1963 Birmingham Campaign

04/15/2014

MLK Birmingham Jail

April 16, 1963
Martin Luther King, Jr., is arrested and jailed during anti-segregation protests in Birmingham, Ala.; he writes his seminal “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” arguing that individuals have the moral duty to disobey unjust laws.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Letter_from_Birmingham_Jail

 

Birmingham Campaign (1963)

In April 1963 King and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) joined with Birmingham, Alabama’s existing local movement, the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights (ACMHR), in a massive direct action campaign to attack the city’s segregation system by putting pressure on Birmingham’s merchants during the Easter season, the second biggest shopping season of the year. As ACMHR founder Fred Shuttlesworth stated in the group’s ‘‘Birmingham Manifesto,’’ the campaign was ‘‘a moral witness to give our community a chance to survive’’ (ACMHR, 3 April 1963).

The campaign was originally scheduled to begin in early March 1963, but was postponed until 2 April when the relatively moderate Albert Boutwell defeated Birmingham’s segregationist commissioner of public safety, Eugene ‘‘Bull’’ Connor, in a run-off mayoral election. On 3 April the desegregation campaign was launched with a series of mass meetings, direct actions, lunch counter sit-ins, marches on City Hall, and a boycott of downtown merchants. King spoke to black citizens about the philosophy of nonviolence and its methods, and extended appeals for volunteers at the end of the mass meetings. With the number of volunteers increasing daily, actions soon expanded to kneel-ins at churches, sit-ins at the library, and a march on the county building to register voters. Hundreds were arrested.

For more: http://mlk-kpp01.stanford.edu/index.php/encyclopedia/encyclopedia/enc_birmingham_campaign/

 

April 16, 1963 LETTER FROM BIRMINGHAM JAIL

MY DEAR FELLOW CLERGYMEN:

While confined here in the Birmingham city jail, I came across your recent statement calling my present activities “unwise and untimely.” Seldom do I pause to answer criticism of my work and ideas. If I sought to answer all the criticisms that cross my desk, my secretaries would have little time for anything other than such correspondence in the course of the day, and I would have no time for constructive work. But since I feel that you are men of genuine good will and that your criticisms are sincerely set forth, I want to try to answer your statements in what I hope will be patient and reasonable terms.

I think I should indicate why I am here In Birmingham, since you have been influenced by the view which argues against “outsiders coming in.” I have the honor of serving as president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, an organization operating in every southern state, with headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia. We have some eighty-five affiliated organizations across the South, and one of them is the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights. Frequently we share staff, educational and financial resources with our affiliates. Several months ago the affiliate here in Birmingham asked us to be on call to engage in a nonviolent direct-action program if such were deemed necessary. We readily consented, and when the hour came we lived up to our promise. So I, along with several members of my staff, am here because I was invited here I am here because I have organizational ties here.

But more basically, I am in Birmingham because injustice is here. Just as the prophets of the eighth century B.C. left their villages and carried their “thus saith the Lord” far beyond the boundaries of their home towns, and just as the Apostle Paul left his village of Tarsus and carried the gospel of Jesus Christ to the far corners of the Greco-Roman world, so am I compelled to carry the gospel of freedom beyond my own home town. Like Paul, I must constantly respond to the Macedonian call for aid.

For more: http://abacus.bates.edu/admin/offices/dos/mlk/letter.html

.

Birmingham, Alabama Civil Rights Movement

In the 1950s and 1960s Birmingham received national and international attention as a center of the civil rights struggle for African-Americans. Locally the movement’s activists were led by Fred Shuttlesworth, a fiery preacher who became legendary for his fearlessness in the face of violence, notably a string of racially motivated bombings that earned Birmingham the derisive nickname “Bombingham”.

A watershed in the civil rights movement occurred in 1963 when Shuttlesworth requested that Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), which Shuttlesworth had co-founded, come to Birmingham, where King had once been a pastor, to help end segregation. Together they launched “Project C” (for “Confrontation”), a massive assault on the Jim Crow system. During April and May daily sit-ins and mass marches organized and led by movement leader James Bevel were met with police repression, tear gas, attack dogs, fire hoses, and arrests. More than 3,000 people were arrested during these protests, almost all of them high-school age children. These protests were ultimately successful, leading not only to desegregation of public accommodations in Birmingham but also the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

While imprisoned for having taken part in a nonviolent protest, Dr. King wrote the now famous Letter from Birmingham Jail, a defining treatise in his cause against segregation. Birmingham is also known for a bombing which occurred later that year, in which four black girls were killed by a bomb planted at the 16th Street Baptist Church. The event would inspire the African-American poet Dudley Randall’s opus, “The Ballad of Birmingham“, as well as jazz musician John Coltrane‘s song “Alabama”.

