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Race Relations

Advances in the 1950s

What were the three main advances in the 1950s? Brown V. Topeka (Board of Education), Little Rock (Central High School) and the Montgomery Bus Boycott.
When was Brown V. Topeka? 1954
What CRM advance was made in 1954? Brown V. Topeka.
What was Brown V. Topeka (1954)? It was a landmark United States Supreme Court case in which the Court declared laws establishing separate public schools for black and white students to be unconstitutional.
What happened leading to the decision in 1954 (Brown V. Topeka) that separate public schools for black and white students were unconstitutional? It was argued on 9th December 1952, reargued on 8th December 1953 and finally decided on 17th May 1954. Handed down on 17th May, the Warren Court's unanimous (9-0) decision stated that "separate educational facilities are inherently unequal".
Why was Brown V. Topeka (1954) a victory? >was a major victory of CRM >it overturned Plessy V. Ferguson >as a result of it, 'de jure' racial segregation was ruled a violation of the 'Equal Protection Clause' of the Fourteenth Amendment of the US Constitution. >paved the way for integration
What was 'Plessy V. Ferguson' that was overturned by Brown V. Topeka? The Plessy V. Ferguson decision of 1896, allowed state-sponsored segregation, so far as it applied to public education.
What were limitations to Brown V. Topeka (1954) as a victory? The decision's 14 pages didn't spell out any sort of method for ending racial segregation in schools; and the court's second decision in 'Brown II' (1955) only ordered states to desegregate "with all deliberate speed". Brought the KKK back to life.
When was the Montgomery Bus Boycott? 1955
What CRM advance was made in 1955? The Montgomery Bus Boycott.
What was the Montgomery Bus Boycott (1955)? It was a non-violent, political and social protest campaign against the policy of racial segregation on the public transit system of Montgomery, Alabama.
Who fought the Board of Education in Topeka, Kansas? The NAACP
What did the NAACP fight the Board of Education in Topeka, Kansas about? NAACP lawyers asserted the right of a black church minister named Oliver Brown to send his daughter to the nearby white school, rather than a black school far away.
When did the Montgomery Bus Boycott start? On 1st December 1955 when Rosa Parks (a trained NAACP activist) refused to give up her seat on a full bus to a white man, leading to her arrest.
After Parks' arrest, what did the black people of Montgomery decide to do? Boycott the buses, choosing a young local preacher named Martin Luther King as their leader.
What happened as part of the Montgomery Bus Boycott? Thousands of black people walked to work, while the city's 210 African American taxi drivers offered seats for the cost of the bus fare. A car-pool of supporters of the boycott was also organised to get black people to work.
How long did the Montgomery Bus Boycott last? 381 days
What did King and his supporters call themselves during the Montgomery Bus Boycott? The Montgomery Improvement Association (MIA).
As well as boycotting the buses, what did the MIA also do? Hire NAACP lawyers to take the case to the Supreme Court.
What did the MIA deliberately seek by the boycott? Only moderate reforms - they wanted black drivers on black routes, and they wanted white bus drivers to be polite to black passengers.
Did the MIA challenge segregation when taking the case to the Supreme Court (with NAACP lawyers)? No, they asked only that seats on city buses be allocated on a first-come-first-serve basis, with black people filling up seats from the rear, white passengers from the front.
What was the reaction to the Montgomery Bus Boycott whilst it was happening? The local White Citizens' Council opposed the MIA's proposals. Its membership doubled. It ordered local officials to harass boycott leaders - King was arrested for speeding. In January 1956 his home was bombed by the KKK.
Why did the Montgomery Bus Boycott work? Because it was ruining the bus company financially, and local businesses were losing custom (local shopkeepers lost $1 million).
On November 13th 1956, what did city chiefs do in Montgomery? They - claiming that the car-pool was in effect a taxi service operating without a proper licence - got the car-pool stopped in the courts.
When did the Montgomery city chiefs get the car-pool stopped in the courts? 13th November 1956
What would the decision of 13th November 1956 have meant? However, what changed it? The decision would have meant the defeat of the boycott, but it was rendered pointless when that same day, the Supreme Court ruled that segregation on buses was unconstitutional.
When did the Supreme Court rule that segregation on the buses was unconstitutional? 13th November 1956.
What were the reasons why the Montgomery Bus Boycott were a victory? >integration on the buses was enforced >it became an inspiration to the CRM >King emerged as a prominent national leader of the CRM, whilst also solidifying his commitment to non-violent resistance >there were copycat boycotts throughout the south
In what way did the Montgomery Bus Boycott become an inspiration to the CRM? It demonstrated that when black Americans united, they could succeed, and that violent opposition only increased support.
What were the limitations to the victory of the Montgomery Bus Boycott? >integration was met w/ significant resistance >everything else in Montgomery still segregated >it revealed the depth of racism + determination of some whites >Parks + her husband lost their jobs, she received death threats, and had to move to Detroit
Give an example of the violence met by the integration on the buses: In January 1957, four black churches and the homes of prominent black leaders were bombed.
When was the Little Rock Crisis? 1957
What CRM advance was made in 1957? Little Rock
Why did the Little Rock Crisis take place? By 1957 the Supreme Court's Brown v. Topeka ruling had not resulted in any immediate changes in schools. It did not order segregated schools to be abolished - it just said they were wrong. Most of the twenty segregated states simply ignored it.
Why did most of the twenty segregated states simply ignore the Brown v. Topeka ruling? The government did not force them to end segregation.
What happened where states did try to change (after Brown v. Topeka)? Some schools closed rather than desegregate, and mobs gathered to stop black children going to white schools.
What happened on 23rd September 1957? 9 black students tried to attend Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. A mob of 1,000 barred their way. Two days later, the children went into school... protected by 11,000 soldiers. The crowd shouted: "2, 4, 6, 8; we aren't going to integrate".
What happened to the 9 black students actually inside Central High School in Little Rock? They were assaulted and abused.
What was faced back in the black community as a result of the Little Rock 9? The anger of those who said the 'meddling nine' were making life harder for black people.
What are the reasons why the Little Rock Crisis was a victory? >it begun integration in schools >once the troops withdrew (after 6 weeks), there were no further major racial incidents at the school >it became a national debate
What were limitations to the 1957 victory at Little Rock? >few other schools dared to desegregate, and few black children wanted to face the danger >in 1964, only 3% of America's black children attended desegregated schools >Little Rock itself only desegregated in 1972
What does NAACP stand for? The National Association of the Advancement of Colored People
What does CORE stand for? Congress of Racial Equality
Created by: mollyyy