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message 1: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Mar 19, 2019 03:05AM) (new)

Bentley | 44200 comments Mod
This is a thread to discuss some of the well know activists of the Civil Right movement.

message 2: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Jan 24, 2015 06:02PM) (new)

Bentley | 44200 comments Mod
Medgar Evers Biography
Civil Rights Activist (1925–1963)

“You can kill a man, but you can't kill an idea.”
—Medgar Evers

“If we don't like what the Republicans do, we need to get in there and change it.”
—Medgar Evers

Freedom has never been free...I love my children and I love my wife with all my heart. And I would die, die gladly, if that would make a better life for them." -Medgar Evers, June 7th, 1963.

Medgar Evers was a civil rights activist who organized voter-registration efforts, demonstrations and boycotts of companies that practiced discrimination.


Civil rights activist Medgar Evers was born on July 2, 1925, in Decatur, Mississippi. In 1954, he became the first state field secretary of the NAACP in Mississippi. As such, he organized voter-registration efforts, demonstrations, and economic boycotts of companies that practiced discrimination. He also worked to investigate crimes perpetrated against blacks. On June 12, 1963, Evers was assassinated outside of his home in Jackson, Mississippi.

Early Life

Renowned civil rights activist Medgar Evers was born on July 2, 1925, in Decatur, Mississippi. Growing up in a Mississippi farming family, Evers was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1943. He fought in both France and Germany during World War II, and received an honorable discharge in 1946. In 1948, he entered Alcorn College (now Alcorn State University) in Lorman, Mississippi. During his senior year, Evers married a fellow student, Myrlie Beasley. They later had three children: Darrell, Reena and James.

Upon graduation from college in 1952, Evers began working as an insurance salesman. He became involved in the Regional Council of Negro Leadership. His work with the RCNL was his first experience as a civil rights organizer. He spearheaded the group's boycott against gas stations that refused to let blacks use their restrooms. With his older brother, Charles, Evers also worked on behalf of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, organizing local affiliates.

Fighting Against Discrimination

Evers applied to the University of Mississippi Law School in February 1954. After being rejected, he volunteered to help NAACP try to integrate the university with a lawsuit. Thurgood Marshall served as his attorney for this legal challenge to racial discrimination. While he failed to gain admission to the law school, Evers managed to raise his profile with the NAACP. In May 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its decision in the famous Brown v. Board of Education case. This decision legally ended segregation of schools, but it took many years for it to be fully implemented.

Later in 1954, Evers became the first field secretary for the NAACP in Mississippi. He moved with his family to Jackson, Mississippi. As state field secretary, Evers traveled around Mississippi extensively. He recruited new members for the NAACP and organized voter-registration efforts. Evers also led demonstrations and economic boycotts of white-owned companies that practiced discrimination.

While a virtual unknown elsewhere, Evers was one of Mississippi's most prominent civil rights activists. He fought racial injustices in many forms, including how the state and local legal system handled crimes against African Americans. Evers called for a new investigation to the 1955 lynching of Emmett Till, a 14-year-old African-American boy who had allegedly been killed for talking to a white woman. He also protested the conviction of his fellow Mississippi civil rights activist Clyde Kennard on theft charges in 1960.

Tragic Death and Aftermath

Due to his high-profile position with the NAACP, Evers became a target for those who opposed racial equality and desegregation. He and his family were subjected to numerous threats and violent actions over the years, including a firebombing of their house in May 1963. At 12:40 a.m. on June 12, 1963, Evers was shot in the back in the driveway of his home in Jackson. He died less than a hour later at a nearby hospital.

Evers was buried with full military honors in Arlington National Cemetery, and the NAACP posthumously awarded him their 1963 Spingarn Medal. The national outrage over Evers's murder increased support for legislation that would become the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Immediately after Evers's death, the NAACP appointed his brother, Charles, to his position. Charles Evers went on to become a major political figure in the state; in 1969, he was elected the mayor of Fayette, Mississippi, becoming the first African-American mayor of a racially mixed Southern town since the Reconstruction.

A police and FBI investigation of the murder quickly unearthed a prime suspect: Byron De La Beckwith, a white segregationist and founding member of Mississippi's White Citizens Council. Despite mounting evidence against him—a rifle found near the crime scene was registered to Beckwith and had his fingerprints on the scope, and several witnesses placed him in the area—Beckwith denied shooting Evers. He maintained that the gun had been stolen, and produced several witnesses to testify that he was elsewhere on the night of the murder.

