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civil rights



  • Is Alito's Plan to Repeal the 20th Century?

    Alito's invocation of Plessy v. Ferguson as a reason to discard precedent is galling because his opinion would destroy the kind of protection under law that Homer Plessy actually sought. 



  • These Books Tell of Change Happening Slowly, then Suddenly

    Historians Lynn Hunt, Adam Hochschild, Kate Clifford-Larse and Keenaga-Yamahtta Taylor are among the authors whose books dig beneath the surface of famous leaders to describe how social movements built the strength to change laws, institutions and ideas. 



  • What Makes Laws Unjust?

    by Randall L. Kennedy

    In Dr. King's time, appraisals of his civil disobedience tactics hinged on how one defined an unjust law, an obstacle that inevitably confronts protest movements in polarized societies.



  • The Radical MLK and a Usable Past

    by Robert Greene II

    "Above all, King’s “usable past” was part of a long tradition of Black Americans claiming a place for themselves in the larger tapestry of American history and memory."



  • Honoring Dr. King's Other, More Challenging Dream, 55 Years Later

    King's famous Riverside Church speech on April 4, 1967 marked the leader's decisive opposition to the war in Vietnam and reflected his moral clarity and willingness to take unpopular positions in the pursuit of justice by calling out racism, capitalism and militarism as three intertwined evils. 



  • The Delicate Balancing Act of Black College Presidents in the Civil Rights Era

    by Eddie R. Cole

    Although Black college presidents were often reluctant to publicly endorse sit-ins for fear of antagonizing segregationist state officials, they often were able to increase opportunity for individual students by lobbying for increases to public scholarship funds that sent Black students out of state to pursue degrees.


  • The Power and Urgency of Public History

    by David M. Chamberlain

    After a tour of the South's historical sites, I maintain a teacher’s optimism that knowledge of our nation’s imperfect past offers us the necessary wisdom to walk ourselves back from the edge of the political ledge on which we are so perilously perched.



  • The History of Tying Up Traffic for Protest

    by David Greenberg

    More militant leaders in the Black freedom movement advocated obstructing traffic on a large scale as an expanded form of nonviolent direct action; the tensions these plans provoked in the movement show that there are seldom clear principles for which movement tactics are legitimate, outside of our opinions of their goals. 



  • CORE's Fight for Fair Housing in Los Angeles

    by M. Keith Claybrook, Jr.

    The fight for fair housing in Los Angeles demonstrates the way that racism has been maintained through the institutions of housing and real estate. 



  • New Documentary Highlights Unsolved Civil Rights-Era Murder

    Black citizens in Natchez, Mississippi secretly organized for community self-defense in 1965, risking certain reprisals from local whites. Wharlest Jackson was killed by a car bomb in an act of intimidation that was never solved. 



  • A Guide to Touring Alabama's Civil Rights Trail

    Two AJC reporters offer a guide to those interested in marking Black History Month with a tour of Alabama's major civil rights sites, memorials and museums. 



  • A Civil Rights Tour of America

    Writer Garrett Martin identifies the key sites on a tour of civil rights history institutions in Atlanta, Alabama, Memphis and Washington. 



  • Teaching Fannie Lou Hamer, Past and Present

    by Nicole M. Gipson

    Keisha N. Blain's biography of the Mississippi freedom activist is an important addition to the literature, but also an excellent roadmap to teaching African American history and its linkages to present struggles for justice.