HIST 407, US History After 1945
 

Confronting the Southern Problem

One of the "Cheerladies" from the New Orleans Ninth Ward, 1960

  • The South in 1954. The South in 1974. History is not static. Democracies are not static. Democracy is not a clearly defined thing, but a complicated, evolving process.

 

  • When did the civil rights movement begin? Where did it begin? Who started it? Why did it expand?
  • Avoid seeing the outcomes as pre-ordained.
  • What role did psychology play in defining citizenship and racial inclusion?
  • What role did capitalism and consumerism play in the movement?
  • The Cold War?
  • Overview.
    • Litigation. Local People vs. the Stars. Organizations. Legislation. Direct Action. Non-violence as theory and practice vs. self-defense
  • Milestones of the Long Civil Rights Movement.
    • Pre-World War II. New Deal and the Days of Hope
    • World War II.
    • The American Dilemma, 1944. The American Creed. America "continously struggling for its soul."
    • Harry Truman, 1948 campaign. To Secure These Rights. Military desegregation.
    • 1950, Briggs v. Elliot.
    • South Carolina Capitol, ~1950
    • Modjeska Simkins
    • Modjeska Simkins House, 2025 Marion St., Columbia. Collaborative for Community Trust, Columbia
    • Simkins house
    • Levi Pearson
    • Harry and Eliza Briggs
    • Rev. J.A. DeLaine
    • Briggs plaintiffs
    • Clarendon County, ~1960
    • Clarendon County, Old Scott's Branch School
    • New Scott's Branch High School, ~1952
    • Kenneth Clark and the Dolls Test
    • 5/17/1954, Brown V. Board
      • 12/7/53, SC rehearing began.
      • May, decision. Warren , “in the field of public education the doctrine of separate but equal has no place.”
    • Reaction to Brown.
      • Southern Baptist Convention. "harmony" with Constitution and "Christian principles of equal justice"
      • Jerry Falwell. Ham. Moscow.
      • Ike, set progress back 15 years. Can't "change a man's heart."
      • Energy and hope among black activists. Raising of awareness.
    • 1955, Brown II, "with all deliberate speed."
    • Re-negotiating the Authority of Brown
      • Legacies:
        • 1955-1960s, Massive Resistance. Resurgence of the Lost Cause.
        • July 1954, Citizens Council, Indianola, MS. 2 years later, perhaps 350k.
        • 1954-1964, ~450 laws and resolutions passed.
        • 1956, Southern Manifesto. "We commend the motives of those States which have declared the intention to resist forced integration by any lawful means." Upset by "outside meddlers."
        • Summer 1956, Jackson Daily News.
          • Support Citizens' Councils, “not the twaddle being talked by wishy-washy people who prate about ‘academic freedom,’ and ‘freedom of thought and of speech,’ and similar nonsense. Puny parsons who prattle imbecilic propaganda in pulpits about obedience to the Supreme Court segregation decision being a ‘manifestation of Christian spirit’ ought to have their pulpits kicked from under them. . . . In this fight you are either for us or against us. There is no middle ground.
        • 1957, Little Rock. September. 101st Airborne.
        • The Little Rock Nine
        • Elizabeth Eckford, Little Rock
        • 101st Airborn doing crowd control
        • Why?
          • Customs? Heritage? the "Southern Way of Life"? Declining community. Folk culture. White culture.
        • 1958, Little Rock high schools closed. Overwhelming vote to keep closed.
        • 1959, Prince Edward County VA. They Closed Their Schools, 1959-1964..
        • 1960, New Orleans.
        • Ruby Bridges and Federal Marshals, New Orleans 1960
        • Leander Perez, Boss of Plaquemines Parish.
          • “Don’t wait for your daughter to be raped by these Congolese. Don’t wait until the burr-heads are forced into your schools. Do something about it now!”
      • Norman Rockwell, "The Problem We All Live With," Look, 1964
      • Massive Resistance curtailed room for southern moderates and liberals.
      • 1964, 98 percent of black children in South in segregated schools. early 1970s, South the most integrated schools in nation.
      • Also, rise in private schools, many with evangelical Christian missions, throughout the South. Over 3,000 "Seg academies."
        • Re-segregation increased in late 1980s.
      • Clarendon County, SC, Alan Richard, "The Heat of Summerton," The Nation, 5/3/2004
      • Backlash Thesis.
      • Orfield Study,

