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The Hard Truths of Ta-Nehisi Coates -- NYMag. After the dreams of Martin Luther King Jr. and the hopes of Barack Obama. Photographs by Lyle Ashton Harris Late this spring, the publisher Spiegel & Grau sent out advance copies of a new book by Ta-Nehisi Coates, a slim volume of 176 pages called Between the World and Me. “Here is what I would like for you to know,” Coates writes in the book, addressed to his 14-year-old son. “In America, it is traditional to destroy the black body — it is heritage.” The only endorsement he had wanted was the novelist Toni Morrison’s. Neither he nor his editor, Christopher Jackson, knew Morrison, but they managed to get the galleys into her hands. Morrison’s words were an anointing.

When Obama began his first campaign for the presidency, Coates was all but anonymous, a journalist in his early 30s who had worked mostly at alt-weeklies and mostly for short stints. That Sunday, the Times would give Coates a small role in focusing attention on the flag. Coates is not a Christian. The Danger of Telling Poor Kids That College Is the Key to Social Mobility - Andrew Simmons. Higher education should be promoted to all students as an opportunity to experience an intellectual awakening, not just increase their earning power. A 12th-grader wrote a college admissions essay about wanting to pursue a career in oceanography. Let’s call her Isabella. A few months ago, we edited it in my classroom during lunch. The writing was good, but plenty of 17-year-olds fantasize about swimming with whales. Her essay was distinctive for another reason: Her career goals were not the highlight of the essay. They were just a means of framing her statement of purpose, something surprisingly few personal statements actually get around to making.

The essay’s core concerned the rhetoric that educators had used to motivate her and her peers—other minority students from low-income communities. Thankfully, Isabella decried this characterization as shortsighted and simplistic. The black and Latino kids I teach live in Inglewood and West Adams in Los Angeles. Remembering Bill Russell’s role in the March on Washington. Justin Tinsley is a sportswriter who’s written for The Sports Fan Journal and The Smoking Section. 50 years ago this afternoon, perhaps America’s most recognizable speech and march took place in Washington, D.C. Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream Speech” may or may not have been his finest oratory ever — his impassioned, yet physically taxing “mountaintop” speech given the day before his assassination hits home with the same intensity and forward thinking — however, what happened in front of the Lincoln Memorial on August 28, 1963, became the focal point of a battle for equality still, in many ways, being fought today.

While King being in attendance is common knowledge, in close proximity was another titan of his own profession: Bill Russell, who stood just feet away from Martin. “When I heard the speech, I had no idea that the words of that speech would last as long as they did,” Russell told USA Today in 2011 as he received his Presidential Medal of Freedom. Video for Romare Bearden: A Black Odyssey | Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service. MLK: ‘Intelligence plus character — that is the goal of true education’ Sakidra Davis of Alpha Rho Xinos carries an image of Martin Luther King Jr. during a parade on Jan. 18 in Dallas. (AP Photo/The Dallas Morning News, Sarah Hoffman) I published this last year, and I’m doing it again: Martin Luther King Jr., was prescient on a lot of things, including education.

Here are some things he wrote decades ago that sound contemporary. – Here’s an excerpt from “The Purpose of Education,” a piece he wrote in the February 1947 edition of the Morehouse College student newspaper, the Maroon Tiger: …As I engage in the so-called “bull sessions” around and about the school, I too often find that most college men have a misconception of the purpose of education. Most of the “brethren” think that education should equip them with the proper instruments of exploitation so that they can forever trample over the masses. Here’s an excerpt of a speech King delivered on March 14, 1964, when he accepted the John Dewey Award from the United Federation of Teachers: Text to Text | 'A Raisin in the Sun' and 'Discrimination in Housing Against Nonwhites Persists Quietly' Friedman-AbelesA scene from the 1959 Broadway production of “A Raisin in the Sun,” with, from left, Ruby Dee, Claudia McNeil, Glynn Turman, Sidney Poitier and John Fielder.

Updated: April 4 With the much-anticipated April 3 opening of a new Broadway revival starring Denzel Washington, “A Raisin in the Sun” is again in the spotlight — though for teachers the groundbreaking play has been a classroom staple for decades. First performed on Broadway in 1959, “Raisin” last appeared there 10 years ago, then starring Phylicia Rashad, Sean Combs, Audra McDonald and Sanaa Lathan, a production that was later adapted for television. The play remains a potent touchstone, still speaking to viewers about race, gender roles, family, hope and desperation, capitalism, the American dream and so much more. Text to Text | ‘A Raisin in the Sun’ and ‘Discrimination in Housing Against Nonwhites Persists Quietly’ By Susan Chenelle and Audrey Fisch Background: WALTER: What do you mean? For Writing or Discussion: Mr. THEATER - A Landmark Lesson in Being Black. THEY had never seen anything like it.

