civil-rights-march

“This is not about one man. This is about structural racism in a country built on Black slavery.”

3

March 7th 1965: Bloody Sunday in Selma

On this day in 1965, a civil rights march took place from Selma to Birmingham, Alabama; it became known as ‘Bloody Sunday’. At this stage, the Civil Rights Movement had been in motion for over a decade and already achieved legislative success with the Civil Rights Act. However the focus of the movement now became making the promise of equal franchise guaranteed in the Fifteenth Amendment a reality. While African-Americans exercised the right to vote in the years after the amendment’s passage in 1870, discriminatory measures like literacy tests, poll taxes, and grandfather clauses were soon implemented across the country to deprive them of the vote. Thus in 1965 civil rights leaders like Martin Luther King Jr. made voter registration the core of their efforts, centering the campaign on the particularly discriminatory Selma, AL. On March 7th - 'Bloody Sunday’ - as the six hundred unarmed marchers were crossing the Edmund Pettus Bridge, they were descended upon by state troopers who viciously beat the protestors. The violence encountered by these peaceful marchers, which was captured on television and broadcast around the world, led to national outcry and caused President Johnson to publicly call for the passage of his administration’s proposed voting rights bill. After securing the support of federal troops, another march was held on March 21st, and with the protection of soldiers the marchers managed to arrive in Montgomery after three days. The marchers were met in Montgomery - the epicentre of the movement and the site of the 1954 bus boycott - by 50,000 supporters, who were addressed by King. Their efforts were rewarded when, in August of that year, Congress passed the Voting Rights Act that ensured all Americans could vote. This was one of the crowning achievements of the Civil Rights Movement, and the Selma to Montgomery march is commemorated as one of the most important moments of the struggle.

“We are on the move and no wave of racism can stop us. The burning of our churches will not deter us. The bombing of our homes will not dissuade us. We are on the move now…not even the marching of mighty armies can halt us. We are moving to the land of freedom
- King’s 'Address at the Conclusion of the Selma to Montgomery March’ - 25th March, 1965

50 years ago today

10

Some other facts about Josephine Baker (Freda Josephine McDonald)

  • She first married at the age of 13
  • She danced alongside Ethel Waters at the Plantation Club in New York City
  • She tried to bring her career to America in 1936 but the racism forced her back to France
  • She was a member of the Free French forces during WWII
  • She also worked for the French Resistance during WWII. She smuggled messages in her underwear and music sheets.
  • She was awarded the Croix de Guerre and the Legion of Honour for her work with the French military
  • She was married 4 times
  • She adopted 12 children from around the world
  • She attended the March on Washington and was one of the speaker’s
  • In 1973 she finally got to perform at Carnegie Hall in NYC
  • Princess Grace of Monaco was a friend of Josephine Baker
  • Josephine Baker died in her sleep of a cerebral hemorrhage on April 12, 1975 at the age of 69
  •  Over 20,000 people attended her funeral procession in Paris
  • May 20th is Josephine Baker Day as declared by the NAACP because of her Civil Rights work

Sources: wikipedia

9

Selma 50 years later.

“Because of what they did, the doors of opportunity swung open not just for African-Americans, but for every American,” President Barack Obama said, standing in front of the Edmund Pettus Bridge where the violence took place.

6

August 28th 1963: March on Washington

On this day in 1963, the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom took place. The march was a key moment of the Civil Rights Movement, and a triumph for the nonviolence philosophy which underpinned the movement. The march is best remembered for Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous ‘I Have a Dream’ speech, given in front of the Lincoln Memorial, which extolled King’s vision of an America free of racial discrimination. Other speakers included chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee John Lewis and veteran civil rights leader A. Philip Randolph. When politicians in Washington heard about the march many, including President John F. Kennedy, feared that there would be violence and rioting. The peaceful gathering of over 250,000 supporters of civil rights, with many whites in attendance as well as African-Americans, highlighted issues of racial discrimination and unequal housing and employment. The demonstration in the nation’s capital, and King’s speech in particular, spurred America into action and paved the way for the landmark 1964 Civil Rights Act and 1965 Voting Rights Act, vital tools in the fight for racial equality.

“I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed. ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal’…
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

5

Badass women from history - part 2 (part 1)

  1. Cheering women at a Civil Rights march
  2. Black surfers at the beach
  3. Bessie Stringfield, “The Motorcycle Queen of Miami"—the first black woman to ride across the United States solo
  4. Black Lesbian group banner on the Lesbian Strength march, 1984
  5. Eartha Kitt doing yoga by the ocean

Happy Birthday to civil rights and women’s rights activist Dorothy Height! Born in 1912, Height dedicated her life to the Civil Rights Movement. Though Height was frustrated that women were often treated as inferiors within the Civil Rights Movement, she helped organize the 1963 March on Washington and attended MLK’s “I Have a Dream” speech.“

From the National Women’s History Museum Facebook page

August 28th

Today is August 28th. 153 years ago today, on August 28th 1833, slavery was abolished in most of the British Empire.

29 years later, on August 28th 1862, the Second Battle of Bull Ran began in the American Civil War. Over the next three days, more than 17,000 people would be killed or wounded. The Union loss in this battle helped convince the American government that emancipating slaves was a military necessity. (Let’s not labor under the delusion that the South was racist and the North wasn’t. Both were racist.)

93 years later, on August 28th 1955, a 14-year-old black boy named Emmett Till was murdered for the crime of speaking to a white woman.

8 years later, on August 28th 1963, hundreds of thousands of Civil Rights activists marched on Washington and Martin Luther King delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech.

August 28th is an unusual date only in that so many widely known moments in history occurred. The truth is, as writers from Ta-Nehisi Coates to Sonia Sanchez have pointed out, the history of race in America is the history of post-Columbus America. Race is not a sidebar or a footnote, and when we treat it as such, we further marginalize people who have been structurally marginalized since the moment Europeans arrived in the Americas.

4

Bernie Sanders Courts Support In A Wary, Struggling Baltimore

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND — Until Tuesday, 49-year-old Mike Williams had never seen a presidential candidate visit Sandtown-Winchester — the impoverished Baltimore neighborhood where police killed 25-year-old Freddie Gray this past April. As Democratic hopeful Bernie Sanders passed by, surrounded by local African American pastors and tailed by dozens of reporters, Williams told ThinkProgress he was impressed.
“I have never, ever seen a person running for president come through here. Not one time,” he said. “At first, I wondered if he is just trying to get the black vote. But I did some research and found out he fought a lot for civil rights, and even marched at one time with Martin Luther King. I never knew that. And in his speeches, he says, ‘Yes, black lives do matter.‘”
2

“The civil rights movement is not over.” 50 years after Selma, we are still fighting for equality and justice. #Selma50 #Selma #BloodySunday