Instructions for Christian Leadership College Essay Examples
Title: Analytical paper based on My Soul is Rested
- Total Pages: 5
- Words: 1545
- Citation Style: Chicago
- Document Type: Essay
Hist-152, Sections 051 and 052
Howell Raines, My Soul is Rested: Movement Days in the Deep South Remembered, Penguin, reprint, 1983.
Due at the beginning of class, Dec. 8th.
You are required to write one 4-to-6 page analytical paper (1250 to 1500 words, 4 pages minimum) based on selections from My Soul is Rested by Howell Raines. The paper should be focused around a central thesis which you will then support with arguments and evidence based on the book, and only the book. Do not use outside sources! (Do not answer each part of the question separately in your paper. Instead, integrate your thoughts on all of the questions’ parts into one thesis.)
All papers must be typed or word-processed in 10 or 12-point fonts and double-spaced, with one inch margins. You must cite correctly all direct quotations or paraphrased material. (You may use either footnotes or endnotes.) Papers will be evaluated on the strength of your historical arguments and content, how well you have used the book, and your composition (i.e., spelling, grammar, sentence structure). I would recommend that you write a rough draft before you complete the final version of each paper.
Between 1941 and 1968, several organizations (Congress of Racial Equality or CORE, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference or SCLC, and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee or SNCC) became important leaders in the Civil Rights Movement in America. Using various interviews in Raines’ book, write an essay about the changes in a Civil Rights Movement in these years. In your essay, be sure to include a discussion of the following questions:
What tactics did these organizations use, and how and why did these tactics change over time?
How did both African Americans and whites respond to the activities of these organizations?
The book ends with the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1968. Do you think the Civil Rights Movement was successful by this time? Why or why not?
Include a comment on the advantages and disadvantages of using oral interviews to reconstruct and interpret history.
Study Questions: use the following questions to help you understand the various interviews in the book.
Why and how did Raines conduct these interviews? What was his purpose?
Why and how did the various civil rights organizations use Gandhi’s technique of passive resistance?
Why was the Montgomery bus boycott of 1955 so successful?
How and why was the SCLC founded? Why was Martin Luther King Jr. elected president? How did the various organizations view King over the years?
Why were so many religious leaders involved in the civil rights movement?
What was the origin of the 1960s sit-ins? Why did they spread so rapidly?
Why did SNCC form?
What were Freedom Rides and what did they achieve? How did Mississippi try to “bankrupt” CORE through their reaction to the Freedom Rides?
Why was it so difficult for the Civil Rights Movement to desegregate Birmingham?
How did state and local authorities try to keep blacks from voting?
How did TV and media coverage of civil rights marches and demonstrations affect the success of the movement?
Why was Selma to Montgomery march of 1965 organized? What was its result?
How did the movement’s workers convince black and white citizens to register to vote? What was the reaction of both blacks and whites to African-American voter registration, particularly in Mississippi?
How did whites try to organize resistance to integration? How did individual whites resist it?
How effective was SCLC in Atlanta in the mid-1960s? What was the relationship between the SCLC and the FBI? What was the role of Dr. King?
Required reading selections:
Parks and Nixon, 40-51
Lowery, Lewis, McCain, 66-82
Bond, Curry, 101-108
Farmer, Thomas, Lewis, Farmer, 109-29
Gardiner, Marrisett, 139-45
Allen & Evans, Morgan, McNair, 167-85
Turner, Bolden, Turner, 187-96
Lewis, Bolden, Webb, Lewis, 206-12
Memories of the March, 216-21
Guyot, Cobb, Hamer, 238-55
Excerpt From Essay:
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Title: Dr King's Letter From Birmingham Jail
- Total Pages: 3
- Words: 991
- Citation Style: MLA
- Document Type: Research Paper
1. Summarize or paraphrase the main point of Dr. King’s letter from Birmingham Jail
2. Discuss Dr. King’s letter: when and how does Dr. King acknowledges opposing viewpoints? What makes these methods effective or ineffective? What other logical/rhetorical moves do you see Dr. King employing? (Parallelism, comparison, identification of causal relationships)? How do you respond to this writing?
Letter From Birmingham Jail
April 16, 1963
MY DEAR FELLOW CLERGYMEN:
While confined here in the Birmingham city jail, I came across your recent statement calling my present activities "unwise and untimely." Seldom do I pause to answer criticism of my work and ideas. If I sought to answer all the criticisms that cross my desk, my secretaries would have little time for anything other than such correspondence in the course of the day, and I would have no time for constructive work. But since I feel that you are men of genuine good will and that your criticisms are sincerely set forth, I want to try to answer your statements in what I hope will be patient and reasonable terms.
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. We have some eighty-five affiliated organizations across the South, and one of them is the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights. Frequently we share staff, educational and financial resources with our affiliates. Several months ago the affiliate here in Birmingham asked usus to be on call to engage in a nonviolent 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.
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 am I. 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.
You deplore the demonstrations taking place In Birmingham. But your statement, I am sorry to say, fails to express a similar concern for the conditions that brought about the demonstrations. I am sure that none of you would want to rest content with the superficial kind of social analysis that deals merely with effects and does not grapple with underlying causes. It is unfortunate that demonstrations are taking place in Birmingham, but it is even more unfortunate that the city's white power structure left the Negro community with no alternative.
In any nonviolent campaign there are four basic steps: collection of the facts to determine whether injustices exist; negotiation; self-purification; and direct action. We have gone through an these steps in Birmingham. There can be no gainsaying the fact that racial injustice engulfs this community. Birmingham is probably the most thoroughly segregated city in the United States. Its ugly record of brutality is widely known. Negroes have experienced grossly unjust treatment in the courts. There have been more unsolved bombings of Negro homes and churches in Birmingham than in any other city in the nation. These are the hard, brutal facts of the case. On the basis of these conditions, Negro leaders sought to negotiate with the city fathers. But the latter consistently refused to engage in good-faith negotiation.
Then, last September, came the opportunity to talk with leaders of Birmingham's economic community. In the course of the negotiations, certain promises were made by the merchants --- for example, to remove the stores humiliating racial signs. On the basis of these promises, the Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth and the leaders of the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights agreed to a moratorium on all demonstrations. As the weeks and months went by, we realized that we were the victims of a broken promise. A few signs, briefly removed, returned; the others remained.
As in so many past experiences, our hopes bad been blasted, and the shadow of deep disappointment settled upon usus. We had no alternative except to prepare for direct action, whereby we would present our very bodies as a means of laying our case before the conscience of the local and the national community. Mindful of the difficulties involved, we decided to undertake a process of self-purification. We began a series of workshops on nonviolence, and we repeatedly asked ourselves : "Are you able to accept blows without retaliating?" "Are you able to endure the ordeal of jail?" We decided to schedule our direct-action program for the Easter season, realizing that except for Christmas, this is the main shopping period of the year. Knowing that a strong economic with with-drawal program would be the by-product of direct action, we felt that this would be the best time to bring pressure to bear on the merchants for the needed change.
Then it occurred to usus that Birmingham's mayoralty election was coming up in March, and we speedily decided to postpone action until after election day. When we discovered that the Commissioner of Public Safety, Eugene "Bull" Connor, had piled up enough votes to be in the run-oat we decided again to postpone action until the day after the run-off so that the demonstrations could not be used to cloud the issues. Like many others, we waited to see Mr. Connor defeated, and to this end we endured postponement after postponement. Having aided in this community need, we felt that our direct-action program could be delayed no longer.
You may well ask: "Why direct action? Why sit-ins, marches and so forth? Isn't negotiation a better path?" You are quite right in calling, for negotiation. Indeed, this is the very purpose of direct action. Nonviolent direct action seeks to create such a crisis and foster such a tension that a community which has constantly refused to negotiate is forced to confront the issue. It seeks so to dramatize the issue that it can no longer be ignored. My citing the creation of tension as part of the work of the nonviolent-resister may sound rather shocking. But I must confess that I am not afraid of the word "tension." I have earnestly opposed violent tension, but there is a type of constructive, nonviolent tension which is necessary for growth. Just as Socrates felt that it was necessary to create a tension in the mind so that individuals could rise from the bondage of myths and half-truths to the unfettered realm of creative analysis and objective appraisal, we must we see the need for nonviolent gadflies to create the kind of tension in society that will help men rise from the dark depths of prejudice and racism to the majestic heights of understanding and brotherhood.
The purpose of our direct-action program is to create a situation so crisis-packed that it will inevitably open the door to negotiation. I therefore concur with you in your call for negotiation. Too long has our beloved Southland been bogged down in a tragic effort to live in monologue rather than dialogue.
One of the basic points in your statement is that the action that I and my associates have taken in Birmingham is untimely. Some have asked: "Why didn't you give the new city administration time to act?" The only answer that I can give to this query is that the new Birmingham administration must be prodded about as much as the outgoing one, before it will act. We are sadly mistaken if we feel that the election of Albert Boutwell as mayor will bring the millennium to Birmingham. While Mr. Boutwell is a much more gentle person than Mr. Connor, they are both segregationists, dedicated to maintenance of the status quo. I have hope that Mr. Boutwell will be reasonable enough to see the futility of massive resistance to desegregation. But he will not see this without pressure from devotees of civil rights. My friends, I must say to you that we have not made a single gain civil rights without determined legal and nonviolent pressure. Lamentably, it is an historical fact that privileged groups seldom give up their privileges voluntarily. Individuals may see the moral light and voluntarily give up their unjust posture; but, as Reinhold Niebuhr has reminded usus, groups tend to be more immoral than individuals.
We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed. Frankly, I have yet to engage in a direct-action campaign that was "well timed" in the view of those who have not suffered unduly from the disease of segregation. For years now I have heard the word "Wait!" It rings in the ear of every Negro with piercing familiarity. This "Wait" has almost always meant 'Never." We must come to see, with one of our distinguished jurists, that "justice too long delayed is justice denied."
We have waited for more than 340 years for our constitutional and God-given rights. The nations of Asia and Africa are moving with jetlike speed toward gaining political independence, but we stiff creep at horse-and-buggy pace toward gaining a cup of coffee at a lunch counter. Perhaps it is easy for those who have never felt the stinging dark of segregation to say, "Wait." But when you have seen vicious mobs lynch your mothers and fathers at will and drown your sisters and brothers at whim; when you have seen hate-filled policemen curse, kick and even kill your black brothers and sisters; when you see the vast majority of your twenty million Negro brothers smothering in an airtight cage of poverty in the midst of an affluent society; when you suddenly find your tongue twisted and your speech stammering as you seek to explain to your six-year-old daughter why she can't go to the public amusement park that has just been advertised on television, and see tears welling up in her eyes when she is told that Funtown is closed to colored children, and see ominous clouds of inferiority beginning to form in her little mental sky, and see her beginning to distort her personality by developing an unconscious bitterness toward white people; when you have to concoct an answer for a five-year-old son who is asking: "Daddy, why do white people treat colored people so mean?"; when you take a cross-county drive and find it necessary to sleep night after night in the uncomfortable corners of your automobile because no motel will accept you; when you are humiliated day in and day out by nagging signs reading "white" and "colored"; when your first name becomes "nigger," your middle name becomes "boy" (however old you are) and your last name becomes "John," and your wife and mother are never given the respected title "Mrs."; when you are harried by day and haunted by night by the fact that you are a Negro, living constantly at tiptoe stance, never quite knowing what to expect next, and are plagued with inner fears and outer resentments; when you no forever fighting a degenerating sense of "nobodiness" then you will understand why we find it difficult to wait. There comes a time when the cup of endurance runs over, and men are no longer willing to be plunged into the abyss of despair. I hope, sirs, you can understand our legitimate and unavoidable impatience.
