Civil Rights Movement Timeline

Civil Rights Movement Timeline

  • July 1948
    • Executive Order 9981
      • President Truman signs Executive Order 9981 abolishing discrimination in the U.S. Armed Forces. Executive Order 9981 was the first major blow to segregation, giving hope to African-American activists that change was possible.
  • May 1854
    • Brown V. Board of Education Topeka, Kanas
      • Supreme Court rules on the landmark case Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kans., unanimously agreeing that segregation in public schools is unconstitutional. The ruling paves the way for large-scale desegregation. The decision overturned the 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson ruling that sanctioned “separate but equal” segregation of the races, ruling that “separate educational facilities are inherently unequal.” It is a victory for NAACP attorney Thurgood Marshall, who will later return to the Supreme Court as the nation’s first black justice.
  • December 1955
    • Montgomery Bus Boycott
      • NAACP member Rosa Parks refuses to give up her seat at the front of the “colored section” of a bus to a white passenger, defying a southern custom of the time. In response to her arrest the Montgomery black community launches a bus boycott, which will last for more than a year, until the buses are desegregated Dec. 21, 1956. As newly elected president of the Montgomery Improvement Association (MIA), Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., is instrumental in leading the boycott.
  • Sep 1957
    • Little Rock Nine
      • Little Rock, Arkansas – Nine black students are blocked from entering the school on the orders of Governor Orval Faubus. President Eisenhower sends federal troops and the National Guard to intervene on behalf of the students, who become known as the “Little Rock Nine.”
  • February 1960
    • Greensboro Sit-in
      • Four black students from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical College begin a sit-in at a segregated Woolworth’s lunch counter. Although they are refused service, they are allowed to stay at the counter. The event triggers many similar nonviolent protests throughout the South. Six months later the original four protesters are served lunch at the same Woolworth’s counter. Student sit-ins would be effective throughout the Deep South in integrating parks, swimming pools, theaters, libraries, and other public facilities.
  • May 1961
    • Freedom Riders
      • Over the spring and summer, student volunteers begin taking bus trips through the South to test out new laws that prohibit segregation in interstate travel facilities, which includes bus and railway stations. Several of the groups of “freedom riders,” as they are called, are attacked by angry mobs along the way. The program, sponsored by The Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), involves more than 1,000 volunteers, black and white.
  • April 1963
    • MLK Jailed  in Birmingham
      • Martin Luther King is arrested and jailed during anti-segregation protests in Birmingham, Ala.; he writes his seminal “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” arguing that individuals have the moral duty to disobey unjust laws.
  • August 1963
    • March on Washington
      • About 200,000 people join the March on Washington. Congregating at the Lincoln Memorial, participants listen as Martin Luther King delivers his famous “I Have a Dream” speech.
  • September 1963
    • 16th Street Baptist Church Bombing
      • Four young girls (Denise McNair, Cynthia Wesley, Carole Robertson, and Addie Mae Collins) attending Sunday school are killed when a bomb explodes at the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church, a popular location for civil rights meetings. Riots erupt in Birmingham, leading to the deaths of two more black youths
  • January 1964
    • 24th Amendment
      • The 24th Amendment abolishes the poll tax, which originally had been instituted in 11 southern states after Reconstruction to make it difficult for poor blacks to vote
  • July 1964
    • Johnson signs Civil Rights Act of 1964
      • President Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The most sweeping civil rights legislation since Reconstruction, the Civil Rights Act prohibits discrimination of all kinds based on race, color, religion, or national origin. The law also provides the federal government with the powers to enforce desegregation
  • February 1965
    • Malcom X Murdered
      • Malcolm X, black nationalist and founder of the Organization of Afro-American Unity, is shot to death. It is believed the assailants are members of the Black Muslim faith, which Malcolm had recently abandoned in favor of orthodox Islam.
  • March 1965
    • Selma to Montgomery Marches
      • Blacks begin a march to Montgomery in support of voting rights but are stopped at the Pettus Bridge by a police blockade. Fifty marchers are hospitalized after police use tear gas, whips, and clubs against them. The incident is dubbed “Bloody Sunday” by the media. The march is considered the catalyst for pushing through the voting rights act five months later.
  • August 1965
    • Voting Rights Act 1965
      • Congress passes the Voting Rights Act of 1965, making it easier for Southern blacks to register to vote. Literacy tests, poll taxes, and other such requirements that were used to restrict black voting are made illegal.




