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Demise of Jim Crow and the Civil Rights Movement

by: Carina Sauter

Demise of Jim Crow and the Civil Rights Movement HIST 2112

Marketplace > University of Georgia > History > HIST 2112 > Demise of Jim Crow and the Civil Rights Movement
Carina Sauter
GPA 3.79

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These notes discuss the government's role in taking down the Jim Crow attitudes in the South and all over the US.
American History Since 1865
Dr. Rohrer
Class Notes
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This 7 page Class Notes was uploaded by Carina Sauter on Monday April 11, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to HIST 2112 at University of Georgia taught by Dr. Rohrer in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 13 views. For similar materials see American History Since 1865 in History at University of Georgia.


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Date Created: 04/11/16
Demise of Jim Crow and the Civil Rights Movement • Jim Crow South o Later 1940’s to end of 1960’s § Jim Crow has been a player for about 100 years § How will we dismantle this? o Georgia sharecroppers § So present since the civil war § African Americans lives have not changed much § Sharecropper Cabin • Similar to Fire in a Canebrake • Houses for families haven’t changed • No electricity/plumbing – basic o Strictly segregated society § “Now entering a white zone – African Americans be advised” § swimming pools § drinking fountains § “Help wanted – white only” § Different entrances o Typical § Racial caste system § Southern and border sates § Strict system of racial segregation § Confederate states and some border § Reconstruction era (post civil war 1860’s) through mid 60’s § More than anti-black laws § Way of life/thinking § Second class citizens § Legitimization of anti-black racism • It was natural to promote Jim Crow way of life § Ex. Taught that whites were the chosen people and backs were cursed as servants • God supported racial segregation • Supported with bible verses • Professionals taught/white said African Americans were intellectually and culturally inferior (Darwinists, lawyers, doctors, etc.) • Pro-segregation politicians o Great danger of integration • Pro-newspaper and magazine writers o Referred to African Americans as “niggers, coons, darkies” • Children’s games – vile language o Jim Crow Etiquette § Unofficial expected behavior § 1. Black male could not shake hands with white men because they are not equal; black male could not touch a white woman – rape § 2. Black and white not supposed to eat together; whites served first; physical break up on table if they did eat together § 3. Black man cannot light a white woman’s cigarette – phallic symbol showing intimacy § 4. African Americans are allowed to show PDA like kissing; offensive to whites; compared to animals § 5. White motorists always have right of way § 6. White do not use courtesy titles of respect (Mr./Mrs./Sir/Ma’am); only by first name – slave like animal; African Americans had to use them at all time and NEVER use first names o Black Codes § Instituted by Southern State legislatures to reinforce economic, social, and political ways of pre-civil war times § Keep African Americans fully subordinate § White supremacy groups enforced codes § Still here in mid 20 century § Known as Jim Crow Laws in 19 century à o Jim Crow Laws – written laws § Even outside of southern confederate states § Ex. Oklahoma • Prohibit black and white form boating together § Ex. Georgia • Separate state and local parks § Ex. Birmingham, AL • Black and white cannot play checkers or dominos together § Supported by real and threatened violence § Violators (drinking form white fountain, voting, etc.) • Risk home, jobs, and lives • Because whites could physically harm African Americans without any real legal consequences or disapproval • Little to no legal re-course o Jim Crow criminal justice system was all white § Police, judges, jury, prosecutors, prison officials o Social Control § Keep politics as much as they were pre-civil war o Lynchings § Exclusively public § Sadistic § Mobs carried out murders § Purposed for society • Entertainment • Uniting point for whites • Promote/reinforce low income and low status whites • Method of defending white domination and retard civil rights and social movements § Much like a pep rally § Celebration § Mobs directed hate against one victim • Victim reinforces and reminds African Americans what would happy if they defy laws/etiquettes § How common? • 1882-1968: o 4730 known lynchings o about 3000 were black men and women § intimidation tool th § ¾ in 20 century were African Americans o hung, shot, burned at the stake, castrated, beaten, dismembered o extremely sadistic § Where? • 90% occurred in the South • Other 10% were mostly in border states (Massachusetts, Kentucky, Missouri) • Rare in urban areas • Most common in small/middle sized towns • Where African Americans are economic competition to whites o Monroe, GA o Watkinsville, GA § Small, rural, entertainment § As a form to police and/or punish interracial sexual relations, specifically between African American men and white women • Illegal • Elicit and within the Jim Crow definition of rape • 20% of lynching victims were accused or rape • Southern community supported it for safety o Illegal because the threat was enough § What did whites think of social control • Distasteful and violent form of social control • But many thought it was necessary as a supplement to the justice system • Millions of African Americans affected • KKK and lynching mobs • Modern Civil Rights Movement o Response to Jim Crow South o Post WWII o National headlines in late 1940’s o Begun long before in the north o Booker T. Washington, WEB DuBois o 1940’s (pose WWII) to late 1960’s § activists protest white supremacy § challenge the legislation § mass deconstructions (strikes) § violent self-defense o What got the ball rolling? WWII § Gave African Americans jobs in military § African Americans fought to take down anti-democratic countries yet the US was not fully democratic/equal • America was not truly democratic § Riots on army bases § American wanted to portray a sanitized picture of us • Want to convince communist countries § 60% in middle class o Three Phases of Movement § Legal Phase • 1940’s-1950’s • marking important years of challenging restrictive legislation (Jim Crow laws and other discriminatory measures) • many Jim Crow laws are overturned on the books o not all listened • Harry Truman o President’s committee on civil rights o Desegregation of armed forces • 1945: still denied the right to vote and segregated in every area with discrimination and violence • Brown vs BOE o 1954 o segregated schools were the norm throughout the US o made legal from Plessy vs Ferguson § segregated public facilities were constitutional as long as they were equal – rare o NAACP: National Association of the Advancement of Colored People § Seek court orders to compel districts to allow African American children § Filed against Topeka school by Oliver Brown (parent of a black child prohibited from a white school) • Violated US constitution of equal protection clause because they were never equal nor ever could be • Unanimously said that segregation violated th clause of 14 amendment • How will we desegregate? • How quickly must we desegregate? • Supreme Court said ASAP – “ with al deliberate speed” o Institutional, political, and social problems to work out – not immediate • Response of US o Ex. Little Rock Crisis (1957) § Arkansas governor Orval Faubus chose to ignore court order § All white high school § President Eisenhower sends troops to de-segregate school • Uphold federal supremacy over any state • Shows federal government commitment § Even young are trying to uphold Jim Crow South o Civil Disobedience Phase § Mid 1950’s – mid 1960’s § African Americans gain a number of legislative victories and the passage of the civil rights act of 1954 • Outlawing discrimination on race, sex, religion, national origin, etc. • Ended unequal voting registration rights • Ended discrimination in employment • Non-violent forms of resistance o Sit-ins, boycotts, marches, freedom summer 1964 § Ex. Rosa Parks • Designed as a test case in Birmingham, AL • Lead to more organized bus boycotts by MLKJ § Ex. Organize numerous organizations • SCLC • CORE § Ex. Freedom Summer 1964 • Campaign to attempt to register as many African American voters as possible, especially in Mississippi • Infamous for not allowing African Americans to vote • 5.2% were registered prior to summer o Militant Phase § Malcom X • Vocal critic of MLKJ non-violent approach • Celebrating “blackness” and ending alliance with sympathetic, moderate whites • Thought it should be without the assistance of whites • Bloodshed is necessary to show black resistance • Assassinated in 1965 • Led to… § Stokely Carmichael and “Black Power” • “Black Power” book • argued African Americans should have pride and argued nothing to do with whites • wanted to split US into black and white countries • “Black Power” term o more militant/violent activist phase of the civil rights movement § Black Panthers • Militant black activists from Oakland, CA • Respond to Black Power • Black Panther party for self defense o Social services o Patrol streets to keep safe for African Americans o Called for armed revolution o Counseling services o Daycare o GED classes/birthing classes o Employment help cause § Prompt a massive government crackdown on group and external forms o Why does the Civil Rights movement die down § Movement perhaps too radical for moderate whites • Race riots • White Americans scared by aims of civil rights movement • Uncomfortable • Moderate whites feel alienated § Decreased interest among key government figures in civil rights • Lyndon B Johnson (1968): becomes suspicious of Civil Rights activists o Communist? o Very liberal • Lose interest/patience § Martin Luther King Junior assassinated/ heating up of Vietnam War § Ends by 1969-1970.


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