In 1998 the Birmingham Pledge, written by local attorney James Rotch, was introduced at the Martin Luther King Unity Breakfast. As a grassroots community commitment to combating racism and prejudice, it has since then been used for programs in all fifty states and in more than twenty countries. In 2011, the Highland Park neighborhood of Birmingham was named as a 2011 America’s Great Place by the American Planning Association.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Birmingham,_Alabama#Birmingham_civil_rights_movement

.

Remembering Birmingham’s ‘Dynamite Hill’ Neighborhood

July 06, 2013 4:48 AM by DEBBIE ELLIOTT – NPR

Long before the Civil Rights marches of 1963 thrust Birmingham, Ala. into the national spotlight, black families along one residential street were steadily chipping away at Jim Crow segregation laws — and paying a price for it. As part of our series looking back at the seminal events that changed the nation 50 years ago, NPR’s Debbie Elliott paid a visit to Birmingham’s Dynamite Hill.

In many ways, the story of modern Birmingham starts on Center Street, a leafy hill lined with neat brick ranch-style houses. In the 1940s, Center Street was the city’s color line. To some, the west side was the white side and the east side was in transition.

Standing at the top of the hill, Jeff Drew remembers when the first black families tried to cross that divide.

“If you wanted to get a house on the west side of Center Street chances are you were going to have some resistance from white folks,” Drew says.

But Drew’s family, along with other up-and-coming black professionals, moved to the west side of Center Street anyway in a determined effort to take on one of the most segregated cities in America. At first, Drew says, the Ku Klux Klan would burn the doors of the houses that African-Americans moved into. Sometimes members of the Klan would fire shots into the dark of night.

“Those big cathedral windows were what were being shot at all of the time,” Drew recalls.

And then there was dynamite. Drew says they knew a blast was coming when they heard decommissioned police cruisers burning rubber up Center Street.

“Flying up the hill. They’d throw that bomb, and we used to marvel at how fast those guys could drive. Cowards. Right up this hill,” Drew says.

Those trips were so frequent that Center Street became known as Dynamite Hill, which was quite a distinction in a city that had its own notorious nickname: “Bombingham.”

Birmingham historian Horace Huntley says white supremacists, with the power of the government and police behind them, were trying to intimidate civil rights pioneers.

“There were 40 plus bombings that took place in Birmingham between the late 40s and the mid 60s. Forty-some unsolved bombings,” says Huntley.

For more: http://www.npr.org/blogs/codeswitch/2013/07/06/197342590/remembering-birminghams-dynamite-hill-neighborhood

 

Obama_Biden_thumbnail


Fair Housing Act

04/13/2014

Housing Discrimination

The Civil Rights Act of 1968, (Pub.L. 90–284, 82 Stat. 73, enacted April 11, 1968) is a landmark piece of legislation in the United States that provided for equal housing opportunities regardless of race, creed, or national origin and made it a federal crime to “by force or by threat of force, injure, intimidate, or interfere with anyone … by reason of their race, color, religion, or national origin.” The Act was signed into law during the King assassination riots by President Lyndon B. Johnson, who had previously signed the Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act into law.

Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968 is commonly known as the Fair Housing Act and was meant as a follow‑up to the Civil Rights Act of 1964. While the Civil Rights Act of 1866 prohibited discrimination in housing, there were no federal enforcement provisions.The 1968 act expanded on previous acts and prohibited discrimination concerning the sale, rental, and financing of housing based on race, religion, national origin, and since 1974, gender; since 1988, the act protects people with disabilities and families with children.

Victims of discrimination may use both the 1968 act and the 1866 act via section 1983 to seek redress. The 1968 act provides for federal solutions while the 1866 act provides for private solutions (i.e., civil suits). A rider attached to the bill makes it a felony to “travel in interstate commerce…with the intent to incite, promote, encourage, participate in and carry on a riot”. This provision has been criticized for “equating organized political protest with organized violence”.

