PEOPLE

 

Stokely Carmichael

.       National chairman of Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, 1966 to 1967

.       Popularized the term "Black Power"

.       Led SNCC away from nonviolent strategies and cooperation with white organizers

 

James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, Michael Schwerner

.       Young volunteers—one black, two Jewish—in Mississippi Freedom Summer voter registration drive, 1964

.       Murdered by white supremacists in Mississippi in August 1964

 

Kathleen Cleaver

.       Left SNCC to join Black Panther Party after marrying one of its leaders, Eldridge Cleaver, in 1967

.       Sought equal partnership for women in movement alongside men

.       Found more freedom as a woman in Black Panthers than as woman in SNCC

 

Lyndon B. Johnson

.       Democratic President; took office after Kennedy's assassination, 1963

.       Elected to his own full term in 1964 landslide

.       Made civil rights central objective of his presidency

.       Reforms were some of the most radical and controversial since those passed during Radical Reconstruction

 

Martin Luther King, Jr.

.       Baptist pastor who became most prominent leader of the Civil Rights Movement

.       Led multiple non-violent civil rights campaigns from 1955 through 1968

.       By mid-1960s, many younger black activists thought his approach was not forceful enough

.       Assassinated in April 1968; his death convinced many activists that non-violence had failed to change white
attitudes

 

Huey P. Newton

.       One of the founding members of the Black Panther Party in Oakland, Calif.

.       Influenced by radical philosophies of Mao Zedong and Che Guevara while at Oakland City College

.       Decided to form BPP as response to police brutality in his community

 

Richard M. Nixon

.       Republican president elected in 1968 and 1972

.       Created "affirmative action" by Executive Order 11478, 1969

.       Resigned from presidency in 1974 during Watergate scandal

.       Some historians cite his reelection in 1972 as the end of the Civil Rights Movement

 

Malcolm X

.       Black civil rights leader epitomized "Black Power" philosophy; did not support nonviolent, integrated struggle for civil rights because he worried blacks would ultimately lose control of their own movement

.       Key spokesman for the Nation of Islam until breaking with organization; assassinated in 1965 by Black Muslims

.       Teachings became key inspiration for other organizations including the Black Panther Party

 

 

EVENTS

 

1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom

.       Some 250,000 protesters gathered in Washington, D.C., August 1963

.       Called for passage of a civil rights bill, a plan to reduce unemployment, and an increase in the national minimum wage

.       Leaders and speakers included Martin Luther King, Jr. who delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech

.       Criticized by some black leaders, such as Malcolm X, for the ways powerful whites controlled who was allowed to speak and what speeches were censored

 

1963 16th Street Baptist Church Bombing

.       KKK bombed black church in Birmingham, Alabama, September 1963, killing 4 young girls attending Sunday School

.       Bombing occurred just two weeks after March on Washington

.       No one convicted for the crime until 2001

.       Convinced some blacks that non-violent strategies had failed and new, more radical plans would be needed

 

1963 Kennedy Assassination

.       President Kennedy shot and killed while riding in a motorcade through Dallas, Texas

.       Vice President Lyndon b. Johnson assumed the presidency

.       Johnson committed himself to civil rights reforms in order to "honor President Kennedy's memory"

 

1964 Civil Rights Act

.       Signed by President Lyndon B. Johnson in July

.       Outlawed segregation in all public places; required employers to provide equal opportunity for all races; threatened to cut federal funding from any projects that discriminated based on race, ethnicity, or gender

 

1965 Voting Rights Act

.       Signed by President Lyndon B. Johnson in August

.       Bill pushed through Congress in response to MLK's voting rights march in Selma, Alabama

.       Ensured blacks right to vote by prohibiting use of literacy tests in voter registration, giving federal government power to register voters, forbidding states from changing voting procedures without federal approval

 

1965 Watts Riots

.       Six days of riots, triggered by a traffic stop and three arrests, raged in African-American Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles

.       Occurred just a few days after President Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act

.       Left dozens dead, over 1000 injured, thousands arrested, and millions in property damage; required deployment of National Guard

.       Violence broadcast nationally, contributing to white backlash against Civil Rights Movement

 

1968 MLK Assassination

.       Martin Luther King shot and killed while in Memphis, Tennessee to organize a sanitation workers strike

.       White assassin James Earl Ray pled guilty, later tried to recant plea

.       Sparked riots in cities all over the country, including Chicago and Baltimore

 

 

GROUPS

 

Black Panther Party for Self Defense

.       Founded in 1966 in Oakland, California, by Huey Newton and Bobby Seale

.       Created in response to police brutality in black communities in Oakland

.       Adopted "Black Power" philosophy of black leaders such as Malcolm X and Marcus Garvey

.       Characteristic style, including afro hairstyle, leather jackets, and rifles, become most familiar representation of black radicalism during the 1960s and early 1970s

 

Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee

.       Early civil rights organization, comprised originally of young activists, white and black

.       Stokely Carmichael was its leader in 1966 and 1967

.       When Carmichael took the helm, the organization moved away from its nonviolent and integrationist philosophy and began expelling white members

.       Some women in the organization left in the mid-60s due to frustrations over unequal treatment

 

 


CONCEPTS

 

Affirmative Action

.       Policies intended to increase access to education and employment for underrepresented minority groups

.       Established as federal government policy by Nixon's Executive Order 11478, 1969

.       Supporters say it helps address centuries of discrimination

.       Opponents say it creates unfair advantage for some groups and undermines minority achievements

 

Black Power

.       Emphasizes race pride and black autonomy rather than integration with white society

.       Term originally coined by SNCC chairman Stokely Carmichael

.       Popularized by military civil rights organizations such as the Black Panther Party

.       Now used to refer to later wave of the Civil Rights Movement

 

Freedom summer

.       Summer of voting registration drives to help blacks vote in Mississippi, 1964

.       Mainly young college-age volunteers; mostly black activists, but also many whites

.       Met with violent resistance from whites, including KKK members

.       Three volunteers killed in Mississippi during the first weeks of work

 

Moynihan Report

.       Report released by Secretary of Labor Daniel Patrick Moynihan, 1965

.       Very controversial for its discussion of supposed "total breakdown" of black society

.       Concluded that roots of problems faced by blacks lay in legacy of slavery, tradition of matriarchy, urbanization, and racial discrimination

 

Proposition 14

.       Amendment to the California state constitution, passed by voters in 1964

.       Proposed by citizens who wanted to nullify the 1963 Rumford Fair Housing Act

.       Eliminated protections against housing discrimination

.       U.S. Supreme Court declared it unconstitutional in 1967

 

 

PLACES

 

Birmingham, Alabama

.       Site of bombing of 16th Street Baptist Church, 1963

Oakland, California

.       Birthplace of Black Panther Party, 1966

 

Philadelphia, Mississippi

.       Site of murders of civil rights activists James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner by white supremacists, 1963