The bitter conflict over segregation surrounded the two trials that followed. Beckwith received the support of some of Mississippi's most prominent citizens, including then-Governor Ross Barnett, who appeared at Beckwith's first trial to shake hands with the defendant in full view of the jury. In 1964, Beckwith was set free after two all-white juries deadlocked.

After Beckwith's second trial, Myrlie Evers moved with her children to California, where she earned a degree from Pomona College and was later named to the Los Angeles Commission of Public Works. Convinced that her husband's killer had not been brought to justice, she continued to search for new evidence in the case.

In 1989, the question of Beckwith's guilt was again raised when a Jackson newspaper published accounts of the files of the now-defunct Mississippi Sovereignty Commission, an organization that existed during the 1950s to help raise popular support for the maintenance of segregation. The accounts showed that the commission had helped lawyers for Beckwith screen potential jurors during the first two trials. A review by the Hinds County District Attorney's office found no evidence of such jury tampering, but it did locate a number of new witnesses, including several individuals who would eventually testify that Beckwith had bragged to them about the murder.

In December 1990, Beckwith was again indicted for the murder of Medgar Evers. After a number of appeals, the Mississippi Supreme Court finally ruled in favor of a third trial in April 1993. Ten months later, testimony began before a racially mixed jury of eight blacks and four whites. In February 1994, nearly 31 years after Evers's death, Beckwith was convicted and sentenced to life in prison. He died in January 2001 at the age of 80.

In 1995, Myrlie Evers-Williams (she remarried) was elected chairwoman of the board of directors of the NAACP. She is currently a member of the board's executive committee.

Since his untimely passing, Medgar Evers's contributions to the civil rights movement have been honored in many ways. His wife created what is now known as the Medgar and Myrlie Evers Institute in Jackson, Mississippi, to continue the couple's commitment to social change. The City University of New York has named one of its campuses after the slain activist. In 2009, the U.S. Navy also bestowed his name on one of their vessels.

Three Videos:

message 3: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44200 comments Mod
Medgar Evers: A Life For Freedom
The assassination of civil rights activist Medgar Miley Evers galvanized a nation against racism and discrimination. And while his death may have been the catalyst, the strength of that reaction came from his life.

Freedom has never been free...I love my children and I love my wife with all my heart. And I would die, die gladly, if that would make a better life for them." -Medgar Evers, June 7th, 1963.

Fifty years ago this Wednesday, the assassination of civil rights activist Medgar Miley Evers galvanized a nation against racism and discrimination. And while his death may have been the catalyst, the strength of that reaction came from his life. Often times historians and pundits have mused on how the scars of racism are still ever present decades after the Civil Rights Movement. But for the children of Medgar Evers, their hope is to spread the message about his life. For the 50th anniversary of Evers' passing, the Medgar & Myrlie Evers Institute are celebrating with the theme, "Honor his life. Live his legacy."

Evers was a man whose fight for freedom took him from the battlefields of World War II to the streets of Mississippi where he became the state's most prominent civil rights activist. He rose through the ranks of the NAACP and fought hate crimes through grassroots activism and judicial means. He had been a major force for change in America and inspired President John F. Kennedy to push Congress for the passage of both the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Source: Bio

message 4: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44200 comments Mod
The Autobiography of Medgar Evers: A Hero’s Life and Legacy Revealed Through His Writings, Letters, and Speeches

The Autobiography of Medgar Evers A Hero's Life and Legacy Revealed Through his Writings, Letters, and Speeches by Myrlie Evers-Williams by Myrlie Evers-Williams (no photo)


On the evening of June 12, 1963—the day President John F. Kennedy gave his most impassioned speech about the need for interracial tolerance —Medgar Evers, the NAACP’s first field secretary in Mississippi, was shot and killed by an assassin’s bullet in his driveway. The still-smoking gun—bearing the fingerprints of Byron De La Beckwith, a staunch white supremacist—was recovered moments later in some nearby bushes. Still, Beckwith remained free for over thirty years, until Evers’s widow finally forced the Mississippi courts to bring him to justice. The Autobiography of Medgar Evers tells the full story of one the greatest leaders of the civil rights movement, bringing his achievement to life for a new generation. Although Evers’s memory has remained a force in the civil rights movement, the legal battles surrounding his death have too often overshadowed the example and inspiration of his life.Myrlie Evers-Williams and Manning Marable have assembled the previously untouched cache of Medgar’s personal documents, writings, and speeches. These remarkable pieces range from Medgar’s monthly reports to the NAACP to his correspondence with luminaries of the time such as Robert Carter, General Counsel for the NAACP in the landmark Brown v. Board of Education case. Most important of all are the recollections of Myrlie Evers, combined with letters from her personal collection. These documents and memories form the backbone of The Autobiography of Medgar Evers — a cohesive narrative detailing the rise and tragic death of a civil rights hero.

message 5: by Jill (last edited Jan 25, 2015 10:56PM) (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) One of the pioneers in the civil rights movement. A brave woman who lived what she believed.