For more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civil_Rights_Act_of_1968

 

The Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. 3601 et seq., prohibits discrimination by direct providers of housing, such as landlords and real estate companies as well as other entities, such as municipalities, banks or other lending institutions and homeowners insurance companies whose discriminatory practices make housing unavailable to persons because of:

In cases involving discrimination in mortgage loans or home improvement loans, the Department may file suit under both the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act. Under the Fair Housing Act, the Department of Justice may bring lawsuits where there is reason to believe that a person or entity is engaged in a “pattern or practice” of discrimination or where a denial of rights to a group of persons raises an issue of general public importance. Where force or threat of force is used to deny or interfere with fair housing rights, the Department of Justice may institute criminal proceedings. The Fair Housing Act also provides procedures for handling individual complaints of discrimination. Individuals who believe that they have been victims of an illegal housing practice, may file a complaint with the Department of Housing and Urban Development [HUD] or file their own lawsuit in federal or state court. The Department of Justice brings suits on behalf of individuals based on referrals from HUD.

For more: http://www.justice.gov/crt/about/hce/housing_coverage.php

Forward For Equality_sml


GOP Kills Paycheck Fairness Act AGAIN

04/10/2014

GOP Blocks Equal Pay
Senate Republicans again kill Paycheck Fairness Act

4/09/14 01:06 PM - Steven Benen – maddowblog

The third time was not the charm. Democratic efforts to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act failed to overcome Republican opposition in the 111th Congress and the 112th Congress, and as of this morning, it failed once again at the hands of a GOP filibuster.

Senate Republicans filibustered a debate on a Democratic pay equity bill backed by President Barack Obama Wednesday.

Sixty votes were needed to allow the bill to be debated on the Senate floor, but Republicans refused to allow the bill to come up for debate after complaining Democrats weren’t allowing votes on their amendments.

The roll call from the vote is online here. Note that the final tally was 54 to 43 – six votes shy of the supermajority needed to end Republican obstructionism – but Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) switched his vote for procedural reasons, leaving it at 53 to 44.

The legislation received exactly zero Republican votes, as was the case with previous efforts to pass the bill.I

In case anyone needs a refresher, the Paycheck Fairness Act is a perfectly credidble piece of legislation that would “enhance the remedies available for victims of gender-based discrimination and require employers to show that wage differences are job-related, not sex-based, and driven by business necessity. The measure would also protect employees from retaliation for sharing salary information, which is important for deterring and challenging discriminatory compensation.”

As we’ve discussed, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act was an important step forward when it comes to combating discrimination, but it was also narrowly focused to address a specific problem: giving victims of discrimination access to the courts for legal redress. The Paycheck Fairness Act is a broader measure.

Republicans have responded that they endorse the idea of equal pay for equal work, but in recent years, much of the party remains opposed to policymakers’ efforts to do something about it. (This morning, some GOP senators also raised procedural objections about amendments.)

As for the electoral considerations, aren’t GOP lawmakers worried about rejecting measures like these in an election year?

Apparently not.

Senate Republicans aren’t sweating a ramped-up push by Democrats and President Barack Obama for new pay equity legislation – pushing forward women Republicans to rebut charges they have a woman problem and doubting the issue will resonate with voters. […]

Republicans argue that the Democrats’ bill – along with their so-called “Fair Shot” agenda for the year – is a political ploy that will not fool voters.

I’m not sure who’s trying to fool whom in this model. Dems put together a bill; the bill is popular; and they’ve pushed it repeatedly for six years. That sounds less like a p.r. stunt and more like an effort to address a problem.

As for the midterms, Republicans have struggled of late with the gender gap. At a minimum, today’s vote won’t help.

./

GOP_Elephant_WRONG_WAY_small

Paycheck Fairness Act Vote Blocked By House GOP

4/11/2013 4:56 pm EDT Laura Bassett – huffingtonpost

House GOP leadership is not likely to bring the Paycheck Fairness Act up for a vote any time soon, but House Democrats used a procedural move to force them to go on record opposing the bill on Thursday.

Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), the sponsor of the equal pay legislation, filed a discharge petition on the bill Thursday morning that would immediately force a vote on it if she could collect 218 signatures. Democrats also put forth a motion on Thursday known as the “Previous Question,” which would have enabled them to put the Paycheck Fairness Act up for a vote, but Republicans killed the effort by a vote of 226 to 192.

