sang everywhere, in jail, on picket lines, at sit-ins, in churches and at our meetings. But the one thing I remember is that the movement was all of these young men and women who marched forward in spite of the odds.Neblett closed his remarks by singing a Civil War song sung by black Union soldiers. He pointed out that the South took no black prisoners of war. They were either left to die of their wounds or were killed. "This song was a song for the Civil War, the civil rights movement and now, " he said.
Before I'll be a slave, I'll be buried in my grave and go home to my Lord and be free. Russellville's Charles Neblett was one of the founding members of The Freedom Singers, a vocal group that became a powerful force in the Civil Rights Movement fellow member Dr. Bernice Reagon will perform Wednesday, February 16th as part of the WKU Cultural Enhancement Series. WKU Folk Studies Graduate student Rachel Hopkin visited him to learn more about the group and his long-time involvement in Civil Rights. Coordinating Committee (SNCC) Freedom Singers were a musical group primarily active between 1962 and 1966, singing freedom songs in order to fundraise and organize on behalf of SNCC.
The Freedom Singers emerged out of the Albany Movement of 1962. Eventually, the idea reached Albany Movement leader (and SNCC field secretary) Cordell Reagon in October 1962. By the end of the year, a group was organized consisting of Reagon, Bernice Johnson, Rutha Harris, and Charles Neblett, occasionally joined by Bertha Gober. They were all trained musicians as well as SNCC field secretaries. Over the course of 1963, the group embarked on a tour of colleges, high schools, small auditoriums, and house parties across the northern United States.The groups performances consisted of many of the most well-known traditionally-based freedom songs, such as We Shall Overcome and Aint Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Round, in addition to newer, completely original topical songs written by SNCC members. The group had several key performances.
In June 1963, they performed at a SNCC fundraiser with gospel artist Mahalia Jackson. The following month they sang at the Newport Folk Festival, performing their own songs while also serving as a backup choir for other artists such as Bob Dylan. In August 1963, they were the only group of movement-affiliated song leaders to perform at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. Their increasing exposure led Mercury Records to sign them to a recording contract; they recorded a studio album in October 1963. Other commitments caused the initial group to disband at the end of 1963.
However, a second, normally all-male group was quickly organized, which was active from 1964 to 1966. This second groups lineup was flexible; while first-group veteran Charles Neblett as well as brothers Matthew and Marshall Jones were constants, other performers with the group included James Peacock, Willie Peacock, Carver Neblett, Cordell Reagon, Emory Harris, and Betty Mae Fikes. Many of this groups members were songwriters, and its repertoire consisted of a diverse mix of traditional freedom songs, doo-wop, R&B, folk, and even songs by the Beatles. By 1965, however, the group began to perform and organize in opposition to the Vietnam War in addition to traditional civil rights activities. Changes in SNCCs leadership in 1966 and a turn towards black separatism restricted the ability of the group to find audiences.
By the end of 1966 the group had disbanded. Since the 1980s, performers from both groups have occasionally reunited under the Freedom Singers moniker. In 2010, Bernice Johnson, Charles Neblett, and Rutha Harris entertained President Barack Obama at the White House during a concert series that also featured Bob Dylan and Smokey Robinson. Almost half a century after he stood nearby in Washington, D.
As Martin Luther King Jr. Delivered the world's most famous speech, Russellville's Charles Neblett was a special guest of President Barack Obama at the White House during Black History Month. King proclaimed his "I Have a Dream" speech from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on Aug.It came at the culmination of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. This is considered a defining moment of the American Civil Rights Movement. 10, 2010, Charles Neblett was one of the guest performers during the A Celebration of Music from the Civil Rights Movement. He and the others were the guests of Barack and Michelle Obama, the first African American President and First Lady of the United States.
"It's amazing how genuinely nice they are, " he says of the First Family. They actually listen to you. The day before, Neblett did workshops with Michelle Obama for about 200 children gathered in the White House, including the Obamas' daughters. Being with her, I realized how bright she is.
I know she is a lawyer, but the way she handled the workshop, the response she got from those kids and the way she got into their heads, she would have made a great teacher. Because of a heavy snowstorm, such guests speakers as Robert DeNiro, Queen Latifah and Joanne Woodward were unable to attend. Morgan Freeman was the primary speaker. Performers included Jennifer Hudson, Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Natalie Cole, John Mellencamp, Seal, the Blind Boys of Alabama, John Legend, Yolanda Adams, the Howard University Choir, and Smokey Robinson, who was one of the executive producers. Sharing the spotlight with them were a man from Russellville and two of his fellow members of the SNCC Freedom Singers, Rutha Harris and Dr.The fourth member and founder of the group, Cordell Reagon, is no longer living, but his and Bernice's daughter, Toshi, performed with the other three. The Freedom Singers were an outgrowth of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), which helped young people find various ways to protest the treatment of minorities in those days before integration. Neblett had been involved in sit-in demonstrations in Cairo, Ill. Harris and Johnson were with the Albany, Ga. Cordell Reagon had been active in both. The foursome worked together all over the country through 1966 and have been reunited many times since to tell the story of the Civil Rights Movement in song to generations that followed them. The foursome gained attention by singing songs which had come "out of jails, picket lines, churches, marches and pulling bodies out of rivers, " Neblett explains. The original plans were for The Freedom Singers not to be present during the Washington March or for Dr.
King's speech in 1963, Neblett recalls. They wanted us to stay in California and continue to raise funds for the movement.But Harry Belafonte, who had been instrumental in our development, said we should be in Washington. So with his help, we flew with Sammy Davis Jr. Frank Sinatra, Paul Newman, Marlon Brando and Rita Moreno, among others, to Washington and were there for the March and the speech.
We sang during the March. On that monumental day in 1963, Dr. King is reported to have strayed from his prepared remarks before the estimated 200,000 people assembled when singer Mahalia Jackson cried out, Tell them about the dream, Martin! Many years later Charles Neblett performed with Mahalia Jackson at New York's Carnegie Hall. "That was special, " he says, but it was like a job.
Being at the White House with the first African American President, I have never felt anything like it. The White House has become the real'people's House.
There was so much camaraderie. Among those gathered there that we realized the work done in the past was actually respected. We were welcomed at the White House. Two of the celebritites who were most been instrumental in the development of The Freedom Singers were Belafonte and Lena Horne, who died early this month. The entire Neblett family was with Belafonte recently in Raleigh, N.
For "The Big 5-0, " a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the creation of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee at Shaw College there. Neblett had the honor of coordinating the music at that well attended gathering, chosen by a group of planners which included Dick Gregory, Danny Glover and Belafonte, who is now in his eighties.
Jesse Jackson was one of those in attendance. An adaptation of Belafonte's signature song, "Day-O" or the "Banana Boat Song" from Jamacia, became one of The Freedom Singers' standards, using as the refrain Come, Mr.Kennedy, and take me home, " instead of "Daylight come and me wan' go home. Neblett first met JFK and his wife Jackie when the Kennedys were campaigning at Southern Illinois University where Neblett was a student. That song was reprised at the convention at Shaw, as was the legendary "We Shall Overcome, " which Neblett says a caucasion couple who were students at Fisk University in Nashville in the sixties had reworked from the old Negro spiritual I'll Overcome.
Each of the people who entertained at the White House evening performed one of their numbers and then gathered on stage for a mass rendition of James Weldon Johnson's "Lift Every Voice and Sing, " generally known as the Negro National Anthem. President Obama joined them on stage to join them in song. King when he would join us, Neblett laughs. His heart is in the right place, even if his voice isn't. As Charles Neblett talks, references to people he has known provide an amazing review of mid-century American history.He talks about his having come into contact with Ray Charles, Maya Angelou. Marion Barry, Andrew Young, Paul Robeson, Theodius Monk, Pete Seeger, Jim Foreman, Huey Newton, Bobby Seals, Eldridge Cleaver, Miles Davis, Ozzie Davis and Ruby Dee, and Thurgood Marshall. Charles' wife Marvinia had hoped to join him at the White House. She was traveling to the nation's capital by bus when the snowstorm struck. She made it as far as Columbus, Ohio and then had to stop. Marvinia and Charles not only attended the reunion together at Shaw College but were accompanied by their children, Khary, Kwesi, Komero and Kesi. Charles Neblett was arrested 27 times in the early sixties, once spending 42 days in Parchman Penitentiary in Mississippi for criminal anarchy. There he was put on a chain gang and assigned to break rocks.
"Now Mississippi leads the nation in elected black officials, " he says, showing how much things have changed in the 50 years since the formation of SNCC and The Freedom Singes. The Nebletts are involved in that government transformation on a grassroots level. Charles was the first (and still only) elected black magistrate on Logan Fiscal Court. Marvinia is a candidate for a seat on Russellville City Council subject to this Tuesday's election."In Performance at the White House" is a music series distributed for national television broadcast by PBS. The concept is to showcase the rich fabric of American culture in the setting of the nation's most famous home. The first time that Charles Neblett was thrown into jail, he found himself in a state of panic. That was a bad thing in the black community, Neblett told a roomful of Gettysburg College students on Thursday night. "People didn't want men who had been in jail talking to daughters, " Neblett said laughing. But as a black man growing up in the South during the civil rights movement, Neblett eventually got used to being in jail. "They used to throw me in jail so often, I had my own private cell, " he said. Neblett spoke to Gettysburg College students as part of the school's celebration of Black History Month. He shared stories of his own youth, as a student in the segregated Southern Illinois University and then as a leading member of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. The SNCC was a national organization of young people during the civil rights era, responsible for hundreds of sit-ins, voter registration drives and the famed Freedom Rides of integrated buses into the South. Because it was made up of young people, SNCC was involved in some of the most daring protests of the movement, including the 1964 Freedom Summer, which brought college students from around the country into Mississippi to help black people register to vote.
At the time, Neblett said, Mississippi was the real deal. It was dangerous to organize any civil rights activity there. King and the NAACP said,'You guys are out of your mind,' Neblett said. You are going to get killed.The students didn't back down though, he said. They believed that if they could institute change in Mississippi, they could move on to do it anywhere. But Neblett and SNCC did pay a price for their boldness. At one point Neblett found himself in a tough prison where he was put in a chain gang and brought to a rock pit to work. A prison guard there tortured him, pushing Neblett to try and escape before the guard could shoot him.
"Then one day the guard came up to me and said,'If you guys keep this up, we won't be white anymore,'" Neblett said. That's when I realized the only thing he had was the power of his white skin. The guard was poor and was taught to be fearful of black people, Neblett said, and so he was willing to do anything to maintain whatever power he had. Once he was out of jail, Neblett did everything he could to level out that power between blacks and whites.
Neblett and his SNCC friends even crashed a Ku Klux Klan meeting in Atlanta, suffering through beatings and harassment just to have their voices be heard. And even though Neblett was beaten so badly that he had to be taken to a hospital, it was all worth it, he said. "We messed up their meeting, " Neblett said. Young people are often the only ones who have the nerve to do something like that, Neblett said, which is why if social change is going to come today, it needs to come from the young.
As a young man Neblett used the power of song to get himself through the tough times that often come from pushing for such change. One time, he said, he was in a courthouse being tried along with 300 other civil rights activists when, as a sign of protest, all 300 of them just broke into song. "We were just not going to cooperate, " Neblett said, explaining that it took almost the entire day to settle them down. The whole thing was illegal. Neblett ended the night at Gettysburg College by encouraging the entire room to join him these songs, enabling them to witness the power of music firsthand.
In his deep and strong voice he sang a song of black soldiers in the Civil War. "Oh freedom, oh freedom, oh freedom over me, " he sang.And before I'd be a slave, I'll be buried in my grave and go home to my lord and be free. The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) was founded in April 1960 by young people dedicated to nonviolent, direct action tactics. Although Martin Luther King, Jr.
And others had hoped that SNCC would serve as the youth wing of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), the students remained fiercely independent of King and SCLC, generating their own projects and strategies. Although ideological differences eventually caused SNCC and SCLC to be at odds, the two organizations worked side by side throughout the early years of the civil rights movement. The idea for a locally based, student-run organization was conceived when Ella Baker, a veteran civil rights organizer and an SCLC official, invited black college students who had participated in the early 1960 sit-ins to an April 1960 gathering at Shaw University in Raleigh, North Carolina.Baker encouraged the more than 200 student attendees to remain autonomous, rather than affiliate with SCLC or any of the other existing civil rights groups. King issued a press statement on the first day of the conference, characterizing the time as an era of offensive on the part of oppressed people (Papers 5:426). He called on the students to form some type of continuing organization and to delve deeper into the philosophy of nonviolence, advising: Our ultimate end must be the creation of the beloved community (Papers 5:427). At the Raleigh Conference the students were generally reluctant to compromise the independence of their local protest groups, and voted to establish only a temporary coordinating body. Vanderbilt University theology student James Lawson, whose workshops on nonviolent direct action served as a training ground for many of the Nashville student protesters, drafted an organizational statement of purpose that reflected the strong commitment to Gandhian nonviolence that characterized SNCCs early years: We affirm the philosophical or religious ideal of nonviolence as the foundation of our purpose, the presupposition of our faith, and the manner of our action. Nonviolence as it grows from Judaic-Christian traditions seeks a social order of justice permeated by love (Lawson, 17 April 1960). In May 1960 the group constituted itself as a permanent organization and Fisk University student Marion Barry was elected SNCCs first chairman. SNCCs emergence as a force in the southern civil rights movement came largely through the involvement of students in the 1961 Freedom Rides, designed to test a 1960 Supreme Court ruling that declared segregation in interstate travel facilities unconstitutional. The Congress of Racial Equality initially sponsored the Freedom Rides that began in May 1961, but segregationists viciously attacked riders traveling through Alabama. Students from Nashville, under the leadership of Diane Nash, resolved to finish the rides. Once the new group of freedom riders demonstrated their determination to continue the rides into Mississippi, other students joined the movement. By the time the Interstate Commerce Commission began enforcing the ruling mandating equal treatment in interstate travel in November 1961, SNCC was immersed in voter registration efforts in McComb, Mississippi, and a desegregation campaign in Albany, Georgia, known as the Albany Movement. King and SCLC later joined with SNCC in Albany, but tensions arose between the two civil rights groups. The Albany effort, although yielding few tangible gains, was an important site of development for SNCC.
At the August 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, SNCC chairman John Lewis was one of those scheduled to speak. He intended to criticize John F.
Kennedys proposed civil rights bill as too little, and too late, and to refer to the movement as a serious revolution (Lewis, 28 August 1963). Lewis softened the tone of the delivered speech to appease A. Philip Randolph and other march organizers, but remained adamant that SNCC had great reservations regarding Kennedys proposed civil right legislation (Carson, 94). He warned his audience: We want our freedom and we want it now (Carson, 95). In 1961 organizer Bob Moses moved to Jackson, Mississippi, and began organizing young Mississippi residents.
Moses, who was firmly committed to non-hierarchical grassroots organizing, joined the SNCC staff and became voter registration director of Mississippis Council of Federated Organizations the following year. He encountered considerable resistance to civil rights reform efforts, but the Mississippi voter registration effort created conditions for racial reform by bringing together three crucial groups: dynamic and determined SNCC field secretaries, influential regional and local civil rights leaders from Mississippi, and white student volunteers who participated in the Freedom Vote mock election of October 1963 and the Freedom Summer (1964).
Early in 1964, SNCC supported the formation of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party in an effort to challenge the legitimacy of the states all-white Democratic Party. The voting rights demonstrations that began in 1965 in Selma, Alabama, sparked increasingly bitter ideological debates within SNCC, as some workers openly challenged the groups previous commitment to nonviolent tactics and its willingness to allow the participation of white activists.Distracted by such divisive issues, the day-to-day needs of the groups ongoing projects suffered. In many Deep South communities, where SNCC had once attracted considerable black support, the groups influence waned. Nevertheless, after the Selma to Montgomery March, Stokely Carmichael and other SNCC organizers entered the rural area between Selma and Montgomery and helped black residents launch the all-black Lowndes County Freedom Organization, later known as the Black Panther Party. Meanwhile, several SNCC workers established incipient organizing efforts in volatile urban black ghettos. In May 1966 a new stage in SNCCs history began with Carmichaels election as chairman. Because Carmichael identified himself with the trend away from nonviolence and interracial cooperation, his election compromised SNCCs relationships with more moderate civil rights groups and many of its white supporters. During the month following his election, Carmichael publicly expressed SNCCs new political orientation when he began calling for Black Power during a voting rights march through Mississippi. The national exposure of Carmichaels Black Power speeches brought increased notoriety to SNCC, but the group remained internally divided over its future direction. King responded directly to Carmichaels and SNCCs appeal for Black Power in his 1967 book, Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community? King argued, effective political power for Negroes cannot come through separatism (King, 48).
Opposing exclusive support of black electoral candidates, King continued: SNCC staff members are eminently correct when they point out that in Lowndes County, Alabama, there are no white liberals or moderates and no possibility for cooperation between the races at the present time. But the Lowndes County experience cannot be made a measuring rod for the whole of America (King, 49). Even after the dismissal of a group of SNCCs Atlanta field workers who called for the exclusion of whites, the organization was weakened by continued internal conflicts and external attacks, along with a loss of northern financial backing.The election in June 1967 of H. Rap Brown as SNCCs new chair was meant to reduce the controversy surrounding the group. Brown, however, encouraged militancy among urban blacks, and soon a federal campaign against black militancy severely damaged SNCCs ability to sustain its organizing efforts. SNCC became a target of the Counterintelligence Program (COINTELPRO) of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in a concerted effort at all levels of government to crush black militancy through both overt and covert means. The spontaneous urban uprisings that followed the assassination of King in April 1968 indicated a high level of black discontent.
However, by then, SNCC had little ability to mobilize an effective political force. Its most dedicated community organizers had left the organization, which changed its name to the Student National Coordinating Committee. Although individual SNCC activists played significant roles in politics during the period after 1968, and many of the controversial ideas that once had defined SNCCs radicalism had become widely accepted among African Americans, the organization disintegrated. By the end of the decade, FBI surveillance of SNCCs remaining offices was discontinued due to lack of activity. The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC, often pronounced /snk/ SNIK) was the principal channel of student commitment in the United States to the Civil Rights Movement during the 1960s.
Emerging in 1960 from the student-led sit-ins at segregated lunch counters in Greensboro, North Carolina and Nashville, Tennessee, the Committee sought to coordinate and assist direct-action challenges to the civic segregation and political exclusion of African-Americans. From 1962, with the support of the Voter Education Project, SNCC committed to the registration and mobilization of black voters in the Deep South. Affiliates such as the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party and the Lowndes County Freedom Organization in Alabama increased dramatically the pressure on federal and state government to enforce constitutional protections. But by the mid-1960s the measured nature of the gains made, and the violence with which they were resisted, were generating dissent from the principles of non-violence, of white participation in the movement, and of field-driven, as opposed to national-office, leadership and direction. At the same time organizers were being lost to a de-segregating Democratic Party and to federally-funded anti-poverty programs.Following an aborted merger with the Black Panther Party in 1968, SNCC effectively dissolved. SNCC is nonetheless credited in its brief existence with breaking down barriers, both institutional and psychological, to the empowerment of African-American communities. It is also seen as offering subsequent social and political movements templates for grassroots organizing and, consistent with the vision of the Committee's early mentor, Ella Baker, for the broad and creative participation of women. 1960 Emergence from the sit-in movement.
1965 Differences over "structure" and direction. Opposition to the Vietnam War.19671968 a Black United Front? The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) was formed in April 1960 at a conference at Shaw University in Raleigh, North Carolina attended by 126 student delegates from 58 sit-in centers in 12 states, from 19 northern colleges, and from the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), the Fellowship of Reconciliation (FOR), the National Student Association (NSA), and Students for a Democratic Society (SDS).  Among those attending who were to emerge as strategists for the Committee and its field projects were students Diane Nash, Marion Barry, and John Lewis from Fisk University and American Baptist Theological Seminary students James Bevel and Bernard Lafayette, all involved in the Nashville Student Movement; their mentor at Vanderbilt University, James Lawson; Charles F. McDew, who led student protests at South Carolina State University; J. Smith University, who organized 200 students to participate in sit-ins at department stores throughout Charlotte, North Carolina; Julian Bond from Morehouse College, Atlanta; and Stokely Carmichael from Howard University, Washington, D. The invitation had been issued by Dr. Martin Luther King on behalf of the SCLC, but the conference had been organized by then SCLC director Ella Baker. Baker was a critic of what she perceived as King's top-down leadership at the SCLC. "Strong people don't need strong leaders, " she told the young activists. Speaking to the students own experience of protest organization, it is Baker's vision that appeared to prevail.
SNCC did not constitute itself as the youth wing of SCLC. It steered an independent course that sought to channel the students' program through the organizers out in the field rather than through its national office in Atlanta ("small and rather dingy, " located above a beauty parlor near the city's five Black colleges).
 Under the constitution adopted, the Coordinating Committee comprised representatives from each of the affiliated "local protest groups, " and these groups (and not the Committee and its support staff) were to be recognized as the primary expression of a protest in a given area. Under the same general principle, that "the people who do the work should make the decisions", the students committed to a "participatory democracy" which, avoiding office hierarchy, sought to reach decisions by consensus.  Group meetings were convened in which every participant could speak for as long as they wanted and the meeting would continue until everyone who was left was in agreement with the decision.Given the physical risks involved in many activities in which SNCC was to engage this was thought particularly important: no one felt comfortable making a decision by majority rule that might cost somebody elses life. Initially the SNCC continued the focus on sit-ins and boycotts targeting establishments (restaurants, retail stores, theaters) and public amenities maintaining whites-only or segregated facilities.  But it was to adopt a new tactic that helped galvanize the movement nationally. In February 1961, Diane Nash, Ruby Doris Smith, Charles Sherrod, and J.
