1969-1973 -- Unfinished Business of the Civil Rights Movement: Building Community, Local Organizing and the Language of Peace
A decade of dramatic legal victories forever changed the public face of the South. In 1970, not only were all remaining school districts finally integrated, the wizards and henchmen of the Ku Klux Klan began serving time in federal prisons. In southern towns and cities, black people could take their meals in white-owned restaurants, spend the night in motels and hotels, and borrow books from the public library. An atmosphere of violence still pervaded America, even while Americans turned their attention from the Civil Rights Movement to the escalating conflict in Vietnam. Against this background, a few people of faith continued the struggle for social justice and reconciliation.
- 1969: The Supreme Court decision in Alexander vs. Holmes County Board of Education orders the desegregation of Southern schools. (Public school districts could no longer avoid compliance with Brown vs. Board by using the phrase “all deliberate speed” as a stalling mechanism.
- 1969: The W. E. B. Du Bois Institute for African and African-American Research is founded at Harvard University.
- 1969: During a December police raid on his home, Fred Hampton, chairman of the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party, is shot and killed while asleep in bed.
- On February 7, 1970, nineteen students are arrested outside of Plain, Mississippi while demonstrating and handing out copies of “Demands of the Black Community,” drafted by a local pastor and activist named John Perkins.
- “Freedom Summer 1971,” an experiment in activism shared by young, conservative, Californian white evangelicals and militant black students from Michigan is pronounced a failure by program organizer John Perkins.
- 1971: The Rev. Jesse Jackson founds Operation PUSH (People United to Serve Humanity), an influential movement emphasizing African-American economic advancement and education.
- 1971: Fifteen African American members of Congress form the Congressional Black Caucus to present a unified African American voice in Congress.
- 1972 Congress passes the Equal Employment Opportunity Act.
- 1972 On January 25, Shirley Chisholm became the first major-party African-American candidate for President of the United States and the first woman to run for the Democratic presidential nomination.
Quotes from interviews associated with this scene are listed below. To see excerpts from interview transcripts, click on the associated Excerpts link below each quote.
Find below primary and secondary resources located in the Project on Lived Theology's Civil Rights Archive associated with this Scene. Click on a title to see the full record.