Recent Census Bureau data shows that full-time working women make 77 cents for every dollar men make per year. The Paycheck Fairness Act, which DeLauro has introduced in eight consecutive Congresses, would expand the Equal Pay Act to close certain loopholes and allow employees to share salary information with their coworkers. It would also require employers to show that pay disparities between their male and female employees are related to job performance, not gender.

Most Republicans oppose the bill, and Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.) said on the House Floor Thursday afternoon that the bill is a “liberal plot” to perpetuate the narrative that Republicans are anti-woman. DeLauro countered that she has yet to hear a reasonable excuse for Republicans to oppose the bill.

“I think we’re looking at a group of people who either don’t believe there is a pay gap or who just want to be contrary,” DeLauro told HuffPost in a phone interview. “This bill isn’t a liberal plot. We have enough statistical information to demonstrate that no matter what the job is, whether you’re a waitress or bus driver or civil engineer, women are paid less money.”

Every Republican that was present for the vote on Thursday voted against the motion to bring the bill up for a vote, so DeLauro is unlikely to get the number of signatures she needs for her discharge petition. But she said she has managed to drum up bipartisan support for the bill in the past, and she is going to continue to work on her Republican colleagues this session.

For more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/11/paycheck-fairness-act_n_3063804.html?utm_hp_ref=politics

 

Equal Pay - Women Breadwinners

The Paycheck Fairness Act is legislation twice introduced and twice rejected by the United States Congress to expand the scope of the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and the Fair Labor Standards Act as part of an effort to address male–female income disparity in the United States. A Census Bureau report published in 2008 indicated that women’s median annual earnings were 77.5% of men’s earnings, a disparity attributed to both systematic discrimination against women and women’s lifestyle choices.

The House of Represen­tatives approved the bill in January 2009. The United States Senate failed to move the bill forward in November 2010. President Barack Obama said in March 2011 that he will continue to fight for the goals in the Paycheck Fairness Act. The bill was reintroduced in both houses of Congress in April 2011.

The 2010 bill had no Republican Party co-sponsors, though a group of four Republican senators had supported an earlier bill to address gender-based wage discrimination, including Susan CollinsKay Bailey HutchisonLisa Murkowski and Olympia Snowe. On June 5th, 2012 the bill fell short of the 60 votes necessary to override a filibuster and did not make it to the Senate floor for debate. The vote went along party lines, excluding a vote against by Democrat Harry Reid. (A vote which left Democrats the option to introduce the bill again at a later time.)

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paycheck_Fairness_Act

.

June 04, 2012

FACT SHEET: Fighting for Equal Pay and the Paycheck Fairness Act

Today, the President continues to advocate for passage of the Paycheck Fairness Act, a comprehensive bill that strengthens the Equal Pay Act of 1963, which made it illegal for employers to pay unequal wages to men and women who perform substantially equal work.   The Paycheck Fairness Act is commonsense legislation that, among other things, would achieve the following:

  • Better align key Equal Pay Act defenses with those in Title VII.
  • Bring remedies available under the Equal Pay Act into line with remedies available under other civil rights laws.
  • Make the requirements for class action lawsuits under the Equal Pay Act match those of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
  • Protect employees who share their own salary information at work from retaliation by an employer.

The existing legal tools available to remedy pay discrimination are not enough, so Congress needs to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act now.

For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/06/04/fact-sheet-fighting-equal-pay-and-paycheck-fairness-act

.

Did You Know That Women Are Still Paid Less Than Men?

On average, full-time working women earn just 77 cents for every dollar a man earns. This substantial gap is more than a statistic — it has real life consequences. When women, who make up nearly half the workforce, bring home less money each day, it means they have less for the everyday needs of their families, and over a lifetime of work, far less savings for retirement.

President Obama supports passage of the Paycheck Fairness Act, a comprehensive and commonsense bill that updates and strengthens the Equal Pay Act of 1963, which made it illegal for employers to pay unequal wages to men and women who perform substantially equal work.

Obama_Biden_thumbnail


The Civil Rights Summit

04/08/2014
Fiftieth Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

Fiftieth Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

PBO 50th Annv 1964 Civil Rights Act

Civil Rights Summit

Apr 08, 2014

“WE SHALL OVERCOME.”

When President Lyndon Johnson spoke those words before a Joint Session of Congress, he made the cause of overcoming injustice the cause of all Americans.

