Women were central to the US Civil Rights Movement, but they were sometimes pushed to the side and today their contributions are often overlooked. This month we will pay them homage. These are just a few of the many women who were critical to the movement’s success in Selma and across the country.
In a largely behind-the-scenes career that spanned more than five decades, Baker worked with many famous civil rights leaders, including the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., Thurgood Marshall and A. Philip Randolph. In 1957, at King’s request, she became executive director of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.
To learn more click here: http://www.biography.com/people/ella-baker-9195848 , http://ellabakercenter.org/about/who-was-ella-baker
Bates and her husband founded the Arkansas State Press, a weekly paper modeled after the leading black publications of the era. In 1957 she guided the 9 black students who triggered a civil rights showdown when they attempted to enter the all-white Central High School in Little Rock.
To learn more click here:
In Selma, Mrs. Amelia Boynton was a stalwart with the DCVL and played a critical role for decades in nurturing African American efforts to register to vote. She welcomed SNCC to town and helped support the younger activists and their work. When Judge Hare’s injunction slowed the grassroots organizing, she initiated the invitation to King and SCLC.
Another local activist, Foster taught citizenship classes even before SNCC arrived. In early 1965 when SCLC began escalating the confrontation in Selma, Boynton and Foster were both in the thick of things, inspiring others and putting their own bodies on the line. They were leaders on Bloody Sunday and the subsequent march to Montgomery.
To learn more click here: http://www.aaregistry.org/historic_events/view/marie-foster-alabama-original
In 1978, Hall followed after her father to become a Baptist preacher in Philadelphia. Before that, as a civil rights activist in Georgia, she was shot by a white gunman, shot at by police and jailed many times. A powerful orator, her signature phrase, “I have a dream,” may have inspired MLK’s most famous speech.
In 1963, after she and two other voting rights activists were viciously beaten while in police custody in Winona, Miss., Hamer decided to devote her life to the fight for civil rights. A year later she helped draw national attention to the cause as a leader of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, which challenged Mississippi’s all-white delegation to the Democratic National Convention.
To learn more click here: http://www.biography.com/people/fannie-lou-hamer-205625 , http://www.fembio.org/english/biography.php/woman/biography/fannie-lou-hamer/ , https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t_ah1RkWB9k
Height was “both the grande dame of the civil rights era and its unsung heroine,” as the New York Times once put it. The longtime president of the National Council of Negro Women and a prize-winning orator, she was a key organizer of the 1963 March on Washington. (Her male counterparts, however, allowed no women to speak that day.)
To learn more click here:
Though she held a degree in voice and violin from the New England Conservatory of Music, King, alongside her famous husband, became a civil rights leader in her own right. After his assassination in 1968, she championed the building of the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change as a living memorial to her husband’s work.
To learn more click here: http://www.thekingcenter.org/about-mrs-king
Though Colia Lafayette worked side by side with husband Bernard, recruiting student workers and doing the painstaking work of building a grassroots movement in Selma, she has become almost invisible and typically mentioned only in passing, as his wife.
To learn more click here: http://civilrightsteaching.org/resource/colia-lafayette/ , http://www.teachingforchange.org/selma-bottom-up-history
Loving was thrust into the civil rights movement when she and her husband, who was white, were arrested by the sheriff of Central Point, Va., for violating Virginia’s Racial Integrity Act of 1924. The landmark 1967 Supreme Court decision in their case struck down anti-miscegenation laws still on the books in 16 states.
To learn more click here: http://www.biography.com/people/mildred-loving-5884 , http://www.economist.com/node/11367685
In 1958, Luper, then a high school history teacher, helped ignite a national movement by leading a sit-in protest at the lunch counter of the Katz Drug Store in Oklahoma City. (The Katz chain began integrating its stores several weeks later.) Luper went on to become a prominent figure in the national civil rights movement.