Charles Jones joined the Rock Hill, South Carolina sit-in protests and followed the example of the Friendship Nine in enduring an extended jail time rather than post bail. As way to dramatize that the church, the house of all people, fosters segregation more than any other institution, SNCC students also participated in kneel-ins--kneeling in prayer outside of Whites-only churches.Presbyterians churches, targeted because their ministers lacked the protection and support of a church hierarchy, were not long indifferent. In May 1961, Nash was to lead a second SNCC group to Alabama to sustain a new wave of direct action, the Freedom Rides. Organized by the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) to dramatize the southern states' disregard of the Supreme Court rulings Morgan v.
Virginia, 1946 and Boynton v. Virginia, 1960 outlawing segregation in interstate transportation, in May 1961, the first Freedom Riders (seven black, six white, led by CORE director James Farmer) travelling together on interstate buses, were brutally attacked by mobs of Ku Klux Klansmen in Anniston. After they were assaulted again in Birmingham, Alabama, and under pressure from the Kennedy Administration, CORE announced it was discontinuing the action. Undeterred, Diane Nash called for new riders.Oretha Castle Haley, Jean C. Thompson, Rudy Lombard, James Bevel, Marion Barry, Angeline Butler, Stokley Carmichael, and Joan Trumpauer Mulholland, joined John Lewis and Hank Thomas, the two young SNCC members of the original Ride. They travelled on to a savage beating in Montgomery, Alabama, to arrest in Jackson, Mississippi and to confinement in the Maximum Security (Death Row) Unit of the infamous Mississippi State Penitentiary--Parchman Farm. Recognizing SNCC's determination, CORE and the SCLC rejected the Administration's call for a "cooling off" period and joined with the students in a Freedom Riders Coordinating Committee to keep the Rides rolling through June and into September. During those months, more than 60 different Freedom Rides criss-crossed the South,  most of them converging on Jackson, where every Rider was arrested, more than 300 in total. An unknown number were arrested in other Southern towns, and beaten including, in Monroe, North Carolina, SNCC's Executive Secretary James Forman. It is estimated that almost 450 people, black and white in equal number, participated. With CORE, SNCC had been making plans for a mass demonstration in Washington when Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy finally prevailed on the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) to issue rules giving force the repudiation of the "separate but equal" doctrine. After the new ICC rules took effect on November 1, 1961, passengers were permitted to sit wherever they pleased on interstate buses and trains; "white" and "colored" signs were to be removed from the terminals (lunch counters, drinking fountains, toilets, and waiting rooms) serving interstate customers.
To test the ICC ruling and in the hope of mobilizing the local black community in a broader campaign, in October 1961 SNCC members Charles Sherrod and Cordell Reagon led a sit-in at the bus terminal in Albany, Georgia. By mid-December, having drawn in the NAACP and a number of other organizations, the Albany Movement had more than 500 protesters in jail.
There they were joined briefly by Martin Luther King Jr and by Ralph Abernathy. King sought to cash in on the national media attention his arrest had drawn: in return for the city's commitment to comply with the ICC ruling and to release those protesters willing to post bail, King agreed to leave town. But the city reneged, and protests and subsequent arrests were to continue into 1962. News reports across the country portrayed the debacle as one of the most stunning defeats in King's career.  What they also reported was conflict with SNCC. The New York Times noted that King's SCLC had taken steps "that seemed to indicate they were assuming control" of the movement in Albany, and that the student group had moved immediately to recapture its dominant position on the scene. If the differences between the organizations were not resolved, the paper predicted tragic consequences.
As a result of meetings brokered by the Kennedy Administration with large liberal foundations the Voter Education Project (VEP) was formed in early 1962 to channel funds into voter drives in the eleven Southern states. Inducted by sit-in campaigns and hardened in the Freedom Rides, many student activists saw VEP as a government attempt to co-opt their movement. A student from Morehouse College in Atlanta, felt that "by rechanneling its energies" what the Kennedys were trying to do was kill the Movement.  But others were already convinced that obtaining the right to vote was the key to unlocking political power for Black Americans. Older Black southerners had been pressing SNCC to move in this direction for some time.
Mississippi NAACP leader Amzie Moore had tabled a voter registration drive at the SNCC's second conference in October 1960. A split over the priority to be accorded voter registration was avoided by Ella Baker's intervention. She suggested that the organization create two distinct wings: one for direct action (which Diane Nash was to lead) and the other for voter registration. But the white violence visited in the summer of 1961 on the first registration efforts (under the direction of Bob Moses) in McComb, Mississippi, including the murder of activist Herbert Lee, persuaded many that in the Deep South voter registration was as direct a challenge to white supremacy as anything they had been doing before.
If you went into Mississippi and talked about voter registration theyre going to hit you on the side of the head and that, " Reggie Robinson, one of he SNCC's first field secretaries, quipped is "as direct as you can get. In 1962, Bob Moses garnered further support for SNCC's efforts by forging a coalition, the Council of Federated Organizations (COFO), with, among other groups, the NAACP and the National Council of Churches.
 With VEP and COFO funding SNCC was able to expand its voter registration efforts into the Mississippi Delta around Greenwood, Southwest Georgia around Albany, and the Alabama Black Belt around Selma. All of these projects endured police harassment and arrests; KKK violence including shootings, bombings, and assassinations; and economic sanctions against those blacks who dared to try to register. But it was at odds with the other sponsoring civil rights, labor, and religious organizations, all of whom were prepared to applaud the Kennedy Administration for its Civil Rights Bill (the Civil Rights Act of 1964).
Or no wages at all. He went on to announce. In good conscience, we cannot support the administration's civil rights bill.This bill will not protect young children and old women from police dogs and fire hoses when engaging in peaceful demonstrations. This bill will not protect the citizens of Danville, Virginia who must live in constant fear in a police state. This bill will not protect the hundreds of people who have been arrested on trumped-up charges like those in Americus, Georgia, where four young men are in jail, facing a death penalty, for engaging in peaceful protest. I want to know, which side is the federal government on? The revolution is a serious one. Kennedy is trying to take the revolution out of the streets and put it in the courts. Kennedy, the black masses are on the march for jobs and for freedom, and we must say to the politicians that there won't be a cooling-off period. Under pressure from the other groups, changes were made. "We cannot support" the Kennedy Civil Rights Bill was re-scripted as "we support with reservations". If people had known they had come to Washington to aid the Kennedy administration, they would not have come in the numbers they did. The Stolen Girls of the Leesburg Stockade, 1963. A feature of the march itself, was that men and women were directed to proceed separately and that only male speakers were scheduled to address the Lincoln Memorial rally. Despite protesting behind the scenes with Anna Hedgeman (who was to go on to co-found the National Organization for Women), SNCC staffer and Ella Baker protégé Casey Hayden found herself walking with other women unnoticed up Independence Avenue while the media recorded the men marching down Constitution Avenue.
In the event, a few women were allowed to sit on the Lincoln Memorial platform and Daisy Bates, who had been instrumental in the integration of Little Rock Central High School was permitted to speak briefly. The previous month, July 1963, SNCC was involved in another march that eventually made headlines. With the NAACP in Americus, Georgia SNCC organized a protest march on a segregated movie theater that concluded with the arrest of upwards of 33 high-school girls.The "Stolen Girls" were imprisoned 45 days without charge in brutal conditions in the Lee County Public Works building, the Leesburg Stockade.  It took SNCC photographer Danny Lyon smuggling himself into the Stockade to publicize the case nationally. In the fall of 1963, with the assistance of 100 northern volunteers SNCC conducted the Freedom Ballot, a mock gubernatorial election in which over 80,000 black Mississippians demonstrated their willingness to exercise the constitutional right to vote that state law and violent intimidation had denied them since Reconstruction.  (Only 6.7 per cent of the black voting age population of Mississippi was registered, compared to 70.2 per cent of the white voting age population).
 In coordination with CORE, the SNCC followed up on the ballot with the 1964 Mississippi Summer Project, also known as Freedom Summer. This brought over 700 white Northern students to the South, where they volunteered as teachers and organizers. According to Julian Bond, their presence can be credited to freelance social activist Allard Lowenstein: white students, he had proposed, would not only "provide needed manpower, " their white skins might provoke interest from the news media that black skins could not produce.  With the murder of two of their number, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner, alongside local activist (Freedom Rider and voter educator) James Chaney, this indeed was to be the effect.
Freedom Summer attracted international attention. For SNCC the focus of summer project became the organization, through the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party (MFDP), of a parallel state Democratic Party primary. The MFDP would send an integrated slate of delegates to the 1964 Democratic National Convention in Atlantic City and there contest the credentials of the all-white Mississippi regulars. As part of this project SNCC's Charlie Cobb proposed summer field schools. Encouraging youth "to articulate their own desires, demands, and questions, " the schools would help ensure a movement for social change in the state that would continue to be led by Mississippians.
This was, he suggested, what organizing for voter registration was all about challenging people in various ways to take control of their own lives.  Over the course of Freedom Summer, COFO set up more than 40 Freedom Schools in African American communities across Mississippi. Over 3,000 students attended, many of whom participated in registration efforts.
With the encouragement of SNCC field secretary Frank Smith, a meeting of cotton pickers at a Freedom School in Shaw, Mississippi, gave birth to the Mississippi Freedom Labor Union. At its peak, in the summer of 1965 the MFLU had 1,350 members and about 350 on strike.
On August 4, 1964, before the state MFDP convention, the bodies of Chaney, Goodman, and Schwerner were discovered buried in an earthen dam. Missing for weeks since disappearing after investigating a church burning in June 1964, they were subjects of a massive manhunt that involved the FBI and United States sailors from a nearby base.In the course of the search the corpses of several black Mississippians were uncovered whose disappearances had not previously attracted attention outside the Delta. Notwithstanding the national outrage generated by the murders the Johnson Administration was determined to deflect the MDFP effort.
With the presidential election approaching the priority was to protect the Democrats' "Solid South" against inroads being made by Republican Barry Goldwater's campaign and to minimise support for George Wallace's third-party challenge.  The MFDP nonetheless got to the National Democratic Convention in Atlantic City at the end of August. The proceedings of the convention's credentials committee were televised, giving a national and international audience to the testimony of SNCC field secretary Fannie Lou Hamer: to her portrayal of the brutalities of a sharecropper's life, and of the obstruction and violence encountered by an African American in the exercise her constitutional rights. (Hamer still bore the marks of beatings meted to her, her father and other SNCC workers by police in Winona, Mississippi, just a year before).
 But with the all-white delegations of other southern states threatening to walk out, Johnson engineered a "compromise" in which the national Democratic Party offered the 68 MFDP delegates two at-large seats from where they could watch the floor proceedings but not take part. Fannie Lou Hamer led her delegates out of the convention: We didn't come all this way for no two seats when all of us is tired. In September l964, at a COFO conference in New York, Bob Moses had to see off two challenges to SNCC's future role in Mississippi. First, he had to defend the SNCC's anti-"Red-baiting" insistence on "free association": the NAACP had threatened to pull out of COFO if SNCC continued to engage the services of the Communist Party associated National Lawyers Guild. Second, he had deflect a proposal from Lowenstein and Democratic Party operative Barny Frank that in a future summer program decision-making be removed from organizers in the field to a new office in New York City responsible directly to liberal-foundation and church funders.Dorothy Zellner (a white radical SNCC staffer) remarked that, What they [Lowenstein and Frank] want is to let the Negro into the existing society, not to change it. James Forman in Montgomery, Alabama, shortly before the final march from Selma, March 1965. At the end of 1964, SNCC fielded the largest staff of any civil rights organization in the South. Yet to many the movement seemed to be at a loss. In Mississippi Casey Hayden recalls everyone "reeling from the violence" (3 project workers killed; 4 people critically wounded; 80 beaten, 1,000 arrests; 35 shooting incidents, 37 churches bombed or burned; and 30 black businesses or homes burned),  and also from "the new racial imbalance" following the summer influx of white-student volunteers. The local black staff, "the backbone" of the projects were frustrated, even resentful, at having to deal with a lot of young white people who were intellectual and moneyed. , ignorant of realities on the ground, and who, with their greater visibility, brought additional risks. But most of all SNCC activists were staggered by the debacle in Atlantic City.
Being confronted by the Democratic Party "in the role of racist lunch counter owner, " had thrown "the core of SNCC's work, " voter registration, into question.  Notwithstanding passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 barring discrimination in public accommodations, employment and private education, and the equally broad Voting Rights Act of 1965, faith in the Johnson Administration and its liberal allies was ebbing, and a gulf had opened between SNCC and other civil rights organizations. In Atlantic City Fannie Lou Hamer confessed she lost hope in American society.Questions of strategic direction were also questions of structure. " What Stokely Carmichael described as "not an organization but a lot of people all doing what they think needs to be done,  was for Hayden the very realisation of her mentor's vision. Such was "the participatory, town-hall, consensus-forming nature" of the operation Ella Baker had helped set in motion that Hayden could feel herself to be "at the center of the organization" without having, "in any public way, " to be a leader. Yet when Elaine DeLott Baker joined Hayden in Mississippi in May 1964 she found a hierarchy in place. " Based "on considerations of race, the amount of time spent in the struggle, dangers suffered, and finally, of gender, " this was not a hierarchy office, but "an unspoken understanding of who should speak up at meetings, who should propose ideas in public places, and who should remain silent.
" Black men were at the top, "then black women, followed by white men, and at the bottom, white women. " Field staff, among them "women, black and white, " still retained "an enormous amount of operational freedom, they were indeed the ones that were keeping things moving. " But from those leading the debate on new directions for the movement DeLott Baker saw "little recognition of that reality,  and the ground was shifting. As an opportunity to take stock, to critique and reevaluate the movement, a retreat in Waveland, Mississippi was organized for November 1964. Like Ella Baker, in criticizing King's "messianic" leadership of the SCLC, Executive Secretary James Forman saw himself as championing popularly-accountable, grassroots, organization.
Believing it would detract from, rather than intensify the focus on ordinary people's involvement in the movement, he had not appreciated King's appearance in Albany in December 1961.  When on March 9, 1965 King, seemingly on his own authority, was able to turn the second Selma to Montgomery march back at the Edmund Pettus Bridge where two days before ("Bloody Sunday") the first had been brutally charged and batoned, Forman was appalled.  Yet within SNCC itself Forman increasingly was concerned by the lack of internal cohesion.
At Waveland Forman proposed that the staff (some twenty), who under the original constitution had had "a voice but no vote, " constitute "themselves as the Coordinating Committee" and elect a new Executive. It was time to recognize that SNCC no longer had a "student base" (with the move to voter registration, the original campus protest groups had largely evaporated) and that the staff, "the people who do the most work, " were the organization's real nucleus.
" But the "many problems and many strains within the organization" caused by the "freedom" allowed to organizers in the field were also reason, he argued, to "change and alter the structure of decision making. Given the "external pressures" the requirement now was for unity.
The role of SNCC was to stimulate social struggles, not to provide an instiutionalized leadership.  "Leadership, " Moses believed, will emerge from the movement that emerges.Leadership is there in the people. You don't have to worry about where your leaders are, how are you going to get some leaders... If you go out an work with your people leadership will emerge. We don't know who they are now: and we don't need to know. "To get us through the impasse, " Casey Hayden tried to attach to Forman's proposal various sub-committees and provisos to ensure that "leadership for all our programs" would continue to be driven from the field, and not from central office which makes many program areas responsible to one person rather than to all of us. " For Forman this still suggested too loose, too confederal a structure for an organization whose challenge, without the manpower and publicity of white volunteers, was to mount and coordinate a Southwide Freeedom Summer and "build a Black Belt political party. At her last Committee meeting in the fall of 1965, Hayden told both Forman and Chairman John Lewis that the "imbalance of power within SNCC" was such that, if the movement was to remain "radically democratic, " they would need to step down.
 Forman and Lewis did step down in their own time, in the spring, but with questions of structure and direction for the organization unresolved. Black Panther of the Lowndes County Freedom Organization.
In May 1966 Forman was replaced by Ruby Doris Smith-Robinson, who was determined to keep the SNCC together. " But Forman recalls male leaders fighting "her attempts as executive secretary to impose a sense of organizational responsibility and self-discipline, " and "trying to justify themselves by the fact that their critic was a woman" In October 1967 Ruby Doris died, aged just 25, "of exhaustion" according to one of her co-workers, "destroyed by the movement. Replacing John Lewis as chairman in May 1966 was the 24-year old Stokely Carmichael.
When on the night of June 16, 1966, following protests at the shooting of solo freedom marcher James Meredith, Carmichael walked out of jail (his 27th arrest) and into Broad Street Park in Greenwood, Mississippi, he asked the waiting crowd What do you want? " They roared back "Black Power!
For Stokely Carmichael Black Power was a call for black people to define their own goals, to lead their own organizations. We have to organize ourselves to speak from a position of strength and stop begging people to look kindly upon us.We are going to build a movement in this country based on the color of our skins that is going to free us from our oppressors and we have to do that ourselves. A new direction SNCC was evident in the Atlanta, Georgia, "Vine City" Project, SNCC's first effort at urban organizing. Co-directed by William "Bill" Ware and Gwendolyn Zoharah Simmons (Robinson), it took up the challenge of the Georgia State Legislature's refusal to seat Julian Bond because of SNNC opposition to the Vietnam War. Ware, who had been greatly affected by his experience of newly independent Ghana, emphasized racial solidarity.
Black people, he argued, needed to work without the guidance and/or direction and control of non-Blacks Without control over their affairs, he warned, Black people will know no freedom, but only more subtle forms of slavery.  A Vine Street Project position paper on Black Power,  which Simmons helped write, suggested that. Negroes in this country have never been allowed to organize themselves because of white interference. As a result of this, the stereotype has been reinforced that Blacks cannot organize themselves.The white psychology that Blacks have to be watched, also reinforces this stereotype. Blacks, in fact, feel intimidated by the presence of whites, because of their knowledge of the power that whites have over their lives. One white person can come into a meeting of Black people and change the complexion of that meeting... People would immediately start talking about "brotherhood", "love", etc.
Race would not be discussed. This was not to say that whites have not had an important role in the Movement. " If people now had "the right to picket, the right to give out leaflets, the right to vote, the right to demonstrate, the right to print, " the Vine City paper allowed that it was "mainly because of the entrance of white people into Mississippi, in the summer of'64. " But their "role is now over and it should be, " for what would it mean "if Black people, once having the right to organize, are not allowed to organize themselves?It means that Blacks' ideas about inferiority are being reinforced. What was needed now for "people to free themselves" was an "all-Black project" and this had to exist from the beginning. " Future cooperation with whites had to be a matter of "coalition. " But there could be "no talk of'hooking up' unless Black people organize Blacks and white people organize whites. " Those "white people who desire change" should go "where the problem (of racism) is most manifest, " in their own communities where power has been created "for the express purpose of denying Blacks human dignity and self-determination. Even without embracing an explicitly separatist agenda, many veteran project directors accepted the case that the presence of white organizers undermined black self-confidence.  (Although overridden, on that basis Oretha Castle Haley already in 1962 had suspended whites from the CORE chapter in New Orleans).  Julian Bond later reflected. The successes Freedom Summer achieved resulted from its embrace of a paradox it tried to fight bigotry by appealing to people more concerned about whites, not blacks. Appealing to the nation's racism accepted white supremacy.
By acknowledging its dependence on whites to popularize the civil rights struggle in the South, SNCC contradicted its rhetorical belief in the equal worth of all races, and undermined its insistence that indigenous blacks were best prepared to lead the struggle for their deliverance from white dominance. Yet like Forman (now urging the study of Marxism),  Carmichael hesitated to accept the implication that whites should be excluded from the movement. It was in December that he led the SNCC national executive in a narrow decision (19 in favor, 18 against and 24 abstentions) to ask white co-workers and volunteers to leave.  In May 1967 the Coordinating Committee formally asked its non-black staff to resign. Whites should concentrate on organizing poor white communities and leave SNCC to promote African American self-reliance. Carmichael had been working on a SNCC project in Alabama that had taken what, at the time, may have seemed an equally momentous step. In the face of murderous Klan violence, organizers for the Lowndes County Freedom Organization openly carried arms.  LCFO co-founder John Hulett warned the state of Alabama that it had a last chance to peacefully grant African Americans their rights: We're out to take power legally, but if we're stopped by the government from doing it legally, we're going to take it the way everyone else took it, including the way the Americans took it in the American Revolution.
