Bayard Rustin’s Influential March In this paper I will describe the situation African Americans faced in the decades prior to the rise of the Civil Rights Movement in the 1950s and 1960s culminating in the 1963 March on Washington. I will also incorporate Bayard Rustin and how he has influenced this particular civil rights movement. Although largely behind the scenes, Bayard Rustin greatly impacted the civil rights movement in ways far greater than many people today may know. From playing a key role in the organization of the March on Washington, to influencing great activists such as Martin Luther King Jr., Bayard Rustin has shown relentless determination in achieving his goal of civil equality. The sources I am going to use to construct my paper will include both primary sources and secondary sources.
In 1890, the Louisiana Segregated car act was passed which was a law that required all railroad cars to have a “white patrons only” car and a “Jim Crow” car. This meant that it made it equally illegal for a white to sit in the car set aside for Negros as for blacks to occupy seats in a carriage reserved for whites. This eventually became controversial because of mixed families; white fathers would have to sit in white railroad cars while the black mother and the mulatto children would sit in the black train cart. Tourgeé took it upon himself and his committee to challenge the constitutionality of the Separate Car law. After successfully leading a test case in which the Louisiana district court declared forced segregation in railroad cars traveling between states to be unconstitutional, the committee was eager to test Act No.
They enlisted Homer Plessy, who was one-eighth black. The plan was for Plessy to be thrown off the railway car and arrested not for vagrancy, but for violating the Separate Car Act, which could and did lead to a challenge with the high court. The Committee hired a detective to ensure that Plessy was arrested. They chose Plessy because, with his light skin color, he could buy a first class train ticket and, at the same time, be arrested when he announced, while sitting on board the train, that he had an African-American ancestor. The main roots of Plessy v. Ferguson were in part tied to the scientific racism of the era.
One such person was Martin Luther King. Martin Luther King was a renowned Black civil rights campaigner who played a part in several major campaigns such as The Montgomery Bus Boycott and the events that took place in Birmingham in 1963. He helped to get Black Americans equal civil and voting rights. However he was not the only person to help the advancement of black Americans. There were many other civil right groups such as SNCC, who helped organise The Sit-ins of 1960; NAACP, who also aided The Montgomery Bus Boycott; and The Black Panthers, a more Militant group whose main cause was to empower Black people.
(Litwack 7) At the onset of its usage around 1840, the term Jim Crow was used by Abolitionist newspapers when they spoke of separate railroad cars for whites and blacks. The ‘jim crow car’ is where African Americans were forced to sit during train travel, even though they purchased a first class fare, same as the whites. This unappealing car was the one behind the locomotive and usually contained dirt and soot from the engine, all the passengers’ baggage and was utilized by anyone who wanted to smoke. By the 1890’s the term acquired further, more forceful meaning that denoted subordination and separation of black people
SMC 2302-g | African-American Gandhi | Bayard Rustin: Unknown Hero of Civil Rights | | Tyrell Perkins | 11/19/2012 | We need, in every community, a group of angelic troublemakers. – Bayard Rustin | The civil rights movement refers to the reform movement in the United States from 1954 to 1968, led primarily by Blacks, to outlaw racial discrimination against African-Americans. For ten decades after the Emancipation Proclamation, African-Americans in Southern states still lived a rigid, unequal world of deprived rights of citizenship, segregation, and various forms of oppression, including race-inspired violence. The nonviolent protest and civil disobedience were used by the civil rights activists to bring change. Many leaders within the Black community and beyond distinguished during the Civil Rights era, including Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks, Andrew Goodman and leaders of Christian organizations.
The Beginning of the End was struck by the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Reading between the lines of these phases and understanding how they play an important role, not only in African American history, but in American history is the ultimate goal of this paper. The Boy Who Triggered the Civil Right Movement: The Start of the Great Movement There have been many discussions and disputes about the exact start of the Civil Rights Movement. Some believe it began during the Civil War, others believe the Reconstruction period and the ruling of Plessey v Ferguson sparked the
He got on a white-only railroad car, and was arrested when he refused to leave. He first took the case to local and state courts in Louisiana, where they ruled on behalf of the separating. The case was noticed by citizens which helped him to it to the united states supreme court. And the ruling was still with the separation as long as both white and black people had equal protection which stated “separate but equal”. 2.
3 Aug. 2014. The articles author Donna Alvah provides great insight into many of the historical events during the civil rights movement taking place before, during and after the Vietnam War, the article explains many of the social issues taking place and how people stood up and together against the government fighting for fundamental rights every citizen should have. It also lists many dates and locations of the events that took place including Martin Luther King Jr’s speeches prior to his death and the assassination of a sitting US President. Heineman, Kenneth. "The Silent Majority Speaks: Antiwar Protest and Backlash, 1965-1972," Peace & Change 17 (1992): 402-433.
After the Supreme Court ruling, the New Orleans Comité des Citoyens, which had brought the suit and had arranged for Homer Plessy's arrest in an act of civil disobedience in order to challenge Louisiana's segregation law, stated, "We, as freemen, still believe that we were right and our cause is sacred." Background In 1890, the state of Louisiana passed a law that required separate accommodations for blacks and whites on railroads, including separate railway cars. On June 7, 1892, Plessy bought a first-class ticket at the Press Street Depot and boarded a "whites only" car of the East Louisiana Railroad in New Orleans, Louisiana, bound for Covington, Louisiana. The railroad company, which opposed the law on the grounds that it would require the purchase of more railcars, had been previously informed of Plessy's racial lineage, and the intent to challenge the law. As planned, the train was stopped, and Plessy was taken off the train at Press and Royal streets.