American Studies WPA Poster PictureThis poster considers the Second New Deal, and the point of the Working Progressive Administration (WPA), and the construction of public buildings ,such as airports, that allowed the idea of economic security to become a reality. Establishment of the WPA was not until 1934 when New Dealers, such as President Roosevelt and Harry Hopkins, realized that there was a ‘growing popular glamour’ for greater economic equality, specifically in the economic security sector, unlike the era of the First New Deal that focused on economic recovery. The idea of the Second New Deal would now guarantee Americans the protection against unemployment and poverty. The WPA would call for out-of-work white collar workers and professionals, such as airplane pilots. Involved New Dealers pitched that the government should redistribute the national income so as to sustain mass purchasing power in the consumer economy, so as to prevent another Depression the first was thought to have been caused by the imbalance of wealth and income. The posters is manifested with mid-20th century planes and calligraphy that advertises something new and innovative, Municipal Airports in New York City. The arrangements of the words and images are worth taking note of; the arrangement is in a grandiose fashion with the moderately colored image taking up most of the poster and information about ‘first two airports’ in smaller but large enough print. This is an effective way of getting as much information as possible to the target market for the most part probably will not stop to look at the poster in detail but is still provided enough information either way. This poster embodies some traditional and some unique styles that would be in post poster today and in the 1930’s.


Emily Dickinson Explication

Emily Dickinson states that “The Soul selects her own society then shuts the Door”. This is speaking about how the world is shut out from her “divine majority” instead of she being shut out from the world; this is The Soul’s choice. When she is shut out, quite literally, she is “present no more”, she is not mingling with the mass of an “ample nation”. Also the Soul is uncompromising towards anyone that tries to enter into her Society once the metaphorical door is shut. She seems to be shutting out the everyone and she will not open up to anyone, even chariots, a sign of wealth and majesty, and even an emperor cannot persuade her. The Emperor who is kneeling, a sign of submission and loyalty, with all his wealth is “at her low Gate” where all the peasant and lower class people would be stopped at in a kingdom which in this case is her ‘Attention’ where her selected,”Divine Majority” is above all. In the third stanza the poet shows the severity of the Soul’s exclusiveness – even from “an ample nation” of people, she easily settles on one single person, she has to “choose one”, to include in her kingdom, be apart of the Divine Majority”, someone who she want in her ‘attention’; so immediately and without doubt in her decision everyone else is locked out. “Then close the Valves of her attention” is a metaphor of her not giving anyone, “from an Ample nation” except the one she had to choose, any attention. She closes with an image of a stone which symbolizes how she reacts to other people who seek her attention; the other people who she had locked out. She give them the plain and non-responsive look of a “Stone” after she closed “the Values of her attention”.


Jacob Riis Photograph

In Sleeping Quarters, Rivington Street Dump, Jacob Riis

Jacob Riis, immigrated to the United States in 1870 and was a pioneer in the use of photography as an agent of social reform. This photo depicts the deplorable conditions of the slum in New York during the 19th century. What you are looking at is sleeping quarters by the Rivington Street dump. The tattered beds in the background look like they are made for small children, which would mean that the grown men that sleep on them would be cramped.  The tiny living quarter is obviously shared between more than one person and so the space would be cramped as it is but to make it worse the roof is feet away from  the ground. The men would be cluttered. The men do not have many ways to entertain themselves in the small quarters, so they resort to smoking and sitting on the roof. The man’s clothes are filthy. He probably has no other alternative suites of clothes. The facial expression shows that the man is obviously not happy; he looks like the only happiness he has in the pipe he has in his mouth. Also, it seems to be that there are no light structures in the space, so the light went out when the sun went down which adds to the already depressive atmosphere. The drum in the centre of the room is the only table structure they have so they seem to conserve space by trying to hang things like the kettle from the roof and some other things in the background in the peak of the roof. I have no doubt the walls are not made of a heat sustainable material, so in the winter it would be terribly cold. The presence of rodents and insects are inevitable, which adds to what I assume is already a terrible smell and immense amounts of filth.  This picture is a true representation of the conditions that lower class people had to deal with in 19th century New York.

@Mrs. G (Credit)


Black Resistance from the beginning

And the People Rise Up!!!

Screen Shot 2017-01-27 at 1.55.52 AMMy final source evaluation was on a book called Rasta and Resistance: From Marcus Garvey to Walter Rodney by Horace Campbell. Marcus Garvey was the undisputed champion of the black race, of the poor, of the working class and the downpressed. He was the father of Garveyism, a brand of militant nationalism which gave the black person a sense of identification with the whole Africa while stressing self-reliance. Campbell strayed from the bigger picture of Garvey’s influence but instead narrowed it down to key links of his entire operation from the beginning. Campbell gives a concise view on Garvey’s early life as a youngster who, through travelling, tries to understand the limited scope for self-expression offered to black people and that it was not so different to what he was used to. The author also sets out to describe how Garvey came to establish the UNIA on the mission basis to embrace the purpose of black humanity and distinguish it from local reformist pressure groups. Details of Garvey’s and UNIA’s move from Jamaica, where it would not flourish, to the states to raise funds are explored. Campbell discusses important information regarding the battle for black dignity and African freedom which came to surface during and after the war. Battles against discriminatory groups and leaders such as the Klu Klux Klan and Senator Theodore Bilbo, who tried to extinguish the black population in the states, during the Harlem Renaissance are vastly explored. It can be seen that Campbell wrote this book mildly from a Jamaican perspective through his remarks to Jamaican politics, other revolutionist and numerous cultural effects.