To learn more click here: http://digital.library.okstate.edu/encyclopedia/entries/L/LU005.html , http://www.blackpast.org/aaw/luper-clara-1923
Nash was the key strategist behind the first successful campaign to desegregate lunch counters in Nashville, leader of the Nashville Student Freedom Ride campaign to desegregate interstate travel, and a founder of both the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and the Selma Voting Rights Campaign.
Watch this interview of Ms. Nash: http://www.makers.com/diane-nash
On Dec. 1, 1955, Parks was arrested after she refused to obey a bus driver and give her seat to a white passenger in Montgomery, Ala. Her act of defiance, and the 381-day bus boycott that followed, soon became keystones of the modern civil rights movement. In 1999 Congress honored her as “the first lady of civil rights.”
A public theologian, social activist, writer and speaker. She is Founder / Publisher of UrbanCusp.com, a cutting-edge online lifestyle magazine highlighting progressive urban culture, faith, social change and global awareness. The youngest of eight children, Tesfamariam was born in Eritrea during the Eritrean-Ethiopian War. When she was 5, she moved to the U.S., and was raised by her brother and sister in the Bronx and Washington, D.C. Rahiel is a graduate of Stanford University and holds a Master of Divinity from Yale University where she was the inaugural William Sloane Coffin, Jr. Scholar for Peace and Justice. Tesfamariam traveled to war-torn Darfur in 2005. The experience led Tesfamariam, to found urbancusp.com, a site that publishes lifestyle, faith and entertainment articles designed to combat negative images of African-Americans in media. “What young people internalize daily shapes who they are,” she says. “The music they’re listening to shapes their understanding of Black masculinity, or sexuality, and part of launching Urban Cusp was to provide an alternate reality that depicts African-Americans in an intellectual, spiritual way.”
To learn more click here: http://www.urbancusp.com/rahiel-tesfamariam/ , http://www.rahiel.com/ , http://www.essence.com/2014/11/03/new-civil-rights-leaders
Taylor is the political director of Dream Defenders, a Florida-based organization that fights Stand Your Ground laws and focuses on a number of other issues affecting young people of color, including the school-to-prison pipeline, police brutality, voting rights and access to education. The group was founded in April 2012 by Taylor and 39 other students after the killing of Sanford, Florida, teen Trayvon Martin. Local officials and law enforcement met with them and listened to their list of demands: one, for Zimmerman to be arrested; two, for the chief of police to be fired; and three, for there to be an investigation of the Stand Your Ground law. Three days after Zimmerman’s acquittal, the Dream Defenders held a 31-day sit-in inside Florida’s state capitol, and were eventually invited to the governor’s office to discuss issues affecting young people of color. “In the back of my mind, I’m thinking, I could just go to law school, have a simple life,” says Taylor. “But I think about my younger siblings and the family I want to have in the future. I want to create a world in which they can live without fear. I want my generation to be free, to live and to really flourish.”
To learn more click here: http://reinventors.net/content/ciara-taylor/ , http://www.essence.com/2014/11/03/new-civil-rights-leaders
Simpson, 35, is the executive director of SisterSong, a nonprofit composed of 80 grassroots organizations dedicated to the preservation of reproductive rights for women of color.
Simpson grew up in Wingate, North Carolina, and says that there were very clear lines that separated Black and White people. “I was put in situations where I was ‘the only,’ like being the only Black child in honors classes,” says Simpson. “Those instances really started me on the path to activism, fighting for the rights of Black people, fighting for women’s rights.” Simpson began working at SisterSong in 2010, around the same time that the antiabortion group Georgia Right to Life erected billboards in Atlanta that read, “Black children are an endangered species.” In response to the inflammatory ad, SisterSong established a group, Trust Black Women, that created media campaigns and worked with the NAACP, churches and other organizations to counter the billboards’ message.
Porter is the Director of Advocacy at The Sentencing Project, a Washington, D.C.-based group that works toward criminal justice reforms. “My twin brother’s incarceration underpins a lot of work that I do, to emphasize that though someone might have committed a serious crime, they are much more than what that crime was,” she says. Before joining The Sentencing Project, Porter was the director of the ACLU’s Prison & Jail Accountability Project, where she monitored the conditions at Texas prisons. Today, Porter and her colleagues at The Sentencing Project work to change laws that determine the rate of incarceration and the length of confinement. They fight for the rights of the formerly incarcerated, some of whom are denied voting rights, and others who face lifetime bans from receiving food stamps and public housing.