Harriet Tubman

Harriet Tubman by George Sullivan by George Sullivan (no photo)


This unique biography of Harriet Tubman uses interviewswith Tubman, as well as writings from her contempories, to tell the story of her life.

"There was one of two things I had a right to, liberty or death. If I could not have one, I would have the other, for no man should take me alive."

Born into slavery on a southern plantation, Harriet Tubman dreamed of the Promised Land to the north. After escaping slavery herself, she repeatedly returned to the South to lead more than 300 other slaves to freedom along the Underground Railroad. During the Civil War, Tubman served as a Union spy. Later in life, she established a home for the sick and needy in Auburn, NY. Tubman's faith and determination guided her throughout her long and eventful life.

message 6: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44200 comments Mod
Thank you Jill.

message 7: by Bryan (new)

Bryan Craig I got this for my library:

Stokely: A Life

Stokely A Life by Peniel E. Joseph by Peniel E. Joseph (no photo)


Stokely Carmichael, the charismatic and controversial black activist, stepped onto the pages of history when he called for “Black Power” during a speech one Mississippi night in 1966. A firebrand who straddled both the American civil rights and Black Power movements, Carmichael would stand for the rest of his life at the center of the storm he had unleashed that night. In Stokely, preeminent civil rights scholar Peniel E. Joseph presents a groundbreaking biography of Carmichael, using his life as a prism through which to view the transformative African American freedom struggles of the twentieth century.

During the heroic early years of the civil rights movement, Carmichael and other civil rights activists advocated nonviolent measures, leading sit-ins, demonstrations, and voter registration efforts in the South that culminated with the passage of the Voting Rights Act in 1965. Still, Carmichael chafed at the slow progress of the civil rights movement and responded with Black Power, a movement that urged blacks to turn the rhetoric of freedom into a reality through whatever means necessary. Marked by the assassinations of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr., a wave of urban race riots, and the rise of the anti-war movement, the late 1960s heralded a dramatic shift in the tone of civil rights. Carmichael became the revolutionary icon for this new racial and political landscape, helping to organize the original Black Panther Party in Alabama and joining the iconic Black Panther Party for Self Defense that would galvanize frustrated African Americans and ignite a backlash among white Americans and the mainstream media. Yet at the age of twenty-seven, Carmichael made the abrupt decision to leave the United States, embracing a pan-African ideology and adopting the name of Kwame Ture, a move that baffled his supporters and made him something of an enigma until his death in 1998.

A nuanced and authoritative portrait, Stokely captures the life of the man whose uncompromising vision defined political radicalism and provoked a national reckoning on race and democracy.

message 8: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44200 comments Mod
Interesting. Have you gotten to it yet?

message 9: by Bryan (last edited Feb 02, 2015 08:19AM) (new)

Bryan Craig I fear not, Bentley, but it on my TBR pile.

message 10: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44200 comments Mod
Let me know when you tackle it.

message 11: by Teri (new)

Teri (teriboop) In honor of Black History Month:

The Freedom Riders (Podcast)

Speaker: Bernard Lafayette Junior

The Freedom Riders were civil rights activists who rode on buses, testing out whether bus stations were complying with the Supreme Court ruling that banned segregation.

Listen to Bernard Lafayette Junior, an eyewitness to how Martin Luther King managed to prevent inter-ethnic bloodshed on a night of extreme tension during the battle against segregation in the American South.