" Certain the federal government was not going to protect him and his fellow LCFO members, Hulett told a federal registrar, "if one of our candidates gets touched, we're going to take care of the murderer ourselves. While other white SNCC activists in the Broad Street Park, Greenwood, crowd that affirmed Carmichael's call for Black Power were bewildered, Peggy Terry recalls there was never any rift in my mind or my heart. I just felt Black people were doing what they should be doing. We reached a period in the civil rights movement when Black people felt they werent being given the respect they should have, and I agreed. " The message to white activists, "organize your own, " was one that Terry took home with her to uptown, "Hillbilly Harlem, Chicago.This was the neighborhood in which, having taken the prompt the year before, Casey Hayden had already been working, organizing welfare mothers into a union. She was "on loan" from SNCC to Students for a Democratic Society. Like other new left groups, SDS did not view a self-consciously black SNCC as separatist. Rather it was seen as the vanguard of a prospective interracial movement of the poor. " Accepting the Vine Street challenge, the goal was no longer integration but what Chicago Black Panther leader Fred Hampton was to project as the "rainbow coalition. In the South, as SNCC began turning them away white volunteers moved over to the New Orleans-based Southern Conference Education Fund with which Ella Baker had been working since the 1950s.  There, in effort to advance a coalition agenda, they joined Bob Zellner, the SNCC's first white field organizer (and son of a former Klansman), in working with Carl and Anne Braden to organize white students and poor whites. The Meredith shooting in June 1966 had been preceded in January by the killing of Sammy Younge Jr.
The first black college student to be killed as a result of his involvement in the civil rights movement, and by the acquittal of his killer. SNCC took the occasion to denounce the war in Vietnam, the first statement of its kind by a major civil rights organization. "The murder of Samuel Young in Tuskegee, Alabama, " SNCC proposed, is no different than the murder of peasants in Vietnam, for both Young and the Vietnamese sought, and are seeking, to secure the rights guaranteed them by law. In each case, the United States government bears a great part of the responsibility for these deaths.
" In the face of a government that "has never guaranteed the freedom of oppressed citizens, and is not yet truly determined to end the rule of terror and oppression within its own borders, " where, " it asked, is the draft for the freedom fight in the United States. " It could longer countenance the "hypocrisy" of a call upon "negroes...
To stifle the liberation of Vietnam, to preserve a'democracy' which does not exist for them at home. At an SDS-organized conference at UC Berkeley in October 1966, Carmichael challenged the white left to escalate their resistance to the military draft in a manner similar to the black movement. Some participants in the August 1965 Watts Uprising and in the ghetto rebellions that followed had already associated their actions with opposition to the Vietnam War, and SNCC had first disrupted an Atlanta draft board in August 1966. According to historians Joshua Bloom and Waldo Martin, SDS's first Stop the Draft Week of October 1967 was inspired by Black Power [and] emboldened by the ghetto rebellions. " SNCC appear to have originated the popular anti-draft slogan: "Hell no!
By early 1967, SNCC was approaching bankruptcy. The call for Black Power and the departure of white activists did not go down well with the liberal foundations and churches in the North.
This was at a time when SNCC organizers were themselves heading North to the "ghettoes" where, as the urban riots of the mid-1960s had demonstrated, victories at lunch counters and ballot boxes in the South counted for little. Julian Bond recounts projects being established in Washington, D. To fight for home rule; in Columbus, Ohio, where a community foundation was organized; in New York Citys Harlem, where SNCC workers organized early efforts at community control of public schools; in Los Angeles, where SNCC helped monitor local police and joined an effort at creating a'Freedom City' in black neighborhoods; and in Chicago, where SNCC workers began to build an independent political party and demonstrated against segregated schools.As part of this northern community-organizing strategy, SNCC seriously considered an alliance with Saul Alinsky's mainstream-church supported Industrial Areas Foundation.  But Alinsky had little patience or understanding for SNCC's new rhetoric.
On stage with Carmichael in Detroit, Alinsky was scathing when, pressed for an example of "Black Power, " the SNCC leader cited the IAF's-mentored FIGHT community organization in Rochester, New York. The example was proof that Carmichael and his friends needed to stop going round yelling'Black Power! " and "really go down and organize. " It is simple, according to Alinsky: its "called it community power, and if the community is black, it's black power. In May 1967, Carmichael relinquished the SNCC chairmanship and speaking out against U.
Policy travelled to Cuba, China, North Vietnam, and finally to Ahmed Sékou Touré's Guinea. Returning to the United States in January 1968 he accepted an invitation to become honorary Prime Minister of the Black Panther Party for Self Defense.
Inspired by John Hulet's stand and borrowing the LCFO's black panther monniker, the party had been formed by Bobby Seale and Huey Newton in Oakland, California in October 1966.  For Carmichael the goal was a nation-wide Black United Front. Rap Brown (later known as Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin) tried to hold what he now called the Student National Coordinating Committee to an alliance with the Panthers. Like Carmichael, Rap Brown had come to view nonviolence as a tactic rather than as a foundational principle. Violence, he famously quipped, was "as American as cherry pie".
In June 1968 the SNCC national executive emphatically rejected the association with the Black Panthers. This was followed in July by a "violent confrontation" in New York City with James Forman, who had resigned as the Panther's Minister of Foreign Affairs and was then heading up the city's SNCC operation. In the course of a "heated discussion" Panthers accompanying Carmichael and Eldridge Cleaver, the Panthers' Minister of Information,  reportedly drew guns.
For Forman and SNCC this was the last straw. Brown himself resigned as chairman after being indicted for inciting to riot in Cambridge, Maryland in 1967.
On March 9, 1970, two SNCC workers, Ralph Featherstone and William ("Che") Payne, died on a road approaching Bel Air, Maryland, when a bomb on the front floorboard of their car exploded. The bomb's origin is disputed: some say the bomb was planted in an assassination attempt, and others say Payne was intentionally carrying it to the courthouse where Brown was to be tried. Chairmen of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. Ella Baker said that SNCC came North at a time when the North was in a ferment that led to various interpretations on what was needed to be done. With its own frustrations, it could not take the pace-setter role it took in the South...
These "frustrations" may in part have been fed by undercover agents. Like other potentially "subversive" groups, SNCC had become a target of the Counterintelligence Program (COINTELPRO) of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).  FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover's general COINTELPRO directive was for agents to "expose, disrupt, misdirect, discredit, or otherwise neutralize" the activities and leadership of the movements they infiltrated. By the beginning of 1970, surveillance had everywhere effectively ceased for lack of SNCC activity--save in New York City from where the last FBI report was filed in December 1973.
Experienced organizers and staff had moved on. For many the years of "hard work at irregular, subsistence-level pay, in an atmosphere of constant tension" had been as much as they could bear.  Some went over to the Black Panthers.
Others were to follow Forman into the Black Economic Development Council (whose key demand was reparations for the nation's history of racial exploitation).  A greater loss had been to the Democrats and to Lyndon Johnson's War on Poverty.After we got the Civil Rights Act in 1964 and Voting Rights Act in 1965, a lot of groups that we had cultivated were absorbed into the Democratic Party... A lot of the people we were working with became a part of Head Start and various kinds of poverty programs. We were too young to really know how to respond effectively. How could we tell poor sharecroppers or maids making a few dollars a day to walk away from poverty program salaries or stipends?
As their numbers diminished, SNCC veteran Clayborne Carson found staff cultivating the skills for "organizational infighting" rather than those that had enabled SNCC to inspire thousands of people outside the group during its years of greatest influence. " Attempting to gain the trust of beleaguered communities, "develop indigenous leadership, and build strong local institutions, " was no longer regarded as sufficiently "revolutionary. The judgement of Charles McDew, SNCC's second chairman (19611963), is that the organization was not designed to last beyond its mission of winning civil rights for blacks, and that at the founding meetings most participants expected it to last no more than five years.
First, we felt if we go more than five years without the understanding that the organization would be disbanded, we run the risk of becoming institutionalized or being more concerned with trying to perpetuate the organization and in doing so, giving up the freedom to act and to do... The other thing is that by the end of that time you'd either be dead or crazy. By the time of its dissolution, many of the controversial ideas that once had defined SNCC's radicalism had become widely accepted among African Americans.
A final SNCC legacy is the destruction of the psychological shackles which had kept black southerners in physical and mental peonage; SNCC helped break those chains forever. It demonstrated that ordinary women and men, young and old, could perform extraordinary tasks. Anne Moody in the 1970s.
In impressing upon the young student activists the principle "those who do the work, make the decisions, " Ella Baker had hoped the SNCC would avoid the SCLC's reproduction of the organization and experience of the church: women form the working body and men assume the headship.  In SNCC black women did emerge as among the movement's most dynamic and courageous organizers and thinkers. In addition to Diane Nash, Ruby Doris Smith Robinson, Fannie Lou Hamer, Oretha Castle Haley, and others already mentioned, they included Tuskegee student-body president, Gwen Patton; Mississippi Delta field secretary, Cynthia Washington; Sammy Younge's teacher, Jean Wiley; head of COFO's Mississippii operations, Muriel Tillinghast; Natchez, Miississippi, project director Dorie Ladner, and her sister Joyce who, in the violence of Mississippi (and having worked with Medgar Evers), regarded their own arrests as "about the least harmful thing" that could occur; Annie Pearl Avery, who when organizing in Natchez carried a gun; MDFP state-senate candidate, Victoria Gray; MFDP delegate Unita Blackwell; leader of the Cambridge Movement Gloria Richardson; Bernice Reagon of the Albany Movement's Freedom Singers; womanist theologian Prathia Hall; LCFO veteran and Eyes on the Prize associate producer Judy Richardson; Ruby Sales, for whom Jonathan Daniels took a fatal shot-gun blast in Hayneville, Alabama; Fay Bellamy, who ran the Selma, Alabama office; the singer Bettie Mae Fikes ("the Voice of Selma"); playwright Endesha Ida Mae Holland; Eleanor Holmes Norton, first chair of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission; and sharecroppers' daughter and author (Coming of Age in Mississippi) Anne Moody.
And as Anne Moody recalls, women did the work: young black women college students and teachers were the mainstay of voter registration and of the summer Freedom Schools.  Women were also the expectation when looking for local leadership. "There was always a'mama', " one SNCC activist recalled, usually a militant woman in the community, outspoken, understanding and willing to catch hell. From the outset white students, veterans of college-town sit-ins, had been active in the movement.Among them were Ella Baker's YWCA proteges Casey Hayden and Mary King. As a Southerner, Hayden regarded the "Freedom Movement Against Segregation" as much hers as "any one else's"--It was my freedom. " But when working full-time in the black community, she was nonetheless conscious of being "a guest. " (For this reason it was important to Hayden that an opportunity in 1963 to work alongside Doris Derby in starting a literacy project at Tougaloo College, Mississippi, had come to her "specifically because she had the educational qualifications).  Having dropped out of Duke University, Freedom Rider Joan Trumpauer Mulholland graduated from Tougaloo, the first white student to do so. The majority of white women drawn to the movement, however, would have been those from the north who responded to the call for volunteers to help register black voters in Mississippi during the summer of 1964. Among the few that might have had obvious qualifications was Susan Brownmiller, then a journalist. She had worked on a voter registration drive in East Harlem and organized with CORE. Among the Position Papers circulated at Waveland conference in 1964, number 24 ("name withheld by request") opened with the observation that the "large committee" formed to present "crucial constitutional revisions" to the staff was all men. " After cataloguing a number of other instances in which women appear to have been sidelined, it went on to suggest that "assumptions of male superiority are as widespread and deep rooted and every much as crippling to the woman as the assumptions of white supremacy are to the Negro. This paper was not the first time women had raised questions about their roles in SNCC. In the spring of 1964, a group of black and white SNCC staffers had sat-in at James Forman's office in Atlanta to protest at being burdened, and stymied in their contributions, by the assumption that it was they, the women, who would see to minute taking and other mundane office, and housekeeping, tasks: "No More Minutes Until Freedom Comes to the Atlanta Office" was Ruby Doris Smith-Robinson's placard.
Like Mary King,  Judy Richardson recalls the protest as being "half playful (Forman actually appearing supportive), although "the other thing was, we're not going to do this anymore.  The same might be said of the Waveland paper itself. With so many women themselves "insensitive" to the "day-to-day discriminations" (who is asked to take minutes, who gets to clean Freedom House), the paper concluded that, "amidst the laughter, " further discussion might be the best that could be hoped for. At the time, and in "the Waveland setting, " Casey Hayden, who with Mary King was soon outed as one of the authors, regarded the paper as definitely an aside.
 But in the course of 1965, while working on leave for the SDS organizing women in Chicago, Hayden was to reconsider. Seeking to further "dialogue within the movement, " Hayden circulated an extended version of the "memo" among 29 SNCC women veterans and, with King, had it published in the War Resisters League magazine Liberation under the title Sex and Caste. " Employing the movement's own rhetoric of race relations, the article suggested that, like African Americans, women can find themselves "caught up in a common-law caste system that operates, sometimes subtly, forcing them to work around or outside hierarchical structures of power. " Viewed as a bridge between civil rights and women's liberation, "Sex and Caste" has since been regarded as a "key text of second-wave feminism.
The two other women subsequently identified as having direct authorship of the original position paper on women (which has sometimes been mistakenly attributed to Ruby Doris Smith-Robinson),  Elaine Delott Baker and Emmie Schrader Adams, were also white. This, it has been suggested, was the reflection of a movement culture that gave Black women greater opportunity "to protest directly". That white women choose an anonymous paper was testimony, in effect, to the "unspoken understanding of who should speak up at meetings" that Delott Baker had identified when she joined Hayden in Mississippi in 1964.  But many black women were to dispute the degree and significance of male-domination within the SNCC, denying that it had excluded them from leadership roles.  Joyce Ladner's recollection of organizing Freedom Summer is of "women's full participation, " and Jean Wheeler Smith's of doing in SNCC anything I was big enough to do. Historian Barbara Ransby dismisses, in particular, the suggestion that in its concluding Black Power period SNCC diminished the profile of women within the movement. She points out that Stokely Carmichael appointed several women to posts as project directors during his tenure as chairman, and that in the latter half of the 1960s, more women were in charge of SNCC projects than during the early years.  On the other hand, Hayden, in the position paper she presented under her own name at Waveland, "On Structure, " had seen herself defending Ella Baker's original participatory vision in which women's voices are heard precisely because decision making is not dependent on formal rank position but rather on actual work and commitment,  and a movement culture that she recalls as womanist, nurturing, and familial. Beal (who worked with SNCC's International Affairs Commission and its National Black Antiwar Antidraft Union) is in no doubt that as the SNCC moved away from sustained community organizing toward Black Power propagandizing that was accompanied by increasing male dominance.  (Beal and others objected to the James Forman's initial enthusiasm for the Black Panther Party, judging Eldridge Cleaver's Soul on Ice, which he brought back to the office, to be the work of a "thug" and a rapist).
 "Youre talking about liberation and freedom half the night on the racial side, " she recalls of her time in the SNCC, and then all of a sudden men are going to turn around and start talking about putting you in your place. So in 1968 we founded the SNCC Black Womens Liberation Committee to take up some of these issues. With the SNCC's break up, the Black Women's Liberation Committee became first the Black Women's Alliance and then, following an approach by revolutionary Puerto-Rican women activists, the Third World Women's Alliance in 1970.  Active for another decade, the TWWA was one of the earliest groups advocating an intersectional approach to women's oppression--the triple oppression of race, class and gender. Gwendolyn Delores Robinson/Zoharah Simmons, who co-authored the Vine Street Project paper on Black Power, was struck by the contrast between the SNCC and her subsequent experience of the Nation of Islam: there was really no place for a woman to exercise what I considered real leadership as it had been in SNCC." Breaking with the NOI's strict gendered hierarchy, she went on to identify, teach and write as an "Islamic feminist. On top of seeking to increase African-American access to land through a pioneer Freedom Farm Cooperative, in 1971 Fannie Lou Hamer co-founded the National Women's Political Caucus. She emphasized the power women might have acting as a voting majority in the country regardless of race or ethnicity: A white mother is no different from a black mother. The only thing is they haven't had as many problems. But we cry the same tears. " The NWPC continues to recruit, train and support "women candidates for elected and appointed offices at all levels of government" who are "pro choice and who support a federal Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) to the U. Neblett hails from Cairo, Illinois.  He took an interest in the Civil Rights Movement from a young age. His first awareness of the Movement was noticing that the schools he and his fellow African Americans attended received inferior funding to white schools.
 When Emmett Till was murdered in 1955, the news profoundly affected Neblett.  It was in light of this tragedy that he realized as a black American he had no rights that white people would respect.  He was the same age as Till at the time: fourteen. He knew then that he had to be a part of the Movement.  Neblett attended Southern Illinois University.
There he had his first chances to be involved in fighting for Civil Rights when he was recruited by the Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). He met with success when he protested the discrimination in housing at the university. He took his complaints to the University President, and the President made changes the very next semester. Neblett said it was after this I realized we could make a difference. The Freedom Singers were a creation of SNCC, and the group's goals were the same as its parent organization's. They were formed in Albany, Georgia two years after SNCC, in 1962, with four original members. Neblett sang bass, performing with soprano Rutha Mae Harris, alto Bernice Johnson now Dr. Bernice Johnson Reagon, and tenor Cordell Reagon.
 The first tour was planned by SNCC and lasted from December 1962 to August 1963.  The group's schedule was a busy one, and they sometimes sang as many as three concerts a day. Their venues included parties, churches, protest marches, universities, and even jails all over the nation.  The Freedom Singers were valuable to SNCC as one of their most successful fundraisers, but being a member was not always safe. Even in the north they sometimes ran into violent opposition, including Klan demonstrations during concerts.The group's repertoire consisted of freedom songs that had been written or adapted for the movement, including "We Shall Overcome", "We Shall Not be Moved", and "Keep Your Eyes on the Prize".  After the tour, the original group disbanded and was carried on by others. Beyond the 1980s the original four reunited to sing several times.
The singers remained lifelong friends. As a member of the Freedom Singers, Neblett traveled through more than forty states and 100,000 miles, traveling mostly by station wagon.
 In 1963, the group performed at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. Neblett was a SNCC field secretary 19611966.  In 1964, he was part of a delegation that an Atlanta conference to which Alabama governor George Wallace and Mississippi Governor Ross Barnett had come to renew their commitment to preserving segregation with other southern leaders.
Upon entering the stadium the group realized that the "conference" was actually a meeting of Klan leaders. Charles Neblett, Carol Ableman, and Matt Jones were separated from the rest of the group and surrounded.
Neblett attempted to escape by climbing over the fence, but the crowd reached him began hitting him with their metal chairs. Police officers refused to put a stop to the violence. Ableman, who was white, escaped without injury, but Neblett and Jones were injured and they were taken to the emergency room in a police van. In all Neblett was arrested 27 times for his involvement.
In jail he suffered much inhumane treatment, putting up with rotten food, beatings, and uncomfortably high temperatures. During this time he found strength in singing, and even composed while he was incarcerated.He has worked in the so-called "Black Bottom" neighborhood in Russellville Kentucky, preserving homes of black Civil War veterans, and helping young people to research their Civil War ancestors. He served as the first black elected magistrate in Logan County, Kentucky. Charles and his wife Marvinia have four children, Khary, Kwesi, Komero and Kesi.
 Charles' brother, Chico Neblett, was also involved in non-violent protest in Illinois. He was inducted into the Kentucky Civil Rights Hall of Fame in 2010.  That same year he was present at the 44th Annual Folklife festival at the Smithsonian.
In 2014, he was a guest of President Barack Obama at the White House. Neblett was among many notable performers and sang with Rutha Mae Harris, Dr. Bernice Johnson Reagon, and Bernice and Cordell Reagon's daughter, Toshi. By this time, Cordell Reagon had died.Neblett also helped Michelle Obama run a workshop for approximately 200 children, among whom were Sasha and Malia Obama. Neblett was impressed with his reception at the White House, saying that he realized the work done in the past was actually respected. The civil rights movement (also known as the American civil rights movement and other terms)[b] in the United States was a decades-long struggle by African Americans to end legalized racial discrimination, disenfranchisement and racial segregation in the United States. The movement has its origins in the Reconstruction era during the late 19th century, although the movement achieved its largest legislative gains in the mid-1960s after years of direct actions and grassroots protests. The social movement's major nonviolent resistance campaigns eventually secured new protections in federal law for the human rights of all Americans.
After the American Civil War and the abolition of slavery in the 1860s, the Reconstruction Amendments to the United States Constitution granted emancipation and constitutional rights of citizenship to all African Americans, most of whom had recently been enslaved. For a period, African Americans voted and held political office, but they were increasingly deprived of civil rights, often under Jim Crow laws, and subjected to discrimination and sustained violence by whites in the South. Over the following century, various efforts were made by African Americans to secure their legal rights. In 1954, the separate but equal policy which aided the enforcement of Jim Crow laws was weakened with the United States Supreme Court's Brown v.Board of Education ruling and other subsequent rulings which followed.  Between 1955 and 1968, acts of nonviolent protest and civil disobedience produced crisis situations and productive dialogues between activists and government authorities.
Federal, state, and local governments, businesses, and communities often had to respond immediately to these situations, which highlighted the inequities faced by African Americans across the country. The lynching of Chicago teenager Emmett Till in Mississippi, and the outrage generated by seeing how he had been abused, when his mother decided to have an open-casket funeral, mobilized the African-American community nationwide.  Forms of protest and/or civil disobedience included boycotts, such as the successful Montgomery bus boycott (195556) in Alabama; "sit-ins" such as the Greensboro sit-ins (1960) in North Carolina and successful Nashville sit-ins in Tennessee; marches, such as the 1963 Birmingham Children's Crusade and 1965 Selma to Montgomery marches (1965) in Alabama; and a wide range of other nonviolent activities.
