How did WWII help lead to the civil rights movement?
In many ways, the events of World War II set the stage for the civil rights movement. First, the demand for soldiers in the early 1940s created a shortage of white male laborers. That labor shortage opened up new job opportunities for African Americans, Latinos, and white women.
Second, nearly one million African Americans served in the armed forces, which needed so many fighting men that they had to end their discriminatory policies. Such policies had previously kept African Americans from serving in fighting units. Many African-American soldiers returned from the war determined to fight for their own freedom now that they had helped defeat fascist regimes overseas.
Third, during the war, civil rights organizations actively campaigned for African-American voting rights and challenged Jim Crow laws. In response to protests, President Roosevelt issued a presidential directive prohibiting racial discrimination by federal agencies and all companies that were engaged in war work. The groundwork was laid for more organized campaigns to end segregation throughout the United States.
series of sit-ins, boycotts and demonstrations focused on ending segregation in Birmingham including the "children's' crusade"; lasted 2 months and was successful
tactic of nonviolent civil disobedience; demonstrators entered a business or a public place and remained seated until forcibly evicted or until their grievances were answered.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Baptist minister and civil rights leader; noted orator; opposed discrimination against blacks by organizing nonviolent resistance and peaceful mass demonstrations; assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee.
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, founded in 1909 to abolish segregation and discrimination, to oppose racism and to gain civil rights for African Americans
Charles Hamilton Houston
Dean of Howard University law school and Thurgood Marshall's teacher; Litigation Director of the NAACP; fought against Jim Crow Laws.
American civil rights lawyer, first black justice on the Supreme Court of the United States. Marshall was a tireless advocate for the rights of minorities and the poor.
slang expression for African Americans that emerged in the 1820s; came to signify laws and governmental practices designed to segregate blacks from whites
Jim Crow laws
State laws which created a racial caste system in the South; included laws which prevented blacks from voting and those which created segregated facilities; based upon fictitious caricature Jim Crow
Plessy v. Ferguson
a 1896 Supreme Court decision which legalized state ordered segregation so long as the facilities for blacks and whites were equal
Morgan v. Virginia
in this case, the Supreme Court declared that segregation on interstate busses was unconstitutional
Sweatt v. Painter
in this case, the Supreme Court declared that state law schools must admit black applicants even if separate black schools exist
Brown v. Board of Education
in this case, the Supreme Court found that segregation was a violation of the Equal Protection clause; "separate but equal" has no place; reverse decision of Plessy v Ferguson
Little Rock Nine
9 black teenagers who integrated Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, and became the focus of a national crisis that required the intervention of federal troops to resolve.
Governor of Arkansas who opposed the integration of Central High, Sent the Little Rock National Guard to keep them out.
refused to give up her seat to a white passenger. After she was jailed, the Montgomery bus boycott was organized.
Montgomery Bus Boycott
after Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to give up her seat on a city bus, Dr. Martin L. King led a boycott of city busses. After 11 months the Supreme Court ruled that segregation of public transportation was illegal.
E. D. Nixon
served as President of the Montgomery branch of the NAACP; instrumental in organizing the Montgomery Bus Boycott
Jo Ann Robinson
Civil Rights activist and educator in Montgomery; head of Women's Political Council; suggested bus boycott in Montgomery
Southern Christian Leadership Conference
organization founded by MLK to direct crusade against segregation. Its weapon was passive resistance that stressed nonviolence and love, and its tactic direct, though peaceful, confrontation.
worked at SCLC headquarters in Atlanta; founded a student organization, SNCC
Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee
formed by black and white students after the Greensboro, Nashville, and Atlanta sit-ins in 1960. established a summer of voting registration in 1963. created to give students an even larger role in civil rights movement sought for more immediate change
Civil rights leader who founded the Congress of Racial Equality
Congress of Racial of Equality
CORE became famous for freedom rides which drew attention to Southern barbarity, leading to the passing of civil rights legislation.
protesters rode in interstate buses into the segregated southern US to test the ruling of unsegregated public places
United States civil rights leader whose college registration to Ole Miss caused riots in segregated Mississippi
chief of police of Birmingham, Alabama; his use of excessive force against the peaceful marchers on television brought attention to the issue and helped gain support for civil rights legislation.
Director of the NAACP in Mississippi and a lawyer who defended accused Blacks, he was murdered in his driveway by a member of the Ku Klux Klan.
Byron de la Beckwith
murderer of Medgar Evers; arrested, acquitted, arrested 30 years later and imprisoned for life
March on Washington
in August of 1963, SCLC leaders organized a massive rally in Washington to urge the passage of Kennedy's civil rights bill; MLK gave his "I Have a Dream" speech to more than 200,000 marchers in front of the Lincoln Memorial.
Civil Rights Act of 1964
prohibited discrimination because of race, religion, national origin, and gender. It gave all citizens the right to enter libraries, parks, washrooms, restaurants, theaters, and other public accommodations.
Lyndon B. Johnson
signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 into law and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
a campaign in the United States launched in June 1964 to attempt to register as many African American voters as possible in Mississippi organized by the Council of Federated Organizations and headed by SNCC
Council of Federated Organizations
a coalition of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the Congress of Racial Equality, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee
Fannie Lou Hamer
spokesperson for the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party at the 1964 Democratic Convention
Three marches for voting registration in 1965 that marked the political and emotional peak of the American civil rights movement and ended in violence and disillusionment.
Voting Rights Act of 1965
federal law that increased government supervision of local election practices, suspended the use of literacy tests to prevent voting, and expanded government efforts to register voters.
de facto segregation
segregation (especially in schools) that exists by practice and custom
de jure segregation
segregation that is imposed by law
Malcolm X was an advocate of black power and was the figurehead of the Nation of Islam for some time. He was greatly influential in getting people to believe in black power and self-defense, as opposed to King's peace.
Nation of Islam
a group of militant Black Americans who profess Islamic religious beliefs and advocate independence for Black Americans
the man who had integrated the University of Mississippi who set out on a 225-mile "walk against fear" all the way from the Tennessee border to Jackson, but he was shot by a white racist and was too injured to continue
member of SNCC who decided to lead followers in a march to finish what Meredith had started
slogan used to reflect solidarity and racial consciousness, used by Malcolm X. It meant that equality could not be given, but had to be seized by a powerful, organized Black community.
a militant Black political party founded in 1965 to end political dominance by Whites
created in July, 1967 by President Lyndon B. Johnson to investigate the causes of the 1967 race riots in the United States
Civil Rights Act of 1968
this law banned discrimination in housing, the segregation of education, transprotation, and employment, and helped African Americans gain their full voting rights.
programs intended to make up for past discrimination by helping minority groups and women gain access to jobs and opportunities