Segregation Even though slavery was abolished, and African Americans were given legal status as American citizens. Many still viewed them as second class and went as far as to segregate them into different neighborhoods, schools, public transport, workplaces and restaurants.
On September 4, 1957, nine African American students. Minnijean Brown, Terrance Roberts, Elizabeth Eckford, Ernest Green, Thelma Mothershed, Melba Patillo, Gloria Ray, Jefferson Thomas, and Carlotta Walls were escorted by police to be integrated for the first time ever at Central High School in Little Rock. They were recruited by Daisy Bates who was the president of National Association of Advancement for Colored People(NAACP). Martin Luther King had even written to president Dwight D. Eisenhower to allow the students to attend the school. But fearing the violence worsening the students were rushed home. What Martin Luther King had written to Eisenhower stated that “not taking a stand in this incident would set the idea of integration back fifty years. That is is a great opportunity to fix the mistakes made.” Eisenhower gave in, and ordered troops of the Airborne Division to protect the students as they once again entered the school and it remained that way for the rest of the year. King had written to Eisenhower again showing gratitude for his choices and telling him that many were behind the choices he made. Ernest Green, one of the Little Rock nine, became the first African American to graduate from Central High School. Segregation had spread to more than just schools. the Montgomery Bus Boycott was a famous protest that had been fueled by some quieted cases of bus rules and some famous ones. An African American woman named Irene Morgan had been arrested in Middlesex Virginia
for refusing to move from her seat. She talked to attorneys to get her conviction appealed. When the case was taken to court, they ruled the law she had violated as unconstitutional. On the 25th of February in 1953, after witnessing the protest when the bus fares were raised. Baton Rouge, Louisiana's city parish passed an ordinance known as Ordinance 222. This abolished seating requirements based on race and allowed African Americans to sit in the front rows only if no white passengers were present. But still made blacks enter through the back of the bus. However the city bus drivers went on strike after the ordinance was enforced. Louisiana General Attorney and former mayor Fred S. LeBlanc declared that the ordinance was unconstitutional under Louisiana law. This led to what was believed to be the first ever bus boycott, led by Rev. Jemison. It ended shortly under an agreement that the first two front and back rows were racially reserved seating areas. The method used for segregation on Montgomery buses were that the white passengers boarded the bus and took the seats in the front filling towards the back. The blacks who boarded took the seats in the back rows, filling towards the front and the two rows would meet. If more blacks got on they were suppose to stand, if more whites got on then the blacks in the back rows were suppose to stand to make room for the whites getting on. Often black passenger were suppose to pay at the front, get off, and re enter through the back, and more often than not the drivers would drive off before the black passengers could get on. Rosa Parks, a seamstress and secretary for the NAACP, had been stopped from boarding a bus by James F. Blake, after he had driven off without her on she had vowed to never ride another bus again. But on December 1, 1955 she was sitting in the frontmost row for the black people. when a white man got on and the blacks had to make room for the new passenger. Rosa realized she was sitting on a bus driven by James F. Blake and refused to move from her seat. She arrested under the charges of violating the Jim Crow Laws. Which were laws that made a hierarchy of the whites were the chosen people, and blacks were the ones to serve them. The Laws were ones of social situations, such as a black must never shake the hand of a white male which showed equality between the races, a black was always to have respectful names to call a white person, to never eat before them if they were sitting together, to sit in the back of cars or sometimes even the trunk if they were in a car together. Rosa Parks was found guilty of violating these laws and was charged a 10$ find plus a court find of 4$.
Voting Voting Rights Act, signed by President Lyndon Johnson August 6th, 1965. It was used to overcome the barriers that prevented African Americans their right to exercise their vote under the 15th Amendment.
After the assassination of John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson took over as president after a landslide victory in the presidential race. He used his power and influence to stronger voting right laws. Under his presidency in 1965 and under the Voting Acts, there six African American members in the House of Representatives but none in the Senate. By 1971 there 13 African Americans in the Representatives and one in the Senate. The 15 Amendment does not deny any male the right to vote based on his race or color. But particularly in the South there practices to prevent African Americans from voting. During this movement many Civil rights Activist were treated harshly in the South. One incident was in Selma Alabama when protesters marching for voting rights were to the State Capitol in Montgomery where State troopers met them there. Beating them with night sticks and using tear gas and whips on the ones who didn’t comply to their orders. Several protesters were beaten severely and others ran from the scene. Once this had made its way to Lyndons ears he ordered a televised joint session. In the session he listed some of the ways election officials intentionally denied African Americans to vote, some being that they told the voters that they had gotten the date, time, or place wrong to vote. Or that they didn't fill out the application correctly and didn't have the skills to, often making them take literacy test when it was obvious they couldn't pass it.
The Voting Rights Act was passed by the Senate on May 26, 1965 by a vote of 7719, after a month of debating the bill was passed by Representatives on July 9 with a vote of 33385. with Civil Rights Activists present at the ceremony, Lyndon signed the bill into Law on August 6. Even though the law had been passed, enforcement of the law was weak and very often ignored. Despite that this new Act gave African Americans means to challenge the restrictions of voting and improve voter turn outs for the South.
Citation http://nationalhumanitiescenter.org/tserve/freedom/1917beyond/essays/crm.htm http://mlkkpp01.stanford.edu/index.php/encyclopedia/encyclopedia/enc_little_rock_school _desegregation_1957/ http://www.ferris.edu/jimcrow/what.htm http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irene_Morgan http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Montgomery_Bus_Boycott https://www.aclu.org/timelinehistoryvotingrightsact http://www.history.com/topics/blackhistory/votingrightsact