You express a great deal of anxiety over our willingness to break laws. This is certainly a legitimate concern. Since we so diligently urge people to obey the Supreme Court's decision of 1954 outlawing segregation in the public schools, at first glance it may seem rather paradoxical for usus consciously to break laws. One may won ask: "How can you advocate breaking some laws and obeying others?" The answer lies in the fact that there fire two types of laws: just and unjust. I would be the Brat to advocate obeying just laws. One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws. I would agree with St. Augustine that "an unjust law is no law at all"
Now, what is the difference between the two? How does one determine whether a law is just or unjust? A just law is a man-made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law. To put it in the terms of St. Thomas Aquinas: An unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal law and natural law. Any law that uplifts human personality is just. Any law that degrades human personality is unjust. All segregation statutes are unjust because segregation distort the soul and damages the personality. It gives the segregator a false sense of superiority and the segregated a false sense of inferiority. Segregation, to use the terminology of the Jewish philosopher Martin Buber, substitutes an "I-it" relationship for an "I-thou" relationship and ends up relegating persons to the status of things. Hence segregation is not only politically, economically and sociologically unsound, it is morally wrong and awful. Paul Tillich said that sin is separation. Is not segregation an existential expression 'of man's tragic separation, his awful estrangement, his terrible sinfulness? Thus it is that I can urge men to obey the 1954 decision of the Supreme Court, for it is morally right; and I can urge them to disobey segregation ordinances, for they are morally wrong.
Let usus consider a more concrete example of just and unjust laws. An unjust law is a code that a numerical or power majority group compels a minority group to obey but does not make binding on itself. This is difference made legal. By the same token, a just law is a code that a majority compels a minority to follow and that it is willing to follow itself. This is sameness made legal.
Let me give another explanation. A law is unjust if it is inflicted on a minority that, as a result of being denied the right to vote, had no part in enacting or devising the law. Who can say that the legislature of Alabama which set up that state's segregation laws was democratically elected? Throughout Alabama all sorts of devious methods are used to prevent Negroes from becoming registered voters, and there are some counties in which, even though Negroes constitute a majority of the population, not a single Negro is registered. Can any law enacted under such circumstances be considered democratically structured?
Sometimes a law is just on its face and unjust in its application. For instance, I have been arrested on a charge of parading without a permit. Now, there is nothing wrong in having an ordinance which requires a permit for a parade. But such an ordinance becomes unjust when it is used to maintain segregation and to deny citizens the First Amendment privilege of peaceful assembly and protest.
I hope you are able to ace the distinction I am trying to point out. In no sense do I advocate evading or defying the law, as would the rabid segregationist. That would lead to anarchy. One who breaks an unjust law must do so openly, lovingly, and with a willingness to accept the penalty. I submit that an individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for law.
Of course, there is nothing new about this kind of civil disobedience. It was evidenced sublimely in the refusal of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego to obey the laws of Nebuchadnezzar, on the ground that a higher moral law was at stake. It was practiced superbly by the early Christians, who were willing to face hungry lions and the excruciating pain of chopping blocks rather than submit to certain unjust laws of the Roman Empire. To a degree, academic freedom is a reality today because Socrates practiced civil disobedience. In our own nation, the Boston Tea Party represented a massive act of civil disobedience.
We should never forget that everything Adolf Hitler did in Germany was "legal" and everything the Hungarian freedom fighters did in Hungary was "illegal." It was "illegal" to aid and comfort a Jew in Hitler's Germany. Even so, I am sure that, had I lived in Germany at the time, I would have aided and comforted my Jewish brothers. If today I lived in a Communist country where certain principles dear to the Christian faith are suppressed, I would openly advocate disobeying that country's antireligious laws.
I must make two honest confessions to you, my Christian and Jewish brothers. First, I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro's great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen's Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to "order" than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: "I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action"; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man's freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a "more convenient season." Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.
I had hoped that the white moderate would understand that law and order exist for the purpose of establishing justice and that when they fan in this purpose they become the dangerously structured dams that block the flow of social progress. I had hoped that the white moderate would understand that the present tension in the South is a necessary phase of the transition from an obnoxious negative peace, in which the Negro passively accepted his unjust plight, to a substantive and positive peace, in which all men will respect the dignity and worth of human personality. Actually, we who engage in nonviolent direct action are not the creators of tension. We merely bring to the surface the hidden tension that is already alive. We bring it out in the open, where it can be seen and dealt with. Like a boil that can never be cured so long as it is covered up but must be opened with an its ugliness to the natural medicines of air and light, injustice must be exposed, with all the tension its exposure creates, to the light of human conscience and the air of national opinion before it can be cured.
In your statement you assert that our actions, even though peaceful, must be condemned because they precipitate violence. But is this a logical assertion? Isn't this like condemning a robbed man because his possession of money precipitated the evil act of robbery? Isn't this like condemning Socrates because his unswerving commitment to truth and his philosophical inquiries precipitated the act by the misguided populace in which they made him drink hemlock? Isn't this like condemning Jesus because his unique God-consciousness and never-ceasing devotion to God's will precipitated the evil act of crucifixion? We must come to see that, as the federal courts have consistently affirmed, it is wrong to urge an individual to cease his efforts to gain his basic constitutional rights because the quest may precipitate violence. Society must protect the robbed and punish the robber.
I had also hoped that the white moderate would reject the myth concerning time in relation to the struggle for freedom. I have just received a letter from a white brother in Texas. He writes: "An Christians know that the colored people will receive equal rights eventually, but it is possible that you are in too great a religious hurry. It has taken Christianity almost two thousand years to accomplish what it has. The teachings of Christ take time to come to earth." Such an attitude stems from a tragic misconception of time, from the strangely rational notion that there is something in the very flow of time that will inevitably cure all ills. Actually, time itself is neutral; it can be used either destructively or constructively. More and more I feel that the people of ill will have used time much more effectively than have the people of good will. We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the hateful words and actions of the bad people but for the appalling silence of the good people. Human progress never rolls in on wheels of inevitability; it comes through the tireless efforts of men willing to be co-workers with God, and without this 'hard work, time itself becomes an ally of the forces of social stagnation. We must use time creatively, in the knowledge that the time is always ripe to do right. Now is the time to make real the promise of democracy and transform our pending national elegy into a creative psalm of brotherhood. Now is the time to lift our national policy from the quicksand of racial injustice to 6e solid rock of human dignity.
You speak of our activity in Birmingham as extreme. At fist I was rather disappointed that fellow clergymen would see my nonviolent efforts as those of an extremist. I began thinking about the fact that stand in the middle of two opposing forces in the Negro community. One is a force of complacency, made up in part of Negroes who, as a result of long years of oppression, are so drained of self-respect and a sense of "somebodiness" that they have adjusted to segregation; and in part of a few middle class Negroes who, because of a degree of academic and economic security and because in some ways they profit by segregation, have become insensitive to the problems of the masses. The other force is one of bitterness and hatred, and it comes perilously close to advocating violence. It is expressed in the various black nationalist groups that are springing up across the nation, the largest and best-known being Elijah Muhammad's Muslim movement. Nourished by the Negro's frustration over the continued existence of racial discrimination, this movement is made up of people who have lost faith in America, who have absolutely repudiated Christianity, and who have concluded that the white man is an incorrigible "devil."
I have tried to stand between these two forces, saying that we need emulate neither the "do-nothingism" of the complacent nor the hatred and despair of the black nationalist. For there is the more excellent way of love and nonviolent protest. I am grateful to God that, through the influence of the Negro church, the way of nonviolence became an integral part of our struggle.
If this philosophy had not emerged, by now many streets of the South would, I am convinced, be flowing with blood. And I am further convinced that if our white brothers dismiss as "rabble-rousers" and "outside agitators" those of usus who employ nonviolent direct action, and if they refuse to support our nonviolent efforts, millions of Negroes will, out of frustration and despair, seek solace and security in black-nationalist ideologies a development that would inevitably lead to a frightening racial nightmare.
Oppressed people cannot remain oppressed forever. The yearning for freedom eventually manifests itself, and that is what has happened to the American Negro. Something within has reminded him of his birthright of freedom, and something without has reminded him that it can be gained. Consciously or unconsciously, he has been caught up by the Zeitgeist, and with his black brothers of Africa and his brown and yellow brothers of Asia, South America and the Caribbean, the United States Negro is moving with a sense of great urgency toward the promised land of racial justice. If one recognizes this vital urge that has engulfed the Negro community, one should readily understand why public demonstrations are taking place. The Negro has many pent-up resentments and latent frustrations, and he must release them. So let him march; let him make prayer pilgrimages to the city hall; let him go on freedom rides-and try to understand why he must do so. If his repressed emotions are not released in nonviolent ways, they will seek expression through violence; this is not a threat but a fact of history. So I have not said to my people: "Get rid of your discontent." Rather, I have tried to say that this normal and healthy discontent can be channeled into the creative outlet of nonviolent direct action. And now this approach is being termed extremist.
But though I was initially disappointed at being categorized as an extremist, as I continued to think about the matter I gradually gained a measure of satisfaction from the label. Was not Jesus an extremist for love: "Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you." Was not Amos an extremist for justice: "Let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream." Was not Paul an extremist for the Christian gospel: "I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus." Was not Martin Luther an extremist: "Here I stand; I cannot do otherwise, so help me God." And John Bunyan: "I will stay in jail to the end of my days before I make a butchery of my conscience." And Abraham Lincoln: "This nation cannot survive half slave and half free." And Thomas Jefferson: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that an men are created equal ..." So the question is not whether we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists we viii be. We we be extremists for hate or for love? Will we be extremist for the preservation of injustice or for the extension of justice? In that dramatic scene on Calvary's hill three men were crucified. We must never forget that all three were crucified for the same crime---the crime of extremism. Two were extremists for immorality, and thus fell below their environment. The other, Jeans Christ, was an extremist for love, truth and goodness, and thereby rose above his environment. Perhaps the South, the nation and the world are in dire need of creative extremists.
I had hoped that the white moderate would see this need. Perhaps I was too optimistic; perhaps I expected too much. I suppose I should have realized that few members of the oppressor race can understand the deep groans and passionate yearnings of the oppressed race, and still fewer have the vision to see that injustice must be rooted out by strong, persistent and determined action. I am thankful, however, that some of our white brothers in the South have grasped the meaning of this social revolution and committed themselves to it. They are still too few in quantity, but they are big in quality. Some-such as Ralph McGill, Lillian Smith, Harry Golden, James McBride Dabbs, Ann Braden and Sarah Patton Boyle---have written about our struggle in eloquent and prophetic terms. Others have marched with usus down nameless streets of the South. They have languished in filthy, roach-infested jails, suffering the abuse and brutality of policemen who view them as "dirty nigger lovers." Unlike so many of their moderate brothers and sisters, they have recognized the urgency of the moment and sensed the need for powerful "action" antidotes to combat the disease of segregation.
Let me take note of my other major disappointment. I have been so greatly disappointed with the white church and its leadership. Of course, there are some notable exceptions. I am not unmindful of the fact that each of you has taken some significant stands on this issue. I commend you, Reverend Stallings, for your Christian stand on this past Sunday, in welcoming Negroes to your worship service on a non segregated basis. I commend the Catholic leaders of this state for integrating Spring Hill College several years ago.
But despite these notable exceptions, I must honestly reiterate that I have been disappointed with the church. I do not say this as one of those negative critics who can always find something wrong with the church. I say this as a minister of the gospel, who loves the church; who was nurtured in its bosom; who 'has been sustained by its spiritual blessings and who will remain true to it as long as the cord of Rio shall lengthen.
When I was suddenly catapulted into the leadership of the bus protest in Montgomery, Alabama, a few years ago, I felt we would be supported by the white church felt that the white ministers, priests and rabbis of the South would be among our strongest allies. Instead, some have been outright opponents, refusing to understand the freedom movement and misrepresenting its leader era; an too many others have been more cautious than courageous and have remained silent behind the anesthetizing security of stained-glass windows.
In spite of my shattered dreams, I came to Birmingham with the hope that the white religious leadership of this community would see the justice of our cause and, with deep moral concern, would serve as the channel through which our just grievances could reach the power structure. I had hoped that each of you would understand. But again I have been disappointed.
I have heard numerous southern religious leaders admonish their worshipers to comply with a desegregation decision because it is the law, but I have longed to hear white ministers declare: "Follow this decree because integration is morally right and because the Negro is your brother." In the midst of blatant injustices inflicted upon the Negro, I have watched white churchmen stand on the sideline and mouth pious irrelevancies and sanctimonious trivialities. In the midst of a mighty struggle to rid our nation of racial and economic injustice, I have heard many ministers say: "Those are social issues, with which the gospel has no real concern." And I have watched many churches commit themselves to a completely other worldly religion which makes a strange, on Biblical distinction between body and soul, between the sacred and the secular.