At the culmination of a legal strategy pursued by African Americans, the U. Supreme Court began, in 1954 under the leadership of Earl Warren, to find unconstitutional many of the laws that had allowed racial segregation and discrimination to be legal in the United States.  The Warren Court made a series of landmark rulings such as Brown v. Board of Education (1954), Heart of Atlanta Motel, Inc.
United States (1964), and Loving v. Virginia (1967) which banned segregation in public schools and public accommodations, and struck down all state laws banning interracial marriage. The rulings also helped bring an end to the segregationist Jim Crow laws prevalent in the Southern states.  In the 1960s, moderates in the movement worked with Congress to achieve the passage of several significant pieces of federal legislation that overturned discriminatory practices and authorized oversight and enforcement by the federal government. The Civil Rights Act of 1964,  which was upheld by the Supreme Court in Heart of Atlanta Motel, Inc. United States (1964), expressly banned discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin in employment practices; ended unequal application of voter registration requirements; and prohibited racial segregation in schools, at the workplace, and in public accommodations. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 restored and protected voting rights for minorities by authorizing federal oversight of registration and elections in areas with historic under-representation of minorities as voters. The Fair Housing Act of 1968 banned discrimination in the sale or rental of housing.
African Americans re-entered politics in the South, and across the country young people were inspired to take action. From 1964 through 1970, a wave of inner-city riots in black communities undercut support from the white middle class, but increased support from private foundations.  The emergence of the Black Power movement, which lasted from about 1965 to 1975, challenged the established black leadership for its cooperative attitude and its practice of nonviolence. Instead, its leaders demanded that, in addition to the new laws gained through the nonviolent movement, political and economic self-sufficiency had to be developed in the black community.
Many popular representations of the movement are centered on the charismatic leadership and philosophy of Rev. Who won the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize for combating racial inequality through nonviolent resistance. However, some scholars note that the movement was too diverse to be credited to any one person, organization, or strategy. Emmett Till's murder, 1955.Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycott, 19551956. Desegregating Little Rock Central High School, 1957. The method of nonviolence and nonviolence training. Williams and the debate on nonviolence, 19591964. Integration of Mississippi universities, 19561965.
"Rising tide of discontent" and Kennedy's response, 1963. Malcolm X joins the movement, 19641965. Chester School Protests, Spring 1964. Civil Rights Act of 1964.Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, 1964. Voting Rights Act of 1965. Memphis, King assassination and the Poor People's March 1968. Civil Rights Act of 1968. Further information: Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. Before the American Civil War, almost four million blacks were enslaved in the South, only white men of property could vote, and the Naturalization Act of 1790 limited U.  Following the Civil War, three constitutional amendments were passed, including the 13th Amendment (1865) that ended slavery; the 14th Amendment (1869) that gave African-Americans citizenship, adding their total population of four million to the official population of southern states for Congressional apportionment; and the 15th Amendment (1870) that gave African-American males the right to vote only males could vote in the U.
From 1865 to 1877, the United States underwent a turbulent Reconstruction Era trying to establish free labor and civil rights of freedmen in the South after the end of slavery. Many whites resisted the social changes, leading to insurgent movements such as the Ku Klux Klan, whose members attacked black and white Republicans to maintain white supremacy. In 1871, President Ulysses S. Akerman, initiated a campaign to repress the KKK under the Enforcement Acts. Some states were reluctant to enforce the federal measures of the act. In addition, by the early 1870s, other white supremacist and insurgent paramilitary groups arose that violently opposed African-American legal equality and suffrage, intimidating and suppressing black voters, and assassinating Republican officeholders.  However, if the states failed to implement the acts, the laws allowed the Federal Government to get involved.  Many Republican governors were afraid of sending black militia troops to fight the Klan for fear of war. Main article: Disenfranchisement after the Reconstruction Era.
Further information: Jim Crow laws, Civil rights movement (18651896), and Civil rights movement (18961954). After the disputed election of 1876 resulted in the end of Reconstruction and federal troops were withdrawn, whites in the South regained political control of the region's state legislatures. They continued to intimidate and violently attack blacks before and during elections to suppress their voting, but the last African Americans were elected to Congress from the South before disenfranchisement of blacks by states throughout the region, as described below. The mob-style lynching of Will James, Cairo, Illinois, 1909.
From 1890 to 1908, southern states passed new constitutions and laws to disenfranchise African Americans and many poor whites by creating barriers to voter registration; voting rolls were dramatically reduced as blacks and poor whites were forced out of electoral politics. After the landmark Supreme Court case of Smith v.
Allwright (1944), which prohibited white primaries, progress was made in increasing black political participation in the Rim South and Acadiana although almost entirely in urban areas and a few rural localities where most blacks worked outside plantations.  The status quo ante of excluding African Americans from the political system lasted in the remainder of the South, especially North Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, until national civil rights legislation was passed in the mid-1960s to provide federal enforcement of constitutional voting rights. For more than sixty years, blacks in the South were essentially excluded from politics, unable to elect anyone to represent their interests in Congress or local government.  Since they could not vote, they could not serve on local juries. During this period, the white-dominated Democratic Party maintained political control of the South.With whites controlling all the seats representing the total population of the South, they had a powerful voting bloc in Congress. The Republican Partythe "party of Lincoln" and the party to which most blacks had belongedshrank to insignificance except in remote Unionist areas of Appalachia and the Ozarks as black voter registration was suppressed. Until 1965, the Solid South was a one-party system under the white Democrats. Excepting the previously noted historic Unionist strongholds the Democratic Party nomination was tantamount to election for state and local office.  In 1901, President Theodore Roosevelt invited Booker T. Washington, president of the Tuskegee Institute, to dine at the White House, making him the first African American to attend an official dinner there.
The invitation was roundly criticized by southern politicians and newspapers.  Washington persuaded the president to appoint more blacks to federal posts in the South and to try to boost African-American leadership in state Republican organizations. However, these actions were resisted by both white Democrats and white Republicans as an unwanted federal intrusion into state politics. Lynching victim Will Brown, who was mutilated and burned during the Omaha, Nebraska race riot of 1919. Postcards and photographs of lynchings were popular souvenirs in the U.During the same time as African Americans were being disenfranchised, white southerners imposed racial segregation by law. Violence against blacks increased, with numerous lynchings through the turn of the century. The system of de jure state-sanctioned racial discrimination and oppression that emerged from the post-Reconstruction South became to be known as the "Jim Crow" system. The United States Supreme Court, made up almost entirely of Northerners, upheld the constitutionality of those state laws that required racial segregation in public facilities in its 1896 decision Plessy v. Ferguson, legitimizing them through the "separate but equal" doctrine.
 Segregation, which began with slavery, continued with Jim Crow laws, with signs used to show blacks where they could legally walk, talk, drink, rest, or eat.  For those places that were racially mixed, non-whites had to wait until all white customers were served first.  Elected in 1912, President Woodrow Wilson gave in to demands by Southern members of his cabinet and ordered segregation of workplaces throughout the federal government. The early 20th century is a period often referred to as the "nadir of American race relations", when the number of lynchings was highest. While tensions and civil rights violations were most intense in the South, social discrimination affected African Americans in other regions as well. At the national level, the Southern bloc controlled important committees in Congress, defeated passage of federal laws against lynching, and exercised considerable power beyond the number of whites in the South. Characteristics of the post-Reconstruction period. By law, public facilities and government services such as education were divided into separate "white" and "colored" domains.
 Characteristically, those for colored were underfunded and of inferior quality. When white Democrats regained power, they passed laws that made voter registration more restrictive, essentially forcing black voters off the voting rolls. The number of African-American voters dropped dramatically, and they were no longer able to elect representatives.
From 1890 to 1908, Southern states of the former Confederacy created constitutions with provisions that disfranchised tens of thousands of African Americans, and U. States such as Alabama disenfranchised poor whites as well.Increased economic oppression of blacks through the convict lease system, Latinos, and Asians, denial of economic opportunities, and widespread employment discrimination. Individual, police, paramilitary, organizational, and mob racial violence against blacks (and Latinos in the Southwest and Asians in the West Coast). KKK night rally in Chicago, c. African Americans and other ethnic minorities rejected this regime.
They resisted it in numerous ways and sought better opportunities through lawsuits, new organizations, political redress, and labor organizing see the Civil rights movement (18961954). The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) was founded in 1909. It fought to end race discrimination through litigation, education, and lobbying efforts. Its crowning achievement was its legal victory in the Supreme Court decision Brown v. Board of Education (1954), when the Warren Court ruled that segregation of public schools in the US was unconstitutional and, by implication, overturned the "separate but equal" doctrine established in Plessy v.
 Following the unanimous Supreme Court ruling, many states began to gradually integrate their schools, but some areas of the South resisted by closing public schools altogether. The integration of Southern public libraries followed demonstrations and protests that used techniques seen in other elements of the larger civil rights movement.  This included sit-ins, beatings, and white resistance. For example, in 1963 in the city of Anniston, Alabama, two black ministers were brutally beaten for attempting to integrate the public library.  Though there was resistance and violence, the integration of libraries was generally quicker than the integration of other public institutions. Colored Sailors room in World War I.
The situation for blacks outside the South was somewhat better (in most states they could vote and have their children educated, though they still faced discrimination in housing and jobs). From 1910 to 1970, African Americans sought better lives by migrating north and west out of the South. A total of nearly seven million blacks left the South in what was known as the Great Migration, most during and after World War II.So many people migrated that the demographics of some previously black-majority states changed to a white majority (in combination with other developments). The rapid influx of blacks altered the demographics of Northern and Western cities; happening at a period of expanded European, Hispanic, and Asian immigration, it added to social competition and tensions, with the new migrants and immigrants battling for a place in jobs and housing. Reflecting social tensions after World War I, as veterans struggled to return to the workforce and labor unions were organizing, the Red Summer of 1919 was marked by hundreds of deaths and higher casualties across the U. As a result of white race riots against blacks that took place in more than three dozen cities, such as the Chicago race riot of 1919 and the Omaha race riot of 1919. Urban problems such as crime and disease were blamed on the large influx of Southern blacks to cities in the north and west, based on stereotypes of rural southern African-Americans. Overall, African Americans in Northern and Western cities experienced systemic discrimination in a plethora of aspects of life. Within employment, economic opportunities for blacks were routed to the lowest-status and restrictive in potential mobility. Within the housing market, stronger discriminatory measures were used in correlation to the influx, resulting in a mix of "targeted violence, restrictive covenants, redlining and racial steering".  The Great Migration resulted in many African Americans becoming urbanized, and they began to realign from the Republican to the Democratic Party, especially because of opportunities under the New Deal of the Franklin D. Roosevelt administration during the Great Depression in the 1930s.  Substantially under pressure from African-American supporters who began the March on Washington Movement, President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued the first federal order banning discrimination and created the Fair Employment Practice Committee. Black veterans of the military after both World Wars pressed for full civil rights and often led activist movements. In 1948, President Harry Truman issued Executive Order 9981, which eventually led to the end of segregation in the armed services.
White tenants seeking to prevent blacks from moving into the housing project erected this sign, Detroit, 1942. Housing segregation was a nationwide problem, widespread outside the South. Although the federal government had become increasingly involved in mortgage lending and development in the 1930s and 1940s, it did not reject the use of race-restrictive covenants until 1950, in part because of provisions by the Solid South Democrats in Congress.  Suburbanization became connected with white flight by this time, because whites were better established economically to move to newer housing. The situation was perpetuated by real estate agents' continuing racial discrimination.
In particular, from the 1930s to the 1960s, the National Association of Real Estate Boards (NAREB) issued guidelines that specified that a realtor should never be instrumental in introducing to a neighborhood a character or property or occupancy, members of any race or nationality, or any individual whose presence will be clearly detrimental to property values in a neighborhood. The result was the development of all-black ghettos in the North and West, where much housing was older, as well as South. Invigorated by the victory of Brown and frustrated by the lack of immediate practical effect, private citizens increasingly rejected gradualist, legalistic approaches as the primary tool to bring about desegregation. They were faced with "massive resistance" in the South by proponents of racial segregation and voter suppression. In defiance, African-American activists adopted a combined strategy of direct action, nonviolence, nonviolent resistance, and many events described as civil disobedience, giving rise to the civil rights movement of 1954 to 1968.The strategy of public education, legislative lobbying, and litigation that had typified the civil rights movement during the first half of the 20th century broadened after Brown to a strategy that emphasized "direct action": boycotts, sit-ins, Freedom Rides, marches or walks, and similar tactics that relied on mass mobilization, nonviolent resistance, standing in line, and, at times, civil disobedience. Churches, local grassroots organizations, fraternal societies, and black-owned businesses mobilized volunteers to participate in broad-based actions. This was a more direct and potentially more rapid means of creating change than the traditional approach of mounting court challenges used by the NAACP and others. In 1952, the Regional Council of Negro Leadership (RCNL), led by T. Howard, a black surgeon, entrepreneur, and planter organized a successful boycott of gas stations in Mississippi that refused to provide restrooms for blacks. Through the RCNL, Howard led campaigns to expose brutality by the Mississippi state highway patrol and to encourage blacks to make deposits in the black-owned Tri-State Bank of Nashville which, in turn, gave loans to civil rights activists who were victims of a "credit squeeze" by the White Citizens' Councils. After Claudette Colvin was arrested for not giving up her seat on a Montgomery, Alabama bus in March 1955, a bus boycott was considered and rejected. But when Rosa Parks was arrested in December, Jo Ann Gibson Robinson of the Montgomery Women's Political Council put the bus boycott protest in motion. Late that night, she, John Cannon (chairman of the Business Department at Alabama State University) and others mimeographed and distributed thousands of leaflets calling for a boycott.  The eventual success of the boycott made its spokesman Dr. It also inspired other bus boycotts, such as the successful Tallahassee, Florida boycott of 195657. Ralph Abernathy, the leaders of the Montgomery Improvement Association, joined with other church leaders who had led similar boycott efforts, such as Rev. Steele of Tallahassee and Rev. Jemison of Baton Rouge, and other activists such as Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth, Ella Baker, A. Philip Randolph, Bayard Rustin and Stanley Levison, to form the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). The SCLC, with its headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia, did not attempt to create a network of chapters as the NAACP did. It offered training and leadership assistance for local efforts to fight segregation. The headquarters organization raised funds, mostly from Northern sources, to support such campaigns.
It made nonviolence both its central tenet and its primary method of confronting racism. In 1959, Septima Clarke, Bernice Robinson, and Esau Jenkins, with the help of Myles Horton's Highlander Folk School in Tennessee, began the first Citizenship Schools in South Carolina's Sea Islands. They taught literacy to enable blacks to pass voting tests. The program was an enormous success and tripled the number of black voters on Johns Island.
SCLC took over the program and duplicated its results elsewhere. Main article: Timeline of the civil rights movement. Further information: Civil rights movement (18651896) and Civil rights movement (18961954).
In the spring of 1951, black students in Virginia protested their unequal status in the state's segregated educational system. Students at Moton High School protested the overcrowded conditions and failing facility.  Some local leaders of the NAACP had tried to persuade the students to back down from their protest against the Jim Crow laws of school segregation. When the students did not budge, the NAACP joined their battle against school segregation. The NAACP proceeded with five cases challenging the school systems; these were later combined under what is known today as Brown v.Supreme Court under Chief Justice Earl Warren ruled unanimously that racial segregation in public schools was unconstitutional. On May 17, 1954, the U. Supreme Court under Chief Justice Earl Warren ruled unanimously in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas, that mandating, or even permitting, public schools to be segregated by race was unconstitutional.  Chief Justice Warren wrote in the court majority opinion that. Segregation of white and colored children in public schools has a detrimental effect upon the colored children. The impact is greater when it has the sanction of the law; for the policy of separating the races is usually interpreted as denoting the inferiority of the Negro group. The lawyers from the NAACP had to gather plausible evidence in order to win the case of Brown vs. Their method of addressing the issue of school segregation was to enumerate several arguments. One pertained to having exposure to interracial contact in a school environment.
It was argued that interracial contact would, in turn, help prepare children to live with the pressures that society exerts in regards to race and thereby afford them a better chance of living in a democracy. In addition, another argument emphasized how "'education' comprehends the entire process of developing and training the mental, physical and moral powers and capabilities of human beings". Risa Goluboff wrote that the NAACP's intention was to show the Courts that African American children were the victims of school segregation and their futures were at risk. The Court ruled that both Plessy v. Ferguson (1896), which had established the "separate but equal" standard in general, and Cumming v.Richmond County Board of Education (1899), which had applied that standard to schools, were unconstitutional. The federal government filed a friend of the court brief in the case urging the justices to consider the effect that segregation had on America's image in the Cold War. Secretary of State Dean Acheson was quoted in the brief stating that The United States is under constant attack in the foreign press, over the foreign radio, and in such international bodies as the United Nations because of various practices of discrimination in this country. The following year, in the case known as Brown II, the Court ordered segregation to be phased out over time, "with all deliberate speed". Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas (1954) did not overturn Plessy v.
Ferguson was segregation in transportation modes. Board of Education dealt with segregation in education. Board of Education did set in motion the future overturning of'separate but equal'.School integration, Barnard School, Washington, D. On May 18, 1954, Greensboro, North Carolina, became the first city in the South to publicly announce that it would abide by the Supreme Court's Brown v. It is unthinkable,' remarked School Board Superintendent Benjamin Smith,'that we will try to [override] the laws of the United States.  This positive reception for Brown, together with the appointment of African American Dr.
David Jones to the school board in 1953, convinced numerous white and black citizens that Greensboro was heading in a progressive direction. Integration in Greensboro occurred rather peacefully compared to the process in Southern states such as Alabama, Arkansas, and Virginia where "massive resistance" was practiced by top officials and throughout the states. In Virginia, some counties closed their public schools rather than integrate, and many white Christian private schools were founded to accommodate students who used to go to public schools. Even in Greensboro, much local resistance to desegregation continued, and in 1969, the federal government found the city was not in compliance with the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
Transition to a fully integrated school system did not begin until 1971. Many Northern cities also had de facto segregation policies, which resulted in a vast gulf in educational resources between black and white communities. In Harlem, New York, for example, neither a single new school was built since the turn of the century, nor did a single nursery school exist even as the Second Great Migration was causing overcrowding. Existing schools tended to be dilapidated and staffed with inexperienced teachers. Brown helped stimulate activism among New York City parents like Mae Mallory who, with the support of the NAACP, initiated a successful lawsuit against the city and state on Brown's principles.
Mallory and thousands of other parents bolstered the pressure of the lawsuit with a school boycott in 1959. During the boycott, some of the first freedom schools of the period were established. The city responded to the campaign by permitting more open transfers to high-quality, historically-white schools. New York's African-American community, and Northern desegregation activists generally, now found themselves contending with the problem of white flight, however.The Emmett Till Memorial triptych by Sandra Hansen. He allegedly had an interaction with a white woman, Carolyn Bryant, in a small grocery store that violated the norms of Mississippi culture, and Bryant's husband Roy and his half-brother J. Milam brutally murdered young Emmett Till.
They beat and mutilated him before shooting him in the head and sinking his body in the Tallahatchie River. Three days later, Till's body was discovered and retrieved from the river. After Emmett's mother, Mamie Till, came to identify the remains of her son, she decided she wanted to "let the people see what I have seen".  Till's mother then had his body taken back to Chicago where she had it displayed in an open casket during the funeral services where many thousands of visitors arrived to show their respects.  A later publication of an image at the funeral in Jet is credited as a crucial moment in the civil rights era for displaying in vivid detail the violent racism that was being directed at black people in America.
 In a column for The Atlantic, Vann R. Newkirk wrote: "The trial of his killers became a pageant illuminating the tyranny of white supremacy". The state of Mississippi tried two defendants, but they were speedily acquitted by an all-white jury. "Emmett's murder, " historian Tim Tyson writes, would never have become a watershed historical moment without Mamie finding the strength to make her private grief a public matter.  The visceral response to his mother's decision to have an open-casket funeral mobilized the black community throughout the U.  The murder and resulting trial ended up markedly impacting the views of several young black activists.
 Joyce Ladner referred to such activists as the Emmett Till generation.  One hundred days after Emmett Till's murder, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on the bus in Montgomery, Alabama.  Parks later informed Till's mother that her decision to stay in her seat was guided by the image she still vividly recalled of Till's brutalized remains.
 The glass topped casket that was used for Till's Chicago funeral was found in a cemetery garage in 2009. Till had been reburied in a different casket after being exhumed in 2005.  Till's family decided to donate the original casket to the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American Culture and History, where it is now on display.  In 2007, Bryant disclosed that she had fabricated the most sensational part of her story in 1955. Main articles: Rosa Parks and Montgomery Bus Boycott.
