Durham’s ManBites Dog Theater hosts “The Best of Enemies,” a play based on the book by Osha Gray Davidson about the unlikely friendship between a poor white member of the KKK and a poor black civil rights activist in 1960s North Carolina.
Blair L. M. Kelley and Kathryn Cramer Brownell consider the assassination of JFK in the contexts of the civil rights movement, media spectacle, and shifting political structures.
It is fitting that in this 80th anniversary year of the 1933 rally the North Carolina NAACP is once again in the headlines, this time for its leading role in the recent Moral Monday protests at the state legislature.
The modern civil rights movement fought for racial equality and to create an interracial “beloved community.” People in the movement did not make a distinction between action in the schools, the voting booth, or the streets toward those goals. Education was another arena for fighting racism and securing equal resources and opportunity. Seeing school desegregation as an integral part of the civil rights movement reminds us that an equal education is a basic human right that has been fought for but not yet achieved, and that overcoming racism in the classroom as in the community remains a moral imperative. For many local people, like Suzy Post, in Louisville and Jefferson County, the civil rights movement continues because the struggle to protect desegregation and through it achieve educational equity and better human understanding has not yet been won.
Even though the museum recognizes Smith’s protest, if only barely, her protest tells us something valuable about the production of history and the sanctification of certain experiences over others. Here, a single person with a particular set of memories and a determination to remember a figure of such importance as King in a specific way finds herself facing an institution with a public commitment to remembrance that has become her own horror.
It was not just careers that came to an end in Woodrow Wilson’s Washington. African Americans also lost a claim to their legitimacy as American citizens and participants in the national state. Marked as corrupt and untrustworthy, black Americans have struggled ever since to clear their names as honest and trust-worthy citizens, a struggle that continues into our own time.
King’s letter scribbled on the edges of a newspaper is a democratic critique and draws attention to public aspect of faith traditions. In a democracy, faiths must always be self-critical and publicly criticized.
Only during the Poor People’s Campaign did activists of so many different backgrounds—from veterans of the labor and southern civil rights movements to Chicano, American Indian, antiwar, and welfare rights activists—attempt to construct a physical and spiritual community that addressed poverty and broader issues of social justice for longer than a one-day rally.
Many ASCS offices seemed inefficient by nature, but when faced with civil rights challenges, they became adept at purposeful ineptness.
Produced with the cooperation of libraries and archives, the enhanced e-book features twenty letters, photographs, first-person narratives, and other documents, each embedded in the text where it will be most meaningful.
The argument that an endorsement of immigration reform by the GOP—or, for that matter, by many Democrats—will miraculously translate into more votes by Latinos reflects a simplistic understanding of their experience and history.
Produced with the cooperation of numerous individuals and institutions, the enhanced e-book features more than 150 interview excerpts, documents, and photographs, each embedded in the text where it will be most meaningful.
Mays’s own life took him from the nadir of Jim Crow in the Deep South, to the long march of civil rights agitation and education, to the culmination of the Black Freedom struggle in the late 1960s. Long before King began his ministry in Montgomery, Mays had advocated that black churches become centers of civil rights activism, and he was delighted when they nurtured a democratic movement that brought down the walls of racial segregation in the United States.
As a Delta town, Clarksdale typified many movement sites, yet for many reasons it is unique. Clarksdale’s movement was more homespun than in other Delta towns—the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) had its strongest branch there, founded in the early 1950s by local people.
Today is the publication day for Benjamin Elijah Mays, Schoolmaster of the Movement: A Biography, by Randal Maurice Jelks. The book is available in hardcover and e-book. In this interview, Jelks discusses the ideologies and ambitions of Mays, a leader in the civil rights movement and mentor to Martin Luther King Jr. Q: Benjamin Elijah …