Porter believes that the focus should be on intervention rather than imprisonment. “Public safety isn’t just about locking people up,” she says. “It’s about providing targeted services for at-risk children—access to early childhood education and models for how to resolve conflict.”
Tometi’s interest in immigration reform was born out of personal experience. Tometi grew up in Phoenix—”ground zero for the anti-immigration movement,” she says—and is the child of immigrants. Her parents moved to the U.S. from Nigeria in 1983, and Tometi was raised in a close-knit community of Nigerian immigrants. Learning about anti-immigrant initiatives and their parallels to Jim Crow laws, Tometi was moved to fight against what she saw as a grave injustice. “It was very personal,” says Tometi. “Because people I loved were at risk; I was at risk.” Tometi volunteered with the ACLU to monitor and report the activities of vigilantes who were stopping immigrants as they tried to cross the border during college Today, Tometi is executive director of The Black Alliance for Just Immigration. Tometi has helped develop a network of Black immigrant organizations around the country. Her hope is that more African-Americans will join in the struggle for immigrant rights.
Though Je-Shawna Wholley had come out as a lesbian to high school friends when she was 16, she hid her sexual identity from her mother and the Army, which had recruited her with the suggestion that she apply for an ROTC scholarship to Texas A&M University. Wholley eventually transferred to Spelman where she joined and helped reinvigorate the college’s LGBT association, Afrekete. The group sponsored AIDS walks, had a drag fashion show, and, when Wholley became president, hosted a pride week. As programs manager at the National Black Justice Coalition, a civil rights organization dedicated to empowering Black LGBT people, Wholley travels to universities to help them become safer and more inclusive for LGBT students. She believes that mainstream LGBT groups have made strides in the fight for marriage equality, but they do not address the issues that most directly affect young people of color, such as homelessness, HIV/AIDS, violence, an open dialogue and an acceptance of LGBT people of color within their families, and within the Black community as a whole.
To learn more click here: http://nbjc.org/about/staff/je-shawna-wholley , http://www.essence.com/2014/11/03/new-civil-rights-leaders
Ella Baker, Jack Harris, AP
Daisy Bates, Time & Life Pictures Getty Images
Amelia Boyton, Green County Democrat
Marie Foster, Jack Harris, AP
Prathia Hall, Bettmann CORBIS
Fannie Hamer, Huffingtonpost
Dorothy Height, Eurweb
Coretta King, Michael Evans New York Times
Colia Liddll Lafayette, Jack Harris AP
Mildred Loving, Bettmann CORBIS
Clara Luper, Doug Dawg
Diane Nash, Jack Harris AP
Rosa Parks, Alamy AP
Tesfamarian, Taylor, Simpson, Porter, Tometi and Wholley, Essence
35th Anniversary of the National Women’s History Project Celebrating Women’s History Month
Each time a girl opens a book and reads a womanless history, she learns she is worth less. ~ Myra Pollack Sadker
History helps us learn who we are, but when we don’t know our own history, our power and dreams are immediately diminished.
Multicultural American women are overlooked in most mainstream approaches to U.S. history, so the National Women’s History Project champions their accomplishments and leads the drive to write women back into history.
Recognizing the achievements of women in all facets of life – science, community, government, literature, art, sports, medicine – has a huge impact on the development of self-respect and new opportunities for girls and young women.
With an emphasis on positive role models and the importance of women from all backgrounds, the NWHP has developed a nationwide constituency of teachers, students, parents, public employees, businesses, organizations, and individuals who understand the critical link between knowing about historical women and making a positive difference in today’s world.
A New MCC Webinar for Local Church Leaders
With Rev. Elder Don Eastman
Find new vitality for giving in your congregation through a holistic approach to excellence in stewardship!