Rosa Parks being fingerprinted by Deputy Sheriff D. Lackey after being arrested for not giving up her seat on a bus to a white person. On December 1, 1955, nine months after a 15-year-old high school student, Claudette Colvin, refused to give up her seat to a white passenger on a public bus in Montgomery, Alabama, and was arrested, Rosa Parks did the same thing.Parks soon became the symbol of the resulting Montgomery Bus Boycott and received national publicity. She was later hailed as the "mother of the civil rights movement". After Parks' arrest, African Americans gathered and organized the Montgomery Bus Boycott to demand a bus system in which passengers would be treated equally.  The organization was led by Jo Ann Robinson, a member of the Women's Political Council who had been waiting for the opportunity to boycott the bus system. Following Rosa Park's arrest, Jo Ann Robinson mimeographed 52,500 leaflets calling for a boycott. They were distributed around the city and helped gather the attention of civil rights leaders. After the city rejected many of their suggested reforms, the NAACP, led by E. Nixon, pushed for full desegregation of public buses. With the support of most of Montgomery's 50,000 African Americans, the boycott lasted for 381 days, until the local ordinance segregating African Americans and whites on public buses was repealed. Ninety percent of African Americans in Montgomery partook in the boycotts, which reduced bus revenue significantly, as they comprised the majority of the riders. In November 1956, the United States Supreme Court upheld a district court ruling in the case of Browder v. Gayle and ordered Montgomery's buses desegregated, ending the boycott. Local leaders established the Montgomery Improvement Association to focus their efforts. Was elected President of this organization. The lengthy protest attracted national attention for him and the city.
His eloquent appeals to Christian brotherhood and American idealism created a positive impression on people both inside and outside the South. Main article: Little Rock Nine. A crisis erupted in Little Rock, Arkansas, when Governor of Arkansas Orval Faubus called out the National Guard on September 4 to prevent entry to the nine African-American students who had sued for the right to attend an integrated school, Little Rock Central High School.  Under the guidance of Daisy Bates, the nine students had been chosen to attend Central High because of their excellent grades. A photo was taken of Eckford being harassed by white protesters outside the school, and the police had to take her away in a patrol car for her protection.
Afterwards, the nine students had to carpool to school and be escorted by military personnel in jeeps. White parents rally against integrating Little Rock's schools. Faubus was not a proclaimed segregationist. The Arkansas Democratic Party, which then controlled politics in the state, put significant pressure on Faubus after he had indicated he would investigate bringing Arkansas into compliance with the Brown decision. Faubus then took his stand against integration and against the Federal court ruling.
Faubus' resistance received the attention of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, who was determined to enforce the orders of the Federal courts. Critics had charged he was lukewarm, at best, on the goal of desegregation of public schools. But, Eisenhower federalized the National Guard in Arkansas and ordered them to return to their barracks.
Eisenhower deployed elements of the 101st Airborne Division to Little Rock to protect the students. The students attended high school under harsh conditions. They had to pass through a gauntlet of spitting, jeering whites to arrive at school on their first day, and to put up with harassment from other students for the rest of the year. Although federal troops escorted the students between classes, the students were teased and even attacked by white students when the soldiers were not around. One of the Little Rock Nine, Minnijean Brown, was suspended for spilling a bowl of chili on the head of a white student who was harassing her in the school lunch line.
Later, she was expelled for verbally abusing a white female student. Only Ernest Green of the Little Rock Nine graduated from Central High School.After the 195758 school year was over, Little Rock closed its public school system completely rather than continue to integrate. Other school systems across the South followed suit.
During the time period considered to be the "African-American civil rights" era, the predominant use of protest was nonviolent, or peaceful.  Often referred to as pacifism, the method of nonviolence is considered to be an attempt to impact society positively. Although acts of racial discrimination have occurred historically throughout the United States, perhaps the most violent regions have been in the former Confederate states. During the 1950s and 1960s, the nonviolent protesting of the civil rights movement caused definite tension, which gained national attention.
In order to prepare for protests physically and psychologically, demonstrators received training in nonviolence. According to former civil rights activist Bruce Hartford, there are two main branches of nonviolence training. There is the philosophical method, which involves understanding the method of nonviolence and why it is considered useful, and there is the tactical method, which ultimately teaches demonstrators "how to be a protestorhow to sit-in, how to picket, how to defend yourself against attack, giving training on how to remain cool when people are screaming racist insults into your face and pouring stuff on you and hitting you" (Civil Rights Movement Veterans). The philosophical method of nonviolence, in the American civil rights movement, was largely inspired by Mahatma Gandhi's "non-cooperation" with the British colonists in India, which was intended to gain attention so that the public would either "intervene in advance, " or "provide public pressure in support of the action to be taken" (Erikson, 415).As Hartford explains it, philosophical nonviolence training aims to "shape the individual person's attitude and mental response to crises and violence" (Civil Rights Movement Veterans). Hartford and activists like him, who trained in tactical nonviolence, considered it necessary in order to ensure physical safety, instill discipline, teach demonstrators how to demonstrate, and form mutual confidence among demonstrators (Civil Rights Movement Veterans). For many, the concept of nonviolent protest was a way of life, a culture. However, not everyone agreed with this notion. James Forman, former SNCC (and later Black Panther) member, and nonviolence trainer, was among those who did not. In his autobiography, The Making of Black Revolutionaries, Forman revealed his perspective on the method of nonviolence as strictly a tactic, not a way of life without limitations. Similarly, Bob Moses, who was also an active member of SNCC, felt that the method of nonviolence was practical. When interviewed by author Robert Penn Warren, Moses said There's no question that he Martin Luther King Jr. Had a great deal of influence with the masses.
But I don't think it's in the direction of love. It's in a practical direction. Who Speaks for the Negro?According to a 2020 study in the American Political Science Review, nonviolent civil rights protests boosted vote shares for the Democratic party in presidential elections in nearby counties, but violent protests substantially boosted white support for Republicans in counties near to the violent protests. The Jim Crow system employed "terror as a means of social control, " with the most organized manifestations being the Ku Klux Klan and their collaborators in local police departments. This violence played a key role in blocking the progress of the civil rights movement in the late 1950s. Some black organizations in the South began practicing armed self-defense. The first to do so openly was the Monroe, North Carolina, chapter of the NAACP led by Robert F. Williams had rebuilt the chapter after its membership was terrorized out of public life by the Klan. He did so by encouraging a new, more working-class membership to arm itself thoroughly and defend against attack.
 When Klan nightriders attacked the home of NAACP member Albert Perry in October 1957, Williams' militia exchanged gunfire with the stunned Klansmen, who quickly retreated. The following day, the city council held an emergency session and passed an ordinance banning KKK motorcades. One year later, Lumbee Indians in North Carolina would have a similarly successful armed stand-off with the Klan (known as the Battle of Hayes Pond) which resulted in KKK leader James W. "Catfish" Cole being convicted of incitement to riot. After the acquittal of several white men charged with sexually assaulting black women in Monroe, Williams announced to United Press International reporters that he would "meet violence with violence" as a policy. Williams' declaration was quoted on the front page of The New York Times, and The Carolina Times considered it "the biggest civil rights story of 1959".  NAACP National chairman Roy Wilkins immediately suspended Williams from his position, but the Monroe organizer won support from numerous NAACP chapters across the country.
Ultimately, Wilkins resorted to bribing influential organizer Daisy Bates to campaign against Williams at the NAACP national convention and the suspension was upheld. The convention nonetheless passed a resolution which stated: We do not deny, but reaffirm the right of individual and collective self-defense against unlawful assaults.  Martin Luther King Jr. Argued for Williams' removal,  but Ella Baker and WEB Dubois both publicly praised the Monroe leader's position.
Williamsalong with his wife, Mabel Williamscontinued to play a leadership role in the Monroe movement, and to some degree, in the national movement. The Williamses published The Crusader, a nationally circulated newsletter, beginning in 1960, and the influential book Negroes With Guns in 1962. Williams did not call for full militarization in this period, but flexibility in the freedom struggle. " Williams was well-versed in legal tactics and publicity, which he had used successfully in the internationally known "Kissing Case of 1958, as well as nonviolent methods, which he used at lunch counter sit-ins in Monroeall with armed self-defense as a complementary tactic. Williams led the Monroe movement in another armed stand-off with white supremacists during an August 1961 Freedom Ride; he had been invited to participate in the campaign by Ella Baker and James Forman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC).The incident (along with his campaigns for peace with Cuba) resulted in him being targeted by the FBI and prosecuted for kidnapping; he was cleared of all charges in 1976.  Meanwhile, armed self-defense continued discreetly in the Southern movement with such figures as SNCC's Amzie Moore,  Hartman Turnbow,  and Fannie Lou Hamer all willing to use arms to defend their lives from nightrides. Taking refuge from the FBI in Cuba, the Willamses broadcast the radio show Radio Free Dixie throughout the eastern United States via Radio Progresso beginning in 1962. In this period, Williams advocated guerilla warfare against racist institutions and saw the large ghetto riots of the era as a manifestation of his strategy.
University of North Carolina historian Walter Rucker has written that the emergence of Robert F Williams contributed to the marked decline in anti-black racial violence in the U. After centuries of anti-black violence, African Americans across the country began to defend their communities aggressivelyemploying overt force when necessary.
This in turn evoked in whites real fear of black vengeance... This opened up space for African Americans to use nonviolent demonstration with less fear of deadly reprisal.  Of the many civil rights activists who share this view, the most prominent was Rosa Parks. Parks gave the eulogy at Williams' funeral in 1996, praising him for "his courage and for his commitment to freedom, " and concluding that The sacrifices he made, and what he did, should go down in history and never be forgotten. See also: Greensboro sit-ins, Nashville sit-ins, and Sit-in movement.
In July 1958, the NAACP Youth Council sponsored sit-ins at the lunch counter of a Dockum Drug Store in downtown Wichita, Kansas. After three weeks, the movement successfully got the store to change its policy of segregated seating, and soon afterwards all Dockum stores in Kansas were desegregated. This movement was quickly followed in the same year by a student sit-in at a Katz Drug Store in Oklahoma City led by Clara Luper, which also was successful.Student sit-in at Woolworth in Durham, North Carolina on February 10, 1960. Mostly black students from area colleges led a sit-in at a Woolworth's store in Greensboro, North Carolina.  On February 1, 1960, four students, Ezell A. David Richmond, Joseph McNeil, and Franklin McCain from North Carolina Agricultural & Technical College, an all-black college, sat down at the segregated lunch counter to protest Woolworth's policy of excluding African Americans from being served food there. Nashville's sit-in campaign targeted downtown lunch counters such as this one at Walgreens drugstore. The protesters had been encouraged to dress professionally, to sit quietly, and to occupy every other stool so that potential white sympathizers could join in. The Greensboro sit-in was quickly followed by other sit-ins in Richmond, Virginia; Nashville, Tennessee; and Atlanta, Georgia.  The most immediately effective of these was in Nashville, where hundreds of well organized and highly disciplined college students conducted sit-ins in coordination with a boycott campaign.
 As students across the south began to "sit-in" at the lunch counters of local stores, police and other officials sometimes used brutal force to physically escort the demonstrators from the lunch facilities. The "sit-in" technique was not newas far back as 1939, African-American attorney Samuel Wilbert Tucker organized a sit-in at the then-segregated Alexandria, Virginia, library.  In 1960 the technique succeeded in bringing national attention to the movement.  On March 9, 1960, an Atlanta University Center group of students released An Appeal for Human Rights as a full page advertisement in newspapers, including the Atlanta Constitution, Atlanta Journal, and Atlanta Daily World.
 Known as the Committee on Appeal for Human Rights (COAHR), the group initiated the Atlanta Student Movement and began to lead sit-ins starting on March 15, 1960.  By the end of 1960, the process of sit-ins had spread to every southern and border state, and even to facilities in Nevada, Illinois, and Ohio that discriminated against blacks. Demonstrators focused not only on lunch counters but also on parks, beaches, libraries, theaters, museums, and other public facilities.In April 1960 activists who had led these sit-ins were invited by SCLC activist Ella Baker to hold a conference at Shaw University, a historically black university in Raleigh, North Carolina. This conference led to the formation of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC).  SNCC took these tactics of nonviolent confrontation further, and organized the freedom rides. As the constitution protected interstate commerce, they decided to challenge segregation on interstate buses and in public bus facilities by putting interracial teams on them, to travel from the North through the segregated South. Freedom Rides were journeys by civil rights activists on interstate buses into the segregated southern United States to test the United States Supreme Court decision Boynton v.
454 (1960), which ruled that segregation was unconstitutional for passengers engaged in interstate travel. Organized by CORE, the first Freedom Ride of the 1960s left Washington D. On May 4, 1961, and was scheduled to arrive in New Orleans on May 17. During the first and subsequent Freedom Rides, activists traveled through the Deep South to integrate seating patterns on buses and desegregate bus terminals, including restrooms and water fountains. That proved to be a dangerous mission.In Anniston, Alabama, one bus was firebombed, forcing its passengers to flee for their lives. A mob beats Freedom Riders in Birmingham.
This picture was reclaimed by the FBI from a local journalist who also was beaten and whose camera was smashed. In Birmingham, Alabama, an FBI informant reported that Public Safety Commissioner Eugene "Bull" Connor gave Ku Klux Klan members fifteen minutes to attack an incoming group of freedom riders before having police "protect" them. The riders were severely beaten until it looked like a bulldog had got a hold of them. James Peck, a white activist, was beaten so badly that he required fifty stitches to his head. In a similar occurrence in Montgomery, Alabama, the Freedom Riders followed in the footsteps of Rosa Parks and rode an integrated Greyhound bus from Birmingham.
Although they were protesting interstate bus segregation in peace, they were met with violence in Montgomery as a large, white mob attacked them for their activism. They caused an enormous, 2-hour long riot which resulted in 22 injuries, five of whom were hospitalized. Mob violence in Anniston and Birmingham temporarily halted the rides.SNCC activists from Nashville brought in new riders to continue the journey from Birmingham to New Orleans. In Montgomery, Alabama, at the Greyhound Bus Station, a mob charged another busload of riders, knocking John Lewis unconscious with a crate and smashing Life photographer Don Urbrock in the face with his own camera. A dozen men surrounded James Zwerg, a white student from Fisk University, and beat him in the face with a suitcase, knocking out his teeth. On May 24, 1961, the freedom riders continued their rides into Jackson, Mississippi, where they were arrested for "breaching the peace" by using "white only" facilities. New Freedom Rides were organized by many different organizations and continued to flow into the South. As riders arrived in Jackson, they were arrested. By the end of summer, more than 300 had been jailed in Mississippi. When the weary Riders arrive in Jackson and attempt to use "white only" restrooms and lunch counters they are immediately arrested for Breach of Peace and Refusal to Obey an Officer. Says Mississippi Governor Ross Barnett in defense of segregation: The Negro is different because God made him different to punish him.
" From lockup, the Riders announce "Jail No Bailthey will not pay fines for unconstitutional arrests and illegal convictionsand by staying in jail they keep the issue alive. Each prisoner will remain in jail for 39 days, the maximum time they can serve without loosing [sic] their right to appeal the unconstitutionality of their arrests, trials, and convictions.
After 39 days, they file an appeal and post bond... The jailed freedom riders were treated harshly, crammed into tiny, filthy cells and sporadically beaten. In Jackson, some male prisoners were forced to do hard labor in 100 °F heat.
Others were transferred to the Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman, where they were treated to harsh conditions. Sometimes the men were suspended by "wrist breakers" from the walls.
Typically, the windows of their cells were shut tight on hot days, making it hard for them to breathe. Public sympathy and support for the freedom riders led John F. Kennedy's administration to order the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) to issue a new desegregation order.When the new ICC rule took effect on November 1, 1961, passengers were permitted to sit wherever they chose on the bus; "white" and "colored" signs came down in the terminals; separate drinking fountains, toilets, and waiting rooms were consolidated; and lunch counters began serving people regardless of skin color. The student movement involved such celebrated figures as John Lewis, a single-minded activist; James Lawson, the revered "guru" of nonviolent theory and tactics; Diane Nash, an articulate and intrepid public champion of justice; Bob Moses, pioneer of voting registration in Mississippi; and James Bevel, a fiery preacher and charismatic organizer, strategist, and facilitator. Other prominent student activists included Charles McDew, Bernard Lafayette, Charles Jones, Lonnie King, Julian Bond, Hosea Williams, and Stokely Carmichael. After the Freedom Rides, local black leaders in Mississippi such as Amzie Moore, Aaron Henry, Medgar Evers, and others asked SNCC to help register black voters and to build community organizations that could win a share of political power in the state.
Also, violence at the time of elections had earlier suppressed black voting. By the mid-20th century, preventing blacks from voting had become an essential part of the culture of white supremacy. In June and July 1959, members of the black community in Fayette County, TN formed the Fayette County Civic and Welfare League to spur voting. At the time, there were 16,927 blacks in the county, yet only 17 of them had voted in the previous seven years. Within a year, some 1,400 blacks had registered, and the white community responded with harsh economic reprisals.
Using registration rolls, the White Citizens Council circulated a blacklist of all registered black voters, allowing banks, local stores, and gas stations to conspire to deny registered black voters essential services. What's more, sharecropping blacks who registered to vote were getting evicted from their homes. All in all, the number of evictions came to 257 families, many of whom were forced to live in a makeshift Tent City for well over a year.
Finally, in December 1960, the Justice Department invoked its powers authorized by the Civil Rights Act of 1957 to file a suit against seventy parties accused of violating the civil rights of black Fayette County citizens.  In the following year the first voter registration project in McComb and the surrounding counties in the Southwest corner of the state. Their efforts were met with violent repression from state and local lawmen, the White Citizens' Council, and the Ku Klux Klan. Activists were beaten, there were hundreds of arrests of local citizens, and the voting activist Herbert Lee was murdered. White opposition to black voter registration was so intense in Mississippi that Freedom Movement activists concluded that all of the state's civil rights organizations had to unite in a coordinated effort to have any chance of success.In February 1962, representatives of SNCC, CORE, and the NAACP formed the Council of Federated Organizations (COFO). At a subsequent meeting in August, SCLC became part of COFO. In the Spring of 1962, with funds from the Voter Education Project, SNCC/COFO began voter registration organizing in the Mississippi Delta area around Greenwood, and the areas surrounding Hattiesburg, Laurel, and Holly Springs. As in McComb, their efforts were met with fierce oppositionarrests, beatings, shootings, arson, and murder. Registrars used the literacy test to keep blacks off the voting rolls by creating standards that even highly educated people could not meet. In addition, employers fired blacks who tried to register, and landlords evicted them from their rental homes.  Despite these actions, over the following years, the black voter registration campaign spread across the state. Similar voter registration campaignswith similar responseswere begun by SNCC, CORE, and SCLC in Louisiana, Alabama, southwest Georgia, and South Carolina. By 1963, voter registration campaigns in the South were as integral to the Freedom Movement as desegregation efforts. After the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964,  protecting and facilitating voter registration despite state barriers became the main effort of the movement. It resulted in the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which had provisions to enforce the constitutional right to vote for all citizens. Beginning in 1956, Clyde Kennard, a black Korean War-veteran, wanted to enroll at Mississippi Southern College (now the University of Southern Mississippi) at Hattiesburg under the G.
William David McCain, the college president, used the Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission, in order to prevent his enrollment by appealing to local black leaders and the segregationist state political establishment. The state-funded organization tried to counter the civil rights movement by positively portraying segregationist policies. More significantly, it collected data on activists, harassed them legally, and used economic boycotts against them by threatening their jobs (or causing them to lose their jobs) to try to suppress their work. Kennard was twice arrested on trumped-up charges, and eventually convicted and sentenced to seven years in the state prison.  After three years at hard labor, Kennard was paroled by Mississippi Governor Ross Barnett.
Journalists had investigated his case and publicized the state's mistreatment of his colon cancer. McCain's role in Kennard's arrests and convictions is unknown.  While trying to prevent Kennard's enrollment, McCain made a speech in Chicago, with his travel sponsored by the Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission. He described the blacks' seeking to desegregate Southern schools as "imports" from the North.
Kennard was a native and resident of Hattiesburg. The Negroes prefer that control of the government remain in the white man's hands.
Note: Mississippi had passed a new constitution in 1890 that effectively disfranchised most blacks by changing electoral and voter registration requirements; although it deprived them of constitutional rights authorized under post-Civil War amendments, it survived U. Supreme Court challenges at the time.It was not until after passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act that most blacks in Mississippi and other southern states gained federal protection to enforce the constitutional right of citizens to vote. James Meredith walking to class accompanied by a U. Marshal and a Justice Department official. In September 1962, James Meredith won a lawsuit to secure admission to the previously segregated University of Mississippi.
He attempted to enter campus on September 20, on September 25, and again on September 26. Circuit Court of Appeals held Barnett and Lieutenant Governor Paul B. Army trucks loaded with Federal law enforcement personnel on the University of Mississippi campus. Kennedy sent in a force of U.Border Patrol agents and Federal Bureau of Prisons officers. On September 30, 1962, Meredith entered the campus under their escort. Students and other whites began rioting that evening, throwing rocks and firing on the federal agents guarding Meredith at Lyceum Hall. Rioters ended up killing two civilians, including a French journalist; 28 federal agents suffered gunshot wounds, and 160 others were injured.
Army and federalized Mississippi National Guard forces to the campus to quell the riot. Meredith began classes the day after the troops arrived. Kennard and other activists continued to work on public university desegregation.
In 1965 Raylawni Branch and Gwendolyn Elaine Armstrong became the first African-American students to attend the University of Southern Mississippi. By that time, McCain helped ensure they had a peaceful entry. In 2006, Judge Robert Helfrich ruled that Kennard was factually innocent of all charges for which he had been convicted in the 1950s. The SCLC, which had been criticized by some student activists for its failure to participate more fully in the freedom rides, committed much of its prestige and resources to a desegregation campaign in Albany, Georgia, in November 1961. King, who had been criticized personally by some SNCC activists for his distance from the dangers that local organizers facedand given the derisive nickname "De Lawd" as a resultintervened personally to assist the campaign led by both SNCC organizers and local leaders. The campaign was a failure because of the canny tactics of Laurie Pritchett, the local police chief, and divisions within the black community.
