Bree’s Civil Right Propaganda Analysis.

  1. Ideology/Purpose
  • The ideology of the civil rights campaign was that African Americans deserved the same rights as the white citizens. The African Americans felt that their skin color should not play a part in their rights as an American citizen. They believed that they should not have to give up their seat on a bus, go to different schools, drink out of separate fountains, or eat in different restaurants. The ideology was that peaceful protest would be the route to African American freedom. The civil rights campaign reflects the African Americans perspective, and reshapes the white’s existing ideology. The propaganda uses a lot of hate speech from the whites against the blacks to appeal to the reader’s emotions.
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  1. Context
  • There were many parties involved in civil rights propaganda. The two main parties involved were The Black Nationalism and the Nonviolence. The Black Nationalists were a violent and radical group that provided propaganda during the civil rights movement. The Nonviolence group was the rest of the people advocating for the civil rights of African Americans without violence. The freedom and rights of African Americans were at stake in the 1960’s movement. The propaganda shows the suffering of the African Americans as well as the demands that they want met.
  • In the 1960’s there were a lot of events going on that prompted the outbreak of the civil rights movement, and the propaganda that followed. One of the major events that prompted this movement was the passing of the Jim Crow laws. The ruling of Plessy V. Ferguson as well as many other court cases. The government was not interfering with segregation. They were instead making it a policy that segregation was okay, as long as each race was equal.
  1. Identifying Propagandist
  • Trying to figure out who has the money in this case is a little more difficult than discovering who has the motive. The African Americans have the most to gain by the civil rights propaganda. They are the ones speaking out to the public and they were the ones that had a different ideology than the rest of America. The propaganda supported the ideology that regardless of the color of your skin, you should have the same rights and freedoms.
  1. Structure
  • The main goal of this movement was to get the government to take action against the racial segregation in America. They believed that the color of their skin did not define them, but what was within. The African Americans believed that they were entitled to the same rights that everyone else was. The Black Panthers were a major source of propaganda for this movement. They were a part of the Black Nationalism. They used more violence and more emotional propaganda to persuade the other African Americans to stand up and fight for what they believed in, as well as reshape the existing ideology of America. The members of this propaganda movement were the citizens of America that believed everyone should have equal rights.
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    • Audience/Media
  • The audience being targeted is the government and people that believed racial segregation was justified. The propaganda was distributed through the television, radio broadcasts, posters, and news media. These different sources of advertisement reached different audiences.
  • The newspaper articles appealed to the older generations, because they are the people that read the newspaper.
  • Whereas the posters (such as the one below) appealed to the eyes of children and younger generations. Younger generations are often more visual learners and see pictures better than words. Often times the posters were cartoons that were supposed to be ironic and funny. For instance this elephant cartoon was used to make fun of the segregationists and their inconsistency with American ideals.
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  • The radio broadcasts appeal to men that were at work. Not only were there radio broadcasts, but there were protest songs. These songs served as another way to draw in people. The songs were all sung by African Americans, many who were former slaves. Several songs were written about freedom. Hollis Watkins wrote a song titled “Oh Freedom” and the chorus goes “No segregation, no segregation, no segregation, over me, over me”. This was only one of the many songs that was written in the 1960’s black civil rights era. The songs were written to be songs of prayer, as well as catchy. They were catchy so that everyone that heard them would remember them. Below is the full song by Hollis Watkins that served as a propaganda source.
  • Television broadcasts were played throughout the country, not just in the south. Everyone in America was reached with these broadcasts, therefore anyone who agreed with racial segregation could be persuaded.
  1. Media Utilization Techniques
  • The media utilization techniques were not very clear in the civil rights propaganda.
  1. Audience Reaction
  • Many of the reactions to the movement were negative. The current ideology was that African Americans were less than the whites. The journal editors and publishers were mainly white people. Therefore, they did not agree with the propaganda that the African Americans were portraying.
  • “It could easily have worked to perpetuate and defend segregation. White businessmen owned and controlled the television stations across the South” many of the television stations were controlled by the white men. They chose to not air many of the propaganda commercials, news articles, posters, videos, and songs. They chose to air the counter propaganda.
  • One of the main reactions that came about through the audience was fear. The people had a strong people that if the civil rights activist’s propaganda managed to change society, their lives would change. It was a common belief/myth that the African Americans would rise up and take over the country, in order to seek revenge against the former slave owners. They also feared the jobs in their business’. Prior to this movement, the African American’s were hardly allowed to own land. They were only allowed the jobs that no one else wanted. They were even forced to sit in the back of the bus. The rest of society was used to this and feared what could happen if this was changed.

a.) Ideology and purpose of the campaign

  • The Ideology of the segregationist campaign was to reinforce the existing ideologies of the era of before the 1960’s. The whites in America had an existing ideology that they were superior to the colored people. They believed that the African Americans were disgusting and a lesser part of society. They did not believe that they should all have the same rights. The purpose of this campaign was to not let the African Americans be integrated in to the schools, or have the same rights as the whites did.

