Challenge To Brown v Board of Education

Segregationists didn’t readily accept the 1954 unanimous Supreme Court ruling of Brown v Board of Education.  Southerners knew the decision would be a major disruption in their way of life, and limit the continued second class system for African-Americans. After the decision was announced, President Eisenhower lamented his choice of recently appointed Chief Justice Earl Warren (Oct 1953 – June 1969). Warren was the former Governor of California and vice presidential running mate in 1948. …

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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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Rev. Kyles, Eyewitness to Dr. King’s Assassination

On March 29, 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his team of ministers traveled to Memphis, Tennessee to support sanitation workers. Later that week, on April 3, 1968, he spoke at rally at Mason Temple, the central headquarters of the Church of God in Christ Pentecostal Church. The building is named for Bishop Charles Harrison Mason the founder of the Church of God in Christ. Black sanitation workers in Memphis, were discriminated in hiring, …

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James Earl Ray Caught in London

James Earl Ray’s ultimate destination was Rhodesia, Africa. After he assassinated Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Ray’s odyssey from Memphis to London by way of Toronto and his confession then recant for the murder, is worthy of recounting. Not widely known is the chronology of events during the “manhunt” for Ray, following the murder of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on April 4, 1968 in Memphis, Tennessee. Questions remain on national security, crossing international borders, (he …

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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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