The theater critics, hurrying down the aisles under the pressure of deadline, paused at the rear of the Ethel Barrymore Theater. The date was March 11, 1959. For a few moments they stopped considering the words with which they would salute this poetically named play, ''A Raisin in the Sun.'' Instead, they watched the first-night audience deliver its own verdict: on its feet and willing to applaud, it seemed, for eternity.

The cast took its curtain calls -- Sidney Poitier, Claudia McNeil, Ruby Dee, Diana Sands, Lonne Elder 3d, Lou Gossett Jr., Ivan Dixon, Glynn Turman, John Fiedler, Ed Hall, Douglas Turner -- as the applause engulfed the theater. Finally, Mr. ''It was as if the audience that night uniquely understood that they had not just seen a play but had attended a historical event,'' the play's co-producer, Philip Rose, said recently, reminiscing about the opening on the eve of its 40th anniversary this Thursday. Eyes On The Prize. Mike Wallace Interview Senator James Eastland. Louisiana Voter Literacy Tests. Louisiana Voter Literacy Test ~ circa 1963Louisiana Voter Literacy Test ~ circa 1964 The circa 1963 Louisiana literacy test is typical of the tests used throughout the South before passage of the Voting Rights Act to deny Blacks — and other non-whites — the right to vote.

(The circa 1964 test is quite atypical and unique to Louisiana in that year.) While state law mandated that the test be given to everyone who could not verify that they had at least a 5th-grade education, in real life almost all Blacks were forced to to take it even if they had a college degree while whites were often excused from taking it no matter how little education they had. Determination of who "passed" and who "failed" was entirely up to the whim of the Registrar of Voters — all of whom were white. In actuality, whites almost always "passed" no matter how many questions they missed, and Blacks almost always "failed" in the selective judgement of the Registrar. THEATER - A Landmark Lesson in Being Black.

The Strange Story Of The Man Behind 'Strange Fruit' Abel Meeropol watches as his sons, Robert and Michael, play with a train set. Courtesy of Robert and Michael Meeropol hide caption itoggle caption Courtesy of Robert and Michael Meeropol Abel Meeropol watches as his sons, Robert and Michael, play with a train set. Courtesy of Robert and Michael Meeropol One of Billie Holiday's most iconic songs is "Strange Fruit," a haunting protest against the inhumanity of racism. Many people know that the man who wrote the song was inspired by a photograph of a lynching.

The man behind "Strange Fruit" is New York City's Abel Meeropol, and he really has two stories. Meeropol graduated from Dewitt Clinton in 1921; he went on to teach English there for 17 years. In the late 1930s, Pellison says, Meeropol "was very disturbed at the continuation of racism in America, and seeing a photograph of a lynching sort of put him over the edge. " Meeropol once said the photograph "haunted" him "for days. " "The '60s hadn't happened yet," he says.

Keystone/Getty Images. W. Norton & Company | America: A Narrative History - Seventh Ed. This document was written by Ida B. Wells and published in the Atlanta Journal and the Atlanta Constitution. In it, Wells outlined lynch law in Georgia and chronicled a six-week period in the South. Wells also included Detective Louis P. Le Vin's full report of his investigation into the burning of Samuel Hose, the hanging of Elijah Strickland, and the lynching of nine men who had allegedly committed arson. As you read this disturbing account of a lynching, consider the effect that such terror campaigns had on the white and black communities where they occurred. What freedom or civil rights could blacks enjoy when such crimes not only went unpunished, but were celebrated by their white neighbors? During six weeks of the months of March and April just past, twelve colored men were lynched in Georgia, the reign of outlawry culminating in the torture and hanging of the colored preacher, Elijah Strickland, and the burning alive of Samuel Wilkes, alias Hose, Sunday, April 23, 1899.

IDA B. Segregation Now. Supreme Court’s Latest Race Case: Housing Discrimination by Nikole Hannah-Jones ProPublica, Jan. 21, 11:18 a.m. Many fear Texas case could gut the landmark Fair Housing Act. A National Survey of School Desegregation Orders by Yue Qiu ProPublica, Dec. 23, 2014, 12:11 p.m. Use ProPublica’s reporting to see if your school district is under a court order to end segregation. How Do You Experience Segregation? By Nikole Hannah-Jones ProPublica, Dec. 19, 2014, 10 a.m. We're working with The New York Times to expose the injustice of segregation and explore what segregation looks and feels like in America today. School Segregation, the Continuing Tragedy of Ferguson Michael Brown beat the odds by graduating from high school before his death — odds that remain stacked against black students in St.

