⚡ Nonviolence In The Civil Rights Movement

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Nonviolence In The Civil Rights Movement

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The Student Nonviolence Movement

Instead of riding buses, boycotters organized a system of carpools, with car owners volunteering their vehicles or themselves, driving people to various destinations. He ended up spending 2 weeks in jail. The move backfired by bringing national attention to the protest. Gayle —a case heard before a three-judge panel of the U. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama. The panel consisted of three judges and ruled 2—1 on June 5, , that bus segregation was unconstitutional under the Fourteenth Amendment protections for equal treatment.

The state and city appealed and the the United States Supreme Court on November 13, , summarily affirmed the decision. Together with Aurelia S. The boycott officially ended December 20, , after federal marshals handed Mayor Gayle official written notice, after days. The boycott resounded far beyond the desegregation of public buses; it triggered the national civil rights movement and launched King into the national spotlight as a leader. Martin Luther King, Jr. January 15, to April 4, was a U. He is best known for his practice of nonviolent civil disobedience based on his Christian beliefs. Growing up in Atlanta, he attended Booker T. Washington High School. A precocious student, he skipped both the ninth and the twelfth grades of high school.

At that time, most of the students had abandoned their studies to participate in World War II. Because of this, the school became desperate to fill in classrooms. At age 15, King passed the exam and entered Morehouse. The summer before his last year at Morehouse, in , an eighteen-year-old King made the choice to enter the ministry. In , King graduated from Morehouse with a B. They became the parents of four children. However, an academic inquiry concluded in October that portions of his dissertation had been plagiarized and he had acted improperly. The group was created to harness the moral authority and organizing power of black churches to conduct non-violent protests in pursuit of civil rights reform.

King led the SCLC until his death. The movement mobilized thousands of citizens for a broad-front nonviolent attack on every aspect of segregation within the city, and attracted nationwide attention. After nearly a year of intense activism with few tangible results, the movement began to deteriorate. Divisions within the black community and the canny, low-key response by local government defeated efforts. Though the Albany effort proved a key lesson in tactics for Dr. After Albany, King sought to choose engagements for the SCLC in which he could control the circumstances, rather than entering into pre-existing situations.

The campaign used nonviolent but intentionally confrontational tactics, developed in part by Rev. Wyatt Tee Walker. Black Americans in Birmingham, organizing with the SCLC, occupied public spaces with marches and sit-ins, openly violating unjust laws. King was arrested and jailed early in the campaign—his 13th arrest of At the time, it was the largest gathering of protesters in Washington, D. On October 14, , King received the Nobel Peace Prize for combating racial inequality through nonviolence. He frequently spoke of the need for fundamental changes in the political and economic life of the nation, and expressed his opposition to the war and his desire to see redistribution of resources to correct racial and economic injustice.

He guarded his language in public to avoid being linked to communism by his enemies, but in private he sometimes spoke of his support for democratic socialism. On March 29, , King went to Memphis, Tennessee in support of black sanitary public works employees, who had been on strike for 17 days, in an effort to attain higher wages and ensure fairer treatment. While standing on the second floor balcony of a motel, King was shot by escaped convict James Earl Ray. Title VIII of the Act, commonly known as the Fair Housing Act, prohibited discrimination in housing and housing-related transactions on the basis of race, religion, or national origin later expanded to include sex, familial status, and disability.

King was also advised by white activists Harris Wofford and Glenn Smiley. This trip profoundly affected King, deepening his understanding of non-violent resistance and reinforcing his commitment to the U. He supported the ideals of democratic socialism, although he was reluctant to speak directly of this support because of the anti-communist sentiment arising throughout the U. King believed that capitalism could not adequately provide the basic necessities of many Americans, particularly the African American community.

Martin Luther King : King giving a lecture on March 26, In the Civil Rights Movement, religious leaders, thousands of black churches, and anonymous members, as well as religious rhetoric, played major roles. Religion and religious institutions had a huge impact on the Civil Rights Movement. On the one hand, major denominations financially and intellectually supported the movement, and its many leaders were passionate ministers with superb oratory skills and who were critical to conveying the inspiring message of the civil rights struggle. Historians also note that churches were places where many anonymous black women, so often excluded from the narratives of the Civil Rights Movement, organized and supported the civil rights struggle.