(Source: BBC World Service)

Freedom Riders 1961 and the Struggle for Racial Justice (Pivotal Moments in American History) by Raymond Arsenault by Raymond Arsenault (no photo)

message 12: by Francie (new)

Francie Grice Deep in Our Hearts: Nine White Women in the Freedom Movement

Deep in Our Hearts Nine White Women in the Freedom Movement by Constance Curry by Constance Curry (no photo), Joan C. Browning (no photo), and Dorothy Dawson Burlage (no photo)


Deep in Our Hearts is an eloquent and powerful book that takes us into the lives of nine young women who came of age in the 1960s while committing themselves actively and passionately to the struggle for racial equality and justice. These compelling first-person accounts take us back to one of the most tumultuous periods in our nation's history -- to the early days of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), the Albany Freedom Ride, voter registration drives and lunch counter sit-ins, Freedom Summer, the 1964 Democratic Convention, and the rise of Black Power and the women's movement. The book delves into the hearts of the women to ask searching questions. Why did they, of all the white women growing up in their hometowns, cross the color line in the days of segregation and join the Southern Freedom Movement? What did they see, do, think, and feel in those uncertain but hopeful days? And how did their experiences shape the rest of their lives?

message 13: by Francie (new)

Francie Grice Civil Rights Legend Amelia Boynton Robinson Dead at 104

Amelia Boynton Robinson, a civil rights activist who helped lead the 1965 "Bloody Sunday" voting rights march and was the first black woman to run for Congress in Alabama, died early Wednesday at age 104, her son Bruce Boynton said.

Boynton Robinson was among those beaten during the march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, in March 1965 that became known as "Bloody Sunday." State troopers teargased and clubbed marchers as they tried crossing the bridge. A newspaper photo featuring an unconscious Boynton Robinson drew wide attention to the movement.

"The truth of it is that was her entire life. That's what she was completely taken with," Bruce Boynton said of his mother's role in shaping the civil rights movement. "She was a loving person, very supportive — but civil rights was her life."

Fifty years after "Bloody Sunday," Barack Obama, the first black president of the United States, held her hand as she was pushed across the bridge in a wheelchair during a commemoration.

"She was as strong, as hopeful, and as indomitable of spirit — as quintessentially American — as I'm sure she was that day 50 years ago," Obama said Wednesday in a written statement. "To honor the legacy of an American hero like Amelia Boynton requires only that we follow her example — that all of us fight to protect everyone's right to vote."

Boynton Robinson, hospitalized in July after a stroke, turned 104 on Aug. 18. Her family said in a written statement that she was surrounded by loved ones when she died around 2:20 a.m. at a Montgomery, Alabama hospital.

Source: NBC News Story

message 14: by Francie (new)

Francie Grice Ida: A Sword among Lions: Ida B. Wells and the Campaign against Lynching

Ida A Sword among Lions Ida B. Wells and the Campaign against Lynching by Paula J. Giddings by Paula J. Giddings (no photo)


In the tradition of towering biographies that tell us as much about America as they do about their subject, Ida: A Sword Among Lions is a sweeping narrative about a country and a crusader embroiled in the struggle against lynching: a practice that imperiled not only the lives of blackmen and women, but also a nation based on law and riven by race.

At the center of the national drama is Ida B. Wells (1862-1931), born to slaves in Mississippi, who began her activist career by refusing to leave a first-class ladies’ car on a Memphis railway and rose to lead the nation’s first campaign against lynching. For Wells the key to the rise in violence was embedded in attitudes not only about black men but about women and sexuality as well. Her independent perspective and percussive personality gained her encomiums as a hero -- as well as aspersions on her character and threats of death. Exiled from the South by 1892, Wells subsequently took her campaign across the country and throughout the British Isles before she married and settled in Chicago, where she continued her activism as a journalist, suffragist, and independent candidate in the rough-and-tumble world of the Windy City’s politics.

In this eagerly awaited biography by Paula J. Giddings, author of the groundbreaking book When and Where I Enter, which traced the activist history of black women in America, the irrepressible personality of Ida B. Wells surges out of the pages. With meticulous research and vivid rendering of her subject, Giddings also provides compelling portraits of twentieth-century progressive luminaries, black and white, with whom Wells worked during some of the most tumultuous periods in American history. Embattled all of her activist life, Wells found herself fighting not only conservative adversaries but icons of the civil rights and women’s suffrage movements who sought to undermine her place in history.

In this definitive biography, which places Ida B. Wells firmly in the context of her times as well as ours, Giddings at long last gives this visionary reformer her due and, in the process, sheds light on an aspect of our history that is often left in the shadows.

message 15: by Francie (new)

Francie Grice James and Esther Cooper Jackson: Love and Courage in the Black Freedom Movement (Civil Rights and the Struggle for Black Equality in the Twentieth Century)

James and Esther Cooper Jackson Love and Courage in the Black Freedom Movement by Sara Rzeszutek Haviland by Sara Rzeszutek Haviland (no photo)


James Jackson and Esther Cooper Jackson grew up understanding that opportunities came differently for blacks and whites, men and women, rich and poor. In turn, they devoted their lives to the fight for equality, serving as career activists throughout the black freedom movement. Having grown up in Virginia during the depths of the Great Depression, the Jacksons also saw a path to racial equality through the Communist Party. This choice in political affiliation would come to shape and define not only their participation in the black freedom movement but also the course of their own marriage as the Cold War years unfolded.

