How the US Civil Rights Movement Inspired Australian Civil Rights campaigners

Adam Dunstan
Mind Map by Adam Dunstan, updated more than 1 year ago
Adam Dunstan
Created by Adam Dunstan about 5 years ago
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How the US Civil Rights Movement Inspired Australian Civil Rights campaigners

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How the US Civil Rights Movement Inspired Australian Civil Rights campaigners
1 Leaders
1.1 Martin Luther King Junior

Annotations:

  • -Peaceful protest leader -Spoke I have a dream speech at the 'March On Washington'
1.2 Charles Perkins
1.3 Mary Bennett and Anthony Martin

Annotations:

  • An Australian woman named Mary Bennett was influenced by Anthony Martin Fernando, an Aboriginal man from Sydney (who was influenced by the American Civil Rights movement), who left Australia in disgust and travelled to Europe to write and talk about the status of Aboriginal people in Australia. In the 1920's he stood outside Australia House in London wearing a coat covered in toy skeletons. His message was that this is what the Australian government has done to his people. He wasn't well received and he died in a home for destitute old men in London. Mary heard him talk and decided that she had to do something. She travelled from England back to Kalgoorlie in WA, and began to campaign for Aboriginal rights.   
2 Events
2.1 Freedom Rides

Annotations:

  • In the spring of 1961, a group of black and white college students began a trip around the U.S.A from Washington D.C to Jackson Mississippi, to challenge racial segregation faced in America at the time. When the bus finally arrived in Mississippi, they were violently approached by a group of white supremacists, including the KKK. The bus was bombed, but the bus rides succeeded in the abolition of bus segregation. Although other things such as, water fountains and public toilets, were still separated.   
2.2 Freedom Rides

Annotations:

  • In February on 1965, a group of university students attending the University of Sydney, created the group SAFA, which stood for: Student Action For Aborigines. They decided to ride a bus from Sydney to Perth to raise awareness for the living standards, health and education of aboriginal people. One of the leaders, Charles Perkins, was inspired by the success of the U.S Freedom bus rides.  
2.3 March on Washington

Annotations:

  • On August 28, 1963, more than 200,000 Americans gathered in Washington, D.C., for a political rally known as the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. Organized by a number of civil rights and religious groups, the event was designed to shed light on the political and social challenges African Americans continued to face across the country. The march, which became a key moment in the growing struggle for civil rights in the United States, culminated in Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, a spirited call for racial justice and equality.
2.4 The Day of Mourning

Annotations:

  • The Day of Mourning was a protest held by Aboriginal Australians on 26 January 1938, the sesquicentenary of British colonisation of Australia
2.5 Wave Hill Walk Off

Annotations:

  • In August 1966, Aboriginal pastoral workers walked off the job on the vast Vesteys' cattle station at Wave Hill in the Northern Territory. At first they expressed their unhappiness with their poor working conditions and disrespectful treatment. Conversations between stockmen who had worked for Vesteys and Dexter Daniels, the North Australian Workers' Union Aboriginal organiser, led to the initial walk off. The next year the group moved to Wattie Creek, a place of significance to the Gurindji people. They asked Frank Hardy to 'make a sign' which included the word 'Gurindji', their own name for themselves. Their disaffection was deeper than wages and working conditions. Although these stockmen and their families could not read, they understood the power of the white man's signs. Now their name for themselves, written on a sign, asserted a claim to Gurindji lands.
2.6 Sit-ins
2.7 Sit-ins

Annotations:

  • One day in late February 1965, nearly 30 university students rode into a small, segregated town looking to make trouble. For in this community, people of color were served last, forced to sit in the front row at theaters and forbidden to swim in public pools or try on apparel at clothing stores. As part of a two-week campaign against racism and legal discrimination, the interracial group of so-called “Freedom Riders” invited children of different races to swim with them in the public pool — to the great dismay of local white residents. Days earlier, the 29 students had been run out of another town for protesting outside a club for ex-servicemen that denied membership to former servicemen of color. Whites pelted them with eggs, shouted insults and fought with them. At least one of the Freedom Riders was knocked to the ground. These events might sound reminiscent of civil rights protests in the Deep South, but they actually took place nearly 10,000 miles away in Australia — a nation with a long history of racism and pernicious violence against the dark-skinned indigenous people who had lived there for more than 40,000 years before European settlers arrived in the late 1700s. For more than 150 years, European settlers displaced and murdered aborigines and destroyed their communities. Throughout much of the early 20th century, indigenous children were forcibly taken from their parents and sent to live with white families, foster homes or boarding schools designed to culturally assimilate them. Many others were forced to live on reservations. Like blacks in America, indigenous people were treated as second-class citizens and had limited access to quality housing, jobs and a good education. Before the late 1960s, indigenous people did not have the right to vote and were not even included in the census. During the middle 1960s, student activists at the University of Sydney — one of Australia’s most prominent higher education institutions — decided to challenge the status quo. Inspired by John Lewis of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee — and the interracial Freedom Riders who risked their lives to defy Jim Crow laws in the Deep South — the Sydney activists’ two-week “freedom ride” gained considerable attention and marked a major turning point in race relations in Australia. Historians say it led to a yes vote in a 1967 referendum about whether to include native Australians in the census count. It also raised awareness and forced the government to take steps to integrate Aborigines into mainstream Australian society, give them access to opportunities and eliminated legal racial discrimination. Like blacks in America, indigenous people continue to grapple with the legacy of centuries of racism and oppression. Infant mortality is two and a half times higher among Aborigines. Their unemployment rate is three times higher than that of the general population, they are less likely to complete their schooling, and they comprise 20 percent of the prison population, even though they are less than five percent of the population. Starting next month, much more attention will be focused on the bravery of the “Bloody Sunday” marchers who 50 years ago attempted to trek from Selma to Montgomery to protest laws that denied blacks the right to vote. And that is as it should be. But in celebrating the landmark accomplishments of the marchers in Alabama, this also is an appropriate time to reflect on the impact of the civil rights movement — not just in the United States, but around the world. This is an appropriate time to reflect on the hope that activists inspired among oppressed racial, ethnic and religious minorities around the world, including Catholics in Northern Ireland, blacks in Rhodesia, Dalits in India, all people of color in South Africa and indigenous people in Australia. Around the world, much is made of America’s “founding fathers,” a group made up largely of slave owners who balked at entrusting democracy to the masses and who believed voting rights should be the exclusive preserve of property-owning white males. Maybe we ought to consider spending more time paying homage to the men and women who in the last 60 years pushed America to live up the letter of its Constitution — and, in so doing, inspired and helped change the rest of the world.
3 Strategies
3.1 Peaceful Protests

Annotations:

  • -Freedom rides, sit-ins and The March On Washington
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