News

  • Once a radical, always a voice for civil rights: At age 67, St. Paul’s longtime NAACP president says it’s time to step aside

    Saint Paul Pioneer Press
    September 29, 2010

    During the civil rights struggle, Nathaniel Khaliq believed the NAACP was too milquetoast when black activists around the country were sacrificing their lives for basic rights. “I didn’t think they were aggressive or militant enough,” he said. But by 1975 when the former Nathaniel Davis converted to Islam, his opinion of the National Association of the Advancement of Colored People had undergone a conversion, too. And the neighborhood activist who once scoffed at its structured, legalistic approach to social justice eventually found himself president of its St. Paul branch…Read More

  • OUR VIEW: Restoring the Lyric Theater would add another jewel in downtown Birmingham’s crown

    al.com
    September 29, 2010

    The painstaking cutting and polishing of some of Birmingham’s most ravishing jewels over the past few decades has brought a sparkle to downtown: the splendid Alabama Theatre, the enthralling McWane Science Center, the fabulous new Railroad Park. The Civil Rights District, with historic sites marked through downtown, has gotten off the ground to complement the world-class Civil Rights Institute. A planned $57 million renovation of the once-glorious Pizitz building will feature street-level shops, restaurants and a grocery store, and six stories of office space above them…Read More

  • Martin Luther King’s message hasn’t reached everyone: Jarvis DeBerry

    nola.com
    September 26, 2010

    I spent Thursday morning at Dillard University talking to a group of students in a newswriting course and using “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” as a primer of opinion writing. The letter was Martin Luther King Jr.’s answer to white clergy in Birmingham who had penned a letter to the editor critical of the methods King was using to push for desegregation. Those critics had called the persistent push for freedom “unwise and untimely” and were particularly upset that the civil rights leadership was encouraging its followers to break laws, laws that enforced their status as second-class citizens…Read More

  • Holder Echoes Atticus Finch at “To Kill a Mockingbird‟ Commemoration

    Main Justice
    September 21, 2010

    Attorney General Eric Holder delivered the keynote address Tuesday at the University of Alabama “To Kill a Mockingbird” 50th Anniversary Event…Read More

  • Embracing memory’s rough places

    Miami Herald
    September 18, 2010

    For 145 years, ever since a grim-faced Robert E. Lee rode away from Wilmer McLean’s house in Appomattox, Va., where he had surrendered his army, apologists for the South have been trying to induce the rest of us to forget the causes of the Civil War, to imbue an act of treachery and treason with a nobility of purpose it did not, in fact, possess. “State’s rights,” they say. “State’s rights to maintain a system of human slavery,” they do not say. It is the social and political equivalent of an extreme makeover. The thinking seems to be: when history collides with cherished self image, change history. ..Read More

  • Johnny’s Death: The Untold Tragedy In Birmingham

    NPR
    September 15, 2010

    Forty-seven years ago this week, on Sept. 15, 1963, a bomb exploded at the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church. The blast killed four little girls and became a tragic marker in civil rights history…Read More

  • Report: Famed Civil Rights Photographer Ernest Withers Spied for FBI

    Time
    September 14, 2010

    Ernest C. Withers had been the photographer who chronicled the civil rights movement through the 50s and 60s. His photos of thegruesome racial murder of teenager Emmitt Till still resonate to this day; he was there when nine students integrated Little Rock Central High School; and his camera shutters snapped just moments after Martin Luther King was assassinated. And all the while, according to the Memphis Commercial Appeal,Withers was betraying everything he knew about the civil rights movement to the FBI….Read More

  • How civil rights movement overshadowed abuse of women

    MSNBC
    September 7, 2010

    African-American women reclaimed their bodies and their humanity by testifying about their assaults. Their testimonies spilled out in letters to the Justice Department and appeared on the front pages of the nation’s leading black newspapers. By deploying their voices as weapons in the wars against white supremacy, whether in the church, the courtroom, or in congressional hearings, African-American women loudly resisted what Martin Luther King, Jr. called the “thingification” of their humanity…Read More

  • Scant Progress in Effort on Old Racial Killings

    New York Times
    August 23, 2010

    In February 2007, Alberto R. Gonzales, the attorney general under President George W. Bush, issued a stern warning to those who murdered blacks with impunity during the civil rights era: “You have not gotten away with anything. We are still on your trail.”…Read More

  • Civil rights cold cases are growing colder by the day

    Atlanta Journal Constitution
    August 15, 2010

    Attorney General Eric Holder is circulating in Congress his second report on the Justice Department’s efforts to solve 109 murder cases in the South during the 1950s and ’60s that appear to have been racially motivated. What began as a Justice Department initiative in 2006 to investigate cold cases gained congressional weight when the Emmett Till Unsolved Civil Rights Crime Act became law in 2008…Read More

  • A Long, Hot Summer in Mississippi That Still Burns

    New York Times
    August 12, 2010

    “Neshoba: The Price of Freedom,” a documentary by Micki Dickoff and Tony Pagano, focuses on one of the most notorious and terrible incidents of the 1960s and on its long aftermath…Read More

  • Cold cases challenge the search for civil rights-era justice

    Anniston Star
    August 8, 2010

    In late August 1965, Thad Christian, father of seven, set out to go fishing near his home in the rural community of Central City, west of Anniston…Read More

  • The glacial pace of Justice

    Washington Post
    August 8, 2010

    Attorney General Eric Holder is circulating in Congress his second report on the Justice Department’s efforts to solve 109 murder cases in the South during the 1950s and ’60s that appear to have been racially motivated. What began as a Justice Department initiative in 2006 to investigate cold cases became a mandate when the Emmett Till Unsolved Civil Rights Crime Act became law in 2008…Read More