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In the 1960's civil rights movements were extremely active; in particular, the fight for racial equality was the most prevalent. Groups such as the NAACP, CORE, and SCLC were all groups who advocated the integration of the races and the end of racial inequality.

1960 The sit-in protest movement begins in February at a Woolworth's lunch counter in Greensboro, N.C. and spreads across the nation.
1961 freedom rides begin from Washington, D.C: Groups of black and white people ride buses through the South to challenge segregation. King makes his only visit to Seattle. He visits numerous places, including two morning assemblies at Garfield High School.
1962 Blacks become the majority at Garfield High, 51 percent of the student population - a first for Seattle. The school district average is 5.3 percent. Two killed, many injured in riots as James Meredith is enrolled as the first black at the University of Mississippi.
1963 Police arrest King and other ministers demonstrating in Birmingham, Ala., then turn fire hoses and police dogs on the marchers.
Medgar Evers, NAACP leader, is murdered June 12 as he enters his home in Jackson, Miss. About 1,300 people march from the Central Area to downtown Seattle, demanding greater job opportunities for blacks in department stores.The Bon Marche promises 30 new jobs for blacks.
About 400 people rally at Seattle City Hall to protest delays in passing an open-housing law. In response, the city forms a 12-member Human Rights Commission but only two blacks are included, prompting a sit-in at City Hall and Seattle's first civil-rights arrests. 250,000 people attend the March on Washington, D.C. urging support for pending civil-rights legislation. The event was highlighted by King's "i have a dream" speech.
The Seattle School District implements a voluntary racial transfer program, mainly aimed at busing black students to mostly white schools.
Four girls killed Sept. 15 in the bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama.

1964 Seattle City Council agrees to put together an open-housing ordinance but insists on putting it on the ballot. Voters defeat it by a 2-to-1 ratio. It will be four more years before an open-housing ordinance becomes law.
Three civil-rights workers are murdered in Mississippi.
July 2 - President Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Out of 955 people employed by the Seattle Fire Department, just two were African American, and only one was Asian --- 0.2 and 0.1 percent of the force, respectively. By the end of 1993, the department was 12.2 percent African American and 5.6 percent Asian

1965 Malcolm X is murdered Feb. 21, 1965. Three men are convicted of his murder.
August 6. President Johnson signs the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The act, which King sought, authorized federal examiners to register qualified voters and suspended devices such as literacy tests that aimed to prevent African Americans from voting.
August 11-16:
Watts Riots leave 34 dead in Los Angeles.
1967 Sam Smith elected Seattle's first black city councilman.
1968 Aaron Dixon becomes first leader of Black Panther Party branch in Seattle.
The Rev.
Martin Luther King Jr. is assassinated in Memphis, Tenn., unleashing violence in more than 100 cities.
In response to King's death, Seattle residents hurled firebombs, broke windows, and pelted motorists with rocks. Ten thousand people also marched to Seattle Center for a rally in his memory.
Rally at Garfield High in support of Dixon, Larry Gossett, and Carl Miller, sentenced to six months in the King County Jail for unlawful assembly in an earlier demonstration. Before the speakers were finished, firebombs and rocks were flying toward cars coming down 23rd Avenue. Sporadic riots in Seattle's Central Area during the summer.

1969 Edwin Pratt, executive director of the Seattle Urban League and a moderate and respected African American leader, is shot to death while standing in the doorway of his home. The murder has never been solved.

MARTIN LUTHER KING (include to bear witness)
The most influential and well known of the Black leaders that emerged in the sixties, Dr. Martin Luther King was president of the Southern Christian Leadership Council. He and his followers organized numerous marches, rallies, and strikes to call attention to the systematic discrimination against minorities that was endemic in American society. His belief was in nonviolent confrontation with the authorities and a prodding of external image 400martin_luther_king_jr.jpgthe conscience of the white majority to effect social change. He convinced President Kennedy and later President Johnson to push for legislation to end discrimination and was awarded the Nobel Peace prize in 1964. On April 4, 1968, King was assassinated in Memphis while there to organize a garbage workers strike.

Malcolm X began his real education in a prison library where he was serving time for robbery. Upon his release, he joined the Nation of Islam whose leader Elijah Muhammad preached that the black race was superior to the white, that the white race was inherently evil, and that total separation was the only way to achieve racial equality. Malcolm X rose quickly through the ranks, attracting numerous converts with his fiery oratory skills, organizational abilities, and tireless work. In 1964, disturbed by Elijah Muhammad's accumulation of wealth, Malcolm X left the Nation of Islam and started his own organization, the Organization of Afro-American Unity, which vowed to promote greater harmony among all nationalities and races. He was warned repeatedly that some of his former associates were plotting to kill him, and on February 22, 1965 three men shot him to death as he gave a speech in the Harlem Ballroom.

The Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) was founded in 1942 as the Committee of Racial Equality by an interracial group of students in Chicago-Bernice Fisher, James Robinson, James Farmer, Joe Guinn, George Houser, and Homer Jack. Many of these students were members of the Chicago branch of the Fellowship of Reconciliation (FOR), a pacifist organization seeking to change racist attitudes. The founders of CORE were external image malcolm.jpgdeeply influenced by Mahatma Gandhi's teachings of nonviolent resistance.
CORE provided guidance for action in the aftermath of the 1960 sit-in of four college students at a Greensboro, North Carolina lunch counter, and subsequently became a nationally recognized civil rights organization. As pioneers of the sit-in tactic the organization offered support in Greensboro and organized sit-ins throughout the South. CORE members then developed the strategy of the jail-in, serving out their sentences for sit-ins rather than paying bail. In May of 1961 CORE organized the freedom rides , modeled after their earlier Journey of Reconciliation. Near Birmingham, Alabama a bus was firebombed and riders were beaten by a white mob. Despite this violent event, CORE continued to locate field secretaries in key areas of the South to provide support for the riders.By the end of 1961, CORE had 53 affiliated chapters, and they remained active in southern civil rights activities for the next several years. CORE participated heavily in President Kennedy's Voter Education Project (VEP) and also co-sponsored the 1963 March on Washington . In 1964 CORE participated in the Mississippi Freedom Summer project; three activists killed that summer in an infamous case,James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner, were members of CORE. By 1963 CORE had already shifted attention to segregation in the North and West where two thirds of the organization's chapters were located. In an effort to build CORE's credibility as a black-protest organization, leadership in these northern chapters had become almost entirely black. CORE's ideology and strategies increasingly were challenged by its changing membership. Many new members advocated militancy and believed nonviolent methods of protest were to be used only if they proved successful.As the tactics were being questioned so was the leadership. In 1966, under mounting pressure and with the organization losing members influence and financial support, James Farmer stepped down as National Director and was replaced by the more militant Floyd McKissick. McKissick endorsed the term Black Power and was a much more acceptable leader to the Black community than Farmer was.When McKissick took over, the organization was badly dis-organized and deep in debt. Although McKissick was a charismatic and respected leader, he was unable to turn the organization's finances around. In 1968 he announced his retirement to pursue his dream of building a "Soul City" in North Carolina and Roy Innis who was Chairman of the Harlem Chapter of CORE, replaced him as the National Director.Innis inherited the organization with a completely de-centralized structure, with more than a million dollars in debt and no fundraising mechanism. The organization's fundraising arm--CORE Health, Education & Welfare Fund--had deserted the organization when Farmer left. Innis quickly declared the first order of business was restructuring so that Chapters and field operatives were responsible back to the National Headquarters. Innis also developed a new fundraising arm--CORE Special Purpose Fund--and began to chip away at the organization's debt. Under Innis's leadership, CORE embraced an ideology of pragmatic nationalism and lent its support to black economic development and community self-determination.

The Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s echoed the NAACP's goals, but leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr., of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, felt that direct action was needed to obtain them. Although it was criticized for working exclusively within the system by pursuing legislative and judicial solutions, the NAACP did provide legal representation and aid to members of other protest groups over a sustained period of time. The NAACP even posted bail for hundreds of Freedom Riders in the ‘60s who had traveled to Mississippi to register black voters and challenge Jim Crow policies.
Led by Roy Wilkins, who succeeded Walter White as secretary in 1955, the NAACP cooperated with organizers A. Philip Randolph and Bayard Rustin in planning the 1963 March on Washington.
With the passage of major civil rights legislation the following year, the Association accomplished what external image aa_dubois_naacp_2_e.jpg seemed an insurmountable task. In the following years, the NAACP began to diversify its goals.
Assisting the NAACP throughout the years were many celebrities and leaders, including Sammy Davis Jr., Lena Horne, Harry Belafonte, Ella Baker, an NAACP director of branches who stressed the importance of young people and women in the organization by recruiting members, raising money, and organizing local campaigns; Daisy Bates, NAACP national board member, Arkansas state conference president and advisor to the Little Rock Nine; and NAACP stalwarts like Kivie Kaplan, a businessman and philanthropist from Boston, who served as president of the NAACP from 1966 until 1975. He personally led nationwide NAACP Life Membership efforts and fought to keep African Americans away from illegal drugs.

In 1961 Carmichael became a member of the Freedom Riders. After training in non-violent techniques, black and white volunteers sat next to each other as they travelled through the Deep South. Local police were unwilling to protect these passengers and in several places they were beaten up by white mobs. In Jackson, Mississippi, Carmichael was arrested and jailed for 49 days in Parchman Penitentiary. Carmichael also worked on the Freedom Summer project and in 1966 became chairman of SNCC.
On 5th June, 1966, James Meredith started a solitary March Against Fear from Memphis to Jackson, to protest against racism. Soon after starting his march he was shot by sniper. When they heard the news, other civil rights campaigners, including Carmichael, Martin Luther King and Floyd McKissick, decided to continue the march in Meredith's name.
external image carmichael.jpgWhen the marchers got to Greenwood, Mississippi, Carmichael and some of the other marchers were arrested by the police. It was the 27th time that Carmichael had been arrested and on his release on 16th June, he made his famous Black Power speech. Carmichael called for "black people in this country to unite, to recognize their heritage, and to build a sense of community". He also advocated that African Americans should form and lead their own organizations and urged a complete rejection of the values of American society.
The following year Carmichael joined with Charles Hamilton to write the book, Black Power (1967). Some leaders of civil rights groups such as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and Souther Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), rejected Carmichael's ideas and accused him of black racism.
Carmichael also adopted the slogan of "Black is Beautiful" and advocated a mood of black pride and a rejection of white values of style and appearance. This included adopting Afro hairstyles and African forms of dress. Carmichael began to criticize Martin Luther King and his ideology of nonviolence. He eventually joined the Black Panther Party where he became "honorary prime minister".

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Leroi Jones, who took the Muslim name Amiri Baraka, was one of the most influential of the Beat poets and external image yJOO5DnfDG4R_m.jpgplaywrights. By the mid-sixties, he was promoting separatist ideals and no longer felt he could associate with whites, including his former wife, Hettie, and their children. His writings of this period reflected a militant's perspective and called for a complete separation of the races. Some of the essays in this book include, "Black is a Country," "What does Non-violence Mean," and "The Legacy of Malcolm X and the Coming of the Black Nation." By the early seventies, Jones began to see intolerance and racism in the advocacy of separatism, and his work changed to reflect a new perspective that attempted to unify all races.