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.
SOURCE: The Nation
If Football is America's Religion, Jim Brown was its Leading Saint
Dave Zirin, a Brown biographer, says that the hall of famer's complicated politics, advocacy for players in the pre-union era, and mistreatment of women all demand treating his life as a subject of study, not veneration.
SOURCE: Washington Post
Dept. of Ed Charges Georgia Book Removal May Violate Civil Rights
A review by the department's civil rights unit concludes that Forsyth County, Georgia may have created a hostile learning environment for Black and LGBTQ students through its book removal policies.
SOURCE: The Baffler
To Understand America's Failure on Housing Desegregation, Look at the Capital City
by Kaila Philo
With federal support, the private housing market was built around racial segregation. To understand how federal fair housing law and policy adopted since the 1960s failed to undermine it, it's not necessary to venture too far from Capitol Hill.
SOURCE: Wall Street Journal
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.
Bull Connor's Police Dogs Shocked the Nation in 1963, but they were an American Tradition
by Joshua Clark Davis
"In 1963 liberal critics condemned the Alabama city’s K-9 unit as a relic of the Old South. The harder truth to accept, however, was that it was actually a product of a new America."
SOURCE: Washington Post
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.
SOURCE: Religion News Service
Faith Leaders and Scholars on "Letter from Birmingham Jail" 60 Years Later
A recent conference of faith leaders emphasized that King's demand to pursue positive justice applies to many situations today, including the necessity of teaching about the nation's history of racial oppression and struggles for equality.
SOURCE: Mississippi Free Press
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.
SOURCE: Mother Jones
Black Mothers Bet on Themselves and Changed Las Vegas—Can Their Ideas Still Change America?
by Annelise Orleck
A courageous and politically imaginative group of women challenged the most powerful interests in Las Vegas to win better public aid and build an organization for community service and empowerment. A historian explains who they were, how she came to tell their story, and what it means today.
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.
Hollywood Panel Discussion on March on Washington from August, 1936
After the passing of entertainer and civil rights activist Harry Belafonte, watch a discussion on civil rights recorded immediately after the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.
SOURCE: New York Times
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.
SOURCE: Made By History at the Washington Post
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.
SOURCE: Made By History at the Washington Post
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.
SOURCE: Abusable Past
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.
Historian Marc Stein Launches Database Project to Identify LGBTQ Direct Action and Protest
by Marc Stein
A project dedicating to identifying and cataloguing direct protest actions by LGBTQ advocates fills in significant gaps in our understanding of the geography, scope, targets, and demands of protests through the years.
SOURCE: NBC News
SC Barbecue Restaurant With History of Civil Rights Rejection in News Again
In 1964, Piggie Park Barbecue defended its owner's choice no to serve Black customers by claiming racial integration violated his religious beliefs, a claim the Supreme Court later called "patently frivolous."
The Women of the Montgomery Bus Boycott
"It felt like Harriet Tubman's hands were pushing me down on one shoulder and Sojourner Truth's hand on me pushed me down on another one. History had me glued to the seat." – Claudette Colvin
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