During this 90 minute webinar you will:
This webinar will be presented three times during 2015. Select the webinar that targets your congregational size.
This webinar is designed for Pastors, Board members and Stewardship Teams. Register soon! Space is limited.
About our Webinar Facilitator
Rev. Elder Don Eastman has long been one of MCC’s leading advocates of healthy church growth and excellence in ministry. From his many years as a successful pastor, non-profit organization executive, and MCC denominational leader, he brings a wide range of experience and expertise. As an Elder, Rev. Eastman served as both the Treasurer and Vice Moderator of the MCC denomination.
The Music Leader Assistant will aid the Music Leader in the activities list above. It is our hope that the person serving as the Music Leader Assistant will serve as the Music Leader for GC 2019.
Apply Now! Please send resume highlighting music experience, 3 references, and a cover letter to Linda Brenner-Beckstead, Assistant to the Moderator, at Linda@MCCchurch.net.
Questions? Contact Linda or conferences@MCCchurch.net.
Both the Music Leader and Music Leader Assistant will be asked to attend our first face-to-face meeting in Victoria, B.C., 10-14 March.
We are continually alarmed by the number of people, especially youth, who are subjected to so-called “conversion therapy” or “reparative therapy” that seeks to teach them that their sexual orientation and gender identify or expression is inherently evil and can be changed. This is not only an affront to our religious beliefs, it has been repudiated by the American
Medical Association and the American Psychological Association and condemned by those who have survived it. It is spiritual and psychological abuse, and it is time to end it. Only two states (California and New Jersey) and the District of Columbia have statutory bans on “conversion therapy.” Several high profile teen suicides (Leelah Alcorn and countless others) offer us a wake up call. We have the power to create meaningful change in the lives of marginalized youth. We enlist your help to ban such harmful work in
every state in the nation.
Here are some actions you can take to help end so-called “conversion therapy” and to save the lives of countless LGBTQI persons who are forced to endure it:
Photo Courtesy: Out & About Nashville
and State Senators and ask them to sponsor legislation that would ban “conversion therapy.” State legislatures are meeting now. If you need help crafting talking points, the Public Policy Team can help you.
Leelah begged us to do these things. In her suicide note, she said, “My death needs to be counted in the number of transgender people who commit suicide this year. I want someone to look at that number and say “that’s f****d up” and fix it. Fix society. Please.” Do it for all the other youth whom we do not know. Help ban “conversion therapy” everywhere. All of God’s children deserve our love, support, and action.
For more information, contact the Public Policy Team at email@example.com.
This action alert was prepared by the Public Policy Team of
Metropolitan Community Churches and the Global Justice Institute.
The National LGBTQ Task Force builds power, takes action and creates change to achieve freedom and justice for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and their families. As a progressive social justice organization, the Task Force works toward a society that values and respects the diversity of human expression and identity and achieves equity for all.
NATIONAL CAMPAIGNS DIRECTOR: RELIGIOUS EXEMPTIONS AND WELCOMING MOVEMENTS
The National LGBTQ Task Force (Task Force) seeks a strong strategic thinker, a gifted coalition builder, and a talented faith organizer to lead the campaign work on religious exemptions and in welcoming faith movements. The ideal candidate will have the deep religious grounding, movement-building experience, and political sophistication necessary to: 1) lead and significantly grow the religious exemption campaign portfolio to its next level of impact and inclusiveness, 2) be a prominent public spokesperson for pro-LGBT religious perspectives on religious exemptions as well as other issues and 3) facilitate and lead networks of religious leaders and people of faith to mobilize them and build the necessary capacity to win campaigns on religious exemptions and in the welcoming faith movement.
The faith work of the Task Force has a continuing crucial niche, working to build pro-LGBT religious movement capacity and infrastructure and connect grassroots and grasstops leaders and strategies to accomplish policy change within faith settings, as well as in legislatures and at the ballot box. The Task Force will continue – through its faith work initiatives – to leverage its network of relationships to engage in direct action, grow its impact and inclusiveness into the future. Through unique partnerships our efforts will be focused on clarity of vision, collaboration and achieving long-term change together.
