Black America v. Conservatism – Part 1

  Part 1: Economics Education, voting rights, fair housing, fair lending, employment, mass incarceration, the drug war, foreign trade, immigration and more have decimated the middle class in America. Blacks have been hit the hardest. Reversing the hard fought accomplishments and laws of the 1960’s have been especially important to conservatives.  The Voting Rights Act of 1965 suffered a severe blow recently.  How has conservative policies affected our standard of living? According to Federal Reserve …

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Success Can Change Everything

It’s been said that one of Justice Thurgood Marshall’s favorite justices was Justice John Marshall Harlan (1833 – 1911), who was known as the “Great Dissenter”. Harlan’s dissent in the landmark case of Plessy v. Ferguson (1896), set him apart from the prevailing opinion of the time about the abilities of African Americans and their intelligence. John Harlan served on the U.S. Supreme Court from 1877 until 1911. He was born into a slave holding …

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Dr. King & The Pursuit of Happiness

When Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated (6:01 p.m. April 4, 1968), he and his team was in Memphis to support black sanitation workers. The struggle for economic equality, a transition from the campaigns that the world had come to know from the leader of the civil rights movement. The civil rights movement more than a decade before Dr. King’s assassination, enjoyed a series of hard fought battles.  The landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision, …

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Selma; Notes From the Field – Chapter 3, Hwy 80

After Bloody Sunday (March 7, 1965) and Turnaround Tuesday, the task to complete a Selma to Montgomery march still remained. This time, beginning on March 21st, the determined were escorted by the United States Army, federalized Alabama National Guard troops and guarded by two helicopters. One week after Bloody Sunday, on March 15, 1965, President Johnson addressed a joint session of Congress to urge the passage of legislation guaranteeing the passage of the voting rights act. …

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Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. & Voting Rights

After the Civil War, three amendments were added to the United States Constitution to address the new reality for free blacks.  The 13th forbidding slavery, the 14th guaranteeing all people the same rights and privileges as everyone else and finally the 15th, the right to vote without regard to race or color or previous condition of servitude. The right to vote proved to be elusive for blacks especially in the South. States and local governments, …

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The Sounds of Protest

Songs set the tone. Lyrics and beats set the mood. The Sound of the Times have been used to express opinions and feelings in difficult times. Protest songs have been important to Blacks since our struggle began. No matter if it was slavery, human rights, civil rights, wars, lynching or police brutality, we have expressed feelings in songs. June is when we commemorate Black Music Appreciation Month (the decree first issued by President Carter in 1979), one cannot …

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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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Selma; Notes From the Field – Chapter 2; Voting

Voter Registration Tests & Protests: Chapter 2: a series that chronicles the events in the Selma, Alabama area prior to Bloody Sunday and ending with the brutal attack by Klansmen on Viola Liuzzo. A new voter registration test implemented a few months before the March 7th march to Montgomery was challenged by the U. S. Justice Department on January 15th. It was common for African-Americans to be tested when registering to vote and in some cases …

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