President Carter & Black Music

Black Music Association Remarks at a White House Dinner Honoring the Association. June 7, 1979   How many of you know what month this is? Somebody said June. Right on! This is Black Music Month. As you know, the purpose of the Black Music Association is to preserve, protect, and perpetuate black music on an international basis. And the time to do it on an international basis is right now at the White House, the …

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Brown v. Board of Ed.

The United States Constitution guarantees its inhabitants liberty and equal opportunity. Historically, however, these fundamental rights have not always been provided as pledged. The American system of education is one such example. From the earliest times in American history, the U.S. educational system mandated separate schools for children based solely on race. In many instances, the schools for African American children were substandard facilities with out-of-date textbooks and insufficient supplies. Court cases against segregated schools …

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Thurgood & the Team

Attorneys representing the Plaintiffs in the landmark United States Supreme Court case of: Oliver L. Brown et al v. Board of Education of Topeka, Shawnee County, Kansas   Thurgood Marshall, Chief Counsel, NAACP/Legal Defense Fund (July 2, 1908 – January 24, 1993); One of America’s premier attorney’s, Thurgood Marshall was born in Baltimore, Maryland, he was a great-grandson of a slave. Marshall at the age of 32 won a case before the U.S. Supreme Court. …

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Robert L. Carter, Desegregation Architect

“In the United States, we make progress in two or three steps, then we step back, and blacks are more militant now and will not accept second-class citizenship as before.” – Robert L. Carter. The above quote was given to the New York Times in 2004 by one of America’s leading legal minds, practicing law in primarily human rights, civil rights an First Amendment cases. Robert L. Carter was a graduate from Columbia Law School, …

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America’s Missing Black Men

One and a half million Black Men are missing. For nearly 50 years, census data has shown alarming statistics for cities throughout the United States that have had a dramatic disappearance of African-American males. A recent report by the New York Times targets three main reasons for the substantial disproportionate gap in genders in the African-American community. The New York Times report in a section called “The Upshot” (April 20, 2015). Staggering information regarding missing …

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Homer Plessy’s Legacy

Homer Plessy was an Octoroon, he was also a soldier in the war for African-American civil rights. That war began before the Civil War and before Homer Plessy challenged the segregation laws in Louisiana in 1892. Plessy, like Rosa Parks, was chosen to challenge the segregation laws in public transportation. He boarded a train and sat in a car that was reserved for whites, then ordered to leave the train but refused. Policemen arrived and …

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Viola Was Murdered

The call went out. Volunteers were needed. The march from Selma, Alabama to the Alabama State Capitol in Montgomery was going to be attempted again. People black and white traveled to the area from everywhere to assist in the event. Living in Detroit at the time with her husband and five children, Viola decided to drive to Alabama and volunteer, it took three days to drive to Selma in her Oldsmobile. Viola Liuzzo saw the way …

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The Orangeburg Massacre

Before the unarmed student protesters were killed at Kent State in 1970,  also before two black men were killed at Jackson State in Mississippi days later, and before Dr. King’s assassination in April of 1968, there was South Carolina’s own version of excessive force by law enforcement and the killing of unarmed black youth. Idealistic protesters determined to make a point and highlight the segregation or more correctly, the banning of black people from a …

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The Killing of Jimmie Lee Jackson

The story seems to be a familiar one. Jimmie Lee Jackson, a 26 year old church Deacon, Vietnam veteran and civil rights worker is shot twice by a law enforcement official and dies eight days later from a brutal beating and gun shot wounds. Events surrounding his death seem eerily similar to the deaths of young black men in recent year. It is entirely possible that nothings changed since the winter of 1965 and that …

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The Mulford Act

California Republican state assemblyman Don Mulford wrote a bill that was signed into law and enacted in 1967. The Mulford Act was the repeal of the “open carry” firearms law in California. Mulford championed the limits of open-carried weapons. Open carried rifles increased due to the perceived hostile treatment of blacks in the black community. The political and civic environment was more than some whites could bear. The state legislator with the support of the …

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