Happy MLK Day! Ashley D. Farmer on Martin Luther King, Jr. and Black Power

Today, in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, we highlight a post written by Ashley D. Farmer, author of Remaking Black Power:  How Black Women Transformed an Era, just published by UNC Press. Remaking Black Power examines black women’s political, social, and cultural engagement with Black Power ideals and organizations. Complicating the assumption… Continue Reading Happy MLK Day! Ashley D. Farmer on Martin Luther King, Jr. and Black Power

Jonathan Scott Holloway: Whose Dream? Whose History?

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. Continue Reading Jonathan Scott Holloway: Whose Dream? Whose History?

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”

Gordon K. Mantler: Remembering that Other March on Washington

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. Continue Reading Gordon K. Mantler: Remembering that Other March on Washington

Gordon K. Mantler: For Latinos, It’s Not All about Immigration

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. Continue Reading Gordon K. Mantler: For Latinos, It’s Not All about Immigration

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

Interview: Randal Maurice Jelks on the Legacy of Benjamin Elijah Mays

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… Continue Reading Interview: Randal Maurice Jelks on the Legacy of Benjamin Elijah Mays

On the MLK Memorial–Celebrating “A Day That Would Not Be Denied”

Here are some beautiful images of the dedication of the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial, as well as a thoughtful meditation by UNC Press author Blair L. M. Kelley on the subject of King’s work and legacy. Continue Reading On the MLK Memorial–Celebrating “A Day That Would Not Be Denied”

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

Laurie Green: Remembering Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Historian Laurie Green reflects on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s support for union organizing on the anniversary of his death. Continue Reading Laurie Green: Remembering Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

A Womanist Reading of “Service: Panel 8—Dr. King and Ralph Abernathy” or “Anna Julia Cooper and Willa Player”

On July 26, a mural named SERVICE was dedicated at UNC’s School of Government in the Knapp-Sanders Building. The mural depicts a gathering of African-American leaders at the counter of a diner, painted by Colin Quashie as a creative interpretation of the historical 1960 Greensboro, North Carolina sit-in. We are featuring each of the eight… Continue Reading A Womanist Reading of “Service: Panel 8—Dr. King and Ralph Abernathy” or “Anna Julia Cooper and Willa Player”

An NAACP Anniversary: Looking Back at Ella Baker

Today, February 12th, 2010, marks the 101st anniversary of one of the nation’s most important organizations, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Because of today’s important nature, we want to focus on someone central to the organization’s success, as well as many more victories in the civil rights movement. Born in 1903,… Continue Reading An NAACP Anniversary: Looking Back at Ella Baker

“Black Men Bearing Freedom” This Weekend in Wilmington

All readers interested in American history should take the coming Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday weekend as an opportunity to head to the Wilmington area for a fantastic panel discussion titled “Black Men Bearing Freedom: U.S. Colored Troops and Their Impact in North Carolina” on January 15th at 6 p.m. Presented by the Fort Fisher… Continue Reading “Black Men Bearing Freedom” This Weekend in Wilmington