Civil Rights Terms

The Dred Scott Decision , was a landmark decision by the United States Supreme Court on US labor law and constitutional law. It held that "a negro, whose ancestors were imported into, and sold as slaves", whether enslaved or free, could not be an American citizen and therefore had no standing to sue in federal court, and that the federal government had no power to regulate slavery in the federal territories acquired after the creation of the United States.
The Emancipation Proclamation was a presidential proclamation and executive order issued by President Abraham Lincoln on January 1, 1863. It purported to change the federal legal status of more than 3 million enslaved people in the designated areas of the South from "slave" to "free”, so they could help in the Civil War. This was not effective in confederate states.
The 13th amendment abolished slavery and involuntary servitude, except as punishment for a crime. passed by the Senate on April 8, 1864, and the House on January 31, 1865. The amendment was approved by the required number of states on December 6, 1865. On December 18, 1865, Secretary of State William H. Seward proclaimed its adoption. It was the first of the three Reconstruction Amendments adopted following the American Civil War. Was not immediately effective because Lincoln had no jurisdiction over confederate states.
The 14th amendment was enacted in July 9, 1868, one of the Reconstruction Amendments. The amendment addresses citizenship rights and equal protection of the laws, and was made in response to issues related to former slaves after the Civil War. African-Americans can become citizens even though they were former members of servitude-slavery. This amendment overruled the Dred Scott decision.
15th Amendment - prohibits the federal and state governments from denying a citizen the right to vote because of that person's race, color, or previous condition of slavery/servitude. February 3, 1870 Though this was very effective it was only a right to men.
Plessy vs. Ferguson- This 1896 U.S. Supreme Court case upheld the constitutionality of segregation under the “separate but equal” doctrine. Segregation is ok as long as both parties have equal accommodations.

Brown v. Board of Education was actually the name given to five separate cases that were heard by the U.S. Supreme Court concerning the issue of segregation in public schools. 1954 Overturned Plessy vs ferguson with education. The issue was that young Linda Brown had to walk too far and through unsafe areas for a 5 year old.
The Montgomery Bus Boycott – African American’s refused to ride the bus as a way of protesting racial segregation, led by Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks. It started in 1955.
Little Rock Nine - nine black students enrolled at formerly all-white Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, in September 1957, testing a landmark 1954 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that declared segregation in public schools unconstitutional.
Sit-ins - a form of protest in which demonstrators occupy a place, refusing to leave until their demands are met. Sit in white only places. It started in February of 1960
Ruby Bridges was the first African-American child to attend an all-white public elementary school in the American South. De-segregation schools were being made open to before segregated African americans. She first attended as a first grader in November 1960.

Freedom Riders – Civil rights activists who rode interstate buses into the segregated south, to protest and challenge laws. They first banded together in 1961.

James Meredith is a civil rights activist who became the first African American to attend the University of Mississippi in 1962.

“I have a Dream” Speech- a speech MLK gave to support African American rights and freedom. He talked about how we can have our rights. And jobs. To educate people on lack of quality in the work force, and unfairness in the workplace. The speech was held in 1963.

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