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Bridge to Freedom Documentary

1. Identity at least five SPECIFIC similarities with respect to ideas and

strategies for confronting discrimination in both the Gandhi movie and the
Bridge to Freedom Documentary.
More drastic forms of civil disobedience to bring political attention
Make people realize how nonsensical violence is
Gandhi similarity: give people honorable means and context to express and eliminate
grief, speak succinctly back to issue (or movement will become chaos)
Appeal to a moral community/role of media
2. What ignited the Selma to Montgomery civil rights march?
Nighttime marches of civil disobedience
Jimmie Lee Jackson attempted to protect his mother from similar attack and shot
by Alabama Trooper, dying 8 days later
Keep the issue of disenfranchisement: 5-6 day march time to discuss in nation
what the real issues were
600 people gathered even though governor Wallace threatened
Tear gas, police beating people up
3. What were some of the organizations that formed the civil rights coalition?
SNCC SCLC (Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and Southerne
Leadership Converence
4. Who were some of the important leaders of this movement?
MLK, John Lewis, Joisah Williams, LB Johnson (Antagonist: Goveror George Wallace)
Amelia Bontier (spelling?), Reverend CT Vivian, Josea Williams, John Lewis,
Reverend Frederick D. Reese, Ralph Abernathy, Reverend Orloff Miller, James
Forman (SNCC)
5. What were some of the points of tensions and disagreements among the
organizations that were part of the civil rights coalition?
The first point of tension was doing the march. SCLC wanted to do it but SNCC was
against it. The second point of tension was after the first failure march (sellout).
SNCC wanted to get their guns and attack back but Lewis and Williams did a good
job in explaining to them why that was not a good idea. SCLC was for waiting to do
another march peacefully. The second march where MLK participated and then
turned the march around caused SNCC to be angry and call him a sellout while
SCLC waited for his response.
Death of Rev James Reev
Waiting for judge decision for marching from Selma
o When approved Johnson ffederalized national troops for protection or
protestors (Wallace didnt guarantee safety)

6. After police assaulted civil rights workers at the Edmund Pettus Bridge,
Martin Luther King Jr. called supporters from around the country to join him in
Selma, Alabama to march across the bridge. During their first attempt at this
march, King turned the marchers around and did not cross the bridge. Why did
he turn them around?
Turned because there was not much else to do
Army had blockaded the bridge and MLK knew nothing good would come of trying
to force their way through
Wanted peaceful, nonviolence manner
7. What was the major achievement of the Selma civil rights campaign?
The alliance of LBJ (President) in coming together to overcome civil rights issues
Nonviolent, peacefully
Campaign was able to avoid direct violence and aggression against town of
Montogomery in order to maintain their civil rights
Voting Rights Act Passage (signed into law 1965), brought an end to all the means
and devices that the South used to try and exclude black voting
Social Movements Most successful when: clearly identifiable/attainable goals, popular
support (people rally and mobilize behind the goal;coalitions

Martin Luther King & Gandhi

Freedom: contested and historically evolving idea (not the same 2014 as in 1680,
o Early 1700: Free man if owned property and owned slaves
o Our definition of freedom today is what it is because ordinary people
contested the limitations of the definition (still being evolved)
o Restrictions on black civic rights, on women
MLK Jr deeply influenced by work of Ghandhi
o Kings father was deeply interested in South African struggle (particularly
work of Albert Luthuli, African National Congress Leaderfirst black man to
win Nobel Peace Prize in 1960), Luthuli stayed at Kings residence
o Also influenced by Modecai Johnson, a famous black
scholar/education/president of Howard that talked about Ghandi and the
importance of his legacy
o Morehouse college Mordecai Johnson: aquinted with strategies of
o Ghandi spent 20 years of his early life (came to South Africa in 1893) in South Africa his
experience in South Africa transforms him into a civil rights activist and a civil rights leader
David Levering Lewis: Triad of Influence --Black struggle in US, Anti-Colonial
Movements, Protests Movements in South Africa (early 1900s)
o We need to understand South Africa in order to understand the civil rights
movement because many of the civil rights mov leaders were so heavily
influenced by Gandhi (whose ideas nurtured by South Africa)