I have traveled the length and breadth of Alabama, Mississippi and all the other southern states. On sweltering summer days and crisp autumn mornings I have looked at the South's beautiful churches with their lofty spires pointing heavenward. I have beheld the impressive outlines of her massive religious-education buildings. Over and over I have found myself asking: "What kind of people worship here? Who is their God? Where were their voices when the lips of Governor Barnett dripped with words of interposition and nullification? Where were they when Governor Walleye gave a clarion call for defiance and hatred? Where were their voices of support when bruised and weary Negro men and women decided to rise from the dark dungeons of complacency to the bright hills of creative protest?"
Yes, these questions are still in my mind. In deep disappointment I have wept over the laxity of the church. But be assured that my tears have been tears of love. There can be no deep disappointment where there is not deep love. Yes, I love the church. How could I do otherwise? l am in the rather unique position of being the son, the grandson and the great-grandson of preachers. Yes, I see the church as the body of Christ. But, oh! How we have blemished and scarred that body through social neglect and through fear of being nonconformists.
There was a time when the church was very powerful in the time when the early Christians rejoiced at being deemed worthy to suffer for what they believed. In those days the church was not merely a thermometer that recorded the ideas and principles of popular opinion; it was a thermostat that transformed the mores of society. Whenever the early Christians entered a town, the people in power became disturbed and immediately sought to convict the Christians for being "disturbers of the peace" and "outside agitators"' But the Christians pressed on, in the conviction that they were "a colony of heaven," called to obey God rather than man. Small in number, they were big in commitment. They were too God intoxicated to be "astronomically intimidated." By their effort and example they brought an end to such ancient evils as infanticide. and gladiatorial contests.
Things are different now. So often the contemporary church is a weak, ineffectual voice with an uncertain sound. So often it is an archdefender of the status quo. Par from being disturbed by the presence of the church, the power structure of the average community is consoled by the church's silent and often even vocal sanction of things as they are.
But the judgment of God is upon the church as never before. If today's church does not recapture the sacrificial spirit of the early church, it vi lose its authenticity, forfeit the loyalty of millions, and be dismissed as an irrelevant social club with no meaning for the twentieth century. Every day I meet young people whose disappointment with the church has turned into outright disgust.
Perhaps I have once again been too optimistic. Is organized religion too inextricably bound to the status quo to save our nation and the world? Perhaps I must turn my faith to the inner spiritual church, the church within the church, as the true ekklesia and the hope of the world. But again I am thankful to God that some noble souls from the ranks of organized religion have broken loose from the paralyzing chains of conformity and joined usus as active partners in the struggle for freedom, They have left their secure congregations and walked the streets of Albany, Georgia, with usus. They have gone down the highways of the South on tortuous rides for freedom. Yes, they have gone to jai with usus. Some have been dismissed from their churches, have lost the support of their bishops and fellow ministers. But they have acted in the faith that right defeated is stronger than evil triumphant. Their witness has been the spiritual salt that has preserved the true meaning of the gospel in these troubled times. They have carved a tunnel of hope through the dark mountain of disappointment.
I hope the church as a whole will meet the challenge of this decisive hour. But even if the church does not come to the aid of justice, I have no despair about the future. I have no fear about the outcome of our struggle in Birmingham, even if our motives are at present misunderstood. We will reach the goal of freedom in Birmingham, ham and all over the nation, because the goal of America k freedom. Abused and scorned though we may be, our destiny is tied up with America's destiny. Before the pilgrims landed at Plymouth, we were here. Before the pen of Jefferson etched the majestic words of the Declaration of Independence across the pages of history, we were here. For more than two centuries our forebears labored in this country without wages; they made cotton king; they built the homes of their masters while suffering gross injustice and shameful humiliation-and yet out of a bottomless vitality they continued to thrive and develop. If the inexpressible cruelties of slavery could not stop usus, the opposition we now face will surely fail. We will win our freedom because the sacred heritage of our nation and the eternal will of God are embodied in our echoing demands.
Before closing I feel impelled to mention one other point in your statement that has troubled me profoundly. You warmly commended the Birmingham police force for keeping "order" and "preventing violence." I doubt that you would have so warmly commended the police force if you had seen its dogs sinking their teeth into unarmed, nonviolent Negroes. I doubt that you would so quickly commend the policemen if .you were to observe their ugly and inhumane treatment of Negroes here in the city jail; if you were to watch them push and curse old Negro women and young Negro girls; if you were to see them slap and kick old Negro men and young boys; if you were to observe them, as they did on two occasions, refuse to give usus food because we wanted to sing our grace together. I cannot join you in your praise of the Birmingham police department.
It is true that the police have exercised a degree of discipline in handing the demonstrators. In this sense they have conducted themselves rather "nonviolently" in pubic. But for what purpose? To preserve the evil system of segregation. Over the past few years I have consistently preached that nonviolence demands that the means we use must be as pure as the ends we seek. I have tried to make clear that it is wrong to use immoral means to attain moral ends. But now I must affirm that it is just as wrong, or perhaps even more so, to use moral means to preserve immoral ends. Perhaps Mr. Connor and his policemen have been rather nonviolent in public, as was Chief Pritchett in Albany, Georgia but they have used the moral means of nonviolence to maintain the immoral end of racial injustice. As T. S. EliotT. S. Eliot has said: "The last temptation is the greatest treason: To do the right deed for the wrong reason."
I wish you had commended the Negro sit-inners and demonstrators of Birmingham for their sublime courage, their willingness to suffer and their amazing discipline in the midst of great provocation. One day the South will recognize its real heroes. They will be the James Merediths, with the noble sense of purpose that enables them to face Jeering, and hostile mobs, and with the agonizing loneliness that characterizes the life of the pioneer. They will be old, oppressed, battered Negro women, symbolized in a seventy-two-year-old woman in Montgomery, Alabama, who rose up with a sense of dignity and with her people decided not to ride segregated buses, and who responded with ungrammatical profundity to one who inquired about her weariness: "My fleets is tired, but my soul is at rest." They will be the young high school and college students, the young ministers of the gospel and a host of their elders, courageously and nonviolently sitting in at lunch counters and willingly going to jail for conscience' sake. One day the South will know that when these disinherited children of God sat down at lunch counters, they were in reality standing up for what is best in the American dream and for the most sacred values in our Judaeo-Christian heritage, thereby bringing our nation back to those great wells of democracy which were dug deep by the founding fathers in their formulation of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.
Never before have I written so long a letter. I'm afraid it is much too long to take your precious time. I can assure you that it would have been much shorter if I had been writing from a comfortable desk, but what else can one do when he k alone in a narrow jail cell, other than write long letters, think long thoughts and pray long prayers?
If I have said anything in this letter that overstates the truth and indicates an unreasonable impatience, I beg you to forgive me. If I have said anything that understates the truth and indicates my having a patience that allows me to settle for anything less than brotherhood, I beg God to forgive me.
I hope this letter finds you strong in the faith. I also hope that circumstances will soon make it possible for me to meet each of you, not as an integrationist or a civil rights leader but as a fellow clergyman and a Christian brother. Let usus all hope that the dark clouds of racial prejudice will soon pass away and the deep fog of misunderstanding will be lifted from our fear-drenched communities, and in some not too distant tomorrow the radiant stars of love and brotherhood will shine over our great nation with all their scintillating beauty.
Yours for the cause of Peace and Brotherhood,
MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.
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Title: ADULT EDUCATION PROGRAMS AND ACTIVITIES IN THE UNITED STATES TOWARD A BALANCED HISTORY
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You are to write a 1-page paper. Read the article below. Please respond to the 3 questions. State the question first and then continue to answer the question(s). *Do Not Use Outside Sources*
Thompson provides a historical overview of adult education in the United States. Historians of course can’t include everything in the fields past.
1.What ‘should’ be included in adult education histories?
2.How is the purpose behind writing a history related to ideas about the purpose of the field?
3.Does knowing our history even matter?
ADULT EDUCATION PROGRAMS AND ACTIVITIES IN THE UNITED STATES: TOWARD A BALANCED HISTORY: by Thompson
History is often thought of as "the past" or as a record of the past; to view history from this perspective is to lose sight of the degree to which intentional selection and multiple motivations play a role in the construction of this concept, however. A more constructive view of history involves viewing it not as a subject for study but as a process of selecting and arranging evidence in order to interpret and explain human actions. Just as the actions and events of the past were determined by the personal biases and motivations of historical figures (major and minor), the written interpretation of those actions and events is based on the biases and motivations of the historian. The relevance of both doing history (to the historian) and reading history (to the student of history) comes from the resulting ability to more fully construct, understand, and evaluate past, present and future choices which a more complete understanding of this process brings ( Johnson, n.d.). Because human development is a continuous process in which the present is informed by both the known past and the projected future, adult education professionals must have a knowledge and understanding of the history of their field; only in this way will the professional decisions and choices they make have validity in more than a limited, time constricted sense. The standard histories of adult education provide an inadequate basis for present evaluations and decision making because they present only a limited, culturally biased assessment of what and who was important in the history of this field: a picture only of the "big trees".
This paper has three goals: 1) to review the standard history of adult education and the image of the field which it evokes; 2) to provide examples of "neglected histories" that exemplify alternative perspectives on the field; and 3) to discuss the importance of developing a more balanced history of adult education.
PART I: THE BIG TREES
Several factors in the social setting of colonial America encouraged educational activities for adults. Many settlers were members of political or religious minority groups looking for increased opportunity, opportunity more likely to favor those with either increased practical knowledge or higher levels of formal education than had been available to common citizens in England and Europe. Protestant religious groups generally promoted literacy (although often defined as the ability to read only, rather than to read
and write) as a necessary tool for Bible reading and enhanced spirituality. Finally, the strong work ethic prevalent in the colonies encouraged education; the idea that ignorance begets idleness was a compelling argument for the need for intellectual development (Knowles, 1977). Standard historians of adult education cite Cotton Mather's Essays To Do Good (1710) as an early example of the promotion of adult educational activity in the New World. In these essays Mather discusses the importance of cooperative efforts to benefit society. He advises the organization of discussion groups to deal with current problems
and suggests the use of specific questions as the basis for discussion. Four of the questions proposed by Mather follow:
1. Is there any particular person whose disorderly behavior may be so scandalous and so notorious that it may be proper to send him our charitable admonition?
2. Can any further methods be devised that ignorance and wickedness may be chased from our people in general; and that domestic piety, in particular, may flourish among them?
3. Is there any instance of oppression or fraudulence, in the dealings of any sort of people, which may call for our efforts to prevent it in future?
4. Is there any matter to be humbly recommended to the legislative power, to be enacted into a law for the public benefit? (Mather,1710, p. 16-17).
In these questions we see an early, faint foreshadowing of familiar adult education concerns: self- actualization, the use of education to cure social ills, and a desire to influence social policy. Seventeen years later, Benjamin Franklin elaborated on Mather's idea in establishing a "mutual improvement" society, the Junto. This group based their discussions on questions almost identical to those proposed by Mather. Additionally, each member of the society was responsible for generating in turn a question on morals, politics, or natural philosophy. Every three months members were required to write and present an essay on any subject as a stimulus to group debate. Membership in the Junto, which existed for thirty years, was limited to twelve ( Grattan, 1955).
Several other institutions provided educational opportunities to adults in colonial America. Private vocational schools, the predecessors of modern commercial trade schools and business colleges, were the chief sources of vocational education for adults. Subscription libraries provided books for the intellectual stimulation of those adults who could both read and afford the subscription fees. Agricultural societies, first established in the mid-eighteenth century, provided a vehicle for the exchange of agricultural
knowledge (Knowles, 1977). The general trend during the colonial period was away from the theologically based knowledge that had previously been the focus of most educational activities toward more secular, liberal, and utilitarian knowledge. In attempting to improve on the social and political traditions of Europe, American colonists devised educational activities appropriate for a new society.