In this dual biography, Sara Rzeszutek Haviland examines the couple's political involvement as well as the evolution of their personal and public lives in the face of ever-shifting contexts. She documents the Jacksons' significant contributions to the early civil rights movement, discussing their time leading the Southern Negro Youth Congress, which laid the groundwork for youth activists in the 1960s; their numerous published writings in periodicals such as "Political Affairs"; and their editorial involvement in "The Worker" and the civil rights magazine "Freedomways."

Drawing upon a rich collection of correspondence, organizational literature, and interviews with the Jacksons themselves, Haviland follows the couple through the years as they bore witness to economic inequality, war, political oppression, and victory in the face of injustice. Her study reveals a portrait of a remarkable pair who lived during a transformative period of American history and whose story offers a vital narrative of persistence, love, and activism across the long arc of the black freedom movement.

message 16: by Francie (new)

Francie Grice Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention

Malcolm X A Life of Reinvention by Manning Marable by Manning Marable Manning Marable


Selected by The New York Times Book Review as a Notable Book of the Year Years in the making-the definitive biography of the legendary black activist.

Of the great figure in twentieth-century American history perhaps none is more complex and controversial than Malcolm X. Constantly rewriting his own story, he became a criminal, a minister, a leader, and an icon, all before being felled by assassins' bullets at age thirty-nine. Through his tireless work and countless speeches he empowered hundreds of thousands of black Americans to create better lives and stronger communities while establishing the template for the self-actualized, independent African American man. In death he became a broad symbol of both resistance and reconciliation for millions around the world.

Manning Marable's new biography of Malcolm is a stunning achievement. Filled with new information and shocking revelations that go beyond the Autobiography, Malcolm X unfolds a sweeping story of race and class in America, from the rise of Marcus Garvey and the Ku Klux Klan to the struggles of the civil rights movement in the fifties and sixties. Reaching into Malcolm's troubled youth, it traces a path from his parents' activism through his own engagement with the Nation of Islam, charting his astronomical rise in the world of Black Nationalism and culminating in the never-before-told true story of his assassination. Malcolm X will stand as the definitive work on one of the most singular forces for social change, capturing with revelatory clarity a man who constantly strove, in the great American tradition, to remake himself anew.

message 17: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44200 comments Mod
Thank you Francie for all of the adds in the Civil Rights area.

message 18: by Teri (new)

Teri (teriboop) Robert Parris Moses: A Life in Civil Rights and Leadership at the Grassroots

Robert Parris Moses A Life in Civil Rights and Leadership at the Grassroots by Laura Visser-Maessen by Laura Visser-Maessen (no photo)


One of the most influential leaders in the civil rights movement, Robert Parris Moses was essential in making Mississippi a central battleground state in the fight for voting rights. As a leader of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), Moses presented himself as a mere facilitator of grassroots activism rather than a charismatic figure like Martin Luther King Jr. His self-effacing demeanor and his success, especially in steering the events that led to the volatile 1964 Freedom Summer and the formation of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, paradoxically gave him a reputation of nearly heroic proportions.

Examining the dilemmas of a leader who worked to cultivate local leadership, historian Laura Visser-Maessen explores the intellectual underpinnings of Moses's strategy, its achievements, and its struggles.This new biography recasts Moses as an effective, hands-on organizer, safeguarding his ideals while leading from behind the scenes. By returning Moses to his rightful place among the foremost leaders of the movement, Visser-Maessen testifies to Moses's revolutionary approach to grassroots leadership and the power of the individual in generating social change.

message 19: by Teri (new)

Teri (teriboop) Showdown: Thurgood Marshall and the Supreme Court Nomination That Changed America

Showdown Thurgood Marshall and the Supreme Court Nomination That Changed America by Wil Haygood by Wil Haygood Wil Haygood


Thurgood Marshall brought down the separate-but-equal doctrine, integrated schools, and not only fought for human rights and human dignity but also made them impossible to deny in the courts and in the streets. In this stunning new biography, award-winning author Wil Haygood surpasses the emotional impact of his inspiring best seller The Butler to detail the life and career of one of the most transformative legal minds of the past one hundred years.

