In the 1960s, America made great strides in its effort to provide blacks with equal rights. Violence boiled over into the decade, but several key laws were created and proved to be huge steps toward achieving the goals of the Civil Rights Movement. Grassroots actions like the LCA built momentum for the legislations' passage.
This is a timeline of events in the Civil Rights Movement following the formation of the LCA. Several are key decisions that impact the nation as a whole. A local event was incorporated to illustrate what was going on in Shaker in relation to other national events during the time period. Scroll over dot to view event and click on it for more information.
Excerpt from "The Reunion: Shaker Heights"
Civil Rights Act (1964)
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was a landmark legislation passed in the 1960's. The law prohibited discrimination based on sex, race, religion, or national origin and brought an end to segregation in public places. It also laid the foundations for the Voting Rights Act (1965) and Fair Housing Act (1968).
"In subsequent years, Congress expanded the act and also passed additional legislation aimed at bringing equality to African Americans, such as the Voting Rights Act of 1965."
Fair Housing Act (1968)
The Fair Housing Act of 1968 is the last of three major 1960's legislative achievements of the Civil Rights Movement which provided for equal housing opportunity regardless of race, religion, or national origin.
"Despite Supreme Court decisions, including Shelley v. Kraemer (1948) and Jones v. Mayer Co. (decided in June 1968), barring the exclusion of African Americans or other minorities from certain sections of cities, race-based housing patterns were still in force by the late 1960s, and those who challenged them often met with resistance, hostility and even violence."
Shaker received national praise for its willingness to integrate the community and the success that followed.
"For 30 years Shaker Heights... has made racial integration something of a crusade. It has tried to hold the races together even as they appear alienated outside its borders"
Wilkerson stresses Shaker's peaceful integration while there was a nationwide struggle to do the same during this time.
"Whites in Shaker decided to make the best of it. They tried to figure out a way to prevent a white exodus, to maintain property values and to create a stable, multiracial community. They tried to anticipate white racial fears and defuse them"
Usually during this time period, whites would immediately move out if blacks began to integrate into their neighborhood. Wilkerson highlights the notable number of whites in Shaker who embraced the integration of blacks into their neighborhoods and worked to prevent white flight.
"Shaker... has triumphed where other communities have failed. When middle-class blacks began moving into the community in the 1950s, many whites fled. But others stayed, and many neighborhoods are integrated in a town where 1 out of 4 residents are black. Voluntary busing balances racial makeup in schools"
McKirgan praises Shaker's successful integration in its neighborhoods and schools along with its ability to stop white flight.
"Shaker Heights is proud of its accomplishments- the willingness to integrate [and] the quality of its schools... 'We've taken some stands as a community, and I think we feel good about ourselves,' says one resident"
Shaker residents support their diverse community and school system.