This is a management position reporting to the Director of the Academy for Leadership and Action
Location: Ideally, based in Washington DC. The National Campaigns Director is expected to travel outside DC to connect with grassroots faith organizing leaders and work
Application opening/closing: The position is immediately available. There is no prescribed closing date. The Task Force will fill the position whenever it has identified an appropriate candidate.
ROLE AND RESPONSIBILITIES
The National Campaigns Director will lead and work in several areas:
THE TASK FORCE AND ITS HISTORY OF DOING FAITH WORK:
In a 2006 merger, the Institute for Welcoming Resources (IWR) became an initial faith work program of the Task Force. Since then, the faith work at the Task Force has evolved to include a range of faith work initiatives. The faith work of the Task Force is located within the Task Force’s Academy for Leadership and Action to maximize the evolving collaboration and mutual learning between faith and secular organizing.
Commensurate with experience. Provides excellent benefits — medical, dental and vision insurance; annual and sick leave; 403(b) plan.
Please submit a cover letter describing your interest in being a member of the Task Force staff, a resume addressing your experience and qualifications relevant to the position responsibilities and three examples of your work. If possible, please submit the names, affiliations and contact information for three references. Applications submitted via e-mail for this position should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org”, please write “National Campaigns Director: Religious Exemptions and Welcoming Movements” in the subject line. No phone calls, please.
The Task Force is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, marital status, disability, personal appearance, family responsibility, political affiliation or any other status protected by applicable law. Women, transgender people, veterans and people of color are encouraged to apply.
Applications without cover letters will not be considered.
The National LGBTQ Task Force builds power, takes action and creates change to achieve freedom
and justice for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and their families. As a progressive social
justice organization, the Task Force works toward a society that values and respects the diversity of
human expression and identity and achieves equity for all.
Human Resources Manager
Reports to: Chief Financial Officer
Position Location: Washington, DC
Work Schedule: We will consider applicants who are initially available on a part-time
(three day per week/22.5 hour) basis. Our goal is to have a full-time person in this role.
Summary: The Human Resources Manager is responsible for all aspects of personnel administration and human resource development, including the Task Force’s programs for recruiting, orientation, workplace training, and employee performance evaluation.
Salary commensurate with experience plus excellent benefits. Please submit a cover letter and resume addressing your experience with the above responsibilities and describing your interest in being a member of the Task Force staff. If possible, please submit the names and affiliations of three references. Apply via email at email@example.com; please write “HR Manager” in the subject line.
The Task Force is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of sexual
orientation, gender identity or expression, race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, marital status,
disability, personal appearance, family responsibility, political affiliation or any other status protected by
applicable law. Women, transgender people, veterans and people of color are encouraged to apply.
Applications without cover letters will not be considered.
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Selma to Montgomery
On the 50th Anniversary of the Bloody Sunday March
Photo Credit Associated Press
On 2 January 1965 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and SCLC joined the SNCC, the Dallas County Voters League, and other local African American activists in a voting rights campaign in Selma where, in spite of repeated registration attempts by local blacks, only two percent were on the voting rolls. (See a voter registration form designed to keep African Americans off the rolls) SCLC had chosen to focus its efforts in Selma because they anticipated that the notorious brutality of local law enforcement under Sheriff Jim Clark would attract national attention and pressure President Lyndon B. Johnson and Congress to enact new national voting rights legislation.
The campaign in Selma and nearby Marion, Alabama, progressed with mass arrests but little violence for the first month. That changed in February, however, when police attacks against nonviolent demonstrators increased. On the night of 18 February, Alabama state troopers joined local police breaking up an evening march in Marion. In the ensuing melee, a state trooper shot Jimmie Lee Jackson, a 26-year-old church deacon from Marion, as he attempted to protect his mother from the trooper’s nightstick. Jackson died eight days later in a Selma hospital.