The group was established in to harness the moral authority and organizing power of black churches to conduct non-violent protest in pursuit of civil rights reform. During its early years, the SCLC struggled to gain footholds in black churches and communities across the south. Only a few churches defied the white-dominated status quo by affiliating with the SCLC, and those that did risked economic retaliation, arson, and bombings. Traditionally, leadership in black communities came from the educated elite—such as ministers, professionals, and teachers—who spoke for and on behalf of the laborers, maids, farmhands, and working poor who made up the bulk of the black population.

Many of these traditional leaders were uneasy at involving ordinary African Americans in mass activities such as boycotts and marches. To some of them, the socio-political activity of Martin Luther King, Jr. After weeks of various forms of nonviolent disobedience, the campaign produced the desired results. In June , the Jim Crow signs regulating segregated public places in Birmingham were taken down. Three months later, on September 15, , four KKK members planted at least 15 sticks of dynamite attached to a timing device beneath the front steps of the 16th Street Baptist Church.

The church was one of the most important places of organization and protest during the campaign. The explosion at the church killed four girls and injured 22 others. Although the FBI had concluded in that the bombing had been committed by four known Ku Klux Klansmen and segregationists, no prosecutions took place until , with two men sentenced to life imprisonment as late as and , respectively, and one never being charged.

Although the march originated in earlier ideas and efforts of secular black leaders A. Philip Randolph and Bayard Rustin, the overall presence of religious values that shaped the Civil Rights Movement also marked the march. It is estimated that between , and , participated in the march. When civil rights activists protesting segregation in St. Augustine in the north. Hundreds were arrested during sit-ins and marches opposing segregation—so many that the jails were filled and the overflow prisoners had to be held in outdoor stockades. On June 11, King and other SCLC leaders were arrested for trying to have lunch at the Monson Motel restaurant, and when an integrated group of young protesters tried to use the motel swimming pool, the owner poured acid into the water.

This resulted, a week later, in the largest mass arrest of rabbis in U. Television and newspaper stories about St. Augustine helped build public support for the Civil Rights Act of being debated in Congress. Augustine campaigns won passage of the Civil Rights Act of Nonviolent mass marches demanded the right to vote, and the jails filled up with arrested protesters, many of them students.

On February 1, King and Abernathy were arrested. In response, on March 7, close to protesters attempted to march from Selma to Montgomery to present their grievances to Governor George Wallace. King called on clergy and people of conscience to support the black citizens of Selma. Thousands of religious leaders and ordinary Americans came to demand voting rights for all. After many more protests, arrests, and legal maneuvering, a federal judge ordered Alabama to allow the march to Montgomery. It began on March 21st and arrived in Montgomery on the 24th. On the 25th, an estimated 25, protesters marched to the steps of the Alabama capitol, where King spoke on the voting rights struggle. Within 5 months, Congress and President Lyndon Johnson responded to the enormous public pressure generated by the Voting Rights Campaign by enacting into law the Voting Rights Act of Similarly to the arguments used by earlier proponents of slavery, many segregationists used Christianity to justify racism and racial violence.

The KKK remains the most illustrative example of this trend. Historian Brian Farmer estimates that during the period of the Second Klan — , two-thirds of the national KKK lecturers were Protestant ministers. Religion was a major selling point for the organization. Klansmen embraced Protestantism as an essential component of their white supremacist, anti-Catholic, and paternalistic formulation of U. Their cross was a religious symbol, and their ritual honored Bibles and local ministers.

When the Freedom Riders arrived in Birmingham, Connor gave KKK members 15 minutes to attack the riders before sending in the police to quell the attack. When local and state authorities failed to protect the Freedom Riders and activists, the federal government established effective intervention. In Birmingham and elsewhere, the KKK groups bombed the houses of civil rights activists.