Using the framework of the dramatic, contentious five-day Senate hearing to confirm Marshall as the first African-American Supreme Court justice, Haygood creates a provocative and moving look at Marshall’s life as well as the politicians, lawyers, activists, and others who shaped—or desperately tried to stop—the civil rights movement of the twentieth century: President Lyndon Johnson; Congressman Adam Clayton Powell Jr., whose scandals almost cost Marshall the Supreme Court judgeship; Harry and Harriette Moore, the Florida NAACP workers killed by the KKK; Justice J. Waties Waring, a racist lawyer from South Carolina, who, after being appointed to the federal court, became such a champion of civil rights that he was forced to flee the South; John, Robert, and Ted Kennedy; Senator Strom Thurmond, the renowned racist from South Carolina, who had a secret black mistress and child; North Carolina senator Sam Ervin, who tried to use his Constitutional expertise to block Marshall’s appointment; Senator James Eastland of Mississippi, the head of the Senate Judiciary Committee, who stated that segregation was “the law of nature, the law of God”; Arkansas senator John McClellan, who, as a boy, after Teddy Roosevelt invited Booker T. Washington to dinner at the White House, wrote a prize-winning school essay proclaiming that Roosevelt had destroyed the integrity of the presidency; and so many others.

This galvanizing book makes clear that it is impossible to overestimate Thurgood Marshall’s lasting influence on the racial politics of our nation.

message 20: by Lorna, Assisting Moderator (T) - SCOTUS - Civil Rights (last edited Apr 10, 2018 03:58PM) (new)

Lorna | 1962 comments Mod
Walking With the Wind: A Memoir of the Movement

Walking with the Wind A Memoir of the Movement by John Lewis by John Lewis John Lewis


An eloquent, epic firsthand account of the civil rights movement by a man who lived it-an American hero whose courage, vision, and dedication helped change history. The son of an Alabama sharecropper, and now a sixth-term United States Congressman, John Lewis has led an extraordinary life, one that found him at the epicenter of the civil rights movement in the late '50s and '60s. As Chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), Lewis was present at all the major battlefields of the movement. Arrested more than forty times and severely beaten on several occasions, he was one of the youngest yet most courageous leaders.

Written with charm, warmth, and honesty, Walking with the Wind offers rare insight into the movement and the personalities of all the civil rights leaders-what was happening behind the scenes, the infighting, struggles, and triumphs. Lewis takes us from the Nashville lunch counter sit-ins to the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, where he led more than five hundred marchers on what became known as "Bloody Sunday." While there have been exceptional books on the movement, there has never been a front-line account by a man like John Lewis. A true American hero, his story is "destined to become a classic in civil rights literature." (Los Angeles Times)

message 21: by Lorna, Assisting Moderator (T) - SCOTUS - Civil Rights (new)

Lorna | 1962 comments Mod
Rosa Parks A Life by Douglas Brinkley by Douglas Brinkley Douglas Brinkley


An eminent historian follows Rosa Parks from her childhood in Jim Crow Alabama through her early involvement in the NAACP to her epochal moment of courage and her afterlife as a beloved--and resented--icon of the civil rights movement.

message 22: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Jan 26, 2018 05:55PM) (new)

Bentley | 44200 comments Mod
Thank you Lorna

message 23: by Lorna, Assisting Moderator (T) - SCOTUS - Civil Rights (new)

Lorna | 1962 comments Mod
Thank you Bentley, I have corrected it. John Lewis is my hero!

message 24: by Lorna, Assisting Moderator (T) - SCOTUS - Civil Rights (new)

Lorna | 1962 comments Mod
What Martin Luther King Jr.'s death did to civil rights leaders


Washington (CNN) - To civil rights activist Heather Booth, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination felt like a rupture.

"It was like the breaking of a dream, the breaking of our hopes," Booth recalled in an interview with CNN.

On the evening of April 4, 1968, King was shot and killed on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee. He was 39 years old. James Earl Ray pleaded guilty to the assassination in 1969 -- though he later recanted his plea -- and was sentenced to 99 years in prison.

"I just could not believe that anyone could shoot such a person like a deer in the woods," said Bob Zellner, a civil rights organizer who counted King among his mentors. Zellner told CNN he had been working with another famous civil rights leader, Fannie Lou Hamer, in Mississippi when they heard the news.

"It was devastating to all of us," said Zellner, who was the first white field secretary for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee.

The death of the iconic social justice minister felt like more than a tragedy for the organizers who spoke to CNN: It felt like a backlash against the progressive agenda they were working toward.

"We began to see it as a pattern of repression against the advancements of the civil rights movement," Zellner said.

