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Lecture 5

HIST 351 Lecture 5: 2-2-2017 Moving Beyond 1964

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HIST 351
Leonard Moore

Voting Rights Act and Civil Rights Moving Beyond 1964 VRA Post 1964 -Civil Rights Act said a few things but didn’t go too far because it simply wouldn’t pass if it was too liberal on rights -Freedom summer of 1964 was focused on registering Black voters -LBJ knew he was threatening his political future but got more and more on board with the necessity of a voting specific law -Much of Johnson’s cabinet was cautiously opposed -Johnson told MLK to reveal the injustice of voting rights so he could use this to push forth VRA Selma -Led by SNCC and local activists, a strong voter registration movement had already begun -Eventually decided to march to Montgomery -Poll tax had already been outlawed -Murder of civil rights workers in Selma brought the SCLC, SNCC, and other national groups to Selma to protest the murder with the march -Led to Bloody Sunday, which was a march across the Edmund Pettus bridge that got attacked by police officers and a vigilante mob -Ignored orders and were brutally attacked -John Lewis was hit over the head with a baton -Cameras were rolling, which really exposed the horror of this violence against peaceful protestors -A second march occurs with over 3000 supporters -Turns crowd around when there is an order by Frank Johnson to do so -Wanted to avoid violence and bloodshed because nonviolence granted the movement moral power -A third march occurs and works LBJ Comes out in Support -Southern president comes out with concerns about opportunity and a war on poverty -Came before Congress and made the Civil Rights Movement’s argument to them -Incorporated the movement’s words and anthem into his speech -Became a seminal speech for American history -Civil Rights Act had languished under a filibuster for countless months and Johnson gave Congress the Johnson treatment -He was a bit more forceful about getting things done VRA -Section 2 gave the DOJ the right to sue jurisdictions that might be violating voting rights -Preclearance clause (Section 4) was the most important -Certain areas with a history of voting discrimination couldn’t pass new voting laws unless cleared by DOJ or Appeals Court -Covered most, but not all of the South -Most powerful and single most important provision -Written in great awareness of how opponents could throw up barriers -Foresaw these attempts to dilute power and tackled them -Represented a culmination of successes by legally dismantling the Jim Crow system -Segregation in public life and in democracy is rendered illegal Protest Changes -On Selma to Montgomery march the consequences of this turning point become lucid, showing the extant divide between SNCC and SCLC -Transitional moment -MLK would give talks along the way but SNCC didn’t show up -SNCC’s Stokley Carmichael was holding separate rallies and preaching fighting back with violence and a new strategy -Fired up crowds with talk of violent revolt against opression -Ended talks by raising his fist in the air calling for “Black Power” -Had held together through CRA and VRA, going against SNCC’s pressure to be more actively out there -Direct action strategy had been the focus before, with both groups really coming together for it -Goes from attacking Jim Crow to attacking a less tangible but still very pervasisve racism -Stresses the differences in approach -After 1965 two things happen -Civil Rights movement stimulates explosion in concerns about citizenship and civil rights beyond Black people -Movements le
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