In some cases they used physical violence, intimidation, and assassination directly against individuals. Continuing disfranchisement of African Americans across the south meant that most could not serve on juries, which were all white. The consistent struggle of the Civil Rights Movement and efforts of hundreds of thousands anonymous African Americans forced legislators to enact a slate of civil rights legislation in the s and s. Analyze the gains and limitations of the Civil Rights Acts of , , and , and the Voting Rights Act of The Civil Rights Act of , primarily a voting rights bill, was the first civil rights legislation enacted by Congress in the United States since the Reconstruction Era following the American Civil War.

Board of Education , which declared segregation in public schools unconstitutional. Byrd, Sr. Thomson of Alexandria, to unite white politicians and leaders in Virginia in a campaign of new state laws and policies to prevent public school desegregation. Violence against African Americans increased. For example, in President Dwight Eisenhower had ordered in federal troops to protect nine students integrating into a public school in Little Rock, Arkansas; the first time the federal government had sent troops to the south since the Reconstruction era. There had been continued physical assaults against suspected activists, and bombings of schools and churches in the south.

The goal of the Civil Rights Act was to ensure that all Americans could exercise their right to vote. Despite black Americans comprising the majority population in numerous counties and congressional districts in the south, discriminatory voter registration rules and laws had effectively disfranchised most of them in those states since the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Civil rights organizations had collected evidence of discriminatory practices, such as administration of literacy and comprehension tests, and poll taxes. It was set up to take testimony or written complaints from individuals about difficulties in registering and voting. Although passage of the Civil Rights Act of seemed to indicate a growing federal commitment to the cause of civil rights, the legislation was limited.

Because of the ways in which it had been changed, the government had difficulty enforcing it. However, the passage of the bill showed the willingness of national leaders to support, to varying degrees, the cause of civil rights. The Civil Rights Act of addressed some of the shortcomings of the act. It expanded the authority of federal judges to protect voting rights. It required local authorities to maintain comprehensive voting records for review so that the government could determine if there were patterns of discrimination against certain populations. The act was later deemed ineffective for firm establishment of civil rights.

The later legislation had firmer ground for enforcement and protection of a variety of civil rights, where the acts of and were largely limited to voting rights. The law dealt with race and color but omitted coverage of those discriminated against for national origin, although Eisenhower had called for it in his message to Congress. The Civil Rights Movement continued to expand, with protesters leading nonviolent demonstrations to mark their cause. President John F. In the summer of , various parts of the Civil Rights Movement collaborated to run voter education and voter registration drives in Mississippi.

During Freedom Summer in , hundreds of students from the north went there to participate in voter drives and community organizing. The media coverage and violent backlash, with the murders of three civil rights workers near Philadelphia, Mississippi, contributed to national support for civil rights legislation. The act remains a landmark piece of civil rights legislation that outlawed discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.

Throughout the south, groups of individuals would request services that were denied to them because of their race. Sit-ins were a popular form of protest. One of the first and most famous occurred at Greensboro, North Carolina, where a group of college students, both white and Black, asked to be served at a Woolworth's lunch counter that was supposed to be segregated. Groups of college students would ride on interstate carriers in protest to segregation on interstate buses. President John F. Kennedy actually provided federal marshals to help protect the freedom riders in the south. On August 28, , , individuals, both Black and white, gathered together at the Lincoln Memorial to protest segregation.

It was here that King delivered his famous and stirring "I Have a Dream" speech. This was a combination of drives to help get Blacks registered to vote. Many areas of the south were denying African-Americans the basic right to vote by not allowing them to register. They used various means, including literacy tests, and more overt means like intimidation by groups like the Ku Klux Klan. Seven KKK members were convicted of their murder. Selma was the beginning point of three marches intended to go to the capital of Alabama, Montgomery, in protest of discrimination in voter registration.

Two times the marchers were turned back, the first with a lot of violence and the second at the request of King. The third march had its intended effect and helped with the passage of the Voting Rights Act of in Congress. LIFE Books. Get our History Newsletter. Put today's news in context and see highlights from the archives. Please enter a valid email address. Please attempt to sign up again. Sign Up Now. An unexpected error has occurred with your sign up. Please try again later. Check here if you would like to receive subscription offers and other promotions via email from TIME group companies. You can unsubscribe at any time. By signing up you are agreeing to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Thank you! For your security, we've sent a confirmation email to the address you entered.

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