Yet even in the immediate aftermath of King's assassination, some were spurred to action.

Activist Bob Moore said he was having a planning session at the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee office he had started in Maryland when he received word of the assassination.

"We immediately switched gears and ran off 50,000 leaflets ... basically the message we were trying to get over was 'Don't mourn, organize,' " he told CNN.

Reactions run the gamut

Moore and his colleagues had planned to call for a day of mourning, but those efforts were cut off by riots that broke out in Baltimore. Violence flared in more than 100 cities across the US in reaction to the news of King's death, leading to more than 40 deaths and extensive property damage, according to the Martin Luther King Jr. Research and Education Institute at Stanford University.

"Around the country, the shock that this man of peace, this man of believing all people had rights to dignity and respect, was killed, (it) was an explosive reaction around the country," Booth said.

"Living in Chicago, I was frightened both personally but also what it meant for a movement that was trying to build for justice, democracy and freedom, and a movement that was very beautiful," she recalled.

What did it mean for the movement? For activists across the country, it certainly did not signify an end. They knew they were armed with the lessons of nonviolent protest and grassroots organizing, and they had seen it work.

"Black lives didn't really matter in '64. Within a year, because people organized, within a year there was a Voting Rights Act," Booth explained. "So I learned a fundamental lesson that if you organize, you can really change the future."

Many shifted their efforts to the anti-war movement, the women's movement and the labor movement, taking up the mantle of King's mission for economic equality.

After the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, King had focused on opposing the Vietnam War and tackling the issues of systemic racism, poverty and unemployment -- cornerstones of his Poor People's Campaign.

"As a social gospel minister he had always wanted to deal with the issue of poverty. That was very clear in his writings from the early 1950s, long before he became a civil rights leader, at least several years before that, before he moved to Montgomery, he was already talking about dealing with unemployment, slums, economic insecurity," Dr. Clayborne Carson, the founding director of Stanford's King Institute, told CNN. "His particular concern as a minister was to deal with the social problems that affected black Americans in the North as well as the South."

Heather Booth pickets in Shaw, Mississippi, in 1964.

Then and now

On that front, activists think there is still work to be done -- and there is concern that the cause has been diluted.

The Rev. Al Sampson, who was ordained by King and worked with him on education and desegregation efforts and as his national housing director, said he thinks parts of King's legacy have been sanitized.

"The whole methodology of who he was and what he was trying to say, I mean his books are not being read like that they should be and they're not being brought into a process," he told CNN. "They're not studying the depth of not so much how he dreamt, but what he understood you had to have in order to handle the weight of the problems you encounter."

"I think what happened was that people who wanted to honor him for his accomplishments chose the route of playing down his goals during the last three years," Carson echoed. "You could see signs of that at his funeral. Many political leaders who attended his funeral would not have wanted to be photographed next to him the day before."

"But what they were honoring was the fame and acclaim he had achieved as the result of his role as a civil rights leader. Then the emphasis had been on his 'I have a dream' speech and his Nobel Prize," he continued. "But I think Martin Luther King made clear that's not what he wanted to be remembered for."

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Rev. Al Sampson (far right) at an event for the Poor People's Campaign in Chicago in 1968.

And 50 years after King's death, some said they are still fighting for the progress they made on equal rights. They said they are concerned that President Donald Trump's campaign and election laid bare divisions that they had sought to leave in the past.

"I think a lot of progress has been made. That being said, there are a lot of things which remain kind of the same, namely racism or what we talk about now as white supremacy," Moore told CNN. "So I think those are dangerous things."

Link to remainder of article:
Link to videotape:

Parting the Waters Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights Movement 1954-63 by Taylor Branch by Taylor Branch Taylor Branch

Source: CNN

message 25: by Lorna, Assisting Moderator (T) - SCOTUS - Civil Rights (new)

Lorna | 1962 comments Mod
March: Book One

March Book One (March, #1) by John Lewis by John Lewis John Lewis


Congressman John Lewis (GA-5) is an American icon, one of the key figures of the civil rights movement. His commitment to justice and nonviolence has taken him from an Alabama sharecropper’s farm to the halls of Congress, from a segregated schoolroom to the 1963 March on Washington, and from receiving beatings from state troopers to receiving the Medal of Freedom from the first African-American president.

Now, to share his remarkable story with new generations, Lewis presents March, a graphic novel trilogy, in collaboration with co-writer Andrew Aydin and New York Times best-selling artist Nate Powell (winner of the Eisner Award and LA Times Book Prize finalist for Swallow Me Whole).

