The Best of Enemies Movie Adaptation

The Best of Enemies: Race and Redemption in the New South by Osha Gray Davidson will be adapted into a movie starring Sam Rockwell and Taraji P. Henson. Filming began in May 2017, so grab your copy before seeing the movie. Continue Reading The Best of Enemies Movie Adaptation

Sarah Caroline Thuesen: The North Carolina NAACP: 80 Years at the Forefront of Struggles for Equality

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. Continue Reading Sarah Caroline Thuesen: The North Carolina NAACP: 80 Years at the Forefront of Struggles for Equality

Tracy K’Meyer: The Ongoing Struggle for Civil Rights in Schools

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. Continue Reading Tracy K’Meyer: The Ongoing Struggle for Civil Rights in Schools

Randal Maurice Jelks: Remembering “Letter from a Birmingham Jail”

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. Continue Reading Randal Maurice Jelks: Remembering “Letter from a Birmingham Jail”

Excerpt: Dispossession, by Pete Daniel

Many ASCS offices seemed inefficient by nature, but when faced with civil rights challenges, they became adept at purposeful ineptness. Continue Reading Excerpt: Dispossession, by Pete Daniel

Excerpt: Benjamin Elijah Mays, Schoolmaster of the Movement, by Randal Maurice Jelks

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. Continue Reading Excerpt: Benjamin Elijah Mays, Schoolmaster of the Movement, by Randal Maurice Jelks

Excerpt: Crossroads at Clarksdale, by Francoise N. Hamlin

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. Continue Reading Excerpt: Crossroads at Clarksdale, by Francoise N. Hamlin

Happy Birthday, Nina Simone

“My work completely takes all my energy,” Nina said later, “but when there are kids who come backstage afterward who want to talk, or who are moved to the point sometimes, they’re moved to tears and want to know more about it, they shake my hand and kiss me and want to talk about their problems, I find the time to do so.” Continue Reading Happy Birthday, Nina Simone

Jason Morgan Ward: The Short Distance from Civil War to Civil Rights

This year marks two momentous and inseparable moments in the history of American race relations: the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War and the 50th anniversary of the Freedom Rides. That most commemorations of the former have neglected to mention the latter reveals a nagging reluctance to connect too directly the Civil War and the modern civil rights movement. But for white southerners in the mid-20th century, the link between Civil War and civil rights was crystal clear. Continue Reading Jason Morgan Ward: The Short Distance from Civil War to Civil Rights

Rebecca de Schweinitz: More Than Martin Luther King Jr.’s Dream

Rebecca de Schweinitz looks at the many people who share Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s vision as we approach the 48th anniversary of the March on Washington. Continue Reading Rebecca de Schweinitz: More Than Martin Luther King Jr.’s Dream

The Story of SERVICE, Part 2

On July 26, a mural entitled SERVICE was dedicated at UNC’s School of Government in the Knapp-Sanders Building. The mural depicting a gathering of African-American figures from throughout North Carolina’s history seated at the counter of a diner was painted by Colin Quashie as a creative interpretation of the historic 1960 Greensboro, North Carolina sit-in.… Continue Reading The Story of SERVICE, Part 2

Behind the Scenes: Archiving the Photographs of Billy Barnes

We welcome a guest post today from Patrick Cullom, an archivist at Wilson Library on the UNC campus, who has a special connection to the new book by Robert Korstad and James Leloudis, To Right These Wrongs: The North Carolina Fund and the Battle to End Poverty and Inequality in 1960s America.–ellen Last month I… Continue Reading Behind the Scenes: Archiving the Photographs of Billy Barnes

Rand Paul and Segregation

It seems as though Rand Paul, the Republican candidate for the United States Senate from Kentucky, son of Texas congressman Ron Paul, and self-proclaimed representative of the Tea Party movement, has some serious difficulty explaining his approach to questions of race and civil rights. During an appearance on MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Show, Paul started by… Continue Reading Rand Paul and Segregation

‘Change Comes Knocking’ to air on WUNC-TV tonight

Tonight at 10 p.m. on WUNC-TV will be the broadcast premiere of the documentary film Change Comes Knocking: The Story of the NC Fund. The film explores a bold, biracial initiative to fight poverty in 1960s North Carolina. The anti-poverty project known as the North Carolina Fund is also the subject of a new book… Continue Reading ‘Change Comes Knocking’ to air on WUNC-TV tonight

The Long Civil Rights Movement conference videos now online

Last summer Rachel blogged about a new Mellon-funded project aimed at sharing scholarship on the civil rights movement. Last month, Publishing the Long Civil Rights Movement (LCRM) sponsored a wildly successful conference here at UNC to discuss the project and possibilities for scholarly collaboration. LCRM director Sylvia Miller described the conference this way: All of… Continue Reading The Long Civil Rights Movement conference videos now online

Ella Baker Tour – SNCC alums to visit Durham

The Ella Baker Tour and Retreat, sponsored by the Southern Anti-Racism Network (SARN), is inspiring a wave of intergenerational dialogue and cooperation between veterans of the Civil Rights Movement and a new generation of social justice activists. The SARN website explains the tour’s origins this way: Social change movements led by people of African descent… Continue Reading Ella Baker Tour – SNCC alums to visit Durham

New Project Aims to “Publish the Long Civil Rights Movement”

Cool activist-esque things to do through the years: early 1960s: register African American voters in the South; late 1960s: protest Vietnam War/attend large-scale concert in upstate New York; 1970s: burn bra while reading Erica Jong; 1990s: wear a red ribbon on an expensive tuxedo; 2008: get involved in the electoral process. Considering the upcoming election… Continue Reading New Project Aims to “Publish the Long Civil Rights Movement”