Johnson began his quest for a more just and honorable America with the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the most transformational civil rights legislation since Reconstruction and a crucial step in the realization of America’s promise. In the years that followed, LBJ passed the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Fair Housing Act of 1968. Together, this triumvirate of laws would ban discrimination based on race, color, sex, religion, or national origin.

The three-day Civil Rights Summit commemorates the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  The Act, along with the 1965 Voting Rights Act and the Fair Housing Act in 1968, helped establish the legal foundation in fulfilling the long elusive promise of equality among all Americans.  The three-day Civil Rights Summit, comprised of afternoon panel discussions followed by evening keynote addresses, will reflect on the seminal nature of the civil rights legislation passed by President Johnson while examining civil rights issues in America and around the world today.

The Civil Rights Summit –  Program
The Civil Rights Summit - Speakers

Live Stream: http://www.civilrightssummit.org

.

April 8
Former President Jimmy Carter delivers remarks

April 9
Former President Bill Clinton delivers remarks

April 10
Former George W. Bush delivers remarks

President Barack Obama delivers the keynote address

.

Civil Rights Summit
April 8-10, 2014
LBJ Presidential Library
Austin, Texas

Obama_Biden_thumbnail


Executive Order: Equal Pay Rules For Federal Contractors

04/06/2014

Your Right To Equal Pay

 

Obama To Sign Executive Order With Equal Pay Rules For Federal Contractors

APRIL 6, 2014 JIM KUHNHENN – tpm

WASHINGTON (AP) — Lacking congressional backing to raise wages or end gender pay disparities, President Barack Obama is imposing his policies directly on federal contractors, following a long-established tradition of presidents exerting their powers on a fraction of the economy directly under their control.

This week, the president will sign an executive order that would prohibit federal contractors from retaliating against employees who discuss their pay with each other. The prohibition on the wage “gag rules” is similar to language in a Senate bill aimed at closing a pay gap between men and women. That legislation is scheduled for a vote this week, though it is not likely to pass.

In addition, Obama on Tuesday will direct the Labor Department to adopt regulations requiring federal contractors to provide compensation data based on sex and race. The president will sign the executive order and the presidential memo during an event at the White House where he will be joined Lilly Ledbetter, whose name appears on a pay discrimination law Obama signed in 2009.

This week’s steps showcase Obama’s efforts to take action without congressional approval and illustrate how even without legislation, the president can drive policy on a significant segment of the U.S. economy. At the same time, it also underscores the limits of his ambition when he doesn’t have the backing of Congress for his initiatives.

For more: http://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/obama-executive-order-equal-pay

..

“Equal pay is a family issue. Women make up nearly half of the U.S. labor force and are a growing number of breadwinners in their families. More women are also working in positions and fields that have been traditionally occupied by men. When women are not paid fairly, not only do they suffer, but so do their families.”

.

“I’m eager to work with Congress whenever I can find opportunities to expand opportunity for more families. But wherever I can act on my own, without Congress, by using my pen to take executive actions, or picking up the phone and rallying folks around a common cause, that’s what I’m going to do.”

2/12/14 President Barack Obama

 .

Understand the Basics of Equal Payhttp://www.whitehouse.gov/issues/equal-pay

Obama_Biden_thumbnail


Assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr

04/03/2014
On April 4, 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated while standing on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel, Memphis, TN

On April 4, 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated while standing on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel, Memphis, TN

Martin Luther King, Jr. was an American clergyman, activist, and prominent leader of the African-American civil rights movement and Nobel Peace Prize laureate who became known for his advancement of civil rights by using civil disobedience. He was assassinated at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee on Thursday April 4, 1968, at the age of 39. King was rushed to St. Joseph’s Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 7:05pm that evening. James Earl Ray, a fugitive from the Missouri State Penitentiary, was arrested on June 8, 1968 in London at Heathrow Airport, extradited to the United States, and charged with the crime. On March 10, 1969, Ray entered a plea of guilty and was sentenced to 99 years in the Tennessee State Penitentiary. Ray later made many attempts to withdraw his guilty plea and be tried by a jury, but was unsuccessful; he died in prison on April 23, 1998, at the age of 70.

For more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assassination_of_Martin_Luther_King,_Jr.#Assassination

.

The National Civil Rights Museum is the site of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, TN where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated on April 4, 1968. The Museum is located at South Main and Huling Streets, in the historic art district of downtown Memphis.

