May 25, 1989 |
The year 1989 - bicentennial of the French Revolution and ratification of the U.S. Constitution, the codification of the American Revolution - may be commemorated in 2089. That year may be the centennial of a regime-toppling echo of Occidental revolutions in the Orient. Chinese protesters speak Jefferson's, Lincoln's and Thoreau's words, and have built a small copy of the Statue of Liberty, underscoring the relative sterility of the French Revolution as a source of vocabulary and symbols.
October 24, 1991 |
As Anita Hill's tale seemed about to wreak havoc with Clarence Thomas' nomination, the Republican attack squad on the Judiciary Committee was quick to blame the civil rights movement. According to Sen. Orrin Hatch, "slick lawyers - the worst kind," working for black and liberal "interest groups," had concocted the story of sexual harassment and maneuvered it onto TV. But in the wake of Thomas' confirmation these same senators and their White House allies did an abrupt reversal, arguing instead that the movement was impotent, suggesting it may never again regain its clout on Capitol Hill.
August 29, 2010
A few words about who "we" is. "This is a moment," said Glenn Beck three months ago on his radio program, "... that I think we 'reclaim' the civil rights movement. It has been so distorted and so turned upside down. ... We are on the right side of history. We are on the side of individual freedoms and liberties and damn it, we will reclaim the civil rights moment. We will take that movement, because we were the people that did it in the first place!" Beck was promoting his "Restoring Honor" rally, held this weekend at the Lincoln Memorial, 47 years to the day after the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. famously spoke there.
February 1, 2006 |
Claude Lewis is a longtime Philadelphia journalist For 37 years after the death of her husband, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Coretta Scott King faithfully followed the dream. She was a widow, but she remained wedded to nonviolence, which was the bedrock of the civil rights movement. Throughout the 13 years of King's public life, Coretta King was more than a wife, more than a mother; she was a full partner in the King civil rights firm that became the core of their existence.
February 25, 2002 |
Forty years have passed since Etta Mason gave birth in a tent on a winter night that was so cold the family dog froze to death. It took that many years for her story to be told, as well as the stories of other black sharecroppers who were pushed off white-owned farmland because they dared to register to vote. Most of the sharecroppers' misery; months of lunch counter sit-ins; a bus boycott, and dozens of arrests never made the local paper when they happened in 1960. That's because the Jackson Sun - like some other small Southern papers - failed to cover the civil-rights movement in its own backyard.
August 30, 2013 |
At the National Constitution Center, they read the "I Have a Dream" speech and sang the anthem of the civil rights movement. When they were done, their listeners cheered - and wept. A group of 13 actors and high school students presented a dramatic reading of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s famed speech before about 125 people. Each read several lines of the speech, first delivered exactly 50 years earlier. They recited other passages in unison. "When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir," they said.
August 27, 2013
A FEW DAYS before its 50th anniversary, we think of the March on Washington, and the civil-rights movement that it embodied, as a triumph of democracy. In the grand sense, this is true. Protest is by no means exclusive to democracies, but it's more at home in a democratic system than any other. The civil-rights movement extended the promise of democracy to many who had been denied it. But there were also aspects of the movement's victories that could be spun as undemocratic. Many Southern whites decried the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as an imposition of external values on the majorities of residents in their states (the internal value they were protecting, of course, was the right to discriminate)
April 18, 1990 |
The controversy that engulfed the Rev. Ralph David Abernathy in his final years may overshadow the strong role he played in leading the nation into a new era of racial tolerance, colleagues in the civil rights movement said yesterday. Abernathy, who died at 64 in Atlanta yesterday, was the man who picked the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to lead the Montgomery, Ala., bus boycott that turned into a national civil rights movement. And it was Abernathy, say those who knew him, who stood at King's side as confidant and adviser throughout the movement until King's tragic assassination in 1968.
March 15, 2004 |
Call it an object lesson in the quality of equality. I refer to last week's Senate subcommittee hearing on the proposed constitutional amendment outlawing same-sex marriage. And specifically, to an exchange between two leaders of the black community. The first, Hilary Shelton, director of the Washington bureau of the NAACP, argued that the amendment "would use the Constitution to discriminate. " Which brought a sharp retort from the Rev. Richard Richardson, chairman of political affairs for the Black Ministerial Alliance of Greater Boston Inc. Defining marriage as the union of a woman and a man, he said, "is not discrimination.
February 15, 1987 |
When Juan Williams, a reporter for the Washington Post and graduate of Haverford College, was asked to help structure a documentary on America's civil rights movement, he told Henry Hampton, the creator of the project: "Just lay out the story. The material is so rich that there's no need to embellish it. " Hampton took the advice and hired Williams to write a companion book to the documentary, Eyes on the Prize, America's Civil Rights Years 1954-1965. The book reached the stands only a few weeks before the first episode in the documentary series aired on public television last month.