The goals may not have been specific enough. Pritchett contained the marchers without violent attacks on demonstrators that inflamed national opinion. He also arranged for arrested demonstrators to be taken to jails in surrounding communities, allowing plenty of room to remain in his jail.
Pritchett also foresaw King's presence as a danger and forced his release to avoid King's rallying the black community. King left in 1962 without having achieved any dramatic victories. The local movement, however, continued the struggle, and it obtained significant gains in the next few years. The Albany movement was shown to be an important education for the SCLC, however, when it undertook the Birmingham campaign in 1963.Executive Director Wyatt Tee Walker carefully planned the early strategy and tactics for the campaign. It focused on one goalthe desegregation of Birmingham's downtown merchants, rather than total desegregation, as in Albany. The movement's efforts were helped by the brutal response of local authorities, in particular Eugene "Bull" Connor, the Commissioner of Public Safety. He had long held much political power but had lost a recent election for mayor to a less rabidly segregationist candidate.
Refusing to accept the new mayor's authority, Connor intended to stay in office. The campaign used a variety of nonviolent methods of confrontation, including sit-ins, kneel-ins at local churches, and a march to the county building to mark the beginning of a drive to register voters. The city, however, obtained an injunction barring all such protests. Convinced that the order was unconstitutional, the campaign defied it and prepared for mass arrests of its supporters.King elected to be among those arrested on April 12, 1963. Recreation of Martin Luther King's cell in Birmingham Jail at the National Civil Rights Museum. While in jail, King wrote his famous "Letter from Birmingham Jail" on the margins of a newspaper, since he had not been allowed any writing paper while held in solitary confinement.  Supporters appealed to the Kennedy administration, which intervened to obtain King's release.  King was allowed to call his wife, who was recuperating at home after the birth of their fourth child and was released early on April 19.
The campaign, however, faltered as it ran out of demonstrators willing to risk arrest. James Bevel, SCLC's Director of Direct Action and Director of Nonviolent Education, then came up with a bold and controversial alternative: to train high school students to take part in the demonstrations. As a result, in what would be called the Children's Crusade, more than one thousand students skipped school on May 2 to meet at the 16th Street Baptist Church to join the demonstrations. More than six hundred marched out of the church fifty at a time in an attempt to walk to City Hall to speak to Birmingham's mayor about segregation.They were arrested and put into jail. In this first encounter, the police acted with restraint.
On the next day, however, another one thousand students gathered at the church. When Bevel started them marching fifty at a time, Bull Connor finally unleashed police dogs on them and then turned the city's fire hoses water streams on the children. National television networks broadcast the scenes of the dogs attacking demonstrators and the water from the fire hoses knocking down the schoolchildren. Widespread public outrage led the Kennedy administration to intervene more forcefully in negotiations between the white business community and the SCLC.
On May 10, the parties announced an agreement to desegregate the lunch counters and other public accommodations downtown, to create a committee to eliminate discriminatory hiring practices, to arrange for the release of jailed protesters, and to establish regular means of communication between black and white leaders. A black and white photograph of a building in ruins next to an intact wall. Wreckage at the Gaston Motel following the bomb explosion on May 11, 1963.
Not everyone in the black community approved of the agreementthe Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth was particularly critical, since he was skeptical about the good faith of Birmingham's power structure from his experience in dealing with them.Parts of the white community reacted violently. They bombed the Gaston Motel, which housed the SCLC's unofficial headquarters, and the home of King's brother, the Reverend A. In response, thousands of blacks rioted, burning numerous buildings and one of them stabbed and wounded a police officer. Congress of Racial Equality march in Washington D. On September 22, 1963, in memory of the children killed in the Birmingham bombings. Kennedy prepared to federalize the Alabama National Guard if the need arose. Four months later, on September 15, a conspiracy of Ku Klux Klan members bombed the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, killing four young girls. Main articles: Gloria Richardson, Stand in the Schoolhouse Door, and Civil Rights Address.
Birmingham was only one of over a hundred cities rocked by the chaotic protest that spring and summer, some of them in the North but mainly in the South. During the March on Washington, Martin Luther King would refer to such protests as the whirlwinds of revolt. In Chicago, blacks rioted through the South Side in late May after a white police officer shot a fourteen-year-old black boy who was fleeing the scene of a robbery.  Violent clashes between black activists and white workers took place in both Philadelphia and Harlem in successful efforts to integrate state construction projects.  On June 6, over a thousand whites attacked a sit-in in Lexington, North Carolina; blacks fought back and one white man was killed.
Berry of the National Urban League warned of a complete breakdown in race relations: My message from the beer gardens and the barbershops all indicate the fact that the Negro is ready for war. In Cambridge, Maryland, a workingclass city on the Eastern Shore, Gloria Richardson of SNCC led a movement that pressed for desegregation but also demanded lowrent public housing, jobtraining, public and private jobs, and an end to police brutality.  On June 11, struggles between blacks and whites escalated into violent rioting, leading Maryland Governor J. Millard Tawes to declare martial law. When negotiations between Richardson and Maryland officials faltered, Attorney General Robert F.
Kennedy directly intervened to negotiate a desegregation agreement.  Richardson felt that the increasing participation of poor and working-class blacks was expanding both the power and parameters of the movement, asserting that the people as a whole really do have more intelligence than a few of their leaders. In their deliberations during this wave of protests, the Kennedy administration privately felt that militant demonstrations were bad for the country and that Negroes are going to push this thing too far.  On May 24, Robert Kennedy had a meeting with prominent black intellectuals to discuss the racial situation.
The blacks criticized Kennedy harshly for vacillating on civil rights and said that the African-American community's thoughts were increasingly turning to violence. The meeting ended with ill will on all sides.  Nonetheless, the Kennedys ultimately decided that new legislation for equal public accommodations was essential to drive activists into the courts and out of the streets.
Alabama governor George Wallace tried to block desegregation at the University of Alabama and is confronted by U. Deputy Attorney General Nicholas Katzenbach in 1963. On June 11, 1963, George Wallace, Governor of Alabama, tried to block the integration of the University of Alabama. Kennedy sent a military force to make Governor Wallace step aside, allowing the enrollment of Vivian Malone Jones and James Hood.That evening, President Kennedy addressed the nation on TV and radio with his historic civil rights speech, where he lamented a rising tide of discontent that threatens the public safety.  In the early hours of June 12, Medgar Evers, field secretary of the Mississippi NAACP, was assassinated by a member of the Klan.  The next week, as promised, on June 19, 1963, President Kennedy submitted his Civil Rights bill to Congress. Main article: March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. Bayard Rustin (left) and Cleveland Robinson (right), organizers of the March, on August 7, 1963.
The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom at the National Mall. Philip Randolph had planned a march on Washington, D. In 1941 to support demands for elimination of employment discrimination in defense industries; he called off the march when the Roosevelt administration met the demand by issuing Executive Order 8802 barring racial discrimination and creating an agency to oversee compliance with the order.
Randolph and Bayard Rustin were the chief planners of the second march, which they proposed in 1962. In 1963, the Kennedy administration initially opposed the march out of concern it would negatively impact the drive for passage of civil rights legislation. However, Randolph and King were firm that the march would proceed.
 With the march going forward, the Kennedys decided it was important to work to ensure its success. Concerned about the turnout, President Kennedy enlisted the aid of white church leaders and Walter Reuther, president of the UAW, to help mobilize white supporters for the march. The march was held on August 28, 1963.Unlike the planned 1941 march, for which Randolph included only black-led organizations in the planning, the 1963 march was a collaborative effort of all of the major civil rights organizations, the more progressive wing of the labor movement, and other liberal organizations. The march had six official goals. A massive federal works program.
Of these, the march's major focus was on passage of the civil rights law that the Kennedy administration had proposed after the upheavals in Birmingham. At a Civil Rights March on Washington, D.National media attention also greatly contributed to the march's national exposure and probable impact. In the essay "The March on Washington and Television News, " historian William Thomas notes: Over five hundred cameramen, technicians, and correspondents from the major networks were set to cover the event. More cameras would be set up than had filmed the last presidential inauguration. One camera was positioned high in the Washington Monument, to give dramatic vistas of the marchers. By carrying the organizers' speeches and offering their own commentary, television stations framed the way their local audiences saw and understood the event. 30-second sample from "I Have a Dream" speech by Martin Luther King Jr. At the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom on August 28, 1963.
The march was a success, although not without controversy. An estimated 200,000 to 300,000 demonstrators gathered in front of the Lincoln Memorial, where King delivered his famous "I Have a Dream" speech. While many speakers applauded the Kennedy administration for the efforts it had made toward obtaining new, more effective civil rights legislation protecting the right to vote and outlawing segregation, John Lewis of SNCC took the administration to task for not doing more to protect southern blacks and civil rights workers under attack in the Deep South. After the march, King and other civil rights leaders met with President Kennedy at the White House.
While the Kennedy administration appeared sincerely committed to passing the bill, it was not clear that it had enough votes in Congress to do so. However, when President Kennedy was assassinated on November 22, 1963,  the new President Lyndon Johnson decided to use his influence in Congress to bring about much of Kennedy's legislative agenda. Main articles: Malcolm X, Black Nationalism, and The Ballot or the Bullet. In March 1964, Malcolm X (el-Hajj Malik el-Shabazz), national representative of the Nation of Islam, formally broke with that organization, and made a public offer to collaborate with any civil rights organization that accepted the right to self-defense and the philosophy of Black nationalism (which Malcolm said no longer required Black separatism). Gloria Richardson, head of the Cambridge, Maryland, chapter of SNCC, and leader of the Cambridge rebellion,  an honored guest at The March on Washington, immediately embraced Malcolm's offer.
Richardson, "the nation's most prominent woman [civil rights] leader, " told The Baltimore Afro-American that Malcolm is being very practical... The federal government has moved into conflict situations only when matters approach the level of insurrection. Self-defense may force Washington to intervene sooner.
" Earlier, in May 1963, writer and activist James Baldwin had stated publicly that "the Black Muslim movement is the only one in the country we can call grassroots, I hate to say it... Malcolm articulates for Negroes, their suffering...
 On the local level, Malcolm and the NOI had been allied with the Harlem chapter of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) since at least 1962. Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr. Speak to each other thoughtfully as others look on.
Malcolm X meets with Martin Luther King Jr. On March 26, 1964, as the Civil Rights Act was facing stiff opposition in Congress, Malcolm had a public meeting with Martin Luther King Jr. Malcolm had tried to begin a dialog with Dr.King as early as 1957, but King had rebuffed him. Malcolm had responded by calling King an "Uncle Tom", saying he had turned his back on black militancy in order to appease the white power structure.
But the two men were on good terms at their face-to-face meeting.  There is evidence that King was preparing to support Malcolm's plan to formally bring the U. Government before the United Nations on charges of human rights violations against African Americans.  Malcolm now encouraged Black nationalists to get involved in voter registration drives and other forms of community organizing to redefine and expand the movement. Civil rights activists became increasingly combative in the 1963 to 1964 period, seeking to defy such events as the thwarting of the Albany campaign, police repression and Ku Klux Klan terrorism in Birmingham, and the assassination of Medgar Evers.The latter's brother Charles Evers, who took over as Mississippi NAACP Field Director, told a public NAACP conference on February 15, 1964, that non-violence won't work in Mississippi... We made up our minds... That if a white man shoots at a Negro in Mississippi, we will shoot back.  The repression of sit-ins in Jacksonville, Florida, provoked a riot in which black youth threw Molotov cocktails at police on March 24, 1964.  Malcolm X gave numerous speeches in this period warning that such militant activity would escalate further if African Americans' rights were not fully recognized. In his landmark April 1964 speech "The Ballot or the Bullet", Malcolm presented an ultimatum to white America: There's new strategy coming in. It'll be Molotov cocktails this month, hand grenades next month, and something else next month.
It'll be ballots, or it'll be bullets. As noted in the PBS documentary Eyes on the Prize, Malcolm X had a far-reaching effect on the civil rights movement. In the South, there had been a long tradition of self-reliance. Malcolm X's ideas now touched that tradition.
 Self-reliance was becoming paramount in light of the 1964 Democratic National Convention's decision to refuse seating to the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party (MFDP) and instead to seat the regular state delegation, which had been elected in violation of the party's own rules, and by Jim Crow law instead.  SNCC moved in an increasingly militant direction and worked with Malcolm X on two Harlem MFDP fundraisers in December 1964. When Fannie Lou Hamer spoke to Harlemites about the Jim Crow violence that she'd suffered in Mississippi, she linked it directly to the Northern police brutality against blacks that Malcolm protested against; When Malcolm asserted that African Americans should emulate the Mau Mau army of Kenya in efforts to gain their independence, many in SNCC applauded.During the Selma campaign for voting rights in 1965, Malcolm made it known that he'd heard reports of increased threats of lynching around Selma. In late January he sent an open telegram to George Lincoln Rockwell, the head of the American Nazi Party, stating. If your present racist agitation against our people there in Alabama causes physical harm to Reverend King or any other black Americans... You and your KKK friends will be met with maximum physical retaliation from those of us who are not handcuffed by the disarming philosophy of nonviolence.
The following month, the Selma chapter of SNCC invited Malcolm to speak to a mass meeting there. On the day of Malcolm's appearance, President Johnson made his first public statement in support of the Selma campaign.  Paul Ryan Haygood, a co-director of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, credits Malcolm with a role in gaining support by the federal government. Haygood noted that shortly after Malcolm's visit to Selma, a federal judge, responding to a suit brought by the Department of Justice, required Dallas County, Alabama, registrars to process at least 100 Black applications each day their offices were open. "We Cater to White Trade Only" sign on a restaurant window in Lancaster, Ohio, in 1938.In 1964, Martin Luther King Jr. Was arrested and spent a night in jail for attempting to eat at a white-only restaurant in St. Augustine was famous as the "Nation's Oldest City", founded by the Spanish in 1565.
It became the stage for a great drama leading up to the passage of the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964. A local movement, led by Robert B.
Hayling, a black dentist and Air Force veteran affiliated with the NAACP, had been picketing segregated local institutions since 1963. In the fall of 1964, Hayling and three companions were brutally beaten at a Ku Klux Klan rally.Nightriders shot into black homes, and teenagers Audrey Nell Edwards, JoeAnn Anderson, Samuel White, and Willie Carl Singleton who came to be known as The St. Augustine Four sat in at a local Woolworth's lunch counter, seeking to get served. They were arrested and convicted of trespassing, and sentenced to six months in jail and reform school. It took a special act of the governor and cabinet of Florida to release them after national protests by the Pittsburgh Courier, Jackie Robinson, and others. In response to the repression, the St.
Augustine movement practiced armed self-defense in addition to nonviolent direct action. In June 1963, Hayling publicly stated that I and the others have armed. We will shoot first and answer questions later. We are not going to die like Medgar Evers.
The comment made national headlines.  When Klan nightriders terrorized black neighborhoods in St. Augustine, Hayling's NAACP members often drove them off with gunfire. In October 1963, a Klansman was killed. In 1964, Hayling and other activists urged the Southern Christian Leadership Conference to come to St.
The arrest of Peabody, the 72-year-old mother of the governor of Massachusetts, for attempting to eat at the segregated Ponce de Leon Motor Lodge in an integrated group, made front-page news across the country and brought the movement in St. Augustine to the attention of the world. Widely publicized activities continued in the ensuing months.King was arrested, he sent a Letter from the St. Augustine Jail to a northern supporter, Rabbi Israel Dresner. A week later, in the largest mass arrest of rabbis in American history took place, while they were conducting a pray-in at the segregated Monson Motel. A well-known photograph taken in St. Augustine shows the manager of the Monson Motel pouring muriatic acid in the swimming pool while blacks and whites are swimming in it.
The horrifying photograph was run on the front page of a Washington newspaper the day the Senate was to vote on passing the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Main article: Chester School Protests. From November 1963 through April 1964, the Chester School Protests were a series of civil rights protests led by George Raymond of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored Persons (NAACP) and Stanley Branche of the Committee for Freedom Now (CFFN) that made Chester, Pennsylvania one of the key battlegrounds of the civil rights movement.James Farmer, the national director of the Congress of Racial Equality called Chester "the Birmingham of the North". In 1962, Branche and the CFFN focused on improving conditions at the predominantly black Franklin Elementary school in Chester. Although the school was built to house 500 students, it had become overcrowded with 1,200 students. The school's average class-size was 39, twice the number of nearby all-white schools.  The school was built in 1910 and had never been updated. Only two bathrooms were available for the entire school.  In November 1963, CFFN protesters blocked the entrance to Franklin Elementary school and the Chester Municipal Building resulting in the arrest of 240 protesters.
Following public attention to the protests stoked by media coverage of the mass arrests, the mayor and school board negotiated with the CFFN and NAACP.  The Chester Board of Education agreed to reduce class sizes at Franklin school, remove unsanitary toilet facilities, relocate classes held in the boiler room and coal bin and repair school grounds. Emboldened by the success of the Franklin Elementary school demonstrations, the CFFN recruited new members, sponsored voter registration drives and planned a citywide boycott of Chester schools. Branche built close ties with students at nearby Swarthmore College, Pennsylvania Military College and Cheyney State College in order to ensure large turnouts at demonstrations and protests.  Branche invited Dick Gregory and Malcolm X to Chester to participate in the "Freedom Now Conference" and other national civil rights leaders such as Gloria Richardson came to Chester in support of the demonstrations.
In 1964, a series of almost nightly protests brought chaos to Chester as protestors argued that the Chester School Board had de facto segregation of schools. The mayor of Chester, James Gorbey, issued "The Police Position to Preserve the Public Peace", a ten-point statement promising an immediate return to law and order. The city deputized firemen and trash collectors to help handle demonstrators.  The State of Pennsylvania deployed 50 state troopers to assist the 77-member Chester police force.
 The demonstrations were marked by violence and charges of police brutality.  Over six hundred people were arrested over a two month period of civil rights rallies, marches, pickets, boycotts and sit-ins.  Pennsylvania Governor William Scranton became involved in the negotiations and convinced Branche to obey a court-ordered moratorium on demonstrations.  Scranton created the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission to conduct hearings on the de facto segregation of public schools. All protests were discontinued while the commission held hearings during the summer of 1964.
In November 1964, the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission concluded that the Chester School Board had violated the law and ordered the Chester School District to desegregate the city's six predominantly African-American schools. The city appealed the ruling, which delayed implementation. In the summer of 1964, COFO brought nearly 1,000 activists to Mississippimost of them white college students from the North and Westto join with local black activists to register voters, teach in "Freedom Schools, " and organize the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party (MFDP). Many of Mississippi's white residents deeply resented the outsiders and attempts to change their society.State and local governments, police, the White Citizens' Council and the Ku Klux Klan used arrests, beatings, arson, murder, spying, firing, evictions, and other forms of intimidation and harassment to oppose the project and prevent blacks from registering to vote or achieving social equality. Missing persons poster created by the FBI in 1964 shows the photographs of Andrew Goodman, James Chaney, and Michael Schwerner. On June 21, 1964, three civil rights workers disappeared: James Chaney, a young black Mississippian and plasterer's apprentice; and two Jewish activists, Andrew Goodman, a Queens College anthropology student; and Michael Schwerner, a CORE organizer from Manhattan's Lower East Side. They were found weeks later, murdered by conspirators who turned out to be local members of the Klan, some of the members of the Neshoba County sheriff's department. This outraged the public, leading the U. Justice Department along with the FBI (the latter which had previously avoided dealing with the issue of segregation and persecution of blacks) to take action. The outrage over these murders helped lead to the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
From June to August, Freedom Summer activists worked in 38 local projects scattered across the state, with the largest number concentrated in the Mississippi Delta region. At least 30 Freedom Schools, with close to 3,500 students, were established, and 28 community centers set up. Over the course of the Summer Project, some 17,000 Mississippi blacks attempted to become registered voters in defiance of the red tape and forces of white supremacy arrayed against themonly 1,600 (less than 10%) succeeded.But more than 80,000 joined the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party (MFDP), founded as an alternative political organization, showing their desire to vote and participate in politics. Though Freedom Summer failed to register many voters, it had a significant effect on the course of the civil rights movement. It helped break down the decades of people's isolation and repression that were the foundation of the Jim Crow system.
Before Freedom Summer, the national news media had paid little attention to the persecution of black voters in the Deep South and the dangers endured by black civil rights workers. The progression of events throughout the South increased media attention to Mississippi. The deaths of affluent northern white students and threats to non-Southerners attracted the full attention of the media spotlight to the state. Many black activists became embittered, believing the media valued lives of whites and blacks differently. Perhaps the most significant effect of Freedom Summer was on the volunteers, almost all of whomblack and whitestill consider it to have been one of the defining periods of their lives.Main article: Civil Rights Act of 1964. Although President Kennedy had proposed civil rights legislation and it had support from Northern Congressmen and Senators of both parties, Southern Senators blocked the bill by threatening filibusters. After considerable parliamentary maneuvering and 54 days of filibuster on the floor of the United States Senate, President Johnson got a bill through the Congress. Johnson signs the historic Civil Rights Act of 1964. On July 2, 1964, Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964,  which banned discrimination based on "race, color, religion, sex or national origin" in employment practices and public accommodations. The bill authorized the Attorney General to file lawsuits to enforce the new law.
