civil right movement


Creation of the NAACP

February 12, 1909

(NAACP)-The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. After a race riot in Springfield, Illinois in 1908, "The Call" went out to Northerners to find a way to create social equality. In 1909, a group of multi-racial activists held a conference in New York City in response to "The Call" and decided to form the NAACP (originally called the National Negro Committee). Among the founders were W.E.B. DuBois, Ida Wells-Barnett, Henry Moscowitz, Oswald Garrison Villiard, Mary White Ovington, and William English Walling.

Guinn v. United states


In the case of Guinn v. United States (1915), the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the convictions. Justice Edward White went on to strike down the grandfather clause. He saw the Oklahoma law for what it was--a bald attempt to disfranchise blacks. Justice White wrote that the act "inherently brings" discrimination based on race "into existence since it is based purely on a period of time before the enactment of the Fifteenth Amendment and makes that period the controlling and dominant test of the right of suffrage.

Smith v. Allwright


Thurgood Marshall rose in front of the United States Supreme Court to argue that Texas’s Democratic primary system allowed whites to structurally dominate the politics of the one-party South. Specifically, the case presented the question of whether the Texas Democratic Party’s policy of prohibiting Blacks from voting in primary elections violated the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments.

President Truman Executive Order #9981

july 26, 1948

It states, "It is hereby declared to be the policy of the President that there shall be equality of treatment and opportunity for all persons in the armed services without regard to race, color, religion, or national origin."

Brown v. Board pf Education

May 17, 1954

the supreme court unanimously agreeing that segregation in public schools is unconstitutional. The ruling paves the way for large-scale desegregation. The decision overturns the 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson ruling that sanctioned "separate but equal" segregation of the races, ruling that "separate educational facilities are inherently unequal." It is a victory for NAACP attorney Thurgood Marshall, who will later return to the Supreme Court as the nation's first black justice.

MLK Jr. bus boycott

December 1, 1955

a black woman named Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a full Montgomery bus. Bus company policy dictated that black passengers fill seats from the back and white passengers fill seats from the front. Where the sections met, blacks were expected to yield to whites. The racist atmosphere on buses was strengthened by the attitude of the all-white driving staff, which was known to harass black passengers verbally, and sometimes physically.

Desegregation at little rock, Arkansas

September 3, 1957

when Governor Orval Faubus mobilized the Arkansas National Guard in an effort to prevent nine African American students from integrating the high school. After several failed attempts to negotiate with Faubus, President Dwight D. Eisenhower took action against the defiant governor by simultaneously federalizing the Arkansas National Guard, removing the Guard from Faubus' control, and ordering one thousand troops from the United States Army 101st Airborne Division in Ft. Campbell, Kentucky to oversee the integration. On September 25, 1957 the students, now known as the Little Rock Nine, entered Central High School, an academically renowned school with an enrollment of approximately two thousand white students. Despite suffering constant torment and discrimination from their classmates, eight of the nine students completed the school year at Central High School.

"I have dream speech"

August 28, 1963

About 200,000 people join the March on Washington DC. Congregating at the Lincoln Memorial, participants listen as Martin Luther King delivers his famous "I Have a Dream" speech.

The civil rights Act of 1964

July 2, 1964

President Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The most sweeping civil rights legislation since Reconstruction, the Civil Rights Act prohibits discrimination of all kinds based on race, color, religion, or national origin. The law also provides the federal government with the powers to enforce desegregation.

The Voting Right Act of 1965

August 10, 1965

Congress passes the Voting Rights Act of 1965, making it easier for Southern blacks to register to vote. Literacy tests, poll taxes, and other such requirements that were used to restrict black voting are made illegal.

Affirmative Action- Executive Order 11246

September 24, 1965

Asserting that civil rights laws alone are not enough to remedy discrimination, President Johnson issues Executive Order 11246, which enforces affirmative action for the first time. It requires government contractors to "take affirmative action" toward prospective minority employees in all aspects of hiring and employment.

Loving v. Virginia

June 12, 1967

In Loving v. Virginia, the Supreme Court rules that prohibiting interracial marriage is unconstitutional. Sixteen states that still banned interracial marriage at the time are forced to revise their laws.

Regents of the university of California v. Bakke


Regents of the University of California v. Bakke, (1978) started when Allan Bakke applied to the University of California Medical School at Davis in 1973 and 1974. He was rejected both years.

The school policy said for every hundred students admitted sixteen of the students must be minority students. Bakke's qualifications (scores and GPA) were higher than every one of the minority students admitted during both of the years that he applied but he was overlooked so that the minority quotas were filled.

He took the school to court saying that the school's actions violated the 14th amendment's equal protection clause and Title VI of California's Civil Rights Act of 1964. He argued that the university had overlooked him solely on the basis race. The case went from the California courts (who ruled in favor of Bakke) to the Supreme Court.