Nonviolence was the key to tactical victories won in this era. And the Constitution of the United States was the anchor that provided guarantees that non-violent tactics were legally defensible to provide the gains necessary. People were willing to violate local laws because they believed they answered to a higher law, the Constitution. Students should become aware of the hardships faced by people who were willing to risk job and home and even life to win the prize of justice, self-respect and fair treatment. What gains were made during this decade of marches, meetings, jailings, sit-ins and freedom rides?
My unit presents five themes, in the context of barriers to overcome:
A. SOCIAL ...view middle of the document...
In Nashville things got violent and courts there upheld the segregation statutes. National attention focused on the movement. In 1960, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) was formed, with a resulting shift in power from the older, more conservative legal approach to a more direct challenge to confront the enemy where he was.
POLITICAL AND LEGAL BARRIERS (con’t).
Victory in Nashville in 1960 promoted sit-ins in over one hundred Southern cities.
Freedom Rides began a year later, following a Supreme Court decision to integrate interstate bus terminals. Freedom Riders were mauled in Birmingham and Montgomery in May, 1961, which resulted in President Kennedy sending federal marshals to Alabama. Arrests followed. So did black voter registration drives throughout the South. The political education process continued.
D. HATE BARRIERS.
Martin Luther King went to Birmingham in 1963, calling it the most thoroughly segregated city in the United States. Improving conditions notwithstanding, King engineered a campaign which resulted in massive demonstrations...