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Civil Rights (The Atlantic, 6/16/20)
A segregated drinking fountain in North Carolina (Getty)
Martin Luther King Jr.’s Protest Against a Racist Court System
(Martin Luther King Jr., 1958) On Easter Sunday in 1958, the civil-rights leader led a “prayer pilgrimage” in Montgomery, Alabama, to protest the inequality of a young man's death sentence.
Must We Hate?
(Archibald Macleish, 1963) “What the mob at Oxford hated was the intolerable idea that this different human being should claim a manhood equal to their own.”
Letter From Birmingham Jail
(Martin Luther King, Jr., 1963) We will reach the goal of freedom in Birmingham and all over the nation, because the goal of America is freedom.”
A Freedom Budget for All Americans
(Philip Randolph and Bayard Rustin, 1967) “A Freedom Budget for All Americans” proposed spending billions of federal dollars to provide jobs and basic welfare to all citizens.
Death at an Early Age (Pt 1)
(Jonathan Kozol, 1967) Countless sociological studies and official reports have described the dreadful condition of the nation's ghetto schools in abstract terms, but the general public has no concrete idea of what goes on inside them. Jonathan Kozol recounts his experience as a teacher in the Roxbury section of Boston.
Where Ghetto Schools Fail (Pt 2)
(Jonathan Kozol, 1967) In this second of a two-part series on ghetto schools, the author, a thirty-year-old Harvard graduate and novelist, describes the sequence of events that led to his dismissal from one of Boston’s Roxbury schools—for bringing into his classroom reading materials he felt bridged the gap between the ghetto environment of his pupils and the prejudices and irrelevancies of their antiquated textbooks.
(Stokely Carmichael and Charles Hamilton, 1967) The tragedy of our exploding ghettos has historical roots in the false expectations of the Reconstruction era, as well as in the refusal of American citizens to sense the frustration and violence gathering in the slums. Stokely Carmichael and Charles Hamilton trace this legacy.
The Crisis In American Cities
(Martin Luther King, Jr., 1967) Martin Luther King Jr. on what sparked the violent urban riots of the “long hot summer” of 1967
School Districts Still Face Fights—and Confusion—on Integration
(Nikole Hannah-Jones, 2014) 60 years after Brown v. Board, the federal government’s enforcement of desegregation has all but disappeared.
Freedom Summer, 1964: Did It Really Change Mississippi?
(Nikole Hannah-Jones, 2014) A reporter's journey south in search of her roots and the nation's history
King Wanted More Than Just Desegregation
(Eve L. Ewing, 2018) The civil-rights activist’s vision for education was far grander than integration alone. How disappointed he would be.
The Civil-Rights Movement’s Generation Gap
(Bree Newsome, 2018) Activist Bree Newsome on bridging the divided perspectives of the young and old.
Coretta Scott King and the Civil-Rights Movement’s Hidden Women
(Jeanne Theoharis, 2018) She was far more than her husband’s helpmate, but along with many other leaders of the era, her leadership was hidden in plain sight.
King’s Message of Nonviolence Has Been Distorted
(Dara T. Mathis, 2018) In order to evaluate what Martin Luther King Jr.’s stance of nonviolence has contributed to our current view of protest, it bears noting that the concept of his nonviolence has been flattened.
Is King All That We Are Allowed to Become?
(Mychal Denzel Smith, 2018) Americans both black and white often use the civil-rights leader’s memory more to chide black youth than to inspire them.
Rep. John Lewis
"John Lewis was militant and gentle, a fighter and a peacemaker, brave and self-effacing, confident and humble. He was a listener whom others wanted to hear. He was a man of infinite faith and hope who nonetheless saw and experienced the profound shortcomings, even evils, of our world and our country. He was a partisan when he needed to be, but a unifier at all times." Washington Post, 19 June 2020. Representative John Lewis died on 17 June 2020.