Civil Rights Movement

Recent Articles

Power is in your person

 

By Marian Wright Edelman

Guest Commentator

 

“You know, when we started the farm workers movement, I remember going to many conferences, and people [kept asking] how do we do this?… We had to convince people that they have power. “Of course, when you say to a farm worker who doesn’t speak the English language, doesn’t have formal education, doesn’t have any assets, doesn’t have any money, that he or she has power, they say, ‘What kind of power do I have?’ And so what we had to convince the workers is you do have power, but that power is in your person. “That power is in your person, and when you come together with other workers, other people, and they also understand that they have power, this is the way that changes are made. But you can’t do it by yourself. Continue Reading →

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What happened when we got off the bus?

 

October 16 will mark the 17th anniversary of the Million Man March on Washington, D.C. I remember that day because I stood in support of the beautiful brothers that had sent such a loud message to the world. I remember listening to great speeches, hearing proclamations, and seeing a spark in the eyes of African American men that had been overshadowed with the mask of hard times. Somehow I knew that this march was going to change the direction of the people I had grown to love so dearly — my people! Two years later, on October 25, 1997, I did not even question whether or not attending the Million Woman March was an option. For once in my life I was not doing something because my family or elders encouraged me to do it. Continue Reading →

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Marriage amendment divides Black Christians

 
Local Black clergy on opposite sides express their views

 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

The issue of same-sex marriage has been a controversial one for Black people, especially after President Barack Obama expressed his opinion on it last spring. The MSRspoke with two local Black ministers, one feels that the amendment represents “the Bible’s way,” while the other says it defines the GLBT community as the “other.”

Rev. Jerry McAfee pastors New Salem Baptist Church in Minneapolis. He admits that the president’s announcement in May disturbed him, believing that it was ill-timed. “I’ve been quite vocal on what the president did, not because he made the statement but at the timing of the statement. What I did not like was [that] he made the statement without talking to his African American constituents first — at least we could have helped him couch this thing in such a way that it would have been palatable. Continue Reading →

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Black athlete manifesto: Can today’s players take a stand for Black consciousness?

 

 

Are today’s Black athletes that oblivious to their history? Many either don’t know or don’t want to know when Black athletes were consistent targets for the then-and-still-majority-White media. Times, they say, are different now — Black athletes don’t have to go through what Jim Brown, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Muhammad Ali did, along with their contemporaries as well as those who opened the doors for them. It’s sad that today’s Black athletes don’t know, or don’t want to know, just how much the Browns, Abdul-Jabbars and Alis took their social consciousness seriously, even at the expense of their illustrious careers. That these men and others like them cared more about representing their heritage, their Blackness, than endorsement deals. Continue Reading →

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We need Black solutions to Black problems – Critical thinking in the Black Independence Movement

 

 

“Salvation for a race, nation or class must come from within.” 

          — A. Philip Randolph

 

Unless you are Herman Cain, you know that the Civil Rights Movement was ignited by young people tired of going through back doors, tired of being refused service at lunch counters, tired of living in the prison of Jim Crow. The older of us were moved to act when we saw our babies being shot with water cannons, our babies being beaten by police in riot gear. When we saw our babies maimed by vicious, hungry police dogs, their mothers and fathers said, “Not our babies!”

News to the wise: Our young are on the move again, this time against the now semi-invisible Jim Crow — the cradle-to-prison pipeline, the divestiture of public education and concurrent divestiture of the surrounding neighborhoods, the dispensing of guns to children too young to apply for a driver’s license. They are on the move against disproportionate minority contact with the police and against systems sustained off of Black misery. They are on the move against the tides that for so long have bound their ancestors — not just Harriet Tubman but us, their ancestors still here on earth. Continue Reading →

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