American Heritage 100 :: Fall 2006 [/\\] BYU

my student notes and resources from amh 100 at byu. i can make mistakes, so corrections are welcome.

use 'search this blog' above to search through my notes.

as an international student, i don't know much about american heritage either.

Dec 4, 2006

AMH 100

The Search for Justice
Part I: The Civil Rights Era

I. The Problem
A. Jim Crow Laws
B. Resistance to African American voting
1. Literacy tests
2. Poll taxes
3. Harassment
C. Lynching

II. Addressing the Problem
A. Nonviolent protest
1. The NAACP
2. Individual protesters
B. Violent protest
1. Black Panthers
2. Black Power

III. Milestones
A. Brown v. Board of Ed. of Topeka, Kansas, 1954
B. Fed. Intervention in Little Rock, Arkansas, 1957
C. The March on Washington, 1963

IV. Government Action
A. The Civil Rights Act, 1964
B. The Voting Rights Act, 1965


The Problem
-Jim Crow Laws
--any law put in place to enforce segregation between races

A Sampling of Jim Crow Laws
Mississippi: Any person guilty of printing, publishing or circulating matter urging or presenting arguments in favor of social equality or of intermarriage between whites and negroes, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

Alabama: It shall be unlawful play together or in company with each other at any game of pool or billiards.

Mississippi: The marriage of a white person with a negro or mulatto or person who shall have one-eighth or more of negro blood, shall be unlawful and void.

Georgia: The officer in charge shall not bury, or allow to be buried, any colored persons upon ground set apart or used for the burial of white persons.

-Resistance to African American voting
--literacy test
--poll taxes

--terrible practice where white people killed blacks to intimidate other blacks

Segregated public school, Hurlock, Maryland 1935
-"Separate but equal" doctrine established by Plessy v Ferguson, 1896
-a supreme court ruling that made segregation okay, as long as the two segregations are equal
-(2 segregated but equal schools, 2 segregated but equal railroad cars)

George McLaurin, University of Oklahoma, 1948
-wanted to go to u of oklahoma, so they had to make segregated accomodations for him

-2805 people lynched in the 10 southern states, 1882-1930
-2500 of these were African Americans, and 94% of these were killed by white lynch mobs
-lynching of an african american took place on the average of once a week, 1882-1930

MEDIA CLIP: black boy, emmitt till
-emmitt till, from north usa went to visit friends in southern usa
-coming out of store whistled at a white woman, they found his mutilated body a few days later
-beat, mutilated, shot through the head
-mom insisted open casket funeral to show the world what they did to his boy
-woman's husband and husband's half-brother arrested for murder
-defense found: body found could not be identified as emmitt till & it could have been anyone
-prosecution star witness kept out of state
-trial ended, jury (made up of white men) found the men not guilty
-later, they were both found guilty (both men confessed)

MEDIA CLIP: lynchings
-kkk came back to life
-justified on the basis of protecting white women from black sexual molestation
-the house of reps, tried to outlaw lynchings 3 times
-the senate blocked it every time by filibuster
-later on public apology, from senate

the lower house hot- very responsive to public sentiment, balance
the upper house cold- less responsive, more responsible, balance
negative example of balance

Addressing the Problem

American Civil Rights Movement [link to full article]

Nonviolent protest:
-the national association for the advancement of Colored People (NAACP)
--formed to protest lynching
--formed in 1909 just after reconstruction era
-individual protestors: rosa parks, martin luther king, jr.
-student non-violent coordinating committee SNCC sit-ins, freedom riders, hunger strikes

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. writes from prison:
ministers in the south agree with luther that lynching is bad, segregation is bad
but want him to stop making a fuss, stop protesting
luther replies in a letter [read it this week]
he says there are 2 ways to protest
1. do nothin
2. violent protest
luther says, 3. non-violent protest

Violent protest:
-the black panthers
-black power

these fought for their own nation, reject government, many violent movements were a nationalist movement

MEDIA CLIP: Rosa Parks 1955
-taking a stand by sitting down
-Rosa parks refused to give up her seat to a white passenger on a segregated bus in montgomery
-parks was arrested for violating segregation laws
-boycott lasted 381 days, resulting in integrated busing on montgomery
-she became known as the mother of the civil rights movement
-nonviolent, nonthreatening

a black person giving up a seat to a white person implies superiority (white superior)

[photo from slides]
Black Panthers and Police outside NYC courthouse, 1969 trial of Panther 21
-all 21 were found acquitted (not guilty) of trying to blow up NY botanical gardens

-Brown v Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas, 1954
--court case based on segregation
--they focussed their efforts on border states, not in deep south
--focused elementary schools initially, able to capture sympathy better for their cause

the principle of judicial restraint
-you don't want to overturn old rulings, majority rule is sacred
--Separate but equal established by Plessy v Ferguson upheld for so long based on judicial restraint

opposite of judicial restraint is judicial activism
-constitution is a living document, to change with changing times

-Chief justice reversed the Plessy v Ferguson due to personal experience:
--he had a black driver, he visited somewhere in the south, his chauffeur spent the night in the car
--he realized black people had no where to stay
--he worked on the other supreme court justices so there wouldn't be a simple majority, so instead there would be unanimous vote, it happened, overturning Plessy v Ferguson, establishing Brown v Board of Education as new law

reaction to Brown v Board of Education of Topeka
-Tom Brady wrote a pamphlet called Black Monday
-Segregation of amalgamation
-Tom Brady calls for 49th state for african americans, abolition of public schools, nullification of NAACP

-Federal intervention to protect desegragation, Little Rock, Arkansas, 1957
--federal troops enforcing desegregation, federal vs state battle (media clip from earlier)
--state government enforced segregation
--Little Rock Nine, first 9 students to attend a public school in little rock

Norman Rockwell 1964 painted a picture of a black girl dressed in white guarded by federal troops on her way to elementary school

Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., March on Washington, 1963
-march in response to lack of stuff being done
-asked for civil rights legislation
-asked for elimination of segregation
-asked for protestors be protected from police
-asked for public works programs to create jobs
-asked for law prohibiting racial discrimination
-asked for $2 hour minimum wage
-asked for self-government for DC
-250,000 people participated in the march (1/4 were black)

Martin Luther,
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today.

most of this legislation passed by President Kennedy and Johnson

Government Action

Civil Rights Act, 1964

-banned discrimination in public places (restaurants, theaters, public transportation etc)
-equal opportunity in employment
-required equal standards to qualify for voting

Voting Rights Act, 1965
-banned literact test
-federal supervision of some discricts


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