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Buck Franklin: African American Lawyer Who Won Court Victory For Black Residents After 1921 The Tulsa Race Riot

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Buck Franklin (1879-1960) was born in Oklahoma (Chickasaw Nation Indian Territory). Franklin began his law practice in the predominately white town of Ardmore, Oklahoma. He faced much racial prejudice and witnessed first hand the discrimination that ran rampant in the legal system. As a result, Franklin decided to focus his law practice in the African American community and relocated to Rentiesville, Oklahoma. There he married Mollie Franklin and moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1921.
Continue reading “Buck Franklin: African American Lawyer Who Won Court Victory For Black Residents After 1921 The Tulsa Race Riot”

106 Year Old Virginia McLaurin Visits President Obama At The White House

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106 Year old Virginia McLaurin never thought she would live to see a black president…..Let alone get a chance to meet him.  This White House video says it all.  Virginia was dancing with pride and joy. She was born less than 50 years after the Emancipation Proclamation and the end of the Civil War. She has lived through segregation, wars, and many other triumphs and tragedies!  Check out this White House video!

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“Indeed, The Interests Of The Oppressors Lie In Changing The Consciousness Of The Oppressed, NOT THE SITUATION THAT OPPRESSES THEM. -Paulo Freire

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friere 3 Continue reading ““Indeed, The Interests Of The Oppressors Lie In Changing The Consciousness Of The Oppressed, NOT THE SITUATION THAT OPPRESSES THEM. -Paulo Freire”

December 8, 1999 – Jurors Reaches Verdict In Civil Trial That U.S. Government Participated In Conspiracy To Kill Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

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mlk 4

 On December 8, 1999, in a civil trial in Memphis, TN, jurors reached the unanimous verdict that Dr. King was assassinated as a result of a conspiracy. In an interview after the verdict, Coretta Scott King stat that the mafia, local, state, and federal government agencies were involved in the assassination of Dr. King.
Continue reading “December 8, 1999 – Jurors Reaches Verdict In Civil Trial That U.S. Government Participated In Conspiracy To Kill Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.”

Children’s Books About The Civil Rights Movement

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There are many great books for children and youth about the civil rights movement!Click the link below to view some suggestions!

Children’s Books On The Civil Rights Movement

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Celebrating Our Sisters: The Women Behind The Montgomery Bus Boycott

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bus boycott

December 5, 2015 marked 60 years since the start of the Montgomery Bus Boycott. With 75-80% of bus riders in Montgomery being African American, the economic impact of the boycott was devastating. During the boycott, approximately 325 private vehicles picked up thousands of passengers on a daily basis from 43 dispatch stations and 42 pick up sites from 5am-8pm. Crippled economically, the city of Montgomery was forced to desegregate its bus system. Many are familiar with the efforts of the Montgomery Improvement Association in overseeing the boycott. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was its first president. However, many may be unaware of the critical role that the Women’s Political Council played in launching the boycott.

The Women’s Political Council (WPC) was founded in 1946 by Mary Fair Burks, a professor at Alabama State College. Burks launched the organization after she was arrested due to a traffic dispute involving a white woman. The purpose of the organization was to educate blacks in Montgomery on their constitutional rights and increase voter registration among blacks. Within in one week, Burks recruited 40 women to join the organization. Burks was the organization’s first president. The Women’s Political Council became very active in advocating for civil rights. By the 1950’s the organization had approximately 300 members, all of whom were registered voters (which was an impressive accomplishment for women at that time).

Jo Ann Gibson Robinson, a professor at Alabama State College became president in 1950. She focused the efforts of the organization on addressing discrimination on city buses. WPC met a number of times with local city officials in Montgomery in 1954 and 1955, to no avail. WPC had actually been contemplating a boycott of the Montgomery City bus line for several years (even before the arrest of Rosa Parks.) After Rosa Parks was arrested on December 1, 1955, WPC decided to call for a boycott. The WPC distributed 50,000 fliers that read, The Women’s Political Council will not wait for Mrs. Parks’ consent to call for a boycott of city buses. On Dec. 2, 1955, the women of Montgomery will call for a boycott to take place on Monday, Dec. 5.”

