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🔑 Key Events
1941: President FDR passes Executive Order 8802, outlawing discrimination in the defense industry and creating the Fair Employment Practices Committee. This comes after pressure from A. Philip Randolph.
1942: The Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) is founded, which fought for equal rights throughout the Civil Rights Movement and later took place in Freedom Rides.
1947: Jackie Robinson breaks the color barrier in baseball by playing for the previously all-white Brooklyn Dodgers.
1948: Executive Order 9981 is passed by President Truman, desegregating the US military.
1954: Brown v. Board of Education overturns Plessy v. Ferguson by ruling that all schools must be desegregated. It also was a landmark case because it used psychological evidence, arguing that segregation caused lasting harm on the minds of black children. Southern states resist by closing down schools and signing the Southern Manifesto - a petition arguing the Supreme Court abused its power in the Brown decision.
1955: Emmett Till, a 14-year-old African American boy, is tortured and murdered by white men in Mississippi. This enrages the public and grows support for the fight for equal rights.
1955: Rosa Parks refuses to give up her bus seat to a white passenger, starting the Montgomery Bus Boycott. After a year of boycotting, the Supreme Court ruled that bus segregation was unconstitutional.
1957: When the Little Rock 9 (9 black students enrolled in a previously segregated high school) were stopped from attending school by Arkansas Governor Orval Faubus, the National Guard, and a mob of angry whites, President Eisenhower sends federal troops to escort them to school.
1960: Sit in at Woolworth's in Greensboro involves young African American students refusing to move from a segregated lunch counter. Students across the country do so as well to protest segregation.
1961: Freedom Riders protested bus segregation and forced the Interstate Commerce Commission to desegregate interstate buses.
1963: Martin Luther King Jr. leads the March on Washington, the biggest protest in Washington and of the movement.
1964: The Civil Rights Act of 1964 requires equal access to public accommodations, equal employment opportunities, and allows the federal government to cut funds from any area where desegregation was resisted. This ended major de jure discrimination.
1965: The Voting Rights Act of 1965 allowed the federal government to register voters, and eliminated literacy tests, allowing a bigger percentage of African Americans to vote.
🌟 Important People
A. Philip Randolph: planned a march on Washington to protest segregation and inequality, especially in the military, which pressured FDR to pass Executive Order 8802 and his efforts can also be linked to the passage of Executive order 9981.
Thurgood Marshall: Lawyer who won the Brown v. Board case.
Earl Warren: Chief Supreme Court Justice in the Brown v. Board case.
Malcolm X: Unlike Martin Luther King - who was inspired by Gandhi and Henry David Thoreau - Malcolm X believed in black separatism.
👀 Other Vocab
De jure discrimination: Discrimination due to laws; legal discrimination.
De facto discrimination: Discrimination coming from traditions or society.
Black Panther Party: a group originally created to protect African Americans from police brutality. It also advocated for arming blacks for self-defense.
Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee: (SNCC or "snick") a group of college students who helped southern blacks register to vote.
🌟🇺🇸🌟Remember this is just a quick snapshot of the main things you should know from the Civil Rights Movement. History is all about drawing your own conclusions from complex situations, causes, and effects. In order to do that, you need to read your APUSH textbook! The best advice I can give you is to read, re-read, review, and draw conclusions for yourself from the material you read. While this is a great quick review, when studying history it is important and much more interesting to dive deeper, and I really encourage you to do so! Good luck this year, happy reading, and remember: You got this!
Sources: Wikipedia, Adam Norris, Britannica