Dedicated on September 28, 1991, the Museum exists to assist the public in understanding the lessons of the Civil Rights Movement and its impact and influence on human rights movements worldwide, through its collections, exhibitions, research and educational programs. It chronicles the civil rights movement from 1619 to 2000 with historical exhibits, including Room 306, the hotel room where Dr. King stayed in April of 1968.

For more: http://www.civilrightsmuseum.org/About-NCRM.aspx?pid=9#sthash.towRDR0I.dpbs

.

The National Civil Rights Museum - April 2014 Events

50TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE CIVIL RIGHTS ACT FORUM
Friday, April 04, 2014
An educational forum addressing the impact of the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964. What led to the legislation? What promises were granted, what’s left unfulfilled and what now? Moderated by Tavis Smiley, the Forum is comprised of three panel sessions.

1950 – 1964: Turbulent Times
Panelists – Dr. Bernard Lafayette, Professor Bill Robinson

1964 – 1970: Accelerated Activism
Panelists – Attorney Ray Terry, Attorney Barry Goldstein

1970 – Present: Promises Delivered, Promises Denied
Panelists – Marian Wright Edelman, Dr. Hasan Kwame Jeffries

Fee($): Free, but Limited Seating, Overflow in Auditorium
Time : 2:00pm
Location : National Civil Rights Museum Hooks•Hyde Hall (overflow in theater)

APRIL 4TH COMMEMORATION – CANDLELIGHT VIGIL
Friday, April 04, 2014
Remembering and reflecting on the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, with a salute in speech, song, and laying of wreath.

Fee($): Free, Open to the Public
Time : 6:00pm
Location : National Civil Rights Museum Courtyard

GRAND REOPENING – COMMUNITY DAY
Saturday, April 05, 2014
9:30am, Freedom Forward Parade: The Freedom Forward Parade begins at the Memphis Cook Convention Center and proceeds along Second Street to Vance, then Main to the National Civil Rights Museum

11:00am, Breaking of the Chains: Grand reopening ceremony concluding with the official opening of the doors to the public.

12:00-7:00pm, Freedom Forward Main Stage: A full day of performances, speeches, and reflections from the Freedom Forward main stage as visitors tour the Museum.

12:00-7:00pm, Museum Tours: Take an abbreviated tour of the renovated exhibits for a powerfully transformative experience in civil rights history.

.

National Civil Rights Museum

Facebook
Twitter
Instagram
Pinterest
Obama_Biden_thumbnail


César E. Chávez

03/30/2014

chavez_huelga

cesar_chavez_usps

César E. Chávez

César E. Chávez (born César Estrada Chávez,  March 31, 1927 – April 23, 1993) was an American farm worker, labor leader and civil rights activist, who, with Dolores Huerta, co-founded the National Farm Workers Association (later the United Farm Workers union, UFW).

A Mexican American, Chávez became the best known Latino American civil rights activist, and was strongly promoted by the American labor movement, which was eager to enroll Hispanic members. His public-relations approach to unionism and aggressive but nonviolent tactics made the farm workers’ struggle a moral cause with nationwide support. By the late 1970s, his tactics had forced growers to recognize the UFW as the bargaining agent for 50,000 field workers in California and Florida. However, by the mid-1980s membership in the UFW had dwindled to around 15,000.

After his death he became a major historical icon for the Latino community, organized labor, and liberal movement, symbolizing support for workers and for Hispanic power based on grass roots organizing and his slogan “Sí, se puede” (Spanish for “Yes, one can” or, roughly, “Yes, it can be done”). His supporters say his work led to numerous improvements for union laborers. His birthday, March 31, has become César Chávez Day, a state holiday in California, Colorado, and Texas.

For more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ceasar_Chavez

.

The Story of César Chávez
THE BEGINNING

The story of César Estrada Chávez begins near Yuma, Arizona. Cesar was born on March 31, 1927. He was named after his grandfather, Cesario. Regrettably, the story of César E. Chávez also ends near Yuma, Arizona. He passed away on April 23, 1993, in San Luis, a small village near Yuma, Arizona.

He learned about justice or rather injustice early in his life. César grew up in Arizona; the small adobe home, where César was born was swindled from them by dishonest Anglos. César’s father agreed to clear eighty acres of land and in exchange he would receive the deed to forty acres of land that adjoined the home. The agreement was broken and the land sold to a man named Justus Jackson. César’s dad went to a lawyer who advised him to borrow money and buy the land. Later when César’s father could not pay the interest on the loan the lawyer bought back the land and sold it to the original owner. César learned a lesson about injustice that he would never forget. Later, he would say, The love for justice that is in us is not only the best part of our being but it is also the most true to our nature.

