civil rights

  • The Targeting of Bail Funds is an old Weapon in the Civil Rights Backlash

    by Say Burgin and Jeanne Theoharis

    Atlanta and Georgia law enforcement's arrest of the leaders of a fund dedicated to securing bail for protesters opposing "Cop City" shows that protest movements have long depended on bailing out activists, and the forces opposed to change have long known it. 

  • New Evidence: Rehnquist Pretty Much OK with Plessy v. Ferguson

    by Richard Hasen and Dahlia Lithwick

    A 1952 memo that Rehnquist wrote defending "separate but equal" was raised during his Supreme Court confirmation hearings and dismissed as work-for-hire. It is now clear that he supported the narrow interpretation of the 14th Amendment that the current court majority hopes to use to undermine civil rights. 

  • MLK: Christian, Radical

    by Jonathan Eig

    Veneration has hollowed out Martin Luther King, Jr.'s legacy, and obscured the way that his political leadership always aimed at radical transformation of American society, argues the author of an acclaimed new biography. 

  • Could Alex Haley's False Quotation of MLK Have Changed History?

    by Peniel E. Joseph

    By exaggerating the conflict between Martin and Malcolm, Haley helped feed a narrative of the two men's approaches to politics as irreconcilable instead of as facets of a more complex struggle for freedom. It has probably helped to push radical demands for justice to the margins. 

  • Alex Haley Fabricated Quotes Portraying MLK as Implacable Critic of Malcolm X, Biographer Finds

    by Gillian Brockell

    Jonathan Eig tracked down a secretary's transcript of writer Alex Haley's interview with Martin Luther King and found that Haley seriously misrepresented King's response to Malcolm's militant approach to the Black freedom struggle, contributing to longstanding misunderstanding of King's views and relationship to other political factions. 

  • Emmett Till Family Responds to Death of Carolyn Bryant Donham

    The Rev. Wheeler Parker Jr., a cousin of the slain youth, expressed regret that no one would be held accountable for the killing, but reminded that there remains a collective accountability for overcoming racial injustice. 

  • FBI Releases Bill Russell's File, Which Includes Allegation of Betting Against Own Team

    The Bureau's file on the late NBA star demonstrates their suspicion of the civil rights movement and disdain for politically engaged Black athletes. It also contains a memo alleging Russell placed a significant wager against the Celtics as player-coach, although many known facts and lack of follow-up make that allegation doubtful. 

  • LBJ was Hoover's Co-Conspirator in the FBI's War on King and Civil Rights

    by Jonathan Eig and Jeanne Theoharis

    Americans have been taught to think of J. Edgar Hoover's efforts to discredit and destroy Dr. King as the work of a singular, personal animus. Recently declassified documents show that President Lyndon Johnson was well aware and supportive of Hoover's efforts, demonstrating the wide resistance of the establishment to challenge. 

  • Will a Grassroots Movement Remake Tennessee—Again?

    by Ansley L. Quiros and Anthony C. Siracusa

    This month's events in the state capitol, culminating in the expulsion of two House members after a raucous gun control protest, recalls Nashville's role as a center in the Black Freedom movement. 

  • What Disney's Orange Bird Logo Says about Corporate Support and the LGBTQ Movement

    by Julio Capó, Jr.

    In the 1970s, Disney was much more willing to tolerate the anti-gay tirades of singer Anita Bryant, which previewed today's "groomer" accusations, because of a lucrative and politically expedient partnership with Florida's orange growers, suggesting movement power, not corporate benevolence, is driving change. 

  • Blaming Atlanta "Cop City" Protests on "Outside Agitators" is Familiar and Shameful

    by Benjamin Stumpf

    Blaming outsiders for grassroots objections to turning valuable parkland over to the police to create an urban warfare training center is an effort to shift blame for violence from police to protesters and to assert that local communities accept the plan. Opponents of civil rights did the same thing.