On December 5, 1956, the Supreme Court ruled that segregation on public buses was illegal; thus ending the 381 day bus boycott. The WPC continued to work in advocating for the civil rights of blacks. The tireless efforts of this group of women deserves to be celebrated.

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The Legacy Of Wilsonism

Click the link to learn more about the devastating impact of Woodrow Wilson’s presidency on African Americans.  You will also learn about how students at Princeton University (where Wilson served as college president) are rallying to expose his racist legacy!

The legacy of Wilsonism –

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Mississippi Appendectomy: History of Involuntary Sterilization of African American Women

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fannie lou hamer
Fannie Lou Hamer 1917-1977

The term, “Mississippi Appendectomy” was popularized by Civil Rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer. It refers to involuntary sterilization procedures that were performed on African American women. While having surgery to remove a tumor, in 1961 Hamer was given a hysterectomy without her knowledge or consent by a white doctor as a part of the state of Mississippi’s plan to reduce the number of poor blacks in the state. Hysterectomies or tubal ligations were performed on many other poor black women against their will and without their knowledge. Due to rampant discrimination and prejudice there was a belief that certain individuals of color or poor women in general were “unfit” to reproduce.

These forced/coerced sterilizations took place across the country but were considered particularly frequent in the deep south. Poor women, women with physical disabilities, or characteristics for which physicians deemed these women “unfit to reproduce” were often targeted for sterilization. Poor white women and Native Americans were also subjected to these types of coercive sterilization practices. Women outside the U.S. were also subjected to these involuntary sterilization procedures.

Atlanta Compromise: Booker T. Washington’s Solution To The “Negro Problem”

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Booker T. Washington
Booker T. Washington

On September 18, 1895, Booker T. Washington delivered his famous “Atlanta Compromise” speech at the Cotton States and International Exposition in Atlanta. Though not without its critics, it is regarded as one of the most significant speeches in American history.

Washington’s speech responded to the “Negro problem”—of what should be done about the terrible socio-economic conditions under which blacks were living after emancipation; as well as the relationship between blacks and whites, particularly in the South. Washington promised his predominately white audience that he would encourage blacks to become skilled in areas such as agriculture, mechanics, commerce and domestic service. He further assured the crowd of the loyalty of the black race. Washington, seemed in the speech to take great pains to also assure the audience that blacks desire for social equality would not be forced artificially but would gradually occur over time. Washington also seemed intent to minimize the fears of whites regarding social integration. His speech seemed to imply that blacks and whites could maintain their separateness and still work together and have mutual progress.

Washington’s speech did encourage whites to take some responsibility in supporting the socio economic advancement of blacks. However, he made sure to praise the South for what he felt were opportunities they provided to blacks in the south since emancipation. Washington’s stressing a sort of shared responsibility resulted in his speech being called, “The Atlanta Compromise’. The speech was well received by those in attendance as well as other prominent African American leaders. However, some black leaders took great issue with the speech; feeling that Washington’s approach was too passive. One of Washington’s biggest critics was W.E.B Dubois.

Washington had his critics, none more vocal than another leading black educator and scholar of his day—W. E. B. Du Bois. Du Bois, “Mr. Washington represents in Negro thought the old attitude of adjustment and submission…. [His] programme practically accepts the alleged inferiority of the Negro races.” Dubois believed the problems of the Negro needed a different type of response. He believed blacks should be more aggressive in obtaining civil rights.The Atlanta Compromise speech was clearly Washington’s ‘answer’ for addressing the problems that blacks were now facing after emancipation. A position to which W.E.B. Dubois was staunchly opposed.

To read the speech in its entirety, click on the link below:

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