Kings Philosophy: The Black Struggle, Christianity and Social Justice, Gandhian
influence (nonviolence), Transformative integration (both blacks and whites live as
equals), Economic Justice
o Principles of Civil Rights Movement
o Constitutional Patriortism (translating the Constitution and making it real,
especially for Blacks in south that couldnt exercise certain rights (like the
right to vote)
o Transformative Integration:
o Inevitable outcome for people of African ancestry for democratic rights and
recognition in American society
Gandhis influence:
o Religion as a force of positive change for social justice
o Religious eccumentaism (religion and social justice): religious people need to
come together for common good (MLK and Abraham Joshua Heschel)
o Non violence
Similarities between Civil Rights movement and Gandhi struggle:
o Unification of people from different classes (coalition politics) central to
success of both movements
Gandhi, people of Indian ancestry didnt think of themselves as
collectively Indianharsh class divisions, separated linguistically,
segregated religiously (Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Gudrathi----Gandhi
comes as Gudrathi lawyer and leaves an indian
Civil Rights: interracial interregional coalition
o King tries to demonstrate his constitutional patriotism
Civil Rights Movement
o Inevitable outcome for people of African ancestry for democratic rights and
recognition in American society
o May 1954: Brown vs Board of Ed: segregation was legal and constitution until
this decision
NAACP (Du Bois fundamental in formation of organization)
o 1909 to May 1954, NAACP successfully took 39 cases before the Supreme
Court to chip away at walls of segregation in American society

Modern Civil Rights Movement

5 Factors why Civil rights movements occurs in 1950s/1960s
(Why did Civil rights movement erupt in 1950s/1960s? Factors that caused movement to
erupt in this particular moment in history)
Migration, Voting Rights, Break from Republican Party (LincolnDemocratic),
Truman and tensions in Democratic Party, Irene MOrgans (and legal campaigns
of NAACP), Emmet Till
Predisposing Factors:
o The Black Migration
o Voting Rights
o Break from Republican Party
o Truman/tensions with Democratic party
o 1955-1965Arrest of Rosa Parks to the March

The Great Migration: up and until WW1, majority of African Americans lived in the
South, but from Civil war onwards, best paying jobs were in the North (West Coast,
East coast industires)
o After WW1, African Americans by hundreds of thousands, moved to the
o Greatest internal democratic shift in American history (from South to East,
Detroit, Chicago, Pittsburgh, California)
o Many black political movements has to be understood and contextualized to
this great migration
o San Fransico State College, Black Panther Party
Voting Rights:
o Politicians tried to court the black vote (wanted black votes), as a
o Democratic party dilemma (Johnson embraces agenda of civil rights
movement, calling for Voting Rights Act vs George Wallace)
George Wallace Governor of Alabama who blocked civil rights
movements with state troopers (Democratic party)
Lyndon B Johnson (We shall overcome) was Democratic
o As consequene of migration (1950s/1960s, starts with Truman), national
Democratic party starts to embrace civil rights agenda
Truman speaks before NAACP Covention
Kennedy: actively courts black vote (Illinois, Chicago black population
votes overwhelmingly, speculation that
NAACP and legal battles
o Irene Morgan:
Boston could sit anywhere, but Maryland/Virginia, had to follow laws of
South (Blacks go to the back)
Legal stragey: interstate commerce, NAACP Lawyers sued successfully
and won, Interstate transportation/commerce was banned
Rosa Parks of 1940s
Politics of colorism (much more darker than Rosa Parks)
Brown vs Board of Ed
o Topeka School Board and Linda Brown
o Viewed the negative Consequences of Segregation
o Overturns Plessy vs Ferguson decision
Tragic death of Emmett Till
o Grows up in Chicago, leaves south to move to Chicago
o Goes to spend holiday in South
o Goes into candy store run by white woman
Convention of South: dont speak to white man until spoken to first
Talks fresh to white woman in store
o Late at night, woman and husband shows up takes Emmet TIllet, and
o Body found in Mississippi River
o When body was discovered, US Government wanted a closed casket funeral
Mother insisted on an open casket funderal (hundreds of thousands go
past his
o America made to come to term with violence of racism
o Media also covered, plays important role (TIME)

o Nation is made aware of violence in the South, cumulative effect

Tra Von Marten (?)

First Phase of Civil Rights Movement (1955-1965 (rosa parks to bridge to

Important Events
Montgomery Bus Boycott
Freedom Rides (Sympathetic supporters in North go to South participating in
various movements)
March on Washington (August 1963), MLK delivers famous I have a Dream speech
Desegregation struggles
Selma March (Alabama, Bridge to Freedom Documentary)
o Major leglislative game: Voting Rights Act (Act that brought an end to all laws
(poll taxes, grandfather clauses), to circumvent 13,14,15 amendment

