Main Idea: African and Mexican Americans won important Civil Rights in the 1950s and 1960s



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Texas History

Fort Burrows

18.2 - The Civil Rights Movement
Main Idea:

African and Mexican Americans won important Civil Rights in the 1950s and 1960s.
Vocabulary:
civil rights - rights due to ALL United States citizens under the Constitution

primary election - is one in which voters choose the candidates

segregation - separation of people by their race

G.I. Forum – group formed to fight against unfair treatment of Mexican-Americans
Setting the Scene: Sweatt v. Painter 1950

Heman Marion Sweatt wanted to attend the law school at the University of Texas. He met all of the qualifications. Yet the school rejected him. It denied him entry because he was African American.

The Texas Constitution required separate schools for white and black students. They were called “separate but equal” systems, but the schools for African Americans were not equal. In Sweatt’s case, he did not have the option to attend a law school for African Americans. There was no such school in the state.

Texas officials realized they were in violation of the state constitution. They quickly created a separate law school. The school did not have its own books. It did not have its own teachers. It was “separate” from the University of Texas law school. But was it EQUAL ?
African Americans in Texas

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