Direct Action Protest

  • Dec. 1955-Dec. 1956 Montgomery Bus Boycott.
  • 381 days.
    • Baton Rouge, June 1953.
    • 3/2/55. Claudette Colvin, 15.
    • 12/1/55. Rosa Parks. 42 yr-old.
  • Rosa Parks, USIA photo
    • E.D. Nixon. Jo Ann Robinson. Martin Luther King, Jr., 26 yrs. old.
    • Montgomery Improvement Association.
    • A white flyer circulating: “When in the course of human events it becomes necessary to abolish the Negro race, proper methods should be used. Among these are guns, bows and arrow, sling shots and knives. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all whites are created equal with certain rights: among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of dead niggers.”
    • Kitchen Revelation
    • January 1956, King home bombed.
    • "My feets is tired, but my soul is rested."
    • 12/20/56, Supreme Court decision took effect.
    • Meanings: Momentum. Myth of Complacency. Need for external intervention.

 

  • Sit-Ins.
  • 2/2/1960, Greensboro. [website: http://www.sitins.com/]
    • "like a fever"
    • Student movements.
    • Invisible no more.
    • Consumerism.
    • Manhood. Womanhood. Citizenship.
    • Growth of SNCC and CORE. Chuck McDew, South Carolina
    • "More Than a Hamburger"
      • Greensboro Four, Woolworth's
      • Orangeburg, SC, 1960
      • Jackson, MS, 1963, Woolworth's

       

      • IF YOU MISS ME FROM THE BACK OF THE BUS
        C
        ivil rights activism is serious business, but the Movement also inspired a myriad of artists and
        musicians. Songs filled the Movement; they bred inspiration, courage, and solidarity in the face
        of the ever-present threat of violence. What came to be known as “freedom songs” during this
        period in U.S. history grew out of the African-American tradition of singing in church. In fact, many of
        the songs of the Civil Rights Movement were based on the melodies of African-American religious songs.
        One of these songs, which chronicles the victories of the Civil Rights Movement, is “If You Miss Me
        from the Back of the Bus.” It was written by Charles Neblett of the Freedom Singers to the tune of “O
        Mary Don’t You Weep.”
        If You Miss Me from the Back of the Bus
        1. If you miss me from the back of the bus
        And you can’t find me nowhere
        Come on up to the front of the bus
        I’ll be riding up there (3x)
        2. If you miss me from Jackson State
        And you can’t find me nowhere
        Come on over to Ole Miss
        I’ll be studying over there (3x)
        3. If you miss me from the cotton fields
        And you can’t find me nowhere
        Come on down to the courthouse
        I’ll be voting right there (3x)
        4. If you miss me from the Thrifty Drug Store
        And you can’t find me nowhere
        Come on over to Woolworth’s
        ’Cause I’ll be sitting in there (3x)
        IF YOU MISS ME FROM THE BACK OF THE BUS
        C
        ivil rights activism is serious business, but the Movement also inspired a myriad of artists and
        musicians. Songs filled the Movement; they bred inspiration, courage, and solidarity in the face
        of the ever-present threat of violence. What came to be known as “freedom songs” during this
        period in U.S. history grew out of the African-American tradition of singing in church. In fact, many of
        the songs of the Civil Rights Movement were based on the melodies of African-American religious songs.
        One of these songs, which chronicles the victories of the Civil Rights Movement, is “If You Miss Me
        from the Back of the Bus.” It was written by Charles Neblett of the Freedom Singers to the tune of “O
        Mary Don’t You Weep.”
        If You Miss Me from the Back of the Bus
        1. If you miss me from the back of the bus
        And you can’t find me nowhere
        Come on up to the front of the bus
        I’ll be riding up there (3x)
        2. If you miss me from Jackson State
        And you can’t find me nowhere
        Come on over to Ole Miss
        I’ll be studying over there (3x)
        3. If you miss me from the cotton fields
        And you can’t find me nowhere
        Come on down to the courthouse
        I’ll be voting right there (3x)
        4. If you miss me from the Thrifty Drug Store
        And you can’t find me nowhere
        Come on over to Woolworth’s
        ’Cause I’ll be sitting in there (3x)

