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History of the Civil Rights Movement

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    I may not get there with you.
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    But I want you to know tonight,
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    that we, as a people, will get to the Promised Land.
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    Human progress is neither automatic, nor inevitable.
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    Welcome to WatchMojo.com,
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    And today we'll be learning more about the history of the American Civil Rights Movement.
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    The end of the American Civil War in 1865 effectively meant the end of slavery.
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    But, African Americans were in for a long struggle before they were finally awarded equal rights.
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    As of 1870, all eligible male citizens were able to vote.
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    However, blacks were discouraged to by violence and eventually legal stipulations.
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    In 1896, the Supreme Court ruled to maintain racial segregation in private businesses,
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    in a case called Plessy v. Ferguson.
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    Soon broadened to include schools,
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    many southern states applied this 'separate but equal' mentality to all aspects of life.
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    However, this led to the application of Jim Crow laws,
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    which resulted in blacks being treated as second-class citizens.
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    Segregated schools, public transit, restrooms,
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    water fountains and more continued well into the 1900s.
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    In 1909, a group of prominent black and white campaigners
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    created the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People or NAACP.
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    Their goal was to increase racial equality and challenge issues like the Jim Crow laws.
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    Unfortunately, it was between 1910 and 1930 that white supremacist group
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    the Ku Klux Klan saw its biggest expansion amid increased racial friction.
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    Following the First World War,
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    the NAACP was devoted to ending lynching by white vigilantes.
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    By mid-century, the group became instrumental
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    in the Brown v. the Board of Education of Topeka court case.
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    This class-action suit filed in 1951 asked that segregation in schools be struck down.
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    Taken to the Supreme Court,
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    the case resulted in the first integrated school in the United States to open in the fall of 1955.
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    Encouraged by the decision, the Civil Rights Movement began to hold high-profile boycotts,
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    marches, sit-ins and other peaceful protests.
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    These included 1955’s Montgomery Bus Boycott in support of Rosa Parks.
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    A watershed moment came in 1957
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    when a high school in Arkansas admitted a group of African American students,
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    nicknamed the Little Rock Nine.
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    Protested by fellow students, the governor, and even the state’s National Guard,
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    President Dwight Eisenhower eventually intervened to ensure the students’ safe passage.
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    By 1962, Universities also began integrating,
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    though black students were still met with protests and violence.
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    The Southern Freedom Movement continued into the '60s,
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    with support from newly-elected President John F. Kennedy and his brother:
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    Attorney General, Robert Kennedy.
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    The violence of the Birmingham, Alabama campaign
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    influenced the President to fully endorse the movement.
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    A great change is at hand, and our task, our obligation,
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    is to make that revolution, that change, peaceful and constructive for all.
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    On June 19th, 1963, he proposed a Civil Rights Bill to Congress,
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    which was approved in 1964 after his death with support from President Lyndon Johnson.
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    The bill struck down existing legislation that allowed for discrimination,
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    and its approval was largely influenced by Martin Luther King Jr.
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    and the March on Washington of August 1963.
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    Capturing the attention of the media and the population,
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    this event attracted hundreds of thousands of people in support of civil rights.
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    Following that, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 ended the prejudiced voting system.
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    Instantly effective, blacks began voting and running for public office.
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    However, just days later on August 11th,
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    a violent six-day riot in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Watts resulted in 34 deaths.
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    This was indicative of a period of racially-motivated violence that occurred in the mid-to-late 1960s.
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    This era also saw the rise of Black Power, led in large part by Stokely Carmichael,
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    in opposition to extremists like the Ku Klux Klan.
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    This ideology was exemplified by the Black Panther Party,
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    which followed the principles set forth by Malcolm X.
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    Rising to prominence in the 1950s, his radical ideas advocated militancy for blacks.
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    Black poeple are dissatisfied.
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    They're dissatisfied not only with the white man,
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    but they're dissatisfied with these Negroes who have been sitting around posing as leaders
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    and spokesmen for black people
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    and actually making the problem worse instead of making the problem better.
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    He remained an influential and controversial human rights activist until his assassination in 1965.
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    The murders of civil rights leaders continued when Martin Luther King Jr. was killed in April 1968,
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    and Robert Kennedy two months later.
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    Despite racial tensions continuing into the 1990s, progress has been measurable.
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    The election of President Barack Obama in 2008 is seen by many
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    to be a culmination of centuries of work in favor of racial equality.
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    This is the meaning of our liberty and our creed,
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    why men and women and children of every race and every faith
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    can join in celebration across this magnificent mall,
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    and why a man whose father less than sixty years ago
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    might not have been served at a local restaurant
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    can now stand before you to take a most sacred oath.
Title:
History of the Civil Rights Movement
Description:

Beginning with the end of the U.S. Civil War in 1865, African Americans toiled to reach equal status in the eyes of the law. http://www.WatchMojo.com explores the history of the United States' Civil Rights Movement.

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Video Language:
English
Duration:
05:53

English subtitles

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