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This books is an extremely valuable secondary source that navigates the exceedingly important connection between Garveyism, the UNIA and Marcus Garvey in the very beginning. The book also accounted for important details that transpired in Jamaica that had direct impacts on his operation in the States. The book had many pros and cons such as the fact that it connects events to other important activist such as Paul Bogle and Walter Rodney and their effects/movements outside the states which are not the aim of my paper. Also the book vaguely loses focus of Garvey in America after it mentions when he deported back the island. However, I value this source and will continue to use it for its strengths.

Campbell, Horace. Rasta and Resistance: From Marcus Garvey to Walter Rodney. Trenton, NJ: Africa World, 1987. Print.


Black Moses

A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots

Conventionally known as ‘Black Moses’, Marcus Garvey led the largest all- black movement of the nation in the early 20th century. The second source I decided to examine was Black Moses by Edmund David Cronon. I have specifically chosen to use chapter 1 and chapter 4 to draw on for information on the introduction and initial growth of the Universal Negro Improvement Association. The book explores Marcus Garvey and the seeds he has sewn for a new black pride and determination on a broad scheme. However, the book hones in on the four year it took the build the Universal Negro Improvement Association, ‘the largest and most powerful all-black organization the nation has ever seen.’ Black Moses brings Garvey’s controversial figure to life and recovers the significance of his life and work. Cronon discusses the people who helped Garvey introduce himself to Harlem in 1920 when he arrived. People like W.E. DuBois and Amy Ashwood and the influence and support they provided are examined in contrast the inhibitors like Secretary Charles Evan Hughes and J.Edgar Hoover who were against Garvey movements and so tried to put a stop to him.

garveyvduboisBlack Moses is very valuable secondary source that more than recognizes Garvey’s achievements but especially focuses on the development of the Universal Negro Improvement Association and the people who helped Garvey during his introduction phase in Harlem, New York 1920 and in its later stages of growth. The author also speaks about the key characters who tried to degrade his influence and stop his movement. The book does not have many weaknesses because it focuses on all aspects of my topics. I look forward to using this book as a leading source to develop on the UNIA and Garveyism in the Harlem, New York during the early 20th century.

Cronon, Edmund David. Black Moses: The Story of Marcus Garvey and the Universal Negro Improvement Association. Madison: U of Wisconsin, 1969. Print.


Marcus Garvey All Over

“Our Greatest Black Leader

circa 1925: Full-length image of Jamaican activist Marcus Garvey (1887 - 1940), a leader of Harlem's Black Nationalism movement, wearing a military uniform and carrying a sword, New York City. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)Jamaican born national hero Marcus Mosiah Garvey was a black activist who created mass movements and changed global black politics forever, especially in the United States of America. His expansive liberations and racial uplifts came to be known as Garveyism, a new groundbreaking interpretation of black politics during the periods of the First and Second World Wars. He created the foundation for his movements in the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) in Harlem, New York and the millions of supporters he attracted. The Age of Garvey, demonstrates the consequences of Garveyism due to its international presence during the interwar years and beyond. Adam Ewing demonstrates Garvey’s ideologies and theories as globally influential opposed to a “view from the prism of american politics”. The Age of Garvey explores the rise and fall of Marcus Garvey around the UNIA’s development and its help in Garveyism’s growth and evolution. In the United States, radicalized Garveyites in UNIA were able to find a stance in which they were shielded from white supremacy and thus allowed to thrive in battles of politics, hierarchical challenges and racial, religious, class and gender identity negotiations. The author seeks to tell the story of the revival of millions of African-American men and women through the inspirational words of Marcus Garvey to fight back against the humiliation and disempowerment in their lives.

This is a valuable secondary source that congratulates his activism and it provides an deep analysis of the events that transpired around Garveyism’s introduction to world by esteemed historians. The book accounts for his mass movements all over the world but I will be concentrating on the specific ones in the United States.  The book explores not only accounts of his triumphant or failing moments, but also the theory and mindset of Marcus Garvey while he did his work and it is this that will compliment my paper.

Ewing, Adam. The Age of Garvey: How a Jamaican Activist Created a Mass Movement and Changed Global Black Politics. Princeton, NJ: Princeton UP, 2014. Print.