        If You Miss Me from the Back of the Bus (audio) [the lyrics below do not match this audio exactly]

        1. If you miss me from the back of the bus

        And you can’t find me nowhere

        Come on up to the front of the bus

        I’ll be riding up there (3x)

        2. If you miss me from Jackson State

        And you can’t find me nowhere

        Come on over to Ole Miss

        I’ll be studying over there (3x)

        3. If you miss me from the cotton fields

        And you can’t find me nowhere

        Come on down to the courthouse

        I’ll be voting right there (3x)

        4. If you miss me from the Thrifty Drug Store

        And you can’t find me nowhere

        Come on over to Woolworth’s

        ’Cause I’ll be sitting in there (3x)

        Voices of the Civil Rights Movement: Black American Freedom Songs 1960–1966. Smithsonian
        Folkways, 1997 (www.folkways.si.edu).
        Song lyrics to “If You Miss Me from the Back of the Bus” copyright © 1963 by Carver Neblett.

        Voices of the Civil Rights Movement: Black American Freedom Songs 1960–1966 . Smithsonian

        Folkways, 1997 (www.folkways.si.edu).

        Song lyrics to “If You Miss Me from the Back of the Bus” copyright © 1963 by Carver Neblett.

         

       

  • 1961, Freedom Rides
    • CORE. Tom Gaither of Rock Hill CORE
    • Testing Boynton v. Virginia (no seg. in interstate waiting rooms or restaurants)
    • May, 9, 1961. Rock Hill, SC. John Lewis.
    • May 14, Anniston.
    • May 14, Birmingham. Nashville students.
    • May 20, Birmingham to Montgomery.
      • US Marshals
      • AL National Guard.
    • On to Jackson. Parchman Penitentiary.
  • Mississippi: Magnolia State or Closed Society
    • late Sept-Oct, 1962, Ole Miss. JFK Library web exhibit
      • 9/10, MS ordered to enroll Meredith.
      • 9/25 Barnett stood in Door.
      • 9/26, Lt. Gov. interposed in Oxford.
      • 9/27, "show of force" ruse abandoned, 2,000 mob.
      • 9/28, Gov. Barnett in contempt.
      • 9/29, JFK called Governor Barnett at 2pm. [Listen] then again at 2:50 [listen], pressing for law and order. In evening, Barnett before 40k at football game.
      • 9/30, James Meredith to register, per arrangement with Governor. Crowd unruly after Meredith convoy. Collapse of order around Around 9 (Lyceum Building, 9 DC time).
      • 11pm [DC time] RFK ordered troops to Oxford.
      • 12:14 am, RFK worried that Baxter Hall in danger (holding Meredith).
      • 1:45, JFK and Gov. Barnett
      • 1:50, JFK and Gov. Barnett
      • 1:50, Task Force Alpha arrived at Oxford airport.
      • Barnett statement: "I call on Mississippians to keep the faith and courage. We will never surrender."
      • RFK and Creighton Abrams, on slow troop deployment, 2 am [clip title is mislabeled, should read U.S.Army, not National Guard]. around 4, troops on campus.
      • 10/1, Meredith reg. by 9am. 10k Army troops in Oxford.
      • Two dead.
      • MS Legislature response. [document] web link
    • Voter Education Project.
    • June 1963, Winona incident. Fannie Lou Hamer testimony [approx. 8 min.]
    • Fannie Lou Hamer, Atlantic City, 1964
  • The Movement in early 1963.
    • Organizations.
    • White Resistance.
    • Hesitant Federal Commitment
    • Martin Luther King, Jr.
    • Nonviolent Direct Action Evolution.
    • Crescendo Awaiting?