Diffusion Of Knowledge In The New Nation
The period between the Revolutionary War and the Civil War saw a variety of social changes that influenced both the availability and type of educational activities for adults in the United States. Universal male suffrage (limited, however, to white males) argued for a more educated citizenry. Western expansion led to fewer distinctions between social classes and thus to changed opinions as to what was considered appropriate levels and areas of study. The industrial revolution promoted competitiveness and upward mobility, thus motivating many individuals to raise their level of education in order to take advantage of new opportunities. The urbanization and high levels of immigration which accompanied industrialization resulted in social and political conditions which increased the need for educational activities and programs for adults (Knowles, 1977). Privately Sponsored Activities According to Malcolm Knowles (1980), adult education activities before the Civil War can best be characterized as attempts at the diffusion of general knowledge. The influence of the European Enlightenment on the perceived value and importance of secular and scientific thought resulted in the founding of numerous institutions for spreading this "new" knowledge. Among those early institutions were the:
American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 1780
Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, 1791
Boston Mechanics Institute, 1826
Franklin Institute, 1828
Lowell Institute, 1836
Smithsonian Institution, 1846
First Public Library, 1848
Cooper Union, 1859
Although the mechanics institutes and mercantile libraries were established to serve only a limited population (young merchants and merchant's clerks and mechanics and apprentices), other institutions were intended to disseminate knowledge in philosophy, natural history, the arts, and the sciences to the general public. The delivery by outstanding literary, religious, and educational figures of cultural or educative lectures or lecture series was based on the idea that "lectures can play a creative role in adult life" (Grattan, 1955), an idea which still prevails today. Many of the voluntary associations and agencies which were established during this period provided educational activities for their clients or members. Groups devoted to specific "causes"--abolition, temperance, suffrage--also engaged in educational activities designed to recruit new members and to inform the general public about particular social or political issues.
Publicly Sponsored Activities
Opportunities for agricultural education increased during the era before the Civil War. Farmers Institutes under the jurisdiction of state boards of agriculture provided direct instruction to farmers about technological improvements in farming. The Morrill Act of1861 provided federal support for Land Grant Colleges to teach agricultural and mechanical arts to the local citizenry, thus bringing higher education into close contact with the problems and needs of the people. Public evening schools made their appearance in a "highly unstable and often rather informal" form in the second twenty-five years of the nineteenth century (Knowles, 1977,p. 27). These early schools were intended to serve boys who had been forced to leave school to work and adults who had never received an adequate elementary education.
The curriculum was in no way tailored to the needs of adult students, but was rather are petition of courses offered during the day (Knowles, 1977).
The first national adult education program was introduced in 1836. The Lyceum movement, initiated by Josiah Holbrook, was intended to aid in the general diffusion of knowledge and the advancement of education in the public schools. Holbrook enumerated the advantages of Lyceums:
1. The improvement of conversation
2. Directing amusements
3. Saving of expense
4. Calling into use neglected libraries, and giving occasion for establishing new ones
5. Providing a seminary for teachers
6. Benefiting academies
7. Increasing the advantages and raising the character of district schools
8. Compiling of town histories
9. Town maps
10. Agricultural and geological surveys
11. State collections of minerals (Holbrook, 1829)
Lyceum "exercises" were conducted "in several different ways, to suit the wishes and acquirements of those who compose[d] them" (Holbrook, p. 28). Oral reading, biographical sketches, conversation and questions on various subjects, and lectures were among the methods of sharing knowledge commonly employed by Lyceum members. By 1835 there were approximately 3,000 town lyceums presenting weekly lecture discussions .The national system faded out after 1839, but many town and county lyceums continued to flourish up to the time of the Civil War. After the War, other groups such as women's clubs and literary societies continued the practice of providing popular public lectures. The Lyceum movement can be credited with leaving several conceptual and methodological legacies to future adult education endeavors (Knowles, 1980).
Diffusion Of Organizations In The Maturing Nation
Between 1866 and 1920, the United States experienced tremendous physical, intellectual, and economic growth. Concurrently, the country changed from primarily agrarian and rural to primarily industrial and urban. New knowledge, new theories of social development, and changing social conditions combined to suggest the need for both more extensive and more varied adult educational activities than had been available in the past.
According to Knowles (1980, p. 15), the period between the Civil War and World War I might best "be characterized as the diffusion of organizations" for adult educational activities. Each year saw the founding of several new organizations dedicated to personal or social improvement; most included a formal or informal educational component. Chautauqua And Correspondence Study Of the educational programs established during this period, Chautauqua Institution was undoubtedly the most ambitious. Founded in 1874 by the Reverend John Heyl Vincent, secretary ;of the Methodist Sunday School Union and Lewis Miller, a businessman, Chautauqua was originally conceived as a summer normal school for
Sunday school teachers (Grattan, 1955). The belief that a wide variety of liberal, secular knowledge would benefit the populace soon caused a shift in the emphasis of instruction, however. Literature, science, history, and other cultural subjects became the foundation of the Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Circle, established in 1878.
Believing that education should come "alike to the door of want and of wealth"(Vincent, p. 63) and that "the whole of life is a school" (p. 72), Vincent, with the help of William Rainey Harper (who later became president of The University of Chicago) developed a national system of home study based on local study groups or individual study. Students read from the required reading list, prepared answers to instructors'
questions, wrote essays, and took final exams. Between 1874 and 1894, ten thousand local study groups were established. Over 300,000 students enrolled in the C.L.S.C between 1874 and 1918, and approximately 50,000 fulfilled the four year course of study required for graduation from the program (Grattan, 1955).The idea of study at home, or correspondence study, was adopted by other private
institutions. The largest of these, the International Correspondence Schools of Scranton, Pennsylvania, was founded in 1891. Many public universities also developed correspondence departments to serve students who were unable to attend classes on campus (Knowles, 1980).
Social Service Organizations
The second half of the nineteenth century was marked by the establishment of a variety of social service agencies, many of which incorporated the idea of using education to alleviate or solve social problems. The YMCA, originally established in 1851, experienced tremendous growth in the 1860's. The Association, which established libraries and offered evening classes for study and improvement, soon became known as the "college of the people" (Cremin, 1988, p. 92). By 1913, seventy three thousand
students, most of them adults, were enrolled in Y classes. Courses included elementary school subjects for boys and young men who had left school in order to work, courses in English and American citizenship for immigrants, and industrial courses to prepare students for various jobs. The YWCA, established a few years later, offered a similar program of formal educational activities which were divided between traditional women's subjects such a sewing and homemaking and vocational preparation in fields that had traditionally been closed to women: telegraphy, bookkeeping, and commercial art
The College Settlement Association (1887) established settlement houses in urban neighborhoods in order to teach city-dwellers "to learn how to live together and to secure good living conditions"(Knowles, 1977, p. 66). Settlement houses were run primarily by college educated-women as a tool to energize the community into becoming an educative and curative force. Settlement workers rejected the traditional restrictive view of education as the transmission of knowledge from superior expert teachers to ignorant
learners. Instead, they believed in mutual education: a two-way exchange of knowledge. Although lectures were sometimes employed, primary emphasis was on discussion of topics interesting or important to adult neighborhood residents. As Jane Addams remarked, students did not want to hear about simple things; they wanted "to hear about great things, simply told" (Cremin, p. 175-76).
Evening schools, which had begun tentatively in the first half of the nineteenth century, became more common in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Knowles (1977) notes several trends relating to the development of evening schools during this period:
1. Enrollments and ages of participants increased
2. Americanization education was increasingly emphasized
3. Vocational offerings were expanded
4. The number of secondary and college courses increased with the advent of
Evening high schools
5. Experimental informal adult education activities began to be offered
By World War I, evening schools were an accepted part of the adult education scene, and were generally tax supported. University extension, an educational development with profound implications for adult education, was first instituted by the University of the State of New York in 1891. Although a few universities experimented in the late 1800's with the idea that state funded universities had responsibilities to its citizens other than the transmission of a cultural heritage to traditional college-aged youth, the extension movement did not gather much force until 1906. In that year the University of Wisconsin created a University Extension division which emphasized subjects concerned with the problems of the people of the state: problems relating to agriculture, industry, politics, and society. The goal of
university extension became carrying the University to the homes of the people...to give them what they
need--be it the last word in expert advice; courses of study carrying university credit; or easy lessons in cooking and sewing. University extension...offers the benefits of research to the household and the
workshop, as well as to municipalities and the state (Louis E. Reber, Director for University Extension, University of Wisconsin, 1907; cited in Grattan, 1955, p. 193).
The university extension movement was based on the idea that the knowledge coming out of public universities should benefit the public who financed its discovery and that education could be a means to the end of enhancing the quality of life for the average citizen.
Training In The Workplace
The beginning of the twentieth century saw the adoption of programs that viewed education as a means to another end: efficiency in the workplace. The idea of scientific management developed by Frederick W. Taylor in the 1880's was appealing to the business community, and employee education was seen as the best means of increasing the efficiency he promoted. Programs to teach business skills and methods and to promote discipline and obedience were adopted by many businesses and industries. The National
Association of Corporation Schools was organized in 1913 to help businesses develop programs. A typical program, such as that offered by the John Wanamaker Commercial Institute to Wanamaker employees, included courses in reading, writing, arithmetic, English, spelling, stenography, commercial geography, commercial law, and business methods. By offering educational programs, employers hoped not only to increase corporate efficiency but also to promote employee loyalty. Providing educational services to employees and, in many cases, to their families was part of the business world's effort
to forestall unionization. Employers hoped that provision of educational activities would lead not only to increased levels of technical skill but to the general advancement of Americanization and to stable family life, as well. Increased satisfaction and stability would obviate the desire of employees to organize (Cremin, 1988).
Governmental Involvement In Adult Education
Governmental involvement in adult education increased in the first quarter of the twentieth century. The Smith-Lever Act of 1914 specified that federal funds be combined with state monies to develop and implement a cooperative agricultural extension service. By this means scientific knowledge developed in the land grant colleges and agricultural experiment stations could be transmitted not only through courses at the colleges but also by way of demonstrations and publications to rural families. Programs were not limited to agricultural concerns, but rather dealt with all aspects of rural life; the goal of the Cooperative Extension Service was to help families attain greater ability in maintaining more efficient farms and better homes; greater ability in acquiring higher incomes and levels of living on a continuing basis; increased competency and willingness, by both adults and youth, to assume leadership and citizenship responsibilities; and increased ability and willingness to undertake organized group action when such will contribute effectively to improving their welfare (Knowles, 1977, p. 90).
By 1960 there were over 14,000 county agents, home demonstration agents, and subject matter specialists working with almost sixteen million families (55% urban, by this date), making this program the largest adult education endeavor in the world. The contribution of the Cooperative Extension Service to the field of adult education has been profound on both theoretical and methodological levels. The Service pioneered in the development of materials and methods tailored to adult learners; it perfected techniques of home visitation and demonstration; it developed methods for the systematic evaluation of educational activities; it actively involved adults in the planning and implementation of their learning projects; and it refined procedures for preparing and pretesting teaching aids, in-service training materials, reports of educational research, and subject-matter publications at appropriate reading levels. This practice of making the learner the focus of educational activities provided the basis for later adult education theory and practice (Knowles, 1977). World War I stimulated continued government interest in adult education. The Smith- Hughes Act (1917), passed in answer to the need for skilled workers in war industries, provided for federal funds to be combined with state and local fund for the expansion of agricultural, trade, and industrial education, principally through the public schools. "By introducing into our educational system the aim of utility, to take its place in dignity by the side of culture" (Commission on National Aid to Vocational Education, 1917), this piece of legislation resulted in vocational education becoming a primary focus of adult education.
Further federal support was necessitated by the Depression and World War II. Adult education programs developed by the Works Progress Administration, the Civilian Conservation Corps, and the Tennessee Valley authority served many thousand unemployed adults (Knowles, 1980), and the Servicemen's Readjustment Act of 1944, popularly known as the G.I. Bill of Rights, popularized higher education by financing the higher education of thousands of adults (primarily men) who would not otherwise have
considered a college education possible (Cremin, 1988). The 1960s were a time of increasing federal legislative and financial support for adult education. The Area Redevelopment Act of 1961 and the Manpower Development and Training Act of 1962 provided training for those persons who became technologically unemployed or who were affected by shifts in labor demand. The Economic Opportunity
Act (1964) established the Adult Basic Education program to provide people eighteen years of age and older a chance to develop the reading, writing, language, and mathematical skills necessary to find employment. Administered by the U.S. Office of Education after 1966, this program provided funds to state and local educational agencies for instruction, employment and training of qualified teachers, and for development and implementation of curricula and techniques appropriate for adult students (Knowles,
In 1975 Senator Walter Mondale introduced the Lifelong Learning Act, intended to support research and development, teacher training, curriculum development, development of techniques for teaching and counseling adults, and the identification of the educational needs of the elderly population (Knowles, 1980). Mondale was elected vice-president in the next election, and Congress passed the Act. However, adequate funding for the implementation of its proposals was never approved. Governmental commitment to financial support for education decreased during the Reagan administration; only the ABE program maintained its level of funding. As a result of the redefinition of the Comprehensive Employment and Training Act (CETA) to the Job Training Partnership Act (JPTA) the balance of support for training and retraining programs shifted from the government to private industry (Stubblefield and Keane, 1989).