In 1938 he and his family moved to California. He lived in La Colonia Barrio in Oxnard for a short period, returning to Arizona several months later. They returned to California in June 1939 and this time settled in San Jose. They lived in the barrio called Sal Si Puedes -”Get Out If You Can.” César thought the only way to get out of the circle of poverty was to work his way up and send the kids to college. He and his family worked in the fields of California from Brawley to Oxnard, Atascadero, Gonzales, King City, Salinas, McFarland, Delano, Wasco, Selma, Kingsburg, and Mendota.

For more: http://www.ufw.org/_page.php?menu=research&inc=history/07.html

.

César Chávez Day

César E. Chávez’s birthday, March 31, is celebrated in California, Colorado, and Texas as a state holiday, intended to promote service to the community in honor of Chávez ‘s life and work. Many, but not all, state government offices, community colleges, and libraries are closed. Many public schools in the state are also closed. Texas also recognizes the day, and it is an optional holiday in Arizona and Colorado. Although it is not a federal holiday, President Barack Obama proclaimed March 31 as “César Chávez “ in the United States, with Americans being urged to “observe this day with appropriate service, community, and educational programs to honor César Chávez’s enduring legacy”.

Obama_Biden_thumbnail


‘Victims Protection Act’ Passes Senate

03/10/2014

Senate approves McCaskill sexual assault bill in 97-0 vote

March 10, 2014, 06:25 pm By Ramsey Cox and Jeremy Herb

The Senate on Monday unanimously approved legislation that boosts protections for victims of military sexual assault.

In a 97-0 vote, the Senate approved S. 1917, the Victims Protection Act. The new bill eliminates the ability to cite a soldier’s good record when defending that soldier against assault charges.

It also allows the victims of sexual assault to say whether they’d prefer their cases handled in a military or civilian jurisdiction, and includes sexual assault as part of commanders’ performance assessments.

The legislation from Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) is a less controversial bill than Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s bill, which the Senate rejected last week, although 55 senators voted in support of it.

Gillibrand’s bill would have taken the decision to prosecute sexual assault cases outside the military’s chain of command. The Pentagon and Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) opposed that change.

Gillibrand and her supporters argued that the proposal is necessary because victims aren’t reporting sexual assault crimes for fear of reprisal, while opponents and Pentagon brass said that commanders needed to maintain accountability to curb the problem of sexual assault within the military’s ranks.

McCaskill’s bill keeps the current military justice system intact.

Ahead of Monday’s vote, Levin spoke in support of McCaskill’s bill, saying it adds “important new protections” in addition to what was accomplished in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) last year.

“We can approve legislation that adds important new protections for victims of sexual assault,” Levin said. “They will surely make a major contribution in protecting the troops who protect us.”

McCaskill has said the changes in the NDAA are “historic” and will help the military curb the number of sexual assaults within its ranks. The law stripped commanders’ ability to overturn guilty verdicts, required the discharge of those convicted of sexual assault and expanded a special counsel program giving victims legal representation.

It’s unclear if Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) will bring up McCaskill’s bill for a vote on the House floor. The legislation may instead be incorporated into this year’s Defense authorization bill, which the House Armed Services Committee expects to take up around May.

For more: http://thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/senate/200393-senate-votes-97-0-for-military-sexual-assault-bill 

Contact your legislator Contact your Congress person to PASS LAWS TO PROTECT VICTIMS OF SEXUAL ASSAULT!!

U.S. Senators
U.S. Representatives
Tweet a Message to Your Representatives

Obama_Biden_thumbnail


United States v. The Amistad

03/09/2014

cinque-addressing-compatriots-amistad

The Amistad, also known as United States v. Libellants and Claimants of the Schooner Amistad40 U.S. 518 (1841), was a United States Supreme Court case resulting from the rebellion of Africans on board the Spanish schooner La Amistad in 1839. It was an unusual freedom suit that involved international issues and parties, as well as United States law. The historian Samuel Eliot Morison in 1965 described it as the most important court case involving slavery before being eclipsed by that of Dred Scott.

