Black Power and Civil Rights

Civil Rights DBQ: Analyze the changes that occurred during the 1960’s in the goals, strategies, and support of the movement for African American civil rights - Black Power and Civil Rights introduction. Document A: Source: Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) statement of purpose, April 1960 We affirm the philosophical or religious ideal of nonviolence as the foundation of our purpose, the presupposition of our faith, and the manner of our action. Nonviolence as it grows from Judaic-Christian traditions seeks a social order of justice permeated by love. Integration of human endeavor represents the crucial first step towards such a society.

Through nonviolence, courage displaces fear; love transforms hate. Acceptance dissipates prejudice; hope ends despair. Peace dominates war; faith reconciles doubt. Mutual regard cancels enmity. Justice for all overthrows injustice. The redemptive community supersedes systems of gross social immorality. Document B: Source: Martin Luther King, Jr. , letter from the Birmingham jail, 1963 My Dear Fellow Clergymen: I think I should indicate why I am here in Birmingham since you have been influenced by the view which argues against “outsiders coming in. I have the honor of serving as president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, an organization operating in every southern state, with headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia…. Several months ago the affiliate here in Birmingham asked us to be on call to engage in a non-violent direct-action program if such were deemed necessary. We readily consented, and when the hour came we lived up to our promise. So I, along with several members of my staff, am here because I was invited here. I am here because I have organizational ties here.

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But more basically, I am in Birmingham because injustice is here. Just as the prophets of the eighth century B. C. left their villages and carried their “thus saith the Lord” far beyond the boundaries of their home towns, and just as the Apostle Paul left his village of Tarsus and carried the gospel of Jesus Christ to the far corners of the Greco-Roman world, so I am compelled to carry the gospel of freedom beyond my own home town. Like Paul, I must constantly respond to the Macedonian call for aid. Moreover, I am cognizant of the interrelatedness of all communities and states.

I cannot sit idly by in Atlanta and not be concerned about what happens in Birmingham. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. Never again can we afford to live with the narrow, provincial “outside agitator” idea. Anyone who lives inside the United States can never be considered an outsider anywhere within its bounds. Document C: Police Response to Non-violent Civil Rights Demonstrations in Birmingham, Alabama, 1963 pic] [pic] Document D: Source: President John F. Kennedy in a radio and television report to the American people, June 11, 1963 We are confronted primarily with a moral issue. It is as old as the scriptures and is as clear as the American Constitution. The heart of the question is whether all Americans are to be afforded equal rights and equal opportunities, whether we are going to treat our fellow Americans as we want to be treated. . . . The fires of frustration and discord are burning in every city, North and

South, where legal remedies are not at hand. Redress is sought in the streets, in demonstrations, parades, and protests which create tensions and threaten violence and threaten lives. We face, therefore, a moral crisis as a country and a people. It cannot be met by repressive police action. It cannot be left to increased demonstrations in the streets. It cannot be quieted by token moves or talk. It is a time to act in the Congress, in your state and local legislative body and, above all, in all of our daily lives. . . .

Next week I shall ask the Congress of the United States to act, to make a commitment it has not fully made in this century to the proposition that race has no place in American life or law. Document E: Source: Stokely Carmichael in “What We Want,” 1966 But our vision is not merely of a society in which all black men have enough to buy the good things of life. When we urge that black money go into black pockets, we mean the communal pocket. We want to see money go back into the community and used to benefit it. We want to see the cooperative concept applied in business and banking.

We want to see black ghetto residents demand that an exploiting store keeper sell them, at minimal cost, a building or a shop that they will own and improve cooperatively; they can back their demand with a rent strike, or a boycott, and a community so unified behind them that no one else will move into the building or buy at the store. The society we seek to build among black people, then, is not a capitalist one. It is a society in which the spirit of community and humanistic love prevail. Document F: Source: Statement by the minister of defense of the Black Panthers, May 2, 1967

The Black Panther Party for Self-Defense calls upon the American people in general and the black people in particular to take careful note of the racist California Legislature which is now considering legislation aimed at keeping the black people disarmed and powerless at the very same time that racist police agencies throughout the country are intensifying the terror, brutality, murder, and repression of black people. Black people have begged, prayed, petitioned, demonstrated, and everything else to get the racist power structure of America to right the wrongs which have historically been perpetrated against black people.

All of these efforts have been answered by more repression, deceit, and hypocrisy. As the aggression of the racist American government escalates in Vietnam, the police agencies of America escalate the repression of black people throughout the ghettoes of America. Vicious police dogs, cattle prods, and increased patrols have become familiar sights in black communities. City Hall turns a deaf ear to the pleas of black people for relief from this increasing terror. The Black Panther Party for Self-Defense believes that the time has come for black people to arm themselves against this terror before it is too late.

Document G: Estimated Percentage of Voting-Age African-Americans Registered in 1960 and 1968 |State |1960 |1968 | |Alabama |13. 7 |56. 7 | |Arkansas |37. 3 |67. 5 | |Florida |38. 9 |62. 1 | |Georgia |29. 3 |56. 1 | |Louisiana |30. 9 |59. 3 | |Mississippi |5. 2 |59. | |N. Carolina |38. 1 |55. 3 | |S. Carolina |15. 6 |50. 8 | |Tennessee |58. 9 |72. 8 | |Texas |34. 9 |83. 1 | |Virginia |22. 8 |58. 4 | |TOTAL SOUTH |29. 1 |62. 0 | Document H: Candidates for President and Vice President Voting in Selected States in the 1968 election (with voting totals for all states) |Popular Vote |Electoral Vote | | |(in Thousands) | | | |DEM |REP |AIP |D |R |AIP | |Alabama |197 |147 |691 | | |10 | |Arkansas |188 |191 |241 | | |6 | |California |3244 |3468 |487 | |40 | | |Florida |677 |887 |624 | |14 | | |Georgia |344 |380 |536 | | |12 | |Illinois |2040 |2175 |391 | |26 | | |Indiana |807 |1068 |243 | |13 |10 | |Kentucky |398 |462 |193 | |9 | | |Louisiana |310 |258 |530 | | | | |Maryland |538 |518 |179 |10 | | | |Massachusetts |1469 |767 |87 |14 | | | |Michigan |1593 |1371 |332 |21 | | | |Mississippi |151 |89 |415 | |12 |7 | |Missouri |791 |812 |206 | |17 | | |New Jersey |1264 |1325 |262 | | | | |New York |3378 |3008 |359 |43 | | | |North Carolina |464 |627 |496 | |12 |1 | |Ohio 1701 |1791 |467 | |26 | | |Oklahoma |302 |450 |192 | |8 | | |Pennsylvania |2259 |2090 |379 |29 | | | |South Carolina |197 |254 |215 | |8 | | |Tennessee |351 |473 |425 | |11 | | |Texas |1267 |1228 |584 |25 | | | |Virginia |442 |590 |322 | |12 | | |Wisconsin |749 |810 |128 | |12 | | |Totals of all 50 states |31275 |31785 |9906 |191 |301 |46 |

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