Thurgood Marshall

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PBS documentary views Thurgood Marshall through a personal lens

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

A new documentary on the late Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall will air on public television in October, but a free public preview was aired May 3 at the University of Minnesota’s Ted Mann Concert Hall. The one-hour screening and a panel discussion afterwards was sponsored by the U of M Humphrey School of Public Affairs as part of its “Keeping Faith with a Legacy of Justice” series, which continues through July of this year to commemorate the 50th anniversary year of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Prior to the screening of Mr. Civil Rights: Thurgood Marshall and the NAACP, the MSR talked exclusively with producer Mick Caouette and both author Juan Williams and University of Baltimore School of Law Professor Jose Anderson, who appear in the film. Roy Wilkins’ nephew, Roger Wilkins, originally suggested that Caouette, who has done historical documentaries since 1996, present a historical film on Marshall (1908-1993), who successfully argued and won the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision that desegregated U.S. public schools. “I discovered a lot, but unfortunately this film only really goes right up to Brown,” noted Caouette. Continue Reading →

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NAACP, St. Paul teachers team up to address Brown’s unfinished business

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

The St. Paul NAACP branch and the St. Paul Federation of Teachers (SPFT) recently have joined forces to work on local education issues. “We started talking this [past] winter” with the NAACP on working on “big picture” issues around education, says SPFT President Mary Cathryn Ricker. Last month the SPFT and NAACP jointly held a series of recognition events to mark the 60th anniversary of the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision, including lesson plans written by William Mitchell College of Law students and taught to all St. Continue Reading →

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NAACP activates legal strategy

 

 

 

 

 

 
Local branch joins Doug Mann in Sports Authority law suit
 

One of the traditional strengths of the NAACP movement has been its shrewd planning for taking legal action against those violating rights of African Americans. When you think of the successes of NAACP legal redress committees, you think of such leaders as Walter White, Roy Wilkens and Thurgood Marshall, as well as such historic actions and legal milestones as the 1954 decision of Brown vs. Board of Education and Martin Luther King’s 1968 Poor Peoples March. The legal redress committee, a historic pillar of strength of NAACP branches across America fighting for African American civil rights, is seen once again in the local NAACP branch’s crafty move on the legal front to join the suit of long time NAACP member Doug Mann against the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority (MSFA) for its failure to meet its diversity pledge. With the appointment of long time local branch NAACP supporter Louis King to its executive committee, the trap door has been slammed shut on the MSFA. Continue Reading →

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Let us recommit to the HBCU mission of St. Paul’s College

By Benjamin Todd Jealous

Guest Commentator

 

This fall, as college campuses open their doors to the bustle of students, one historically Black institution will remain silent. In the old colonial town of Lawrenceville, Va., Saint Paul’s College has shut its doors after more than a century of operation. The college had fallen on hard times in recent years, and it serves as a canary in the coal mine for other historically Black colleges and universities that face an uncertain economic future. Saint Paul’s College was founded in 1888 by my grandfather’s uncle, James Solomon Russell. A former slave who died an archdeacon and university principal-emeritus, Russell understood the transformative power of education. Continue Reading →

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Minnesota honors civil rights legend

 

 
Juanita Jackson Mitchell helped reestablish Twin Cities NAACP branches
 

 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

Juanita Jackson Mitchell (1913-1992) only lived in St. Paul for four years, but her impact during that stint laid an eventual path to many firsts in Minnesota. The Juanita Jackson Mitchell Crusader for Freedom Exhibit, a compilation of Mitchell’s personal photographs and other artifacts, was on display at the State Capitol May 8-14. It is a traveling exhibit on loan from Roland Park Country School in Baltimore, Maryland, where it was established in 1995, three years after her death in 1992 of heart failure at age 79. “This exhibit [is] about her life,” Minnesota State General Counsel Micah Hines told the MSR prior to the May 8 opening program and tour. Continue Reading →

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The abuse of Black children in MN’s education system — Highlighting the Mpls. and Bloomington districts

 

 

Thurgood Marshall wrote: “None of us got where we are solely by pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps. We got here because somebody — a parent, a teacher, an Ivy League crony or a few nuns — bent down and helped us pick up our boots.”

But what if you have no boots? The chilling reality in education is that some Black children are being denied boots in the first place. The only true way out and up for any child, Black or White, is education. But when purposefully denied, the eventual result is no job, and if no job, no housing for family. Continue Reading →

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