Institutionalization Of Adult Education
Stubblefield (1988) characterizes the period between the two World Wars as a time of institutionalization of adult education, a period during which a primary focus was to determine the direction adult education should take as a new agency in American life. The establishment of the American Association for Adult Education (AAAE), financed by the Carnegie Corporation; increased research on adult learning; and establishment of graduate programs in adult education combined to precipitate a change in direction for adult education; it was no longer "a movement oriented primarily toward social reform" but rather a "more purely educational undertaking…a profession" (Cotton, 1964, p. 81). This change in focus was the source of considerable disagreement within the field. On the one side were those who, like Morse A. Cartwright and Lyman Bryson, foresaw danger in identifying adult education too closely with social action. The other side was represented by Eduard Lindeman, Alexander Meilke john, and others, who regarded adult education as a means of making adults intelligent about their situations in life in order that
they could apply what they learned to improve society (Stubblefield and Keane, 1989). Cotton (1964, p. 84) suggests that what emerged from this conflict was a "sophisticated and mature" orientation toward the goals and potentialities of adult education, an orientation which viewed the development and implementation of "socially significant", rather than social action, programs as the "ultimate objective" of adult education. That this debate remains unresolved today is evidenced by the current special topic
AEDNET forum initiated by Jack Mezirow. Mezirow characterizes adult education as a field envisioned by our founders and past leaders as one of great promise for democracy, social justice, equality, freedom and community development by helping adult learn how to more effectively participate in critical discourse on public issues and in collective efforts to improve their communities and make our social institutions more responsive to citizen needs (Mezirow, 1990, p. 1). He continues by expressing profound concern over the "drift" of the field from its early social commitment to its current "market-driven" state and calls on the professoriate of the field to actively foster a consensus on and efforts toward social goals by defining priorities and allocating resources.
The Image Of Adult Education
A reading of the standard histories of adult education gives a hint of the uphill battle facing Jack Mezirow and his supporters. While he views the social action programs of the past as "one of our proudest legacies", the historians of the field virtually ignore them. Little more than passing mention is made of women educators and their contribution to the field, of education in socialist movements, of the education of African American adults, or of worker's education (Cunningham, 1989). Additionally, programs which could be viewed from a modern perspective as culturally imperialistic or oppressive (assimilation of American Indians, Americanization of immigrants) are reported with no discussion of related ethical questions. As a result of the subjective choices made in reporting an image emerges from these standard histories of a field established, developed, and practiced almost exclusively by white, middle-class males for the purpose of implementing their view of the good society.
PART II: THE UNDERBRUSH AND THE VINES
Adult education was defined in 1936 by Lyman Bryson as "all activities with an educational purpose that are carried on by people engaged in the ordinary business of life" (Bryson, 1936, cited in Grattan, p. 3); the ethnocentric biases of adult education historians have left many of these activities unreported or undervalued, however. Examination of some of these activities and programs can provide useful perspectives on the field . What follows is merely a representative sampling of "neglected" adult education histories; no claim to comprehensiveness or cohesiveness is intended. That the people
and programs described here would have as strong a claim to a place in the history of adult education as have the "big trees" of the standard histories seems obvious. As W. E. Williams pointed out in his survey of the British adult education scene earlier in the century, "the big trees [are] far from being the only valuable parts of the forest....much of the true vitality of the forest [is] to be found elsewhere" ( Williams, 1934, cited in Grattan, 1955).
Anne Hutchinson was a learned reader of the Bible, mother of 12, and mid-wife who held weekly meetings in her home to discuss the minister's sermons. Sister's Anne's influence grew among the women of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, and women soon started bringing their husbands to participate in the discussions. Sister Anne's fate differed from that of Cotton Mather, a later discussion leader: male community leaders halted the talks and Hutchinson was excommunicated and banished. She was later killed by Indians (Sochen, 1974).
Adult Education Among Quakers
Quaker's have long been pioneers in women's and adult education. Among Quakers, parents were held responsible for the education of their children; for this reason the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting was, by the middle of the eighteenth century, providing schooling for poor parents whose lack of education made them unable to properly educate their children. In 1778, Anthony Benezet, a Philadelphia Quaker, established a grammar school for the purpose of educating rural women who were responsible for providing their children with a basic education. After 1790, women ministers began advocating advanced education and teacher training for women to enable them to “assume responsibility for educating the poor, blacks, and women, even at advanced levels" (Schwager, 1987).
Black Literary Societies
Free blacks established many literary societies in the early and mid 1800's. Some of the expressed purposes of these societies were: the stimulation of reading and the spreading of useful knowledge by providing libraries and reading rooms, the encouragement of expressed literary efforts by providing audiences as critics and channels of publication for their literary productions and the training of future orators and leaders by means of debates(Porter, 1936, p. 557).One of the most ambitious of these organizations, the Phoenix Society (1833) of New York City, was "designed to be the soul of the entire [black] population and their friends in the city." Its goal was "to promote the improvement of the colored people in morals, literature, and the mechanical arts". Projects included a library, reading room and exhibition hall; historical and scientific lectures; ward societies for mutual aid in the community; and an evening school for adults (Porter, 1936; p. 555-56).The development of these societies was necessitated by the race relations of the time. Blacks were generally unwelcome in white literary societies. In Massachusetts, for example, Charles Sumner and Ralph Waldo Emerson canceled an engagement to speak at a local Lyceum when it became known that black patrons were not granted the same privileges as whites. Although most of these societies were short-lived, they served several positive purposes during their existence: they helped to disseminate knowledge among a poorly educated population; they encouraged many Blacks to start private libraries; they trained individuals for community leadership; and they were frequently the background for the organization of schools for Blacks. In all of these activities, Black organizers provided ample evidence of an ability to develop and implement self-educative activities.
Following the Civil War, schools to teach the children of freed slaves were established by several public and private organizations. By 1870, over 3,000 teachers--white and black teachers from the North and white teachers from the South--were engaged in this effort. Although the overwhelming majority of the teachers were female, leadership and supervisory positions were reserved for males. This policy was strictly enforced, even in cases in which women were better suited by credentials, experience, or
temperament to lead (Jones, 1979).
Many of the teachers operated night schools for the purpose of educating the newly freed black population in the knowledge and attitudes necessary for them to be assimilated into their proper place in American society. This goal caused considerable resentment among Southern whites, who viewed these teachers as an "invasion force “attempting to recreate Blacks in their own image in order to control the power of the Black vote, and thus the destiny of the South (Morris, 1981).Tuskegee Normal And Industrial Institute
Booker T. Washington founded Tuskegee in 1881 to provide industrial and teacher training to Black men and women. Other courses of study included English, reading, composition, mathematics, geography, history, government and law, bookkeeping, natural science, philosophy, music, and religion. Classes were held during the day for students able to attend full time; night classes were available for those who worked during the day (Gyant, 1988).Washington, with the assistance of George W. Carver, also established the Tuskegee Agricultural Experiment Station. This Movable School Project traveled around rural Alabama to teach men and women new agricultural methods, animal husbandry, home gardening, disease prevention, and improved methods of food preparation. Additionally, students from the school went into rural areas to teach adults to read and to understand the value of education for themselves and their children (Gyant, 1988).
Tuskegee Woman's Club
The Tuskegee Woman's Club was founded by Mrs. Washington for the purpose of promoting the "general intellectual development of women." Although as exclusive in membership as many of its white counterparts, the Club became actively involved in community affairs. A plantation settlement that included Sunday school classes, organized boys' and girls' clubs, sewing classes for girls, mothers' clubs, and newspaper reading clubs for the men was established in 1898. A public library and reading room was
started in 1901, and the Town Night School a few years later. This school provided the opportunity for many men and women to receive academic and industrial training(Neverdon-Morton, 1982).The Club served as a vehicle for community self-help, as well. Woman's Club members began to engage in home visits in Tuskegee in order to teach women how to better care for their families and maintain their homes. Mothers' meetings to discuss home management, child care, and marital concerns were held every week. When black women began increasingly to seek the right to vote, political education was added to the program to insure that they could vote as informed citizens (Neverdon-Morton, 1982).The Bryn Mawr Summer School For Women Workers In Industry The Bryn Mawr Summer School, established in 1921 through the combined efforts of women leaders in labor and education, was based not on a narrow, utilitarian view of workers' education but rather on a belief in the rights of all individuals to self development in terms of both culture and economic value. The purpose of the program was to offer young women in industry opportunities to study liberal subjects and to train themselves in clear thinking; to stimulate an active and continued interest in the problems of our economic order; to develop a desire for study as a means of understanding and of enjoyment in life. The Summer School was to be committed to no particular theory or dogma; discussion and teaching were to be free and open to enable students to gain insight into the problems of industry and into their potential to help solve those problems (Constitution of the Bryn Mawr Summer School, 1922).The statement of purpose and the original curriculum--economics, English, history, literature, hygiene, science, and music appreciation--reflected the liberal educational
philosophy of President M. Carey Thomas and the Bryn Mawr College trustees, a philosophy that placed major emphasis on the development of the intellectual powers of the mind rather than on pragmatic approaches to immediate problems. By implementing a program the purpose of which was not merely to instruct workers in identifying the sources of and solutions to their own job-related problems but also to introduce them to “new fields of thought and interest" (Smith, 1929), the Summer School made a unique contribution to the field of workers' education. That the program was at least partially successful in reaching the goal of "liberating"--in the traditional educational sense—the working women who attended the School, is reflected in the words of one student, a garment worker: "It was light when my feet touched the soil of the campus. It was light again when girls of different parts of America and from various industries addressed each other in an old-friendly way. It was light when the dark heavenly bodies were pointed out and introduced. It was light when the strange sounds of foreign language became familiar and sweet. It was light when the teacher and pupils analyzed the control of wages and the means of production. "It will be light, strong, and warm, light for humanity." (quoted in Smith, 1978, p. 156).
Highlander Folk School
Many adult education activities have evolved out of community initiatives; Highlander Folk School is a good example of this type of program. Established in 1932 by Miles Horton, Highlander's purpose was to help people find their own answers to the problems which faced them and to gain greater control over their lives: in other words, to empower the common people. Early programs, which included courses in psychology, cultural geography, revolutionary literature, and current economic problems, as well as seminars on how to promote social change, were focused on labor reform; throughout the 1930's Highlander's staff and students worked to create equality of opportunity within the labor movement. By
the 1950's, general acceptance of the right of labor to organize and improving economic conditions influenced a shift in the emphasis of Highlander's efforts; "[c]onquering meanness, prejudice, and tradition" as a prerequisite to an orderly transition to an integrated South became the new focus of the Folk School's programs (Adams, 1980, p. 225).
Stubblefield and Keane (1989) suggest that the most important contribution made by Highlander was the development of citizenship schools to teach Blacks literacy and an understanding of the white power structure and their rights in a democracy. In the tradition of helping oppressed people help themselves, operation of the schools was turned over to the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in 1961.
An Alternative Image Of The Field
Awareness of the "neglected" histories of adult education results in a picture of the field quite different from that projected by traditional histories; the resulting image is not one of practitioners striving for professional maturity and sophistication but rather one of ordinary people striving together for individual and societal improvement. By looking "beyond institutions to the popular social movement, grass roots education, voluntary associations, and communities producing and disseminating knowledge as a human
activity" (Cunningham, 1989, p. 34), adult education can be perceived as a field more concerned with the ends than the means.