Women and the Civil Rights

History the Will of Great Men

o Lot of concentration on national leaders of movement
o Regional and local leadership in movement, women played great role
National Leadership vs Regional and local levels
o History always focuses on national leadership (reading accounts of Civil
Rights movement seems to be primarily led by menquite the contrary
haha. . . . )
Jo Ann Robinson
o There may not have been a MLK jr without her
o Wrote The Montgomery Bus Boycott (1 year) and the Women who Started
o Womens Political Council (Formed by Dr. Mary Burns 1946), with intention of
fighting segregation in motgomery Alabama
1951: English professor at Alabama State College becomes head of
1954 after Brown vs Board
Dedicates to fighting segregation in public transportation in south
o Claudette Colvin: thgouth there was a good case, but bc pregnant and
teenager, naacp told her to pay fine
o Rosa Parks: active in Womens political council
Heres a good test case to test segregation in mont Alabama, case to
use to fight the law
o Womens political organization was able to organize the boycott
o MLK was a new preacher in town had no intention of being civil rights leader
(his aspiration was to become president of Moorehouse college)
o Elected MLK to be head of association leading boycott bc smart, headed
major church in town, wanted someone new w/o attachment to political party
Initially didnt do much to sustain and organize this boycott
o Joann Robinson and council sustained boycott for a year
Black domestic servants who rode public transportation, many white
women hired private transportation
o Black women did made boycott successful

Second phase of Civil Rights Movement (1965-1968)

Different set of issues from first phase
Issues of Economic Inequality and Poverty
o What is use of vote if you dont have a job or decent income
Bill of Rights foR disadvantaged 1964
o King moves movement in new direction (after success of Voting Rights Act in
Chicago Freedom Movement 1966 (Mayor Richard Daley)
o Brings tactics of Civil rights movement northward
o Democrtically controlled city who was sympathetic to Alamba Selma March
o When King starts to say racism is a problem in Chicago as well, King isnt
talking about voting rights but segregation, red lining, why are blacks
concentrated in parts of Chicago, poor, bad infracstructure
Racism as a national problem
o As King emphasizes racism isnt a problem just in South, all allies that
supported him are now more reluctant to support him (Lyndon Johnson)
Embraces legacy of Du Bois
o MLK begins to talk same language (racism also about economic inequality)
Vietnam war (one of last campaigns MLK was involved in)
Poor Peoples Campaign (Last campaign of MLK, 66,67,68)
o Organize campaign across race that emphasize poverty and inequality
o Calling on nation to address different issues
Santitation Workers Strike
o Rights of workers to unionize and earn decent living
Death of MLK: April 1968, Memphis TN
o Sanitation workers strike (union issues)
Second phase doesnt get off the ground, but issues that civil rights movement was
fighting over are as relevant today as then

Gains of Civil Rights Movement Since

Gains of the Civil Right Movements since the 1950s:
access to education institutions
a Black middle class
higher medium incomes
government and private sector advances
sub-urbanization of a segment of the Black population
Du Bois' idea of the color line (Is it still there? Still important?)
Shifting Ideological Climate:
removal of formal discrimination
1968 election Southern Strategy
Richard Nixon decided not to emphasize segregation in an effort to get Blacks to join the Democratic
Carter's election
92% of the Black vote went to Carter
increased Black political representation

The Age of Reagan:

brings an end to the Cold War
establishes MLK holiday
era of conservatism
pro corporate strategies:
emphasize strategies that benefit the upper class
not good for strategies emphasizing racial equality
Livingston gym
Barack Obamas election
Merely symbolic or is there any tangible consequences, nevertheless an important
historical moment
Exposed contradictions in US Society
Takes courage to change unjust laws
Liberalization of American society
1954 Brown Decision
1965 Voting Rights Act
Political Representation
Desegregation of Public Schools
Educational Desegregation
Achievements of Civil Rights Movement
Desegregation: Schools/Uni/Public Facilities
Legilation: Brown decision, 19654

Gains since the 1960s

Access to Educational Institutions
A Black Middle Class
Higher Medium INcomces
Gov and Private Sector Advances
Sub urbanization of Segment of the Black Population
Political Representation

Random Football
College football drives desegregation
Forces for social change: music, entertainment, sports (other than courts that was propelling integration forward in the

Diana Ross and the Supremes

Stevie Wonder

The Four tops

Schools of the southeast conference

Former confederate states, former slaveholding states, former jim crow states (former confederacy where so
much of civil rights struggle)
o Large states university of former confederacy, where civil rights struggles takes place (espectially in
footballvowing publicly that would never recruit black athletes)

USC and Alabama

Time line (A Version)

1947 Jackie Robinson plays in major leagues

1954 brown vs board of education

1956 louisiana bans interracial spots competition

1964 civil rights act 1964

1970 USC beats Alabama (Bear Bryant vows not to integrate)

1972: SEC has at least one black on every football team

Rutgers University/Livingston college in the 1970s

Rutgers starts all black team 1974