The law also nullified state and local laws that required such discrimination. Main article: Harlem riot of 1964. When police shot an unarmed black teenager in Harlem in July 1964, tensions escalated out of control. Residents were frustrated with racial inequalities. Rioting broke out, and Bedford-Stuyvesant, a major black neighborhood in Brooklyn erupted next.That summer, rioting also broke out in Philadelphia, for similar reasons. The riots were on a much smaller scale than what would occur in 1965 and later. Washington responded with a pilot program called Project Uplift. Thousands of young people in Harlem were given jobs during the summer of 1965. The project was inspired by a report generated by HARYOU called Youth in the Ghetto.  HARYOU was given a major role in organizing the project, together with the National Urban League and nearly 100 smaller community organizations.  Permanent jobs at living wages were still out of reach of many young black men. Main article: Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party.
Blacks in Mississippi had been disfranchised by statutory and constitutional changes since the late 19th century. In 1963 COFO held a Freedom Ballot in Mississippi to demonstrate the desire of black Mississippians to vote. More than 80,000 people registered and voted in the mock election, which pitted an integrated slate of candidates from the "Freedom Party" against the official state Democratic Party candidates. Johnson (center) meets with civil rights leaders Martin Luther King Jr. Whitney Young, and James Farmer, January 1964.
In 1964, organizers launched the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party (MFDP) to challenge the all-white official party. When Mississippi voting registrars refused to recognize their candidates, they held their own primary. They selected Fannie Lou Hamer, Annie Devine, and Victoria Gray to run for Congress, and a slate of delegates to represent Mississippi at the 1964 Democratic National Convention. The presence of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party in Atlantic City, New Jersey, was inconvenient, however, for the convention organizers.
They had planned a triumphant celebration of the Johnson administration's achievements in civil rights, rather than a fight over racism within the Democratic Party. All-white delegations from other Southern states threatened to walk out if the official slate from Mississippi was not seated. Johnson was worried about the inroads that Republican Barry Goldwater's campaign was making in what previously had been the white Democratic stronghold of the "Solid South", as well as support that George Wallace had received in the North during the Democratic primaries.
Johnson could not, however, prevent the MFDP from taking its case to the Credentials Committee. There Fannie Lou Hamer testified eloquently about the beatings that she and others endured and the threats they faced for trying to register to vote. Turning to the television cameras, Hamer asked, Is this America? Johnson offered the MFDP a "compromise" under which it would receive two non-voting, at-large seats, while the white delegation sent by the official Democratic Party would retain its seats.
The MFDP angrily rejected the compromise. The MFDP kept up its agitation at the convention after it was denied official recognition.
When all but three of the "regular" Mississippi delegates left because they refused to pledge allegiance to the party, the MFDP delegates borrowed passes from sympathetic delegates and took the seats vacated by the official Mississippi delegates. National party organizers removed them. They stayed and sang "freedom songs". The 1964 Democratic Party convention disillusioned many within the MFDP and the civil rights movement, but it did not destroy the MFDP. The MFDP became more radical after Atlantic City.It invited Malcolm X to speak at one of its conventions and opposed the war in Vietnam. Main articles: Selma to Montgomery marches and Voting Rights Act.
President Johnson, Martin Luther King Jr. At the signing of the Voting Rights Act on August 6, 1965. "Remarks on the Signing of the Voting Rights Act". File:Remarks on the Signing of the Voting Rights Act (August 6, 1965) Lyndon Baines Johnson. Statement before the United States Congress by Johnson on August 6, 1965, about the Voting Rights Act.SNCC had undertaken an ambitious voter registration program in Selma, Alabama, in 1963, but by 1965 little headway had been made in the face of opposition from Selma's sheriff, Jim Clark. After local residents asked the SCLC for assistance, King came to Selma to lead several marches, at which he was arrested along with 250 other demonstrators.
The marchers continued to meet violent resistance from the police. Jimmie Lee Jackson, a resident of nearby Marion, was killed by police at a later march on February 17, 1965. Jackson's death prompted James Bevel, director of the Selma Movement, to initiate and organize a plan to march from Selma to Montgomery, the state capital. On March 7, 1965, acting on Bevel's plan, Hosea Williams of the SCLC and John Lewis of SNCC led a march of 600 people to walk the 54 miles (87 km) from Selma to the state capital in Montgomery. Six blocks into the march, at the Edmund Pettus Bridge where the marchers left the city and moved into the county, state troopers, and local county law enforcement, some mounted on horseback, attacked the peaceful demonstrators with billy clubs, tear gas, rubber tubes wrapped in barbed wire, and bullwhips.They drove the marchers back into Selma. Lewis was knocked unconscious and dragged to safety.
At least 16 other marchers were hospitalized. Among those gassed and beaten was Amelia Boynton Robinson, who was at the center of civil rights activity at the time.
Police attack non-violent marchers on "Bloody Sunday", the first day of the Selma to Montgomery marches. The national broadcast of the news footage of lawmen attacking unresisting marchers' seeking to exercise their constitutional right to vote provoked a national response and hundreds of people from all over the country came for a second march. These marchers were turned around by Dr. King at the last minute so as not to violate a federal injunction.
With the support of James Forman and other SNCC leaders, activists throughout the country committed civil disobedience for Selma, particularly in Montgomery and at the White House. The marchers were able to lift the injunction and obtain protection from federal troops, permitting them to make the march across Alabama without incident two weeks later. On the evening of a second march on March 9 to the site of Bloody Sunday, local whites attacked Rev.James Reeb, a voting rights supporter. He died of his injuries in a Birmingham hospital on March 11. On March 25, four Klansmen shot and killed Detroit homemaker Viola Liuzzo as she drove marchers back to Selma at night after the successfully completed march to Montgomery. Eight days after the first march, but before the final march, President Johnson delivered a televised address to support the voting rights bill he had sent to Congress. Their cause must be our cause too. Because it is not just Negroes, but really it is all of us, who must overcome the crippling legacy of bigotry and injustice.
On August 6, Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which suspended literacy tests and other subjective voter registration tests. It authorized Federal supervision of voter registration in states and individual voting districts where such tests were being used and where African Americans were historically under-represented in voting rolls compared to the eligible population. African Americans who had been barred from registering to vote finally had an alternative to taking suits to local or state courts, which had seldom prosecuted their cases to success. If discrimination in voter registration occurred, the 1965 act authorized the Attorney General of the United States to send Federal examiners to replace local registrars. Within months of the bill's passage, 250,000 new black voters had been registered, one-third of them by federal examiners.
Within four years, voter registration in the South had more than doubled. In 1965, Mississippi had the highest black voter turnout at 74% and led the nation in the number of black public officials elected. In 1969, Tennessee had a 92.1% turnout among black voters; Arkansas, 77.9%; and Texas, 73.1%. Several whites who had opposed the Voting Rights Act paid a quick price.In 1966 Sheriff Jim Clark of Selma, Alabama, infamous for using cattle prods against civil rights marchers, was up for reelection. Although he took off the notorious "Never" pin on his uniform, he was defeated. At the election, Clark lost as blacks voted to get him out of office. Blacks' regaining the power to vote changed the political landscape of the South. When Congress passed the Voting Rights Act, only about 100 African Americans held elective office, all in northern states. By 1989, there were more than 7,200 African Americans in office, including more than 4,800 in the South. Nearly every county where populations were majority black in Alabama had a black sheriff. Southern blacks held top positions in city, county, and state governments. Atlanta elected a black mayor, Andrew Young, as did Jackson, Mississippi, with Harvey Johnson Jr. And New Orleans, with Ernest Morial.
Black politicians on the national level included Barbara Jordan, elected as a Representative from Texas in Congress, and President Jimmy Carter appointed Andrew Young as United States Ambassador to the United Nations. Julian Bond was elected to the Georgia State Legislature in 1965, although political reaction to his public opposition to the U. Involvement in the Vietnam War prevented him from taking his seat until 1967.
John Lewis was first elected in 1986 to represent Georgia's 5th congressional district in the United States House of Representatives, where he has served since 1987. Police arrest a man during the Watts Riots, August 1965. The new Voting Rights Act of 1965 had no immediate effect on living conditions for poor blacks. A few days after the act became law, a riot broke out in the South Central Los Angeles neighborhood of Watts.
Like Harlem, Watts was a majority-black neighborhood with very high unemployment and associated poverty. Its residents confronted a largely white police department that had a history of abuse against blacks. While arresting a young man for drunk driving, police officers argued with the suspect's mother before onlookers.
The spark triggered massive destruction of property through six days of rioting. With black militancy on the rise, ghetto residents directed acts of anger at the police. Black residents growing tired of police brutality continued to riot.
Some young people joined groups such as the Black Panthers, whose popularity was based in part on their reputation for confronting police officers. Riots among blacks occurred in 1966 and 1967 in cities such as Atlanta, San Francisco, Oakland, Baltimore, Seattle, Tacoma, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Columbus, Newark, Chicago, New York City (specifically in Brooklyn, Harlem and the Bronx), and worst of all in Detroit.
The first major blow against housing segregation in the era, the Rumford Fair Housing Act, was passed in California in 1963. It was overturned by white California voters and real estate lobbyists the following year with Proposition 14, a move which helped precipitate the Watts Riots.  In 1966, the California Supreme Court invalidated Proposition 14 and reinstated the Rumford Fair Housing Act. Working and organizing for fair housing laws became a major project of the movement over the next two years, with Martin Luther King Jr. James Bevel, and Al Raby leading the Chicago Freedom Movement around the issue in 1966.In the following year, Father James Groppi and the NAACP Youth Council also attracted national attention with a fair housing campaign in Milwaukee.  Both movements faced violent resistance from white homeowners and legal opposition from conservative politicians.
The Fair Housing Bill was the most contentious civil rights legislation of the era. Senator Walter Mondale, who advocated for the bill, noted that over successive years, it was the most filibustered legislation in U. It was opposed by most Northern and Southern senators, as well as the National Association of Real Estate Boards. A proposed "Civil Rights Act of 1966" had collapsed completely because of its fair housing provision. A lot of civil rights [legislation] was about making the South behave and taking the teeth from George Wallace, [but] this came right to the neighborhoods across the country.
This was civil rights getting personal. Main article: Long Hot Summer of 1967. Further information: Detroit Riot of 1967, 1967 Newark riots, and 1967 Plainfield riots. In 1967 riots broke out in black neighborhoods in more than 100 U. Cities, including Detroit, Newark, Cincinnati, Cleveland, and Washington, D.
 The largest of these was the 1967 Detroit riot. In Detroit, a large black middle class had begun to develop among those African Americans who worked at unionized jobs in the automotive industry. These workers complained of persisting racist practices, limiting the jobs they could have and opportunities for promotion. The United Auto Workers channeled these complaints into bureaucratic and ineffective grievance procedures. Violent white mobs enforced the segregation of housing up through the 1960s.  Blacks who were not upwardly mobile were living in substandard conditions, subject to the same problems as poor African Americans in Watts and Harlem. When white Detroit Police Department (DPD) officers shut down an illegal bar and arrested a large group of patrons during the hot summer, furious black residents rioted. Rioters looted and destroyed property while snipers engaged in firefights from rooftops and windows, undermining the DPD's ability to curtail the disorder.
In response, the Michigan Army National Guard and U. Army paratroopers were deployed to reinforce the DPD and protect Detroit Fire Department (DFD) firefighters from attacks while putting out fires. Residents reported that police officers and National Guardsmen shot at black civilians and suspects indiscriminately.
State and local governments responded to the riot with a dramatic increase in minority hiring.  In the aftermath of the turmoil, the Greater Detroit Board of Commerce also launched a campaign to find jobs for ten thousand "previously unemployable" persons, a preponderant number of whom were black.  Governor George Romney immediately responded to the riot of 1967 with a special session of the Michigan legislature where he forwarded sweeping housing proposals that included not only fair housing, but important relocation, tenants' rights and code enforcement legislation. Romney had supported such proposals in 1965 but abandoned them in the face of organized opposition.The laws passed both houses of the legislature. Historian Sidney Fine wrote that. President Johnson created the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders in response to a nationwide wave of riots. The commission's final report called for major reforms in employment and public policy in black communities. It warned that the United States was moving toward separate white and black societies. Main articles: Poor People's Campaign and Assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. A 3,000-person shantytown called Resurrection City was established in 1968 on the National Mall as part of the Poor People's Campaign. James Lawson invited King to Memphis, Tennessee, in March 1968 to support a sanitation workers' strike. These workers launched a campaign for union representation after two workers were accidentally killed on the job; they were seeking fair wages and improved working conditions. King considered their struggle to be a vital part of the Poor People's Campaign he was planning. "I've Been to the Mountaintop". Final 30 seconds of "I've Been to the Mountaintop" speech by Martin Luther King Jr. These are the final words from his final public speech. A day after delivering his stirring "I've Been to the Mountaintop" sermon, which has become famous for his vision of American society, King was assassinated on April 4, 1968. Riots broke out in black neighborhoods in more than 110 cities across the United States in the days that followed, notably in Chicago, Baltimore, and Washington, D. The day before King's funeral, April 8, a completely silent march with Coretta Scott King, SCLC, and UAW president Walter Reuther attracted approximately 42,000 participants.  Armed National Guardsmen lined the streets, sitting on M-48 tanks, to protect the marchers, and helicopters circled overhead.
King led another 150,000 people in a funeral procession through the streets of Atlanta.  Her dignity revived courage and hope in many of the Movement's members, confirming her place as the new leader in the struggle for racial equality.Coretta Scott King said, . Gave his life for the poor of the world, the garbage workers of Memphis and the peasants of Vietnam. The day that Negro people and others in bondage are truly free, on the day want is abolished, on the day wars are no more, on that day I know my husband will rest in a long-deserved peace.
Ralph Abernathy succeeded King as the head of the SCLC and attempted to carry forth King's plan for a Poor People's March. It was to unite blacks and whites to campaign for fundamental changes in American society and economic structure. The march went forward under Abernathy's plainspoken leadership but did not achieve its goals. Main article: Civil Rights Act of 1968.As 1968 began, the fair housing bill was being filibustered once again, but two developments revived it.  The Kerner Commission report on the 1967 ghetto riots was delivered to Congress on March 1, and it strongly recommended "a comprehensive and enforceable federal open housing law" as a remedy to the civil disturbances.
The Senate was moved to end their filibuster that week. As the House of Representatives deliberated the bill in April, Dr.
King was assassinated, and the largest wave of unrest since the Civil War swept the country.  Senator Charles Mathias wrote that. Some Senators and Representatives publicly stated they would not be intimidated or rushed into legislating because of the disturbances. Nevertheless, the news coverage of the riots and the underlying disparities in income, jobs, housing, and education, between White and Black Americans helped educate citizens and Congress about the stark reality of an enormous social problem.Members of Congress knew they had to act to redress these imbalances in American life to fulfill the dream that King had so eloquently preached. The House passed the legislation on April 10, and President Johnson signed it the next day. The Civil Rights Act of 1968 prohibited discrimination concerning the sale, rental, and financing of housing based on race, religion, and national origin. Conditions at the Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman, then known as Parchman Farm, became part of the public discussion of civil rights after activists were imprisoned there. In the spring of 1961, Freedom Riders came to the South to test the desegregation of public facilities.
By the end of June 1963, Freedom Riders had been convicted in Jackson, Mississippi.  Many were jailed in Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman. Mississippi employed the trusty system, a hierarchical order of inmates that used some inmates to control and enforce punishment of other inmates.In 1970 the civil rights lawyer Roy Haber began taking statements from inmates. He collected 50 pages of details of murders, rapes, beatings and other abuses suffered by the inmates from 1969 to 1971 at Mississippi State Penitentiary.
In a landmark case known as Gates v. Collier (1972), four inmates represented by Haber sued the superintendent of Parchman Farm for violating their rights under the United States Constitution.Keady found in favor of the inmates, writing that Parchman Farm violated the civil rights of the inmates by inflicting cruel and unusual punishment. He ordered an immediate end to all unconstitutional conditions and practices.
Racial segregation of inmates was abolished, as was the trusty system, which allowed certain inmates to have power and control over others. The prison was renovated in 1972 after the scathing ruling by Judge Keady, who wrote that the prison was an affront to modern standards of decency.Among other reforms, the accommodations were made fit for human habitation. The system of trusties was abolished. The prison had armed lifers with rifles and given them authority to oversee and guard other inmates, which led to many cases of abuse and murders. In integrated correctional facilities in northern and western states, blacks represented a disproportionate number of the prisoners, in excess of their proportion of the general population.
They were often treated as second-class citizens by white correctional officers. Blacks also represented a disproportionately high number of death row inmates.Eldridge Cleaver's book Soul on Ice was written from his experiences in the California correctional system; it contributed to black militancy. Civil rights protest activity had an observable impact on white American's views on race and politics over time.
 White people in counties in which civil rights protests of historical significance occurred have been found to have lower levels of racial resentment against blacks, are more likely to identify with the Democratic Party as well as more likely to support affirmative action. Fannie Lou Hamer of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party (and other Mississippi-based organizations) is an example of local grassroots leadership in the movement.Main article: African-American women in the civil rights movement. African-American women in the civil rights movement were pivotal to its success.  They volunteered as activists, advocates, educators, clerics, writers, spiritual guides, caretakers and politicians for the civil rights movement; leading and participating in organizations that contributed to the cause of civil rights.  Rosa Parks's refusal to sit at the back of a public bus resulted in the year-long Montgomery Bus Boycott,  and the eventual desegregation of interstate travel in the United States.  Women were members of the NAACP because they believed it could help them contribute to the cause of civil rights.  Some of those involved with the Black Panthers were nationally recognized as leaders, and still others did editorial work on the Black Panther newspaper spurring internal discussions about gender issues.  Ella Baker founded the SNCC and was a prominent figure in the civil rights movement.  Female students involved with the SNCC helped to organize sit-ins and the Freedom Rides.  At the same time many elderly black women in towns across the Southern US cared for the organization's volunteers at their homes, providing the students food, a bed, healing aid and motherly love.  Other women involved also formed church groups, bridge clubs, and professional organizations, such as the National Council of Negro Women, to help achieve freedom for themselves and their race.  Several who participated in these organizations lost their jobs because of their involvement. Many women who participated in the movement experienced gender discrimination and sexual harassment.
 In the SCLC, Ella Baker's input was discouraged in spite of her being the oldest and most experienced person on the staff. See also: The Communist Party and African-Americans.
On December 17, 1951, the Communist Partyaffiliated Civil Rights Congress delivered the petition We Charge Genocide: The Crime of Government Against the Negro People to the United Nations, arguing that the U. Federal government, by its failure to act against lynching in the United States, was guilty of genocide under Article II of the UN Genocide Convention (see Black genocide).  The petition was presented to the United Nations at two separate venues: Paul Robeson, a concert singer and activist, presented it to a UN official in New York City, while William L. Patterson, executive director of the CRC, delivered copies of the drafted petition to a UN delegation in Paris.
Patterson, the editor of the petition, was a leader of the Communist Party USA and head of the International Labor Defense, a group that offered legal representation to communists, trade unionists, and African Americans who were involved in cases which involved issues of political or racial persecution. The ILD was known for leading the defense of the Scottsboro Boys in Alabama in 1931, where the Communist Party had a considerable amount of influence among African Americans in the 1930s.
This influence had largely declined by the late 1950s, although it could command international attention. As earlier civil rights figures such as Robeson, Du Bois and Patterson became more politically radical and therefore targets of Cold War anti-Communism by the U. Government, they lost favor with mainstream Black America as well as with the NAACP. In order to secure a place in the political mainstream and gain the broadest base of support, the new generation of civil rights activists believed that it had to openly distance itself from anything and anyone associated with the Communist party.
According to Ella Baker, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference added the word "Christian" to its name in order to deter charges that it was associated with Communism. Edgar Hoover, the FBI had been concerned about communism since the early 20th century, and it kept civil rights activists under close surveillance and labeled some of them "Communist" or "subversive", a practice that continued during the Civil Rights Movement.
In the early 1960s, the practice of distancing the civil rights movement from "Reds" was challenged by the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee which adopted a policy of accepting assistance and participation from anyone who supported the SNCC's political program and was willing to put their body on the line, regardless of political affiliation. At times the SNCC's policy of political openness put it at odds with the NAACP.
While most popular representations of the movement are centered on the leadership and philosophy of Martin Luther King Jr. Some scholars note that the movement was too diverse to be credited to one person, organization, or strategy. Sociologist Doug McAdam has stated that, in King's case, it would be inaccurate to say that he was the leader of the modern civil rights movement...
But more importantly, there was no singular civil rights movement. The movement was, in fact, a coalition of thousands of local efforts nationwide, spanning several decades, hundreds of discrete groups, and all manner of strategies and tacticslegal, illegal, institutional, non-institutional, violent, non-violent. Without discounting King's importance, it would be sheer fiction to call him the leader of what was fundamentally an amorphous, fluid, dispersed movement. Decentralized grassroots leadership has been a major focus of movement scholarship in recent decades through the work of historians John Dittmer, Charles Payne, Barbara Ransby, and others. See also: African AmericanJewish relations; New York City teachers' strike of 1968; and Brownsville, Brooklyn. Jewish civil rights activist Joseph L. Marching with Martin Luther King in 1963. Many in the Jewish community supported the civil rights movement. In fact, statistically, Jews were one of the most actively involved non-black groups in the Movement. Many Jewish students worked in concert with African Americans for CORE, SCLC, and SNCC as full-time organizers and summer volunteers during the Civil Rights era. Jews made up roughly half of the white northern and western volunteers involved in the 1964 Mississippi Freedom Summer project and approximately half of the civil rights attorneys active in the South during the 1960s.
