1964 Civil Rights Act

Recent Articles

Humphrey Public Affairs panel agrees: King’s Dream remains a dream, not our reality

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

The 1964 Civil Rights Act became law 50 years ago, and the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs this year is hosting a series of events to commemorate the historic legislation. Last week’s panel discussion at Cowles Auditorium with local civil rights activists was the beginning. Roy Wilkins Center for Human Relations and Social Justice Chair Dr. Samuel Myers characterized the January 23 event, cosponsored by the center and the African American Leadership Forum, as “a critical discourse and discussion about how far have we come and where we need to go.”

University of St. Thomas Law Professor Nekima Levy-Pounds, the event’s keynote speaker, told the audience of around 40 people that Dr. King’s legacy too often is romanticized, especially his 1963 I Have A Dream speech. “That speech was amazing — according to many people, it is the greatest speech that’s ever been made in American history,” she said. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Over 40 years ago King pointed out the “illusion of the damned”

 
America’s survival rests on undoing the exploitation of Black people
 
 

“When I speak of integration, I don’t mean a romantic mixing of colors. I mean a real sharing of power and responsibility. We will eventually achieve this, but it is going to be much more difficult for us than for any other minority. After all, no other minority has been so constantly, brutally and deliberately exploited. But because of this very exploitation, Negroes bring a special spiritual and moral contribution to American life — a contribution without which America could not survive.”

— Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: A Testament of Hope,” (1969)

 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

When Barack Obama was first elected U.S. president in 2008, some declared this the beginning of America’s post-racial age. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Opportunity and diversity one industry at a time

By Benjamin Todd Jealous

Guest Commentator

 

There is a missing component to the national discussion concerning how to strengthen and rebuild the American economy. It is true that high unemployment, a weak national infrastructure, the need for stronger public education, the concentration of wealth and the deficit are all challenges to the nation’s economy, but being left out of the discussion is the continued economic marginalization of racial and ethnic minorities. The American economy has always been strongest when it’s kept the middle class within reach for most Americans. But with White households holding nearly 20 times the wealth of Black or Latino households, and with rising disparities in unemployment, poverty, and income, the future of the middle class has never looked more uncertain. As the country rapidly becomes majority minority, the nation’s economic well-being is increasingly tied to overcoming racial-economic inequality. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,