Southern Strife: A Novel of Racial Tension in the 1960s
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At the same time, southern white resistance to the ending of segregation, with its attendant violence, stimulated a northern-dominated Congress to enact the first civil rights law since , creating the Commission on Civil Rights and prohibiting interference with the right to vote blacks were still massively disenfranchised in many southern states.
Demand for dignity
A second enactment provided federal referees to aid blacks in registering for and voting in federal elections. In , President Kennedy dispatched troops to force the University of Mississippi a state institution to admit James Meredith, a black student. At the same time, he forbade racial or religious discrimination in federally financed housing. Kennedy then asked Congress to enact a law to guarantee equal access to all public accommodations, forbid discrimination in any state program receiving federal aid, and outlaw discrimination in employment and voting. After Kennedy's death, President Johnson prodded Congress into enacting August a Voting Rights Act that eliminated all qualifying tests for registration that had as their objective limiting the right to vote to whites.
The civil rights phase of the black revolution had reached its legislative and judicial summit. Then, from to , more than a hundred American cities were swept by race riots, which included dynamitings, guerrilla warfare, and huge conflagrations, as the anger of the northern black community at its relatively low income, high unemployment, and social exclusion exploded.
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Amazon Advertising Find, attract, and engage customers. The census showed the South is becoming more diverse, and that descendents of African-Americans who migrated North decades ago are now heading South.
For the first time, Greensboro's minorities outnumber white residents, It's a subtle shift, but even after so much progress, it matters. Residents said it could change the political and economic power structure that has long been in place in cities like Greensboro. Decades ago, this city was a catalyst in the civil rights movement.
After 50 years of racial strife: Why is Greensboro still so tense?
Downtown, there's a civil rights museum around the famous Woolworth's lunch counter where four young African-American men staged their historic sit-in protest a half-century ago. It's all miles away from the infamous street where a confrontation between the Ku Klux Klan and communists turned deadly in Despite a changing population and opportunities to learn from its history, racial tensions haven't disappeared in Greensboro, longtime residents say. On the street, residents of Greensboro acknowledge a geographic racial divide between the minority-heavy east side and the mostly white west side.
The once locally dominant industry has been waning for decades, as jobs go elsewhere. Behind the polite, Southern veneer of this city of nearly ,, voters' angry voices rise up in the City Council chamber, linking modern political and budgetary issues to racial divides. It's the same spot where student protesters risked their lives just by sitting at the whites-only lunch counter.
Race and diversity will be the subjects of classes and community discussions at the museum, said Alston, who also serves on the county Board of Commissioners. But the city still has "a long way to go" to achieve racial harmony, he said. It's still coming to terms with its history of protest. The sit-ins ushered in a string of Greensboro demonstrations, including some that turned violent, such as a three-day protest by African-American students in Demonstrators clashed with police after a dispute at an African-American high school, according to Civil Rights Greensboro, a preservation project led by North Carolina's state library and universities.
When it was all over, a college sophomore unaffiliated with the protest had been shot to death, apparently by mistake. Ten years later in , communist demonstrators at a low-income housing project were attacked by armed members of the Nazi Party and the Ku Klux Klan. The event became known as the Greensboro Massacre. Five demonstrators were shot dead.
Survivors accused police of failing to offer proper protection. No one was convicted in the killings, although the attack was captured on TV news film. Nelson Johnson, who survived the attack.
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