The Fight for Civil Rights

  • The Emancipation Proclaimation

    Definition: The Emancipation Proclaimation was a document brought about the Abraham Lincoln that was brought about, during the Civil War, in order to free all ofthe slaves in the tates that were rebelling (the Confederate States). Significance: This was Lincoln asserting his power into the Confederate states by doing something that they were against with all of their being, freeing the slaves. This was the first real step that anyone had taken inorder to reach some sort of equality.
  • The Ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment

    Definition: The Thirteenth Amendment made it unconstitutional to hold anyone in slavery, or any other form of involuntary servitude. Significance: This was the first of the Reconstruction Amendments that followed the Civil War. It made slavery punishable by law, and moved African Americans up a peg or two on the ladder of equality.
  • The Fourteenth Amendment

    Definition: This Amendment really helped to define what exactly a citizen was. It allowed blacks to be considered citizens, as well as gave them equal protection underneath the law. Significance: This was really a huge point in the history of African Americans, it overruled Dred Scott v. Sandford, giving them citizenship. Not only that, but it also allowed them to be protected by the law, not be oppresed by it.
  • The Fifteenth Amendment

    Definition: This piece of legislature ultimately gave blacks the right to vote by declaring that no citizen (black are now citizens due to the 14th) should be denied voting right based on color, race, or previous condition of servitude. Significance: Black would now be able to have a voice which they did not have before. They could attempt to put people who stood for them in office, people who had their best interest at heart, and hopefully make life better all around for them.
  • Plessy V. Ferguson

    Definition: This case was brought about in order to try and get everyday things (such as train cars) desegregated. Plessy bought a first class ticket for a train and went into the white section where he was not allowed, he was arrested (on purpose) and took it to court. Significance: The result was a little thing called "separate but equal" saying that segregation was still okay, its just that the accomodations had to be of equal quality. This was a big step back for the Civil Rights fight.
  • Brown v. Board of Education

    Definition: this was actually a few similar cases bundled up into one. They explained that the "Separate but Equal" ideaology was not being uphelp, because schools were still segregated, but the conditions of black schools where horrendous in comparison to white schools. Significance: The outcome was great for Civil RIghts activists. The ruling was that the school system was in fact, not upholding the "separate but equal" rule, and schools were now allowed to integrate black and white students.
  • The Murder of Emmett Till

    Definition: Emmett Till was ayoung boy from Chicago visiting his uncle down South. When he allegedly whistled at a white woman, the womans husband later that night proceeded to savagely beat the boy until he was no longer recognizzable, and then murder him. Significance: This opened the eyes of the Northern public to what they thought was no longer going on in the south. They were no longer ignorant to the fact that racial violence in the South was still prevalent, and common practice.
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    The Montgomery Bus Boycott

    Definition: The black citizens were sick and tired of unfair treatment and practices withing the city's bus system, so they collectively decided to just stop riding the buses. Instead, they would walk or carpool to work. Significance: This was huge to the bus company since over half of the daily passengers were African American. It all started when Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat for a white person on the bus, and it ended with the delaration that segregated buses are unconstitutional.
  • The Greensboro Sit-ins

    Definition: After hearing Dr. King give a speech at their school, two black students got some friends together and decided to take a seat at a whites only lunch counter. They next day they brought more students, and soon it was a full fleged movement. Significance: This may seem like a small pointless victory, but it showed that nonviolent protest could be just as, if not more effective than violent protest. Plus, they now were able to eat at lunch counters!
  • Freedon Rides

    Definition: Members of CORE decided to test the interstate travel laws put in place by the Supreme Court regarding segregation. They planned to leave from D.C. and end up in New Orleans, through the deep south. They got to Birmingham and were firebomed, and beaten. So SNCC took over in order to keep the movement going.
    Sgnificance: This showed the world that blacks were not just going to give up when things got tough, they were there for the long haul, even if that meant being beaten and jailed,
  • March On Washington

    Definition: This is a march organized by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in order to bring awareness to the new bill thatv the President had recently proposed dealing with Civil Rights. This is also where Dr. King delivered his world famous, "I Have A Dream" speech. Signficance: This March brought unity to the whole movement and really set forth a goal to what blacks wanted to get done, as well as promoting this new Civil Right Legislature that would more than help their cause.
  • 1964's Civil Rights Act

    Definition: This piece of legislature outlawed major forms of racial discrimination, including segregation. Pushed for by Lyndon B Johnson, ended segregation in school, work, and public accomodations. Significance: This was the beginning of change that the Civil Rights activists were looking for, segregatoin, like slavery, was abolished. They were working their way up to where they wanted to be, and this was the first big step.
  • The Voting Rghts Act of 1965

    Definition: The Voting Rights act outlawed the unfair voting practices that were going on in many southern states. Things such as poll taxes, intimidation, and literacy tests were among those outlawed. Significance: Blacks for the first time really gained the ability to take part in state and federal politics. They would be able to attempt putting their own people into office, and get their own needs taken care of without haveing to worry for their safety.