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HIS-144 Civil Rights Movement Matrix

HIS-144 Civil Rights Movement Matrix

Directions: Utilize the Topic 6 Readings as a resource to complete the matrix below. Be sure to cite all sources.

Summarize and state the significance of each of the snapshots of the Civil Rights movement. Each box should be approximately 60-75 words. The first one is an example.

Snapshot Summary Significance
Example: Second Mississippi Plan The Second Mississippi Plan was a series of laws that established barriers for former slaves from participating in voting and included things like the poll tax, a fee for voting that many poor people could not pay, the literacy test, stating that one had to be able to read and write at a given standard in order to vote, which discriminated heavily against most former slaves, many of whom were illiterate. (citation) These laws were passed to prevent the former slaves from exercising any political power. In many of the Southern states, the black population was either even with or outnumbered by the white population. These laws were set in motion to protect the status quo of power in the Southern states. These policies initiated in Mississippi were adapted by many of the other Southern states. (citation)
Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) In the 1880s, state legislatures started passing laws that mandated the separation of black people from white people. Homer Adolph Plessy, a biracial man, was later on arrested for sitting on the whites-only side of a train. He was later on found guilty in state court of violating the state segregation laws. However, Plessy appealed the decision to the Supreme Court, claiming the judge, Ferguson, had violated his 14th Amendment of equal protection. The Supreme court upheld the judge’s decision (Medley 2012). The significance of this verdict was that it established the constitutionality of segregation based on race, otherwise known as Jim Crow laws. As such, the legalization of segregation only fueled the agenda of white supremacist groups like KKK, who went on ahead to attack black people, for the next fifty years. Further, this segregation was not only applied on railroads, but extended to institutional racism like in hotels, schools, places of business, hospitals, swimming pools, banks, and in the real estate market, which concentrated white people in separated neighborhoods from those of black people. The verdict also brought up the one-drop rule, which states that as long as an individual has one drop of African blood, then they are black.
Jim Crow Laws Jim Crow laws were a chain of severe racial segregation state and local laws. There were mostly used in the Southern States, and heavily taught by the most prominent, educated, and religious members of these states. These laws were based on the distorted idea that white people were superior to black people, and as such, each group should be treated. This superiority was based on issues like civilization, morality, and intelligence, among others. The laws were implemented at state levels but later on, legitimized by the Supreme Court (Pilgrim 2000). The Jim Crows eventually evolved from separating the races to denying black people their right to vote, established strategies to prevent black people from voting, and charged them taxes for polls. In addition, these laws extended to every aspect of black lives like providing the least to no resources for their facilities, severely punished for their crimes, subsequent to not having a fair trial. There was no protection for black people as they were frequently attacked and even killed by white supremacists without consequences (Pilgrim 2000).
Segregation in the World Wars The navy, army, and marine corps all segregated the African Americans into different units because of the belief that they were not as capable as their white counterparts. Positions of leadership in the military were assigned to white service members. African Americans continued to suffer discrimination when they returned home from wars overseas. African Americans fought for freedom at home and abroad during world war 2.

Despite their will to serve and sacrifice their lives, and their capability in combat, African American soldiers were still treated as second-class citizens (Bamford 2020).

In their service, African American soldiers continued to distinguish themselves in combat and non-combat capacities. These achievements by the soldiers gave the civil rights movement evidence that they used to demand equality in the military. President Truman eventually ordered the desegregation of the military in 1948, this only being a first step in the pursuit of equality (Bamford 2020).
Brown v. Board of Education (1954) On May 17, 1954, the United States Supreme Court ruled unanimously that the separate educational facilities are inherently unequal and that the plaintiff are deprived of equal protection of the laws guaranteed by the fourteenth Amendment. This was an overruling of the “separate but equal” principle set forth by the 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson case (Kinshasa, 2006). Although the ruling did not lead to outright desegregation in public schools in the united states, it fueled the continued push by the civil rights movement to see through the implementation of the ruling.

By overturning the “separate but equal” doctrine, the Supreme Court set the legal precedent to overturn laws enforcing segregation in other public sectors (Kinshasa, 2006).

Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycott As mentioned before, Jim Crow laws were lawful in America till the mid-1960s. In 1955, a black woman named Rosa Parks, sitting on a bus, was asked to stand for a white passenger since the white people section was full, as per the rules back then. However, Parks refused to stand up, which led to her arrest. Her arrest gained huge publicity, and local civil rights leaders decided to use this opportunity to challenge the segregation laws by calling for a one-day boycott on all city buses. The boycott, however, was very successful that it was extended indefinitely, and ended up going on for over a year (Sanders 2006). Rosa Park’s arrest created the momentum that local civil rights leaders needed to get a movement going. By capitalizing on her arrest, the local leaders realized that a non-violent approach to fighting the laws of segregation was more effective. In addition, the arrest led to the formation of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, which elected Martin Luther King Jr. as its president. Therefore, by taking a stand, Rosa Parks initiated a series of events that all led to the election of the most prominent figure in the Civil Rights Movement (Sanders 2006).
MLK Jr. and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (non-violent resistance) The Southern Christian Leadership Conference formation was inspired by the Alabama bus boycott. MLK Jr. was chosen as the group’s first president, whose main goal was to fight racism using non0violent strategies. Before the group started going out on campaigns, they provided funds for voter registration work. The group was also able to expose the brutality that police used on protestors, in addition to the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church bombing that killed four children. All these efforts highlighted the violence black people were facing, which led to the enactment of the Civil Rights Act (Fairclough 2001). Through non-violent resistance, SCLC was able to inspire peaceful protests. In addition, their campaigns, especially the Birmingham campaign, shed light on police brutality and a church bombing that killed four children. These events, among others, ultimately made the president enact the civil rights act. The group also continued campaigns in Selma, which led to the new president, Lyndon Johnson, to support the enactment of the voting rights Act of 1965 (Leff & Utley 2004).
“I Have a Dream” speech During the Civil Rights Movement, Martin Luther King Jr. gave his infamous speech known as “I have a dream”. In the speech, MLK Jr. outlines the long history of racism in America and encourages black people to hold America accountable to the promise made by their founding fathers that all men are created equal. Besides, the speech also insisted on non-violent protests. The speech also warns that the fight for racial equality would be a long one. The speech for immediate action against racism and also gives hope that eventually, America will be a racism-free country (Carson and Shepard 2001). This speech played an important role in inspiring people to come together and in the civil rights movement that led to the implementation of some of the most significant Acts in American history as the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The speech also led to the enactment of more Acts later on after the Civil Rights Act, like the Voting Rights Act in 1965. The speech also inspired people to remain non-violent during a period of tension, which would have led to violence, especially between protesters and the police (Tenembaum, 2011).
1964 Civil Rights Act One of the most significant landmarks of civil and labor rights was achieved in 1964 through the Civil Rights Act. This Act outlawed any kind of discrimination based on race, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, among other factors. Despite the abolishment of slavery in America, black people were still discriminated against, and in the years leading up to 1964, the civil rights movement, led by prominent black leaders like Martin Luther King Jr, led to the enactment of the Civil Rights Act in 1964. Notably, women also played a big role in the movement as they fought for their right to vote, and work (Aiken 2013). The Civil Rights Act was first intended to stop the racial discrimination that black people faced. In the words of Martin Luther King Jr, the Act was the same as a second emancipation. However, the Act later on expanded to accommodate women, elderly people, and disabled people. Further, the Act also paved the way for other significant Acts like the Voting Rights Act in 1965, which outlawed all the voting barriers black people faced in voting, like poll taxes. Secondly, the Fair Housing Act was also as a result of the Civil Rights Act (Aiken 2013).


Aiken, J. R., Salmon, E. D., & Hanges, P. J. (2013). The origins and legacy of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Journal of Business and Psychology28(4), 383-399.

Bamford, T. R. (2020). UNITED in a GREAT CAUSE. Army History, (116), 28-49.

Carson, C., & Shepard, K. (2001). A Call to Conscience: The Landmark Speeches of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Hachette UK.

Fairclough, A. (2001). To Redeem the Soul of America: The Southern Christian Leadership Conference and Martin Luther King, Jr. University of Georgia Press.

Kinshasa, K. M. (2006). An Appraisal of Brown v. Board of Education, Topeka KS.(1954) and the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Western Journal of Black Studies30(4).

Leff, M. C., & Utley, E. A. (2004). Instrumental and Constitutive Rhetoric in Martin Luther King Jr.’s” Letter from Birmingham Jail”. Rhetoric & Public Affairs7(1), 37-51.

Medley, K. M. (2012). We as freemen: Plessy v. Ferguson. Pelican Publishing.

Pilgrim, D. (2000). What was jim crow. Ferris State University16, 2007.

Sanders, V. (2006). Rosa Parks & the Montgomery Bus Boycott. History Review, (55), 3.

Tenembaum, Y. (2011). The Success & Failure of Non-Violence. Philosophy Now85, 34-35.


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Assessment Description
Part I: Utilize the Topic 6 Readings as a resource to complete the “Civil Rights Movement Matrix.” Each box should be 60-75 words per box. Be sure to cite and reference all sources.

HIS-144 Civil Rights Movement Matrix

HIS-144 Civil Rights Movement Matrix

Part II: Summarize and state the significance of each of the snapshots of the Civil Rights Movement. The first one is an example.

This assignment uses a scoring guide. Please review the scoring guide prior to beginning the assignment to become familiar with the expectations for successful completion.

While APA style is not required for the body of this assignment, solid academic writing is expected, and in-text citations and references should be presented using APA documentation guidelines, which can be found in the APA Style Guide, located in the Student Success Center.

You are not required to submit this assignment to LopesWrite.

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