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Lecture 2

HIST 351 Lecture 2: 1-12-2017 Brown, Little Rock, Montgomery

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HIST 351
Leonard Moore

1/12/2017-Topeka, Little Rock, Montgomery 1950s Begin with New People Eisenhower and Warren -Had never voted until he voted for himself -Both parties tried to recruit him, and he was a moderate with cross-partisan appeal to win for the first time in 24 years -Nixon and Taft led the party’s more conservative anti-red wing which at times was at odds with Eisenhower -Puts Nixon as his VP -Earl Warren, who had been the 1948 VP, agrees not to run against Ike in return for a Supreme Court Justice seat -Grew up poor and was a lawyer who had gone to Berkley in Wilson’s era -Seen as a progressive Republican, becoming a DA during prohibition in Alameda County and California AG during internment (which he deeply regretted) -Stickler for the constitution and believed the law was a keystone of America -Able to stay in the GOP as it careened rightward -After Eisenhower won the chief justice died and Earl Warren gets notice that he won’t get the chief justice spot, but Warren holds him to his promise, which he carries through with -Eisenhower was not great at politics but Warren was -One of the most transformative events of the Eisenhower presidency because it gives Warren choices over constitutionality -The NAACP’s cases involving Jim Crow are set to come up soon and Warren sought change, helping accept the case of Brown v Board of Education of Topeka, KS NAACP Legal Defense Team -Led by the brilliant Thurgood Marshall, who went to Howard and met Charles Houston, the leader of a legal cabal inside Howard Law School that turned into the NAACP’s legal defense squad -Black lawyers who pressed to expose Jim Crow’s unconstitutionality Cases Brown v. Board -NAACP team brings in educators, psychologists, and more to demonstrate that Black girls presented with dolls pick White dolls -Use this as evidence to say that separate but equal does not work because treatment is inherently unequal -Separation by raceinequality and injury to people th -Argued that this violates the 14 Amendment -Warren goes to work for justice and fairness -He decides that the court must rule unanimously in favor of the NAACP -He foresaw opposition and backlash from his decision -Court majority favored civil rights but a few justices were conservative or legalistically needed convincing -Warren used his political skills to convince his fellow justices, all 9 -In 1954, thanks to this work, Warren issues a ruling (9-0) agreeing with Thurgood Marshall that separation of children racially in schools violates the 14 Amendment -Bold bold bold decision because it’s not just about Topeka, but about every institution -Strikes down all language from Plessy v. Ferguson about racial segregation of all public accommodations -Eisenhower is pissed off at Warren for dividing people with this position -Begins a great political change as the Supreme Court was taking its first step towards integration -A true blow to Jim Crow because it undermined the whole concept of separate but equal -Really the first time part of the government made a bold foray into civil rights, thanks to Earl Warrenoverturned precedent since 1890s -Received criticism for the methods used in the case -Brought to light a certain recognition of inequality and brought hope to activists Montgomery Bus Boycott Bus System -The bus system was filled with Black domestic female workers and thus had majority Black ridership -Too expensive to have separated buses so cities implemented a fluid segregation where Blacks were supposed to sit behind White people no matter where they were -Blacks could not sit and relax, but had to always watch who was getting on, because if it filled they had to get off Rosa Parks -In 1955 in Montgomery AL Rosa Parks was told to go to the back of the bus because a White person was boarding -She simply refused and stood pat even while the driver threatened herarrested -Parks had been involved for a long time and was part of the civil rights movement for a long time beforehand, especially in Montgomery -Had gone to the protests against Scottsboro 8 in the 1930s as a child -In the 1940s she was involved in the Reesy Taylor case -Woman was abducted and raped by people who admitted to it even -NAACP sent Rosa Parks to investigate in 1944 when she was investigating sexual assaults of Black women in the Jim Crow system -Effectively helped build a women’s network in Montgomery to fight sexual assaults and harassmentorganization became central later -Parks was bailed out by the minister she worked for, ED Nixon -Mobilized a bus boycott so Black riders would a
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