PART III: THE NEED FOR A BALANCED HISTORY OF ADULT EDUCATION
In 1964 Webster Cotton wrote about periods in the development of the field of adult education in which considerable "intellectual ferment" was aroused among educators by contemplation of questions "as to where adult education should be going, why and how best to get there" (p. 80). Twenty-five years later, adult educators are still asking these questions; however, adequate answers depend on the answer to another question: where have we been? Questions regarding goals, ethics, philosophies, and policies need to be answered by individuals and by groups in the field, but the answers must be informed not only by
current theory and practice but also by a knowledge of the history of the field. Any attempt at planning--"a systematic attempt to shape the future"--must involve knowledge of and a shaping of the trends and events which emanate from the past (Rothwell, 1951, cited in Johnson, 1973). Writing a history involves selecting and arranging evidence to interpret and explain the past. The process of selection is essentially a subjective one, although our sincere goal may be "scholarly objectivity"; who we are, where we have been, and where we hope to go influences usus, consciously or unconsciously, in any such evaluative process. Two factors make standard histories of adult education inadequate for the purpose of informing present policy construction, decision making, and action. First, their authors, in the process of selecting and arranging events, have omitted or undervalued populations whose activities and achievements should have earned them recognition equal to that afforded the field's heroes. To revere Franklin's twelve-member Junto while ignoring Black literary societies, which were more extensive in both size and goals, for example, leaves standard historians open to a charge of ethnocentric bias which should have no place in a field which prides itself on reflecting a universal human activity. Second, standard histories have consistently ignored the ethical questions involved in the "forced" adult education of groups such as Native Americans and immigrants. Respect for and pride in the past should not preclude recognition and discussion of such questions. To ignore the successes of minority or counter-hegemonic groups and to overlook the failures of the prevailing hegemony robs the field of information and perspectives necessary to make informed decisions in the present. The standard histories and the neglected histories project different images of adult education; both are necessary for a complete understanding of the field. Once we have a clearer understanding of where we all have been, we will be better prepared to address the questions of where we should be going and how best to get there.
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Title: Civil Rights as you see it in America
- Total Pages: 6
- Words: 2291
- Citation Style: MLA
- Document Type: Research Paper
In your own words:
What is the status of civil rights as you see it in America. Using your historical references on civil rights, please address what issues we have resolved and where we stand today on equality of races, both in society and the eyes of the court.
Use all the historical reference below, Court cases, Judge Harlen Quotes and time line. This is just reference information.
The Civil Rights Cases, 109 U.S. 3 (1883), were a group of five similar cases consolidated into one issue for the United States Supreme Court to review. The Court held that Congress lacked the constitutional authority under the enforcement provisions of the Fourteenth Amendment to outlaw racial discrimination by private individuals and organizations, rather than state and local governments.
More particularly, the Court held that the Civil Rights Act of 1875, which provided that "all persons within the jurisdiction of the United States shall be entitled to the full and equal enjoyment of the accommodations, advantages, facilities, and privileges of inns, public conveyances on land or water, theaters, and other places of public amusement; subject only to the conditions and limitations established by law, and applicable alike to citizens of every race and color, regardless of any previous condition of servitude" was unconstitutional.
The decision itself involved five consolidated cases coming from different lower courts in which African-Americans had sued theaters, hotels and transit companies that had refused them admittance or excluded them from "white only" facilities.
The Court, in a decision by Justice Joseph P. Bradley, held that the language of the 14th Amendment, which prohibited denial of equal protection by a state, did not give Congress power to regulate these private acts. The Court also acknowledged that the 13th Amendment does apply to private actors, but only to the extent that it prohibits people from owning slaves, not exhibiting discriminatory behavior. The Court said that "it would be running the slavery argument into the ground to make it apply to every act of discrimination which a person may see fit to make as to guests he will entertain, or as to the people he will take into his coach or cab or car; or admit to his concert or theatre, or deal with in other matters of intercourse or business."
Justice Harlan challenged the Court's narrow interpretation of the Fourteenth Amendment in his dissent. As he noted, Congress was attempting to overcome the refusal of the states to protect the rights denied to African-Americans that white citizens took as their birthright:
"My brethren say that when a man has emerged from slavery, and by the aid of beneficient legislation has shaken off the inseparable concomitants of that state, there must be some stage in the progress of his elevation when he takes the rank of a mere citizen, and ceases to be the special favorite of the laws, and when his rights as a citizen, or a man, are to be protected in the ordinary modes by which other men's rights are protected. It is, I submit, scarcely just to say that the colored race has been the special favorite of the laws. What the nation, through Congress, has sought to accomplish in reference to that race is, what had already been done in every state in the Union for the white race, to secure and protect rights belonging to them as freemen and citizens; nothing more. The one underlying purpose of congressional legislation has been to enable the black race to take the rank of mere citizens. The difficulty has been to compel a recognition of their legal right to take that rank, and to secure the enjoyment of privileges belonging, under the law, to them as a component part of the people for whose welfare and happiness government is ordained."
Harlan correctly predicted the consequences of this decision: it put an end to the attempts by Radical Republicans to ensure the civil rights of blacks and ushered in the widespread segregation of blacks in housing, employment and public life that confined them to second-class citizenship throughout much of the United States until the passage of civil rights legislation in the 1960s in the wake of the Civil Rights Movement.
Furthermore, "[i]n the wake of the Supreme Court ruling, the federal government adopted as policy that allegations of continuing slavery were matters whose prosecution should be left to local authorities only--a de facto acceptance that white southerners could do as they wished with the black people in their midst." Douglas A. Blackmon, Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II, Anchor Books 2009, p. 93.
The decision that the Reconstruction-era Civil Rights Acts were unconstitutional has not been overturned; on the contrary, the Supreme Court reaffirmed this limited reading of the Fourteenth Amendment in United States v. Morrison, 529 U.S. 598 (2000), in which it held that Congress did not have the authority to enact parts of the Violence Against Women Act.
The Court has, however, upheld more recent civil rights laws based on other powers of Congress. Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 generally revived the ban on discrimination in public accommodations that was in the Civil Rights Act of 1875, but under the Commerce Clause of Article I instead of the 14th Amendment; the Court held it to be constitutional in Heart of Atlanta Motel v. United States, 379 U.S. 241 (1964).
But in view of the constitution, in the eye of the law, there is in this country no superior, dominant, ruling class of citizens. There is no caste here.
John Marshall Harlan
Our constitution is color-blind, and neither knows nor tolerates classes among citizens.
John Marshall Harlan
The Constitution is not a panacea for every blot upon the public welfare. Nor should this Court, ordained as a judicial body, be thought of as a general haven for reform movements.
John Marshall Harlan
The humblest is the peer of the most powerful.
John Marshall Harlan
The law regards man as man, and takes no account of his surroundings or of his color when his civil rights as guaranteed by the supreme law of the land are involved.
John Marshall Harlan
American Anti-Slavery and Civil Rights Timeline
Timeline compiled by V. Chapman Smith
• Portuguese negotiate the first slave trade agreement that also includes gold and ivory. By the end of the 19th Century, because of the slave trade, five times as many Africans (over 11 million) would arrive in the Americas than Europeans.
• Spanish and Portuguese bring African slaves to the Caribbean and Central America to replace Native Americans in the gold mines.
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• Henry Hudson's The Half Moon arrives in the "New World" mostly likely carrying African slaves. The Dutch were deeply involved in the African slave trade and brought the trade to the American colonies. The Dutch built and grew wealthy on an Atlantic empire of sugar, slaves, and ships.
• A Dutch ship brings the first permanent African settlers to Jamestown, VA.
• Massachusetts becomes the first colony to recognize slavery as a legal institution in 1641 Body of Liberties.
• Rhode Island declares an enslaved person must be freed after 10 years of service.
• A Virginia court decides a child born to an enslaved mother is also a slave.
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• George Fox, generally called the founder of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), influences agitation among Quakers against slaveholding by Society members when he speaks against slavery on his visit to North America.
• The King of England charters the Royal African Company, thereby encouraging the expansion of the British slave trade.
• Nathaniel Bacon (Bacon's Rebellion) appeals to enslaved blacks to join in his cause.
• Slavery is prohibited in West New Jersey, a Quaker settlement in current day South New Jersey.
• In Germantown (now Philadelphia, PA.), Quakers and Mennonites protest against slavery. During this period, these groups worshiped together.
• An Exhortation & Caution to Friends Concerning the Buying or Keeping of Negroes by the Philadelphia Monthly Meeting is published in Philadelphia.
• From this time onward, England trades aggressively in North American slaves, with New York, Boston and Charleston thriving as homeports for slave vessels.
• Georgia is the last of the British North American colonies to legalize slavery.
• John Woolman (b. New Jersey 1720; d. York, England 1772) addresses his fellow Quakers in Some Consideration of the Keeping of Negroes and exerts great influence in leading the Society of Friends to recognize the evil of slavery. Philadelphia Yearly Meeting appoints a committee in 1758 to visit those Friends still holding slaves. At the Yearly Meeting in London in 1772, Woolman presents an anti-slavery certificate from Philadelphia. The London Yearly Meeting also issues a statement condemning slavery in its Epistle for the first time in 1754.
• Publication in Germantown (PA) of Anthony Benezet's pamphlet, Observations on the Inslaving [sic], Importing and Purchasing of Negroes, the first of many anti-slavery works by the most influential antislavery writer of 18th century America.
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• Founding of the Pennsylvania Society for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery (PAS), the world's first antislavery society and the first Quaker anti-slavery society. Benjamin Franklin becomes Honorary President of the Society in 1787.
• Thomas Paine speaks out against slavery and joins the PAS with Benjamin Rush.
• Gradual Emancipation Act passed in Pennsylvania.
• Publication in London of John Marrant's book, A Narrative of the Lord's Wonderful Dealings with John Marrant, a Black Man, the first autobiography of a free black.
• Publication in London of An Essay on the Slavery and Commerce of the Human Species, Particularly the African, by Thomas Clarkson. Quickly reprinted in the United States, it is the single most influential antislavery work of the late 18th century.
• Northwest Ordinance bans slavery in the newly organized territory ceded by Virginia.
• Founding in London of the Society for Effecting the Abolition of the Slave Trade.
• Philadelphia free blacks establish the Free African Society in Philadelphia, the first independent black organization and a mutual aid society.
• The ratified U.S. Constitution allows a male slave to count as three-fifths of a man in determining representation in the House of Representatives. The Constitution sets 1808 as the earliest date for the national government to ban the slave trade.
• Rhode Island outlaws the slave trade.
• William Wilberforce becomes the Parliamentary leader and begins a ten-year campaign to abolish Britain's slave trade.
• Pennsylvania amends law to forbid removal of blacks from the state.
• First American edition of Olaudah Equiano's Interesting Narrative, an eye-witness account of the Middle Passage and the first autobiography by an enslaved African, is published in London in 1789.
• Slave insurrection in the French colony of St. Domingue begins the bloody process of founding the nation of Haiti, the first independent black country in the Americas. Refugees flee to America, many coming to Philadelphia, the largest and most cosmopolitan city in America with the largest northern free black community. Philadelphia has many supporters for Toussaint L'Overture.
• Eli Whitney patents the cotton gin, making it possible for the expansion of slavery in the South.
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• U.S. Congress enacts first fugitive slave law requiring the return of fugitives.
• Hoping to build sympathy for their citizenship rights, Philadelphia free blacks rally to minister to the sick and maintain order during the yellow fever epidemic. Many blacks fall victim to the disease.
• Founding of the American Convention for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery, a joining several state and regional antislavery societies into a national organization to promote abolition. Conference held in Philadelphia.
• The first independent black churches in America (St. Thomas African Episcopal Church and Bethel Church) established in Philadelphia by Absalom Jones and Richard Allen, respectively, as an act of self-determination and a protest against segregation.
• Congress enacts the federal Slave Trade Act of 1794 prohibiting American vessels to transport slaves to any foreign country from outfitting in American ports.
• In the first black initiated petition to Congress, Philadelphia free blacks protest North Carolina laws re-enslaving blacks freed during the Revolution.
• A Frenchman residing in Philadelphia is brought before the Mayor, Chief Justice of Federal Court and the Secretary of State for acquiring 130 French uniforms to send to Toussaint L'Overture.
• Absalom Jones and other Philadelphia blacks petition Congress against the slave trade and against the fugitive slave act of 1793.
• Gabriel, an enslaved Virginia black, attempts to organize a massive slave insurrection.