The schooner was traveling along the coast of Cuba on its way to a port for re-sale of the slaves. The African captives, who had been kidnapped in Sierra Leone and illegally sold into slavery and shipped to Cuba, escaped their shackles and took over the ship. They killed the captain and the cook; two other crew members escaped in a lifeboat. The Africans directed the survivors to return them to Africa. The crew tricked them, sailing north at night. The Amistad was later apprehended near Long Island, New York, by the United States Revenue Cutter Serviceand taken into custody. The widely publicized court cases in the United States federal district and Supreme Court, which addressed international issues, helped the abolitionist movement.

In 1840, a federal district court found that the transport of the kidnapped Africans across the Atlantic on the slave ship Tecora was in violation of laws and treaties against the international slave trade by Great Britain, Spain and the United States. The captives were ruled to have acted as free men when they fought to escape their illegal confinement. The Court ruled the Africans were entitled to take whatever legal measures necessary to secure their freedom, including the use of force. Under international and sectional pressure, the President Martin Van Buren ordered the case appealed to the US Supreme Court. It affirmed the lower court ruling on March 9, 1841, and authorized the return of the Africans to their homeland.

Supporters arranged for temporary housing of the Africans in Farmington, Connecticut as well as funds for travel. In 1842 they transported by ship those who wanted to return to Africa, together with American missionaries.

For more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_v._The_Amistad

.

National Archives
The Amistad Case from the National Archives.

National Park Service
* Amistad Story
* Slave Trade
* Conneticut Abolistionist
* Conneticut Freedom Trail
* Timeline of Events

Amistad Research Center at Tulane University

Slaves and the Courts, 1740-1860 - Library of Congress

Solomon Northup

  • Twelve Years a Slave, in National Archives : Docs Teach
  • The Solomon Northup Trail, LSU’s Acadiana Historical project’s maps and descriptions of sites mentioned in Northup’s memoir, based on Eakin’s and Logsdon’s 1968 research.

Born in Slavery: Slave Narratives from the Federal Writers’ Project, 1936-1938 collection contains more than 2,300 first-person accounts of slavery.
Obama_Biden_thumbnail


2014 International Women of Courage

03/02/2014

Molly_Pitcher_Currier_Ives

Established in 2007, the annual Secretary of State’s International Women of Courage Award honors women around the globe who have exemplified exceptional courage and leadership in advocating for human rights, women’s equality, and social progress, often at great personal risk. This is the only Department of State award that pays tribute to emerging women leaders worldwide.

First Lady Michelle Obama and Deputy Secretary of State Heather Higginbottom will honor a group of extraordinary women with the International Women of Courage Award on March 4, 2014. The award recognizes women around the world who have shown exceptional leadership in advocating for women’s rights and empowerment, often at great personal risk.

.

2014 International Women of Courage Awardees

Dr. Nasrin Oryakhil, Director, Malalai Maternity Hospital Kabul (Afghanistan)
Ms. Roshika Deo, Feminist and Political Activist, Be the Change Campaign (Fiji)
Bishop Rusudan Gotsiridze, Bishop, Evangelical Baptist Church of Georgia (Georgia)
Dr. Iris Yassmin Barrios Aguilar, Tribunal President, High Risk Court, (Guatemala)
Laxmi, Campaigner, Stop Acid Attacks (India)
Ms. Fatimata Touré, Community activist and Executive Director, Groupe de Recherche, de’Etude, de Formation Femme-Action (Mali)
Dr. Maha Al Muneef, Founder and Executive Director, National Family Safety Program (Saudi Arabia) *To be awarded in absentia
Ms. Oinikhol Bobonazarova, Director, NGO Perspektiva Plus (Tajikistan)
Ms. Ruslana Lyzhychko, EuroMaidan volunteer and People’s Artist of Ukraine (Ukraine)
Ms. Beatrice Mtetwa, human rights lawyer (Zimbabwe)

Full biographies and photos are available here.

.

March 4, 2014 – 11:30 AM ET
2014 International Women of Courage Award 
First Lady Michelle Obama and Deputy Secretary of State Heather Higginbottom
Dean Acheson Auditorium, U.S. Department of State

.

US Women’s Rights Movement Timeline 1848 – 2009 

PBO_Womens_Quote_lrg

Presidential ProclamationWomen’s History Month, 2014.

.

WH Council on Women and Girls
* Blog
White House Support
Resources
Data & Fact Sheets

For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/eop/cwg
Obama_Biden_thumbnail


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 223 other followers