Jonathan Edwards Vs. Charles Chauncy

‘In Jonathan Edwards’s, “The Distinguishing Marks of a Work of the Spirit of God” he uses ‘scripture evidence’ (91) as the basis on which to create the parameters for what we can judge as a work of God in order to forge a justifiable relationship between reason and religion. On the other hand Charles Clancy, in “The State of Religion in New England”, addresses his vitriolic view of the revivals as ‘pure chaos, breeding disorder and godlessness’(94) with remarks to the work of George Whitefield, Gilbert Tennent and James Davenport ultimately defying the credibility of their work to discriminate the revivalist movement.

Jonathan Edwards uses ‘scripture evidences’ (91) and personal observation to justify his argument. His writing is an attempt to secularize from superstition through religious methods. He uses ‘distinguishing’ (91) evidence that are true ‘marks of a work of the Spirit of God’ (91) to defend the revivalist movement; most concerns of said work being ‘notorious, and known by everybody’ (91) unlike scientific inquiries that he deems useless. He draws the idea that ‘work of the Spirit of God’ (91) has brought about an extraordinary influence and immediate religious experience among the people. He writes about his personal experiences of persons ‘crying out loud, shrieking’ (92) which he sees as an act of God. He explains this divine movement and understanding can be understood through ‘the Spirit that is at work’ (91) and that it will make people more ‘sensible’ in that regard (92). In Henry May’s ‘The Age of Reason and Age of Enthusiasm”, he recounted Edward’s view, that nothing humans conceive is true without of some sort of divine perception. “Human knowledge, much as Edwards delighted in it, was essentially worthless without divine illumination.” Moreover, Charles Clancy’s theology is based on traditional intellectual ways of thinking. Clancy undermines the “false methods of making their peace with god” (96) of the revivalist. Clancy aim is to refute the revivalist movement, which he says brings about “Visions, Trances, and convulsions” (97). Clancy questions to say that “solid and substantial religion” (95) cannot come from such “superstitious, enthusiastick and nonsensical preachers and sermons” (95). He says it is a “show of Religion instead of the Substance” (96) showing how he feels in that the ideas of the Enlightenment challenged traditional ideas through science and focused more on religious reasoning.

Both writers give firm stances for their views as it regards religion and reason. This contrast in these men’s ideology’s show a true divide between the Enlightenment and the Great Awakening.   

The Scarlet Letter Close Reading

New Edition: Page 479 – 480

In the following exert from ‘The Scarlet Letter”, by Nathaniel Hawthorne, introduces Hester Prynne as she is put before a crowd with her child, to be ridiculed by the crowd and to publicly and forcefully accept the full consequences for her mistake through public shame. Hester Prynne uses her baby, ‘one token of her shame’ to conceal another. Hester is not solely protecting her baby but is using the baby, a symbol that shows her shame, to protect another from being publicly exposed. Hester is not acting off her motherly love but is acting disgracefully. She is ashamed of her actions but does not show this to the crowd when ‘she took the baby on her arm, and, with a burning blush, and yet a haughty smile, and a glance that would not be abashed, looked around at her townspeople and neighbours.’ She does so because she comes to understand that ‘one token of her shame would but poorly serve to hide another’. We then see the first reference to Hester’s literal mark of shame, ‘On the breast of her gown, in fine red cloth, surrounded with an elaborate embroidery and fantastic flourishes of gold thread, appeared the letter A’. It can be inferred that this letter A signifies adultery just as the baby itself signifies adultery as well. Hester is condemned for her action because she lives in a Puritan society where the law and religion run hand in hand. Adultery is a law in the church as goes again Puritan teachings. The artfulness and vibrancy that ‘was so artistically done, and with so much fertility and gorgeous luxuriance of fancy’ made it be easily see by all and, ‘it had all the effect of a last and fitting decoration to the apparel which she wore’. The effect of it vibrancy is to show the public what type of person Hester is and the actions she has taken part in, publicly humiliating her. Also, the apparel she wore was ‘greatly beyond what was allowed by the sumptuary regulations of the colony.’ This mean what she wore was not permitted by the society she lived in.

When the young woman—the mother of this child—stood fully revealed before the crowd, it seemed to be her first impulse to clasp the infant closely to her bosom; not so much by an impulse of motherly affection, as that she might thereby conceal a certain token, which was wrought or fastened into her dress. In a moment, however, wisely judging that one token of her shame would but poorly serve to hide another, she took the baby on her arm, and, with a burning blush, and yet a haughty smile, and a glance that would not be abashed, looked around at her townspeople and neighbours. On the breast of her gown, in fine red cloth, surrounded with an elaborate embroidery and fantastic flourishes of gold thread, appeared the letter A. It was so artistically done, and with so much fertility and gorgeous luxuriance of fancy, that it had all the effect of a last and fitting decoration to the apparel which she wore; and which was of a splendor in accordance with the taste of the age, but greatly beyond what was allowed by the sumptuary regulations of the colony.