• Off the coast of Cuba, the U.S. naval vessel Ganges captures two American vessels, carrying 134 enslaved Africans, for violating the 1794 Slave Trade Act and brings them to Philadelphia for adjudication in federal court by Judge Richard Peters. Peters turns the custody of the Africans over to the Pennsylvania Abolition Society, which attempts to assimilate the Africans into Pennsylvania using the indenture system with many local Quakers serving as sponsors.
• Benjamin Rush elected president of the Pennsylvania Abolition Society
• Final defeat of the French in St. Domingue results in the founding of Haiti as an independent black nation, and an inspiration to blacks in America. Haitian Independence Day is celebrated throughout northern free black communities.
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• Parliament outlaws British participation in the African Slave Trade.
• United States outlaws American participation in the African Slave Trade. January 1st becomes an instant black American holiday, commemorated with sermons and celebrations. These sermons are the first distinctive and sizable genre of black writing in America.
• Philadelphia black businessman and community leader James Forten publishes his pamphlet, A Series of Letters by a Man of Color, to protest a proposed law requiring the registration of blacks coming into the state.
• American Colonization Society is formed to encourage free blacks to settle in Liberia, West Africa.
• Several new independent black denominations are established within the African Methodist Episcopal Church under first bishop Richard Allen.
• Federal law passed requiring the inspection of passenger conditions on ships is used by Quakers to monitor conditions in the slave trade at the Baltimore (Maryland) Port. Society of Friends members accompany federal Customs inspectors.
• Missouri Compromise allows Missouri to become a slave state, establishes Maine as a free state, and bans slavery in the territory west of Missouri.
• The first organized emigration of U.S. blacks back to Africa from New York to Sierra Leone.
• New Jersey Quaker born Benjamin Lundy establishes the first American anti-slavery newspaper, The Genius of Universal Emancipation, in Mt. Pleasant, Ohio. From September 1829 until March 1830, William Lloyd Garrison assists the paper. In 1836-1838 Lundy establishes and another anti-slavery weekly in Philadelphia, The National Enquirer. This paper becomes The Pennsylvania Freeman with John Greenleaf Whittier as one of its later editors.
• Denmark Vesey, a free black, organizes an unsuccessful slave uprising in Charleston, SC.
• Segregated public schools for blacks open in Philadelphia.
• Liberia, on the west coast of Africa, is established by freed American slaves.
• John Russwurm and Samuel Cornish establish the first African American newspaper, Freedom's Journal, in New York. The paper circulates in 11 states, the District of Columbia, Haiti, Europe, and Canada.
• Sarah Mapps Douglass, a black educator and contributor to The Anglo African, an early black paper, establishes a school for black children in Philadelphia. Mapps becomes an important leader in the Female Anti-Slavery Society and is a life-long friend of Angelina and Sarah Grimke. After the Civil War, she becomes a leader in the Pennsylvania Branch of the American Freedman's Aid Commission, which worked to protect and provide services to the former enslaved in the South.
• David Walker of Boston publishes his fiery denunciation of slavery and racism, Walker's Appeal in Four Articles. Walker's Appeal, arguably the most radical of all anti-slavery documents, causes a great stir with its call for slaves to revolt against their masters and its protest against colonization.
• Virginia legislature launches an intense debate on abolishing slavery.
• In response to Ohio's "Black Laws" restricting African American freedom, blacks migrate north to establish free black colonies in Canada, which becomes an important refuge for fugitive slaves.
• The first National Negro Convention convenes in Philadelphia.
• William Lloyd Garrison of Boston begins publishing The Liberator, the most famous anti-slavery newspaper.
• Nat Turner launches a bloody uprising among enslaved Virginians in Southampton County.
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• Maria Stewart of Boston launches a public career as a speaker and pamphleteer. Stewart is one of the first black American female political activists to establish the tradition of political activism and freedom struggle among black women. She calls upon black women to take up what would become pioneering work as teachers, school founders, and education innovators.
• American Antislavery Society, led by William Lloyd Garrison, is organized in Philadelphia. For the next three decades, the Society campaigns that slavery is illegal under natural law, and sees the Constitution "a covenant with hell." Within five years, the organization has more than 1,350 chapters and over 250,000 members.
• August 1 becomes another black American and abolitionist holiday when Britain abolishes slavery in its colonies.
• Female antislavery societies are organized in Boston and Philadelphia. The Philadelphia Female Anti-Slavery Society was an integrated group of white and black middle class women, led by Lucretia Mott, Harriett Forten Purvis, and Grace Bustill Douglass. The women met in each other's homes. Bustill, Mapps, and Douglass are prominent black Quaker families in the Philadelphia in the 19th Century.
• Abolitionists launch a campaign flooding Congress with antislavery petitions.
• The public careers of Angelina and Sarah Grimke, Quaker abolitionists from a prominent South Carolina family, begin.
• Philadelphia blacks, under the leadership of well-to-do Robert Purvis, organize the Vigilance Committee to aid and assist fugitive slaves. Purvis' wife, Harriett Forten Purvis, the daughter of successful black businessman James Forten, leads the Female Vigilant Society. By his contemporaries, Robert Purvis is referred to as the "President of the Underground Railroad."
• First gathering of the Antislavery Convention of American Women, an inter-racial association of various female antislavery groups, becomes the first independent women's political organization.
• Founding of the Institute for Colored Youth, which later became Cheyney University, one of the earliest historically black colleges in the United States.
Society Portrait Collection, Gratz Collection, HSP
Portrait of Robert Purvis by Gutekunst Studio, n.d.
• Philadelphia is plagued with anti-black and anti-abolitionist violence, particularly from Philadelphia white workers who feared that they have to compete with freed slaves for jobs. Second meeting of the Antislavery Convention of American Women, gathered in Philadelphia at the newly built Pennsylvania Hall, is attacked by a mob. The mob burns down the hall, as well as sets a shelter for black orphans on fire and damages a black church. Pennsylvania Hall was open only three days when it fell. More than 2,000 people bought "shares" and raised $40,000 to build the Hall. An official report blames abolitionists for the riots, claiming that they incited violence by upsetting the citizens of Philadelphia with their views and for encouraging "race mixing."
• Pennsylvania blacks are disfranchised in the revised state Constitution.
• A Maryland slave named Fred runs away and later becomes Frederick Douglass.
• Abolitionists form the Liberty Party to promote political action against slavery.
• Pope Gregory XVI condemned slavery and the slave trade.
• American Anti-Slavery Society splits over the issue of the public involvement of women. Dissidents opposed to women having a formal role form the American and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society.
• Aged and venerable abolitionist Thomas Clarkson chairs the World Anti-Slavery Convention in London. American attendees include William Lloyd Garrison, Lucretia Mott, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton. American women are not allowed to sit among the men or serve as delegates. On their return to America the women hold a women's rights convention, which met in Seneca Falls, NYNY in 1848.
• Martin Delany publishes The Mystery, the first Black-owned newspaper west of the Alleghenies and he later serves as co-editor of the Rochester North Star with Frederick Douglass.
• An angry mob of whites in Philadelphia attacks a black temperance parade celebrating West Indian Emancipation Day. A riot ensues with mayhem lasting three days and resulting in numerous injuries to blacks, who are dragged from their homes and beaten and several homes, an abolitionist meeting place, and a church are set afire.
• Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave is published in Boston, launching the public career of the most notable black American spokesman of the 19th Century.
• War with Mexico adds significant western territory to the United States and opens a new arena in the fight to check the spread of slavery.
• Free Soil Party is organized to stop the spread of slavery into the Western territories.
• Slavery is abolished in all French territories.
• Women's Rights Convention is held at Seneca Falls.
• Harriet Tubman escapes from slavery. She becomes a major conductor on the Underground Railroad, as well as an advocate for Women's Rights.
• The Compromise of 1850 includes a controversial Fugitive Slave Law that compels all citizens to help in the recovery of fugitive slaves. Free blacks form more Vigilance Committees throughout the North to watch for slave hunters and alert the black community.
• Federal marshals and Maryland slave hunters seek out suspected fugitive slaves in Christiana (Lancaster County), PA. In the ensuing struggle with black and white abolitionists, one of the attackers is killed, another is seriously wounded, and the fugitives all successfully escape. Thirty-six black men and five white men are charged with treason and conspiracy under the federal 1850 Fugitive Slave Law and brought to trial in federal court at Independence Hall in Philadelphia. This trial becomes a cause celebre for American abolitionists. Attorney Thaddeus Stevens defends the accused by pleading self-defense. All the defendants are found innocent in a jury trial.
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• Congress repeals the Missouri Compromise, opening western territories to slavery and setting the stage for a bloody struggle between pro and anti slavery forces in Kansas Territory (Bleeding Kansas).
• Lincoln University (Pennsylvania) is chartered in April 1854 as Ashmun Institute. It becomes a higher education institution providing an education in the arts and sciences for male youth of African descent. During the first one hundred years of its existence, Lincoln graduates approximately 20 percent of the black physicians and more than 10 percent of the black attorneys in the United States. Thurgood Marshall and Langston Hughes are among its esteemed alumni.
• Martin Delany leads 145 participants in the 4-day National Emigration Convention in Cleveland, OH. His arguments appeal to some educated and successful northern freed blacks and are defiantly opposite the position held by Frederick Douglass and others. His views represent increasing frustrations in the black community. Six years later, Delany signs a treaty with Nigeria to allow black American settlement and the development of cotton production using free West African workers. However this project never develops. During the Civil War, Delany works with others to recruit blacks for the 54th Massachusetts and other units. In 1865 Major Delany becomes the first black commissioned as a line field officer in the U.S. Army.
• With the assistance of others, William Still, a leader in the Philadelphia Underground Railroad, and his white colleague Passmore Williamson, intercept slave owner John Weaver, his slave Jane Johnson and her two sons as they are leaving town. The two help Jane and her children leave their master for freedom. Williamson is incarcerated for several months for not bringing Jane Johnson to court. The case becomes a national news story, continuing from August through November.
• The Republican Party, newly formed from various groups opposing the extension of slavery, holds its first convention in Philadelphia.
• Wilberforce University, named English statesman and abolitionist William Wilberforce, opens in Ohio as a private, coeducational institution affiliated with The African Methodist Episcopal Church. This is the first institution of higher education owned and operated by African Americans.
• The Supreme Court's Dred Scott decision declares blacks, free or slave, have no citizenship rights.
• John Brown conducts a raid at Harper's Ferry, Virginia to free and arm slaves. His effort fails and he is executed.
• Lincoln's election in 1860 leads to Southern states seceding and starts Civil War between the free and the slave states. The Secretary of the Navy authorizes enlistment of contrabands (slaves) taken in Confederate territories.
• First black Union Army forces are organized in South Carolina.
• Charlotte Forten, daughter of Robert Forten and Robert Purvis' niece, heads to Port Royal, South Carolina as teacher for the Philadelphia Port Royal Commission for the "freed" slaves now in Union controlled territory. The Atlantic Monthly publishes her essays on her experiences, "Life on the Sea Islands," in 1864.
• Lincoln issues the Emancipation Proclamation abolishing slavery in territory controlled by the Confederate States of America. The Presidential Order also authorizes the mustering of black men as federal regiments.
• The 54th Massachusetts is organized at Camp Meigs, Readville, Massachusetts. Free blacks from throughout the North enlist in the 54th. Other training stations, like Camp William Penn, outside of Philadelphia in Cheltenham are established for training black troops. Between 178,000 and 200,000 black enlisted men and white officers serve under the Bureau of Colored Troops.
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• Congress rules that black soldiers must receive equal pay.
• The National Equal Rights League convenes in Syracuse, New York. Delegates are all prominent northern blacks, led by John Mercer Langston who later organized Howard University's Law Department, and included Frederick Douglass and Octavius V. Catto. Working through state chapters, the League promotes an aggressive advocacy agenda to obtain civil rights for blacks. Pennsylvania, New York, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana and Michigan are charged to take the lead. Philadelphia blacks, led by Catto, boycott to desegregate public transportation.
• The Civil War ends with a northern victory.
• With their freedom, Southern blacks seek to reunite their families torn apart by slavery, as well as acquire education (particularly reading and writing). Many leave the South for the West and North.
• President Lincoln speaks publicly about extending the franchise to black men, particularly "on the very intelligent, and on those who serve our cause as soldiers."
• Lincoln is assassinated by John Wilkes Booth.
• Andrew Johnson becomes President and begins to implement his own Reconstruction Plan that does not require the franchise for black men in the former Confederate states.
