civil rights

  • Americans Misunderstand the Radical Vision of even the Young MLK

    by Victoria W. Wolcott

    Long before the escalation of the war in Vietnam, urban unrest and national battles for fair housing that animated King's late work, he expressed a vision of justice that demanded systemic transformation of American society. His wife Coretta was a profound influence. 

  • Annette Gordon-Reed: Don't Accept "Cuddly" King Image

    The late leader's opposition to militarism, economic injustice, and white supremacy, which sustained a broad critique of capitalist society, have been sanitized and reduced to platitudes by people who would prefer not to recognize the equality of all people, the historian told the annual MLK Memorial Breakfast. 

  • State Standards are Failing to Teach Reconstruction and Erasing the Black Freedom Struggle

    by Ana Rosado, Gideon Cohn-Postar and Mimi Eisen

    A common thread connecting public ignorance of American history and the politicization of history curricula is the systemic erasure of the history of Reconstruction. This report considers how states currently mandate the teaching of the era and what they could do better. 

  • We Need “CRT” to Understand the Midwest, Too

    by Bradley J. Sommer

    "The continued existence of white nationalist groups came as a shock to many Toledoans. It has likely shocked a lot of Americans in recent years, many of whom thought that Nazis existed only in textbooks and as the bad guys in movies."

  • MLK's History Lessons

    by Jelani Cobb

    Martin Luther King's use of American history to inform his developing demands for political and economic justice would run afoul fo legislation being passed by a growing number of states to restrict teaching about racism and inequality in the nation's past. 

  • Homer Plessy's Posthumous Pardon Finally Recognizes His Heroism

    by Keisha N. Blain

    "The decision to pardon Plessy and finally clear his record are the culmination of efforts by Keith Plessy, the great-great-grandson of Homer Plessy’s cousin, and Phoebe Ferguson, the great-great-granddaughter of John H. Ferguson, the Louisiana judge who upheld the state's Separate Car Act."

  • "A Minority of Misguided Senators": MLK on the Filibuster

    “I think the tragedy is that we have a Congress with a Senate that has a minority of misguided senators who will use the filibuster to keep the majority of people from even voting. They won’t let the majority senators vote."

  • Justice Department Closes Emmett Till Investigation Without Charges

    Historian Timothy Tyson wrote in a 2017 book that witness Carolyn Bryant Donham disavowed her testimony that Till had grabbed her and made suggestive remarks before he was lynched. The DOJ has said that materials given them by Tyson did not corroborate the claim of a recantation. 

  • SNCC's Unruly Internationalism

    by Dan Berger

    SNCC activists' global understanding of the problem of racism, expressed at the height of the Cold War, cost the organization external support, but left a vital legacy for international movements for justice. 

  • White Backlash is America's Most Destructive Habit

    by John S. Huntington and Lawrence Glickman

    The authors endorse the term "counterrevolution" for a repeated pattern of political mobilization among White Americans combining distrust of democracy, apocalyptic rhetoric about the effects of racial equality, and the endorsement of antidemocratic and violent means to halt change.