b.) Context

  • There were many parties involved in the anti-civil rights movement. One of the most well-known anti-civil rights propagandists and radical groups during this time was the KKK. The Ku Klux Klan had posters hanging all over the southern states in order to strike fear in to the African American population. The KKK also in older times would hang African Americans, and execute them. They had many videos and were broadcasted through the television.
  • A majority of the counter propagandists went unknown. They were the people in charge of journals and television.
  • The main thing that kept their ideology from remaining superior was the propaganda and riots of the African American Civil Rights Movement. Although segregationists were using propaganda to support their ideology, they were being beaten by the African American civil rights activists.
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c.) Identifying the counter propagandist

  • The people who had the most to lose were the people in power. If the African American’s were allowed to vote, they could potentially elect them out of office. The other people that had a lot to lose were businesses. With the African Americans being allowed to have any position at any place of business, it would be more of a competition for the higher up jobs. These were the same people that had the money and resources to broadcast and promote the anti-civil rights propaganda.If the civil rights activist’s propaganda worked and forced the government to integrate society, the segregationists would no longer be superior, this threatened a lot of people. This forced many white men to promote propaganda to keep things same.anti-civil-rights1

d.) Structure

  • The goals of the segregationists are simply to keep things the same. They want whites to remain superior to the African American community. They do not want to drink out of the same water fountain or eat at the same restaurant with them. They do not want their children going to school with African American children. They wanted the ideologies to remain the same as they had for all the years prior in American history.

e.) Audience

  • The audience was both the segregationists and the civil rights activists. The segregationist’s propaganda was used to scare the civil rights activists. But it was also used to remind the segregationists of what they have to lose and what they are fighting for. The propaganda was used to make the African American community look like less than they were. The anti-civil rights leaders used degrading words and hate speech to discourage the African Americans, but also empower the whites.

f.) Media

  • The counter propagandists used several forms of media to display their ideologies. The biggest way they displayed their propaganda was through the television and through the journals/newspapers.
  • Due to the fact that African Americans were not allowed to hold jobs of high position, the white men were in charge of the journals, newspapers, radios, and television. The segregationists would often publish and broadcast things that contained their ideology. The media in the 1960’s (especially the television) was new, therefore it was easy to broadcast censored and biased things. They would often air the KKK storming through places in order to insight fear into the eyes of the viewer. They would play videos of an African American being violent and would talk about how the African Americans were animals and did not deserve the same rights as the white people did.
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  • Photos like these were posted and aired on television in order to portray African Americans as dangerous and Animalistic.
  • This is an example of the propaganda that was used to help boost the morale of the segregationists.

g.) The Techniques for the counter propaganda were not very clear.

h.) Audience Reaction

  • The segregationists responded happily to the propaganda, it appeared to help withhold their ideology and create a higher morale. Whereas the anti-segregationists responded negatively. They began producing more of their propaganda.
  • The industries began being less bias and the news started to broadcast all aspects of the movement. They began portraying the propaganda and counter propaganda.
  1. Evaluation
  • Due to the protest and vast amounts of propaganda, the government interfered and created new laws. The laws integrated the African Americans in to the American society. No longer were they “separate but equal”. They were now considered just equal. Although it took many years for them to actually be equal. After the 1960’s the African Americans were allowed to have any job they wanted. They were also able to attend any school they wanted. One of the most drastic changes that happened during this era is they had all the same constitutional rights as the whites did.
  • Based on the results in 2016 we can conclude that their propaganda movement was a success and their basic goals were achieved. Our media and society argues that African Americans are still not viewed as highly as the white male. There is current propaganda that supports this ideology. Based on this information we could argue that the goals on the 1960’s propaganda was not completely met. But at the time, they just wanted the government to intervene and stop segregation, these goals were met.
  • The ideological perspective greatly shifted from the 1960’s to present day. When we look at the segregationists propaganda against the civil rights activists, we are disgusted. When people learn about all slavery, and the lives of the African Americans before the 1960’s they are upset and hurt. No longer does America view the African American community as animals or as the entire community is violent. America does not force them to drink or eat at separate locations. Interracial couples have become an acceptable and normal part of life. Due to the propaganda of the 1960’s civil rights activists, we now have a completely different perspective on the African American community.


Works Cited

English Online. (n.d.). Retrieved November 15, 2016, from

Explore Civil Rights Icons. (n.d.). Retrieved November 15, 2016, from

Philosophies and Strategies of the Non-Violence and Black Power Movements. (n.d.). Retrieved November 15, 2016, from
Rampton, S. (2005, September 21). Jim Crow Propaganda. Retrieved November 15, 2016, from


SHAWKI, A. (2006, February). Roots of the Civil Rights Movement. Retrieved November 15, 2016, from

(2015). How Racist Propaganda Was Used To Subjugate Black People. Retrieved November 15, 2016, from

Television News and the Civil Rights Struggle: The Views in Virginia and Mississippi. (n.d.). Retrieved November 15, 2016, from


























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