Jewish leaders were arrested while heeding a call from Martin Luther King Jr. Augustine, Florida, in June 1964, where the largest mass arrest of rabbis in American history took place at the Monson Motor Lodge. Abraham Joshua Heschel, a writer, rabbi, and professor of theology at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America in New York, was outspoken on the subject of civil rights. He marched arm-in-arm with Dr. King in the 1965 Selma to Montgomery march.
In the 1964 murders of Chaney, Goodman, and Schwerner, the two white activists killed, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner, were both Jewish. Brandeis University, the only nonsectarian Jewish-sponsored college university in the world, created the Transitional Year Program (TYP) in 1968, in part response to Rev. Martin Luther King's assassination. The faculty created it to renew the university's commitment to social justice.
Recognizing Brandeis as a university with a commitment to academic excellence, these faculty members created a chance for disadvantaged students to participate in an empowering educational experience. The American Jewish Committee, American Jewish Congress, and Anti-Defamation League (ADL) actively promoted civil rights.While Jews were very active in the civil rights movement in the South, in the North, many had experienced a more strained relationship with African Americans. It has been argued that with Black militancy and the Black Power movements on the rise, "Black Anti-Semitism" increased leading to strained relations between Blacks and Jews in Northern communities. In New York City, most notably, there was a major socio-economic class difference in the perception of African Americans by Jews.  Jews from better educated Upper-Middle-Class backgrounds were often very supportive of African American civil rights activities while the Jews in poorer urban communities that became increasingly minority were often less supportive largely in part due to more negative and violent interactions between the two groups. According to political scientist Michael Rogin, Jewish-Black hostility was a two-way street extending to earlier decades. In the post-World War II era, Jews were granted white privilege and most moved into the middle-class while Blacks were left behind in the ghetto.  Urban Jews engaged in the same sort of conflicts with Blacksover integration busing, local control of schools, housing, crime, communal identity, and class dividesthat other white ethnics did, leading to Jews participating in white flight.
The culmination of this was the 1968 New York City teachers' strike, pitting largely Jewish schoolteachers against predominantly Black parents in Brownsville, New York. Many Jewish individuals in the Southern states who supported civil rights for African Americans tended to keep a low profile on "the race issue", in order to avoid attracting the attention of the anti-Black and antisemitic Ku Klux Klan.
 However, Klan groups exploited the issue of African-American integration and Jewish involvement in the struggle in order to commit violently antisemitic hate crimes. As an example of this hatred, in one year alone, from November 1957 to October 1958, temples and other Jewish communal gatherings were bombed and desecrated in Atlanta, Nashville, Jacksonville, and Miami, and dynamite was found under synagogues in Birmingham, Charlotte, and Gastonia, North Carolina.Some rabbis received death threats, but there were no injuries following these outbursts of violence. Despite the common notion that the ideas of Martin Luther King Jr. Malcolm X and Black Power only conflicted with each other and were the only ideologies of the civil rights movement, there were other sentiments felt by many blacks. Fearing the events during the movement was occurring too quickly, there were some blacks who felt that leaders should take their activism at an incremental pace. Others had reservations on how focused blacks were on the movement and felt that such attention was better spent on reforming issues within the black community. While Conservatives in general supported integration, some defended incrementally phased out segregation as a backstop against assimilation. Based on her interpretation of a 1966 study made by Donald Matthews and James Prothro detailing the relative percentage of blacks for integration, against it or feeling something else, Lauren Winner asserts that. Black defenders of segregation look, at first blush, very much like black nationalists, especially in their preference for all-black institutions; but black defenders of segregation differ from nationalists in two key ways.
First, while both groups criticize NAACP-style integration, nationalists articulate a third alternative to integration and Jim Crow, while segregationists preferred to stick with the status quo. Second, absent from black defenders of segregation's political vocabulary was the demand for self-determination.They called for all-black institutions, but not autonomous all-black institutions; indeed, some defenders of segregation asserted that black people needed white paternalism and oversight in order to thrive. Oftentimes, African-American community leaders would be staunch defenders of segregation. Church ministers, businessmen, and educators were among those who wished to keep segregation and segregationist ideals in order to retain the privileges they gained from patronage from whites, such as monetary gains. In addition, they relied on segregation to keep their jobs and economies in their communities thriving. It was feared that if integration became widespread in the South, black-owned businesses and other establishments would lose a large chunk of their customer base to white-owned businesses, and many blacks would lose opportunities for jobs that were presently exclusive to their interests.  On the other hand, there were the everyday, average black people who criticized integration as well. For them, they took issue with different parts of the civil rights movement and the potential for blacks to exercise consumerism and economic liberty without hindrance from whites. For Martin Luther King Jr.
Malcolm X and other leading activists and groups during the movement, these opposing viewpoints acted as an obstacle against their ideas. These different views made such leaders' work much harder to accomplish, but they were nonetheless important in the overall scope of the movement. For the most part, the black individuals who had reservations on various aspects of the movement and ideologies of the activists were not able to make a game-changing dent in their efforts, but the existence of these alternate ideas gave some blacks an outlet to express their concerns about the changing social structure. Main articles: Black Power and Black Power movement. Black Panther at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, June 1970.During the Freedom Summer campaign of 1964, numerous tensions within the civil rights movement came to the forefront. Many blacks in SNCC developed concerns that white activists from the North and West were taking over the movement. The participation by numerous white students was not reducing the amount of violence that SNCC suffered, but seemed to exacerbate it. Additionally, there was profound disillusionment at Lyndon Johnson's denial of voting status for the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party at the Democratic National Convention.
 Meanwhile, during CORE's work in Louisiana that summer, that group found the federal government would not respond to requests to enforce the provisions of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, or to protect the lives of activists who challenged segregation. The Louisiana campaign survived by relying on a local African-American militia called the Deacons for Defense and Justice, who used arms to repel white supremacist violence and police repression.
CORE's collaboration with the Deacons was effective in disrupting Jim Crow in numerous Louisiana areas. In 1965, SNCC helped organize an independent political party, the Lowndes County Freedom Organization (LCFO), in the heart of the Alabama Black Belt, also Klan territory. It permitted its black leaders to openly promote the use of armed self-defense. Meanwhile, the Deacons for Defense and Justice expanded into Mississippi and assisted Charles Evers' NAACP chapter with a successful campaign in Natchez. Charles had taken the lead after his brother Medgar Evers was assassinated in 1963.
 The same year, the 1965 Watts Rebellion took place in Los Angeles. Many black youths were committed to the use of violence to protest inequality and oppression.During the March Against Fear in 1966, initiated by James Meredith, SNCC and CORE fully embraced the slogan of "black power" to describe these trends towards militancy and self-reliance. In Mississippi, Stokely Carmichael declared, I'm not going to beg the white man for anything that I deserve, I'm going to take it. Some people engaging in the Black Power movement claimed a growing sense of black pride and identity. In gaining more of a sense of a cultural identity, blacks demanded that whites no longer refer to them as "Negroes" but as "Afro-Americans, " similar to other ethnic groups, such as Irish Americans and Italian Americans.
Until the mid-1960s, blacks had dressed similarly to whites and often straightened their hair. As a part of affirming their identity, blacks started to wear African-based dashikis and grow their hair out as a natural afro. The afro, sometimes nicknamed the "'fro, " remained a popular black hairstyle until the late 1970s. Other variations of traditional African styles have become popular, often featuring braids, extensions, and dreadlocks.The Black Panther Party (BPP), which was founded by Huey Newton and Bobby Seale in Oakland, California, in 1966, gained the most attention for Black Power nationally. The group began following the revolutionary pan-Africanism of late-period Malcolm X, using a "by-any-means necessary" approach to stopping racial inequality. They sought to rid African-American neighborhoods of police brutality and to establish socialist community control in the ghettos.
While they conducted armed confrontation with police, they also set up free breakfast and healthcare programs for children.  Between 1968 and 1971, the BPP was one of the most important black organizations in the country and had support from the NAACP, SCLC, Peace and Freedom Party, and others.
Black Power was taken to another level inside prison walls. In 1966, George Jackson formed the Black Guerrilla Family in the California San Quentin State Prison. The goal of this group was to overthrow the white-run government in America and the prison system. In 1970, this group displayed their dedication after a white prison guard was found not guilty of shooting and killing three black prisoners from the prison tower.
They retaliated by killing a white prison guard. "Say It Loud I'm Black and I'm Proud". James Brown's "Say It Loud I'm Black and I'm Proud" from Say It Loud I'm Black and I'm Proud. Gold medalist Tommie Smith (center) and bronze medalist John Carlos (right) showing the raised fist on the podium after the 200 m race at the 1968 Summer Olympics; both wear Olympic Project for Human Rights badges.
Peter Norman (silver medalist, left) from Australia also wears an OPHR badge in solidarity with Smith and Carlos. Numerous popular cultural expressions associated with black power appeared at this time. Released in August 1968, the number one Rhythm & Blues single for the Billboard Year-End list was James Brown's "Say It Loud I'm Black and I'm Proud".  In October 1968, Tommie Smith and John Carlos, while being awarded the gold and bronze medals, respectively, at the 1968 Summer Olympics, donned human rights badges and each raised a black-gloved Black Power salute during their podium ceremony. King was not comfortable with the "Black Power" slogan, which sounded too much like black nationalism to him.When King was assassinated in 1968, Stokely Carmichael said that whites had murdered the one person who would prevent rampant rioting and that blacks would burn every major city to the ground. Riots broke out in more than 100 cities across the country. Some cities did not recover from the damage for more than a generation; other city neighborhoods never recovered. There was an international context for the actions of the U.
Federal government during these years. The Soviet media frequently covered racial discrimination in the U.  Deeming American criticism of its own human rights abuses hypocritical, the Soviet government would respond by stating "And you are lynching Negroes".  In his 1934 book Russia Today: What Can We Learn from It?Sherwood Eddy wrote: In the most remote villages of Russia today Americans are frequently asked what they are going to do to the Scottsboro Negro boys and why they lynch Negroes. In Cold War Civil Rights: Race and the Image of American Democracy, the historian Mary L. Dudziak wrote that Communists who were critical of the United States accused it of practicing hypocrisy when it portrayed itself as the "leader of the free world, " while so many of its citizens were being subjected to severe racial discrimination and violence; she argued that this was a major factor in moving the government to support civil rights legislation. A majority of White Southerners have been estimated to have neither supported or resisted the civil rights movement.  Many didn't enjoy the idea of expanding civil rights but were uncomfortable with the language and often violent tactics used by those who resisted the civil rights movement as part of the Massive resistance.  Many only reacted to the movement once forced to by their changing environment, and when they did their response was usually whatever they felt would disturb their daily life the least.
Most of their personal reactions, whether eventually in support or resistance weren't in extreme. King reached the height of popular acclaim during his life in 1964, when he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.After that point his career was filled with frustrating challenges. The liberal coalition that had gained passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 began to fray.
King was becoming more estranged from the Johnson administration. In 1965 he broke with it by calling for peace negotiations and a halt to the bombing of Vietnam. He moved further left in the following years, speaking about the need for economic justice and thoroughgoing changes in American society. He believed that change was needed beyond the civil rights which had been gained by the movement.However, King's attempts to broaden the scope of the civil rights movement were halting and largely unsuccessful. In 1965 King made several attempts to take the Movement north in order to address housing discrimination. The SCLC's campaign in Chicago publicly failed, because Chicago's Mayor Richard J. Daley marginalized the SCLC's campaign by promising to "study" the city's problems. In 1966, white demonstrators in notoriously racist Cicero, a suburb of Chicago, held "white power" signs and threw stones at marchers who were demonstrating against housing segregation. Politicians and journalists quickly blamed this white backlash on the movement's shift towards Black Power in the mid-1960s; today most scholars believe the backlash was a phenomenon that was already developing in the mid-1950s, and it was embodied in the "massive resistance" movement in the South where even the few moderate white leaders (including George Wallace, who had once been endorsed by the NAACP) shifted to openly racist positions.  Northern and Western racists opposed the southerners on a regional and cultural basis, but also held segregationist attitudes which became more pronounced as the civil rights movement headed north and west. For instance, prior to the Watts riot, California whites had already mobilized to repeal the state's 1963 fair housing law. Even so, the backlash which occurred at the time was not able to roll back the major civil rights victories which had been achieved or swing the country into reaction. Social historians Matthew Lassiter and Barbara Ehrenreich note that the backlash's primary constituency was suburban and middle-class, not working-class whites: among the white electorate, one half of blue-collar voterscast their ballot for [the liberal presidential candidate] Hubert Humphrey in 1968only in the South did George Wallace draw substantially more blue-collar than white-collar support. Attorney General Robert Kennedy speaking before a hostile Civil Rights crowd protesting low minority hiring in his Justice Department June 14, 1963.
For the first two years of the Kennedy administration, civil rights activists had mixed opinions of both the president and Attorney General, Robert F. A well of historical skepticism toward liberal politics had left African Americans with a sense of uneasy disdain for any white politician who claimed to share their concerns for freedom, particularly ones connected to the historically pro-segregationist Democratic Party. Still, many were encouraged by the discreet support Kennedy gave to Dr.
King, and the administration's willingness, after dramatic pressure from civil disobedience, to bring forth racially egalitarian initiatives. Many of the initiatives resulted from Robert Kennedy's passion. The younger Kennedy gained a rapid education in the realities of racism through events such as the Baldwin-Kennedy meeting. The president came to share his brother's sense of urgency on the matter, resulting in the landmark Civil Rights Address of June 1963 and the introduction of the first major civil rights act of the decade. Robert Kennedy first became concerned with civil rights in mid-May 1961 during the Freedom Rides, when photographs of the burning bus and savage beatings in Anniston and Birmingham were broadcast around the world.
They came at an especially embarrassing time, as President Kennedy was about to have a summit with the Soviet premier in Vienna. The White House was concerned with its image among the populations of newly independent nations in Africa and Asia, and Robert Kennedy responded with an address for Voice of America stating that great progress had been made on the issue of race relations.Meanwhile, behind the scenes, the administration worked to resolve the crisis with a minimum of violence and prevent the Freedom Riders from generating a fresh crop of headlines that might divert attention from the President's international agenda. The Freedom Riders documentary notes that, The back burner issue of civil rights had collided with the urgent demands of Cold War realpolitik. On May 21, when a white mob attacked and burned the First Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama, where King was holding out with protesters, Robert Kennedy telephoned King to ask him to stay in the building until the U. Marshals and National Guard could secure the area. King proceeded to berate Kennedy for "allowing the situation to continue". King later publicly thanked Kennedy for deploying the force to break up an attack that might otherwise have ended King's life. With a very small majority in Congress, the president's ability to press ahead with legislation relied considerably on a balancing game with the Senators and Congressmen of the South. Without the support of Vice-President Johnson, a former Senator who had years of experience in Congress and longstanding relations there, many of the Attorney-General's programs would not have progressed.
By late 1962, frustration at the slow pace of political change was balanced by the movement's strong support for legislative initiatives, including administrative representation across all U. Government departments and greater access to the ballot box. From squaring off against Governor George Wallace, to "tearing into" Vice-President Johnson (for failing to desegregate areas of the administration), to threatening corrupt white Southern judges with disbarment, to desegregating interstate transport, Robert Kennedy came to be consumed by the civil rights movement. On the night of Governor Wallace's capitulation to African-American enrollment at the University of Alabama, President Kennedy gave an address to the nation, which marked the changing tide, an address that was to become a landmark for the ensuing change in political policy as to civil rights. In 1966, Robert Kennedy visited South Africa and voiced his objections to apartheid, the first time a major US politician had done so.At the University of Natal in Durban, I was told the church to which most of the white population belongs teaches apartheid as a moral necessity. A questioner declared that few churches allow black Africans to pray with the white because the Bible says that is the way it should be, because God created Negroes to serve. "But suppose God is black", I replied. What if we go to Heaven and we, all our lives, have treated the Negro as an inferior, and God is there, and we look up and He is not white? What then is our response? Robert Kennedy's relationship with the movement was not always positive. As attorney general, he was called to account by activistswho booed him at a June 1963 speechfor the Justice Department's own poor record of hiring blacks.  He also presided over FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover and his COINTELPRO program. This program ordered FBI agents to "expose, disrupt, misdirect, discredit, or otherwise neutralize" the activities of Communist front groups, a category in which the paranoid Hoover included most civil rights organizations.  Kennedy personally authorized some of the programs.  According to Tim Weiner, RFK knew much more about this surveillance than he ever admitted. Although Kennedy only gave approval for limited wiretapping of Dr. King's phones on a trial basis, for a month or so.
" Hoover extended the clearance so his men were "unshackled to look for evidence in any areas of the black leader's life they deemed important; they then used this information to harass King.  Kennedy directly ordered surveillance on James Baldwin after their antagonistic racial summit in 1963. Further information: Civil Rights Act of 1964, War on Poverty, and Lyndon B.Lyndon Johnson made civil rights one of his highest priorities, coupling it with a whites war on poverty. However increasing the shrill opposition to the War in Vietnam, coupled with the cost of the war, undercut support for his domestic programs. Under Kennedy, major civil rights legislation had been stalled in Congress. On one hand president Lyndon Johnson was a much more skillful negotiator than Kennedy but he had behind him a powerful national momentum demanding immediate action on moral and emotional grounds.
Demands for immediate action originated from unexpected directions, especially white Protestant church groups. The Justice Department, led by Robert Kennedy, moved from a posture of defending Kennedy from the quagmire minefield of racial politics to acting to fulfill his legacy. The violent death and public reaction dramatically moved the conservative Republicans, led by Senator Everett McKinley Dirksen, whose support was the margin of victory for the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
The act immediately ended de jure (legal) segregation and the era of Jim Crow. With the civil rights movement at full blast, Lyndon Johnson coupled black entrepreneurship with his war on poverty, setting up special program in the Small Business Administration, the Office of Economic Opportunity, and other agencies. Richard Nixon greatly expanded the program, setting up the Office of Minority Business Enterprise (OMBE) in the expectation that black entrepreneurs would help defuse racial tensions and possibly support his reelection. Main article: Civil rights movement in popular culture.The 1954 to 1968 civil rights movement contributed strong cultural threads to American and international theater, song, film, television, and folk art. Congress of Racial Equality (CORE). Deacons for Defense and Justice. Leadership Conference on Civil Rights (LCCR). Medical Committee for Human Rights (MCHR). National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). National Council of Negro Women (NCNW). Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). Southern Conference Educational Fund (SCEF). Southern Student Organizing Committee (SSOC). Council of Federated Organizations (Mississippi).
Montgomery Improvement Association (Montgomery, AL). Regional Council of Negro Leadership (Mississippi). Women's Political Council (Montgomery, AL). List of civil rights leaders. List of Kentucky women in the civil rights era.
List of photographers of the civil rights movement. "We Shall Overcome", unofficial movement anthem. Birmingham Civil Rights National Monument.
Read's Drug Store (Baltimore), site of a 1955 desegregation sit-in. Seattle Civil Rights and Labor History Project.
Television News of the Civil Rights Era 19501970. Postcivil rights era in African-American history. Various other dates have been proposed as the date on which the civil rights movement began or ended.
The social movement has also been called the Second Reconstruction, the modern civil rights movement, the civil rights revolution, the black revolution, the Negro movement, the black civil rights movement, the U. Civil rights movement, the 1960s civil rights movement, the Negro revolution, the Negro American revolution, the African American civil rights movement, the Negro revolt, the Southern freedom movement, the black rights movement, the United States civil rights movement, the American freedom movement, and the Negro freedom movement. The term civil rights struggle can denote this or other social movements the occurred in the United States during the same period. The social movement's span of time is called the civil rights era. The item "ORIGINAL AFRICAN AMERICAN ARTIST PHOTOGRAPHER SNCC CIVIL RIGHTS CARVER NEBLETT" is in sale since Monday, July 20, 2020.This item is in the category "Art\Art Photographs". The seller is "collectiblecollectiblecollectible" and is located in Ann Arbor, Michigan. This item can be shipped to United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Denmark, Romania, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Czech republic, Finland, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Estonia, Australia, Greece, Portugal, Cyprus, Slovenia, Japan, Sweden, South Korea, Indonesia, Taiwan, South africa, Thailand, Belgium, France, Hong Kong, Ireland, Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Italy, Germany, Austria, Bahamas, Israel, Mexico, New Zealand, Singapore, Norway, Saudi arabia, United arab emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Croatia, Malaysia, Chile, Colombia, Costa rica, Panama, Trinidad and tobago, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Barbados, Bangladesh, Bermuda, Brunei darussalam, Bolivia, Ecuador, Egypt, French guiana, Guernsey, Gibraltar, Guadeloupe, Iceland, Jersey, Jordan, Cambodia, Cayman islands, Liechtenstein, Sri lanka, Luxembourg, Monaco, Macao, Martinique, Maldives, Nicaragua, Oman, Peru, Pakistan, Paraguay, Reunion, Viet nam, Uruguay.