March is a vivid first-hand account of John Lewis’ lifelong struggle for civil and human rights, meditating in the modern age on the distance traveled since the days of Jim Crow and segregation. Rooted in Lewis’ personal story, it also reflects on the highs and lows of the broader civil rights movement.

Book One spans John Lewis’ youth in rural Alabama, his life-changing meeting with Martin Luther King, Jr., the birth of the Nashville Student Movement, and their battle to tear down segregation through nonviolent lunch counter sit-ins, building to a stunning climax on the steps of City Hall.

Many years ago, John Lewis and other student activists drew inspiration from the 1950s comic book "Martin Luther King and the Montgomery Story." Now, his own comics bring those days to life for a new audience, testifying to a movement whose echoes will be heard for generations.

message 26: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44200 comments Mod
Thank you Lorna for the adds.

message 27: by Lorna, Assisting Moderator (T) - SCOTUS - Civil Rights (new)

Lorna | 1962 comments Mod
The Top 15 Civil Rights Leaders Of The 21st Century

By NEWS ONE STAFF March 21, 2011

The overwhelming social transformation rendered in the 1950s and 1960s, the Civil Rights Movement is a milestone in American history of such magnitude that it assumes a mythological quality, almost willing us to define the future in its image. But our own post-civil rights movement era requires us to reframe what “civil rights” actually means. Changes in the way many Americans have come to think of the role of government, the overwhelming influence of corporate media, the disproportionate influence of America’s super rich, and today’s activists’ focus on human rights and social justice rather than simply civil rights make the question of civil rights leaders almost passé. Old standards of measures of civil rights success—mass movements and legislation for example—no longer apply.

Given the new reality the more accurate question is this: What individuals and organizations were essential in helping move the needle on the most important civil rights issues of this, the 21st century?

15. Majora Carter is the 2005 MacArthur genius who in 2001 started Sustainable South Bronx, an organization dedicated to environmentalism and the creation of Bronx Environmental Stewardship Training, a highly successful green jobs training and placement program. In 2008 she formed the Majora Carter Group [Facebook Page], LLC and serves as its president. In her current capacity, aside from being a highly sought speaker, she now advises companies, cities, and universities on environmental and business issues.

14. Van Jones [Facebook Page]—who cut his teeth as a grassroots activist using hip-hop as a tool to engage youth in social change around issues like police brutality, education, and incarceration via his organization, the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights—turned his attention to green jobs as a way of alleviating dual issues of America’s environmental neglect and chronic joblessness in urban America and beyond. In 2008 he authored The Green Collar Economy. As White House Advisor on green jobs, he brought to America a plan for job creation at a time when business and political leaders have been otherwise stumped on how to do so. Within months of his appointment, conservative attacks led to his resignation and his return to the front lines of grassroots green jobs activism.

13. George Soros and Bill & Melinda Gates. Bill and Melinda Gates [Facebook Page] have raised the clarion call about disparities in health policy and provisions in developing countries. Likewise, George Soros [Facebook Page], founder of the Open Society Foundations, according to The Chronicle of Philanthropy gave $332 million to his Open Society Institute in 2010, an organization that promotes education and democracy initiatives around the world.

12. Rosa Clemente. Hip-Hop political action groups have served as a catalyst of youth political involvement in electoral politics culminating in expanding the 18-29 youth vote from 40 percent participation in 2000 to 52 percent in 2008. By 2008, when Cynthia McKinney became the Green Party’s presidential candidate, such was the influence of hip-hop organizing that McKinney chose hip-hop activist Rosa Clemente [Facebook Page] as her running mate. Clemente emerged in 2003 among a number of young activists who took the model of local hip-hop political activism to the national level and made political participation, as well as good old fashion grassroots activism, made sexy for a new generation. Organizations like The League of Young Voters, Hip-Hop Congress, the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network, The Malcolm X Grassroots Movement and The National Hip-Hop Political Convention were a catalyst for youth around the country. In June 2004, over 4000 young people from 30 states attend The National Hip-Hop Political Convention (which Clemente co-founded) in Newark, New Jersey, to create and endorse a political agenda for the hip-hop generation. Hip-Hop Caucus, headed by Reverend Lennox Yearwood, would follow with a grassroots appeal to youth poor and working class youth in 2008.

Link to remainder of article:

Rosa Parks A Life by Douglas Brinkley by Douglas Brinkley Douglas Brinkley

Source: Nation - News One

message 28: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44200 comments Mod
Great add.

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