*After the success of the sit-ins, African-Americans, particularly college students, prepared to protest segregation in interstate travel (because the federal government can regulate interstate commerce).
the summer of 1961, CORE set up a Freedom Ride through the South, in
young blacks rode two busses together through the South, stopping to
Crow Laws (using white restrooms and water fountains, for example). In
*In 1962, James Meredith, an African-American Air Force veteran won the right to enrol in the University of Mississippi, and was given protection by Federal marshals. Governor Ross Barnett and many white protesters tried to prevent him from attending, and riots began that killed 2 people and injured 160. After Kennedy addressed the nation saying that Americans could disagree with the law but not disobey it, Meredith began attending classes, graduated the next year, and went to law school. He was shot in 1963, but survived, although Medgar Evers, a civil rights worker who had helped Meredith get into Ole Miss, was shot and killed earlier that year.
1963, Martin Luther King, junior began sponsoring more protest marches,
put pressure on Congress, King and the SCLC, SNCC, and NAACP organised
November, President Kennedy was assassinated, but President Johnson and
Congress passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which banned all public
segregation and workplace segregation based on race, sex, or national
origin. It also allowed the Justice
Department to enforce this legislation.
Many Senators tried to block the Act, most famously Strom
Congress was debating the Bill, SNCC organised Freedom Summer, a voter
registration campaign by black and white volunteers in the state of
1965, King organised another march, this time in
*As white violence against Civil Rights became more widespread in the South, racial violence spread to other parts of the country, as blacks outside the South rioted against police and business discrimination. The first was in Watts (a neighbourhood in Los Angeles), but there were others in Newark, New Jersey and in Detroit, Michigan—in Detroit, 43 people were killed and over $50 million worth of property was stolen or destroyed. Rioters chanted ‘burn, baby, burn!’
*Younger black leaders mocked King, saying he was too conciliatory. Malcolm X was a black nationalist in the Nation of Islam. Although Born Malcolm Little, he changed his last name to X to reject his ‘slave name.’ Nation of Islam is an extremist Black Nationalist group with teachings based on Islam, but regarded as different by most other Moslems. Among other things, non-blacks are literally held to be non-human demons—Malcom X called white people ‘blue-eyed white devils.’
Nation of Islam and Islam both teach that there is only one God, both
that there will literally be a resurrection of the dead, and that
souls (or bodies) will be sent to paradise or hell, and both teach that
must fast during daylight hours during the entire month of Ramadan.
they differ in several respects. Nation of Islam teaches that God
physically incarnate in the form of a black preacher in 1930s
*Eventually Malcolm X, who would again rename himself (this time El Haj Malik El-Shabazz), moved away from extreme Black Nationalism. Shortly afterwards, in 1965, he was shot by men from the Nation of Islam.
*Even SNCC moved away from its non-violent roots, taking up the Black Power slogan. Stokely Carmichael had been a member of SNCC since 1960, had worked on the Freedom Rides since 1961, and in 1966 became chairman of SNCC. He promised that Black Power would ‘smash everything western civilization has created,’ although he also said that ‘black power’ just meant using economic protests to help or harm businesses based on their racial policies. He promoted the notion that ‘black is beautiful,’ glorifying unique clothing and hairstyles (like the Afro), and eventually becoming ‘honorary prime minister’ of the Black Panthers.
Black Panthers were formed in 1966 to protect blacks from white
violence. They created a military-style
carried weapons, and even marched into the
*Just as blacks were
winning legal victories,
they were alienating many of their former allies through the actions of
violent radicals, especially after 1968 when King was assassinated in
*Despite the racial
turmoil of the 1960s, many
African-Americans were quietly succeeding.
*Johnson supported Civil Rights, and did a lot to end de jure, and even some de facto segregation, and might have done more to advance the cause, but, like Kennedy before him and Nixon after him, he was distracted by Vietnam.