How the Supreme Court Could Scuttle Critical Fair Housing Rule by Nikole Hannah-Jones ProPublica, Oct. 2, 2014, 3:47 p.m. In Desegregation Case, Judge Blasts School Officials and Justice Department. Broadway Director Kenny Leon Opens Theater Doors To New Audiences. Hide captionTen years after first directing A Raisin in the Sun on Broadway, Kenny Leon is back with a new rendition of the play, starring Denzel Washington and Sophie Okonedo.

(Also pictured, from left: David Cromer, Bryce Clyde Jenkins, LaTanya Richardson Jackson and Anika Noni Rose). Courtesy of Rinaldi PR Stage director Kenny Leon is one of the most sought-after creative talents on Broadway today, even if he isn't a household name. He's guided Denzel Washington and Viola Davis to Tony Awards in a Tony-winning revival of August Wilson's Fences, he directed Samuel L. Jackson and Angela Bassett in The Mountaintop and he's got two Broadway shows opening within three months of each other. You've got to have an ego, to be a director, sitting in rehearsal rooms with talented, opinionated actors. "He isn't really someone who's trying to superimpose a flashy vision, so that people will gasp and say 'Oh, the director was this and the director was that,' " says Cleage.

Anonymous/AP. For the Union Dead - Robert Lowell. Revisiting Malcolm X. POOR PEOPLE'S CAMPAIGN - King's Last March. King's Last March Martin Luther King Jr. wanted to shut down Washington in the spring of 1968. He was organizing what he hoped would be the longest-running protest in the history of the nation's capital. King called it the Poor People's Campaign. He intended to dramatize the suffering of the nation's poor by bringing them to the capital.

Poor people would live together on the National Mall - the long strip of land between the U.S. Capitol and the Lincoln Memorial - and engage in widespread civil disobedience. In 1967, King spoke frequently about a "new phase" of the civil rights movement. "For King and many others, there's a very depressing realization in 1965 that what they thought would represent victory turns out not really to represent anywhere near the degree of fundamental change that they previously had imagined it would," says David Garrow, author of Bearing the Cross: Martin Luther King Jr. and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference .

The Poor People's Campaign Aftermath. Poor People's Campaign: A Dream Unfulfilled. American Experience.Eyes on the Prize.The Story of the Movement. I n 1967, one in seven Americans lives in poverty. The Southern Christian Leadership Conference embarks on an ambitious Poor People's Campaign to bring attention to the nation's most needy people. In response to black rioting in 180 cities during the summer of 1967, Martin Luther King says, "the riot is the language of the unheard... America has failed to hear... that the promises of freedom and justice have not been met. " Economic inequities are the next target for the movement. Activist Marian Wright suggests to King that the movement stage a poor people's march in Washington, D.C., and SCLC begins planning to bring "a nonviolent army of the poor" to the nation's attention.

They are joined by the National Welfare Rights Organization . In the midst of organizing, King detours to support striking sanitation workers in Memphis, where he is assassinated on April 4, 1968. Context Other Events: Early 1968 Columbia University student protesters take over campus administration buildings. Press. Gordon Parks’s Alternative Civil Rights Photographs. Gordon Parks’s portrait of Mr. and Mrs. Albert Thornton Sr., an older black couple in their Mobile, Ala., home in 1956, appears to have little in common with the images we have come to associate with civil rights photography. It is in color, unlike most photographs of the movement.

Its subject matter was neither newsworthy nor historic, unlike more widely published journalistic images of the racial murders, police brutality, demonstrations and boycotts that characterized the epic battle for racial justice and equality. Yet, as effectively as any civil rights photograph, the portrait was a forceful “weapon of choice,” as Mr. Parks would say, in the struggle against racism and segregation.

While 20 photographs were eventually published in Life, the bulk of Mr. Not all of the “Segregation” photographs are as prosaic as the Thornton portrait. But most of the images are optimistic and affirmative, like the portrait of Mr. and Mrs. One detail in Mr. Gordon ParksWith a great-grandchild. Lens Blog.

Bayard Rustin

The Soiling of Old Glory. Contemporary Issues. Primary Docs. Legislation. Music. Playing the Violence Card. New Georgia Encyclopedia: Albany Movement. According to traditional accounts the Albany Movement began in fall 1961 and ended in summer 1962. It was the first mass movement in the modern civil rights era to have as its goal the desegregation of an entire community, and it resulted in the jailing of more than 1,000 African Americans in Albany and surrounding rural counties. Martin Luther King Jr. was drawn into the movement in December 1961 when hundreds of black protesters, including himself, were arrested in one week, but eight months later King left Albany admitting that he had failed to accomplish the movement's goals. When told as a chapter in the history of the national civil rights movement, Albany was important because of King's involvement and because of the lessons he learned that he would soon apply in Birmingham, Alabama.

Out of Albany's failure, then, came Birmingham's success. Background The Movement, 1961-1962 In Albany King witnessed the power of song to inspire and empower the crowds attending the mass meetings. Welcome to the Civil Rights Digital Library.