“Julius Chambers: Child of the Jim Crow South”

The following is an excerpt from Richard A. Rosen and Joseph Mosnier’s Julius Chambers: A Life in the Legal Struggle for Civil Rights. Born in the hamlet of Mount Gilead, North Carolina, Julius Chambers (1936–2013) escaped the fetters of the Jim Crow South to emerge in the 1960s and 1970s as the nation’s leading African… Continue Reading “Julius Chambers: Child of the Jim Crow South”

“Ella Baker and the Black Freedom Movement: Now Who Are Your People?”

The following is an excerpt from Barbara Ransby’s Ella Baker and the Black Freedom Movement: A Radical Democratic Vision. A gifted grassroots organizer, Baker shunned the spotlight in favor of vital behind-the-scenes work that helped power the black freedom struggle. She was a national officer and key figure in the National Association for the Advancement… Continue Reading “Ella Baker and the Black Freedom Movement: Now Who Are Your People?”

Happy Rosa Parks Day: A Recommended Reading List

December 1st, 1955, marks the day civil rights activist Rosa Parks rejected a bus driver’s order, in Montgomery, Alabama, to give up her seat in the “colored” section of the bus to a white passenger, after the whites-only section had already been filled. She was then arrested and convicted of violating the laws of segregation.… Continue Reading Happy Rosa Parks Day: A Recommended Reading List

Jessica Ingram: On the Importance of Historical Markers as a Community Acknowledgment of History

Today we welcome a guest post from Jessica Ingram, author of Road Through Midnight: A Civil Rights Memorial, available now from UNC Press. At first glance, Jessica Ingram’s landscape photographs could have been made nearly anywhere in the American South: a fenced-in backyard, a dirt road lined by overgrowth, a field grooved with muddy tire prints.… Continue Reading Jessica Ingram: On the Importance of Historical Markers as a Community Acknowledgment of History

Silvan Niedermeier: “All These Scars, There and There.” Fighting Forced Confessions in the Pre-1954 South

Today we welcome a guest post from Silvan Niedermeier, author of The Color of the Third Degree: Racism, Police Torture, and Civil Rights in the American South, 1930–1955, out now from UNC Press. Available for the first time in English, The Color of the Third Degree uncovers the still-hidden history of police torture in the… Continue Reading Silvan Niedermeier: “All These Scars, There and There.” Fighting Forced Confessions in the Pre-1954 South

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

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

To Forge a Better NAACP

What happened to the NAACP? It’s odd to think that the venerable and historic National Association for the Advancement of Colored People has been reduced to a talking point in the national media cycle this week. They received national attention in June when the Los Angeles chapter lodged a protest against a Hallmark card with… Continue Reading To Forge a Better NAACP

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