At the beginning of the 1950's, in the Southern states, fewer than 5% of the prospected black voters were allowed to vote. Shrewd Southern politicians set up new means of perpetuating the black's powerlessness. Ever since it's founding in 1909 as a voluntary interracial organization, the NAACP recognized the raging legal war against the consequences of segregation and racism. Its Legal Defense and Educational Fund was set up early in 1939. After WWII, a Baptist preacher, Thurgood Marshall, became a legendary figure of courage. He was a council for NAACP and he would later become in 1967 the 1st black Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. The historical case, known as Brown VS. The Board of Education of Topecca (Kansas), came in front of the Supreme Court whose Chief Justice was Earl Warren. On 17 May 1954, the Courts opinion indicated that education represented a central experience in life and the critical question was: "Does segregation in schools, solely on the basis of race, deprived the children of the minority group of equal education opportunities?"
[...] In the 1960's, a gay liberal movement emerged. During the Stone Mole riot in 1965, they only gained momentum. Anti-discrimination acts were passed in many places guaranteeing equal treatment for their sexual orientation. Students were very much part of the counter-culture of the 1960's. Resistance to the Vietnam War occurred in California in the middle of the 1960's, with early hippies in San Francisco, in Height Ashbury District. There was clearly a generation gap between Middle America and the nation's youth. [...]
[...] The FBI suddenly took the threat of any black revolutionary movement very seriously. FBI created CoIntelPro, Counter Intelligence Program, to disrupt Black Panther activities. Infiltrators were sent and dozens of panther's members had been killed, mostly in shootouts with the police. An activist of the period, whose name was George Jackson, wrote a book broadly read "Soledad brothers", in which he declared the war against the white establishment. He was shot down in 1971. A massive riot occurred in Attica Prison a few months later. [...]
[...] With few exceptions, whites refused to support the cause of the Civil Rights Movement: paternalism was the only good thing. It became a necessity for blacks to take control over their own lives and to take new vehicles for protest. The course just proved inadequate, and most politicians paid little more than lip-service to black protest. Direct action protests were both a cause and a consequence of black activism. The sit-ins grew out of the tradition of protest, but aimed at reinforcing and extending it. [...]
[...] An attenuated version of the Civil Rights Bill was eventually passed in 1957 and was considered as a defeat for Civil Rights supporters. III) the southern white resistance Among Southern White opponents, the kind of resignation that had prevailed among the Brown decision gradually changed into optimism about the possibility of preserving the status quo. They finally started outright and systematic resistance to desegregation as Dwight D. Eisenhower offered tacit approval to segregations in Texas and Alabama. State legislators began to pass resolutions calling for massive resistance declaring the Supreme Court decision to be null, void, and of no effect. [...]
[...] The Montgomery movement highlighted themes that would dominate the Civil Rights struggle for many years. Three elements can be pointed out: ( One that demonstrates dramatically that black American could sacrifice their comfort and risk their jobs to stand in dignity. ( A sense of self-confidence created a rising of consciousness: full equality or nothing. ( It produced an articulate and persuasive leader: Martin Luther King Jr. On the 1st night of the boycott, these were Martin Luther King Jr.'s words: "if you will protest courageously, yet with dignity and Christian love, in the history books that are written for the next generation, historians will have to pose and say that there lived a great black people who injected a new meaning and dignity into the veins of civilization. [...]
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