• Many northern states reject referendums to grant black men in their states the franchise.
• Mississippi becomes the first of the former Confederate states to enact laws (Black Codes) severely limiting the rights and liberties of blacks. Other Southern states follow with similar legislation.
• Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution abolishing slavery is ratified.
• The Freedmen's Bureau is established in the War Department. The Bureau supervises all relief and educational activities relating to refugees and freedmen, including issuing rations, clothing and medicine. The Bureau also assumes custody of confiscated lands or property in the former Confederate States, border states, District of Columbia, and Indian Territory.
• The Ku Klux Klan is formed by ex-Confederates in Pulaski, Tennessee.
• Republicans efforts begin to extend suffrage in the District of Columbia. Initial attempts fail with President Johnson's vetoes. Suffrage is finally granted in 1867.
• Congress passes the first civil rights act. President Johnson's veto of the bill is overturned by a two-thirds majority in both houses of Congress, and the bill becomes law. Johnson's attitude contributes to the growth of the Radical Republican movement. These Republicans favor increased intervention in the South and more aid to former slaves, and ultimately to Johnson's impeachment.
• Republicans gain veto-proof majorities in both the Senate and the House.
• In Nashville, Tennessee, Fisk University is established for former slaves by the American Missionary Association. The school becomes the first black American college to receive a class "A" rating by the Southern Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools in 1878. W.E. B. DuBois graduates from Fisk in 1888.
• The first election in the District of Columbia to include black voters results in a victory for the Republican ticket. Similar results are repeated in other areas of the country, where blacks are granted the franchise. These elections also produce new black political leaders.
• Congress passes bills granting the franchise to black men in the territories of Nebraska and Colorado, over President Johnson's veto.
• Congress charters Howard University, named after General Oliver O. Howard, Commissioner of the Freeman Bureau and the college's first president. The school's early funding comes from the Freedmen's Bureau. From its outset, it was nonsectarian and open to people of both sexes and all races, although it is considered a historically black college. Howard becomes a premier education institution in the black community and plays an important role in civil rights history. It is here that Thurgood Marshall earns his law degree.
• Fourteenth Amendment is ratified making blacks citizens.
• White voters in Iowa pass a referendum granting the franchise to black voters.
• The Klu Klux Klan evolves into a hooded terrorist organization known to its members as "The Invisible Empire of the South." An early influential Klan "Grand Wizard" is Nathan Bedford Forrest, who was a Confederate general during the Civil War.
• The National Convention of Colored Men meets in Washington, D.C., promoting suffrage for all black men and the education of former slaves. Advocacy and for rights continues through the Equal Rights Leagues. The franchise and other privileges are still denied black men in most northern areas.
• Congress approves an amendment to the Reconstruction bill for Mississippi, Texas, and Virginia, requiring those states to ratify the Fifteenth Amendment before being readmitted to Congress.
• New York becomes the first northern state to ratify the Fifteenth Amendment.
• James Lewis, John Willis Menard, and Pinckney B.S. Pinchback, all black men from Louisiana, are elected to Congress and but are never seated.
• The 15th Amendment is passed permitting black men the right to vote.
• Joseph H. Rainey of South Carolina is the first black to be seated in the House. In all, twenty-two blacks are elected to Congress during Reconstruction .There were seven lawyers, three ministers, one banker, one publisher, two school teachers, and three college presidents.
• Hampton Normal Agricultural Institute is founded by Samuel Chapman Armstrong and chartered as one of the first colleges for blacks. It is also a pioneer in educating American Indians. Booker T. Washington is among its early graduates.
• Pennsylvania, the home of the oldest and largest northern free black community at the time of the Civil War and a major center for the abolition movement, grants the franchise to black men after thirty-two years of disfranchisement.
• National Equal Rights League leader, Octavius V. Catto, is assassinated by a white man attempting to discourage black voting in a key Philadelphia election. Catto's funeral is the largest public funeral in Philadelphia since Lincoln's and his death is mourned in black communities throughout the country.
Library Company of Philadelphia
Portrait of Octavius V. Catto, Harpers Weekly 1871
• The last U.S. Congress of the 19th century with bi-racial Senate and House passes the Civil Rights Act of 1875. The law protects all Americans, regardless of race, in their access to public accommodations and facilities such as restaurants, theaters, trains and other public transportation, and grants the right to serve on juries. However, the law is not enforced, and the Supreme Court declares it unconstitutional in 1883.
• Blanche K Bruce, Mississippi Republican, ends his term in the U.S. Senate. He is the last black to serve in the Senate until Edward Brooke, Massachusetts Republican, in 1967. With Reconstruction replaced with segregation, voting rights for blacks cease in many areas and greatly curtailed in others.
• Booker T. Washington begins to work at the Tuskegee Institute and builds it into a center of learning and industrial and agricultural training for blacks.
• Ida B. Wells Barnett begins her campaign against the lynching of blacks, a common practice by white racists and the Klan to instill fear in the black community. She later writes Southern Horrors: Lynch Law in All Its Phases and becomes a tireless worker for women's suffrage.
• W.E.B. DuBois begins his social analysis of the black conditions in Philadelphia. Published in 1899, The Philadelphia Negro becomes a lightening rod for black activism in Philadelphia and other communities around the country.
• Supreme Court establishes 'separate but equal' doctrine with Plessy vs. Ferguson. This law enables the expansion of growing segregation or "Jim Crow" practices across America, with many states codifying segregation in state constitutions and local laws and ordinances. By 1910, every state in the former Confederacy fully establishes a system of legalized segregation and disfranchisement. The country largely embraces the notion of white supremacy, which re-enforce the cult of "whiteness" that predated the Civil War. Northern areas also embrace "Jim Crow" practices, some codified in law.
• George Henry White (North Carolina Republican), the last black to serve in the House of Representatives in the 19th Century, leaves office.
• The Niagara Movement, the first significant black organized protest movement of the twentieth century, is launched in Buffalo, NYNY. It is an attempt by a small yet articulate group of radicals to challenge Booker T. Washington's ideals of accommodation. This militant group was led by W.E.B. DuBois and William M. Trotter.
• A bi-racial group of activist establishes the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in NYCNYCNYC. The founders, Ida Wells-Barnett, W.E. B. Dubois, Henry Moscowitz, Mary White Ovington, Oswald Garrison Villard (a descendant of William Lloyd Garrison) and William English Walling, make a renewed call for the struggle for civil and political liberty. DuBois becomes editor of the organization's publication, Crisis magazine, which presents exposés on conditions and issues in the black community.
• Another bi-racial group of activist establishes the National Urban League to remediate the victimization and deplorable social and economic conditions faced by blacks, who migrated North in hope of better prospects. The organization counsels black migrants from the South, help train black social workers, and works in various other ways to bring educational and employment opportunities to blacks. Its research into the problems blacks faced in employment opportunities, recreation, housing, health and sanitation, and education spurs the League's quick growth with chapters eventually throughout the county.
• Marcus Garvey establishes the Universal Negro Improvement Association, whose motto is 'One God, One Aim, One Destiny'. The UNIA sets up the Negro Factories Corporation (NFC) to help promote economic self-reliance among blacks. Initially in New York City, UNIA branches are opened in other places, including Philadelphia. In 1935 the UNIA headquarters move to London.
• The release of D.W. Griffith's film, Birth of a Nation, which glorifies the Klan and demonizes blacks. The film also inflames race tensions and sets off white attacks on black communities in many areas throughout the United States.
• The Red Summer. Twenty-six documented race riots occur, where black communities across the country are attacked. Hundreds of blacks are killed and even more are injured in these attacks. There is widespread property damage in black neighborhoods. Whites also use lynching as a means to intimidate blacks. In some communities, like the District of Columbia, blacks stand their ground. In the 1920's, riots in Florida and Tulsa destroy the black communities.
• Charles Hamilton Houston, a black graduate of Harvard University Law School, leaves his private law practice to become an associate professor and vice dean of the School of Law at Howard University. In 1932, he becomes dean, a post he holds until 1935. Houston develops an outstanding program in law at Howard, producing many young attorneys who lead the battle to end segregation in public life. Among his students is Thurgood Marshall.
• Oscar DePriest (Illinois Republican) begins term in House of Representatives. He is the last black to serve in the House until the election of William Dawson in 1943.
• Thurgood Marshall leaves private law practice and begins work the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). He heads the NAACP's Legal Defense efforts and works tireless to end segregation, including the landmark case Brown v. Board in 1954. In 1967, Marshall becomes the first black appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court.
• Billie Holiday records "Strange Fruit"??"a haunting song describing lynching. Disturbed by a photograph of a lynching, Abel Meeropol, a Jewish schoolteacher and activist from the Bronx, writes this verse and melody under the pseudonym Lewis Allan. The song increases public recognition of lynching as racist terror. Between 1882 and1968, mobs lynched 4,743 persons in the United States, over 70 percent of them African Americans.
• President Truman issues Executive Order 9808, establishing the President's Committee on Civil Rights to propose measures to strengthen and protect the civil rights. Truman appoints to the Committee leading black civil rights activist, Sadie Alexander, the first black women to earn a PhD and an early leader in the Philadelphia Urban League. Its report, To Secure These Rights, led to Truman's orders to end segregation in the U.S. military and federal Civil Service system. Later in the 1960's President Johnson enlarges Truman's efforts with various civil rights and affirmative action laws to address persistent discrimination.
• Brown v. Board decision declares segregation in public schools illegal.
• The Montgomery Bus Boycott begins on December 5 after Rosa Parks is arrested for refusing to give up her seat to a white man on the bus. This boycott lasts 381 days and ends with the desegregation of the Montgomery, Alabama bus system on December 21, 1956. As a pastor of a Baptist church in Montgomery, Martin Luther King, Jr. leads this black bus boycott and becomes a national hero.
• The Southern Christian Leadership Conference establishes and adopts nonviolent mass action as its cornerstone strategy to gain civil rights and opportunities for blacks. Working initially in the South under the leadership of Martin Luther King, by the mid 1960's King enlarges the organization's focus to address racism in the North.
• King's Letter from Birmingham Jail inspires a growing national civil rights movement. In Birmingham, the goal is to end the system of segregation completely in every aspect of public life (stores, no separate bathrooms and drinking fountains, etc.) and in job discrimination. This same year, he delivers his I Have a Dream Speech on the Washington Mall, which becomes an enduring symbol of King's legacy and influence.
• In Birmingham, a white man is seen placing a box containing a bomb under the steps of the 16th Street Baptist Church, a black congregation. The explosion kills four black girls attending Sunday school. Twenty-three others people are also injured in the blast.
• President Johnson announces the "Great Society" with "abundance and liberty for all", and declares a "War on Poverty." Congress authorizes the Civil Rights Act, the most far-reaching legislation in U.S. history to ensure the right to vote, guarantee access to public accommodations, and the withdrawal of federal funds to any program administered in a discriminatory way.
• Beginning this year, growing frustrations in black communities over urban decay and lack of opportunities erupts into a wave of race riots through U.S. cities, including Los Angeles, Newark (NJ) and Detroit Michigan. The years 1964 to 1971 see more than 750 riots, killing 228 people and injuring 12,741 others. Additionally, more than 15,000 separate incidents of arson leave many black urban neighborhoods in ruins.
• Voting Rights Act is passed, authorizing direct federal intervention to enable blacks to vote.
• Malcolm X is assassinated by members of the Nation of Islam (Black Muslims) in New York City.
• Robert C. Weaver is appointed Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. He is the first black to hold a Cabinet position in U.S. history.
• Edward Brooke (Massachusetts Republican) becomes the first black to serve in the Senate since Reconstruction.
• On April 4, 1968, James Earl Ray assassinates Martin Luther King, while he is standing on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee. In outrage of the murder, many blacks take to the streets in a massive wave of riots across the U.S.
• Congress authorizes the 1968 Civil Rights Act, providing federal enforcement provisions for discrimination in housing. The 1968 expanded on previous acts and prohibited discrimination concerning the sale, rental, and financing of housing based on race, religion, national origin, sex, (and as amended) handicap and family status. This law enabled housing opportunities for blacks beyond the "ghetto."
• On November 4, 2008, Barack Obama is elected President of the United States of America.
This timeline was prepared for NHD Philly!,
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