In response to Jackson’s death, activists in Selma and Marion set out on 7 March, to march from Selma to the state capitol in Montgomery. While King was in Atlanta, his SCLC colleague Hosea Williams, and SNCC leader John Lewis led the march. The marchers made their way through Selma across the Edmund Pettus Bridge, where they faced a blockade of state troopers and local lawmen commanded by Clark and Major John Cloud who ordered the marchers to disperse. When they did not, Cloud ordered his men to advance. Cheered on by white onlookers, the troopers attacked the crowd with clubs and tear gas. Mounted police chased retreating marchers and continued to beat them.
Photo Credit Spider Martin
That evening King began a blitz of telegrams and public statements, ‘‘calling on religious leaders from all over the nation to join us on Tuesday in our peaceful, nonviolent march for freedom’’ (King, 7 March 1965). While King and Selma activists made plans to retry the march again two days later, Federal District Court Judge Frank M. Johnson, Jr. notified the movement attorney Fred Gray that he intended to issue a restraining order prohibiting the march until at least 11 March, and President Johnson pressured King to call off the march until the federal court order could provide protection to the marchers.
Forced to consider whether to disobey the pending court order, after consulting late into the night and early morning with other civil rights leaders and John Doar, the deputy chief of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, King proceeded to the Edmund Pettus Bridge on the afternoon of 9 March. He led more than 2,000 marchers, including hundreds of clergy who had answered King’s call on short notice, to the site of Sunday’s attack, then stopped and asked them to kneel and pray. After prayers they rose and turned the march back to Selma, avoiding another confrontation with state troopers and skirting the issue of whether to obey Judge Johnson’s court order. Many marchers were critical of King’s unexpected decision not to push on to Montgomery, but the restraint gained support from President Johnson, who issued a public statement: ‘‘Americans everywhere join in deploring the brutality with which a number of Negro citizens of Alabama were treated when they sought to dramatize their deep and sincere interest in attaining the precious right to vote’’ (Hear the President Johnson’s Statement 2:10:14). Johnson promised to introduce a voting rights bill to Congress within a few days.
That evening, several local whites attacked James Reeb, a white Unitarian minister who had come from Massachusetts to join the protest. His death two days later contributed to the rising national concern over the situation in Alabama. Johnson personally telephoned his condolences to Reeb’s widow and met with Alabama Governor George Wallace, pressuring him to protect marchers and support universal suffrage.
On 15 March Johnson addressed the Congress, identifying himself with the demonstrators in Selma in a televised address: ‘‘Their cause must be our cause too. Because it is not just Negroes, but really it is all of us, who must overcome the crippling legacy of bigotry and injustice. And we shall overcome’’ (Johnson, ‘‘Special Message’’). The following day Selma demonstrators submitted a detailed march plan to federal Judge Frank M. Johnson, Jr., who approved the demonstration and enjoined Governor Wallace and local law enforcement from harassing or threatening marchers. On 17 March President Johnson submitted voting rights legislation to Congress.
The federally sanctioned march left Selma on 21 March. Protected by hundreds of federalized Alabama National Guardsmen and Federal Bureau of Investigation agents, the demonstrators covered between 7 to 17 miles per day. Camping at night in supporters’ yards, they were entertained by celebrities such as Harry Belafonte and Lena Horne. Limited by Judge Johnson’s order to 300 marchers over a stretch of two-lane highway, the number of demonstrators swelled on the last day to 25,000, accompanied by Assistant Attorneys General John Doar and Ramsey Clark, and former Assistant Attorney General Burke Marshall, among others.
On 6 August, in the presence of King and other civil rights leaders, President Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Recalling ‘‘the outrage of Selma,’’ Johnson called the right to vote ‘‘the most powerful instrument ever devised by man for breaking down injustice and destroying the terrible walls which imprison men because they are different from other men’’ (Johnson, ‘‘Remarks’’). In his annual address to SCLC a few days later, King noted that ‘‘Montgomery led to the Civil Rights Act of 1957 and 1960; Birmingham inspired the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and Selma produced the voting rights legislation of 1965’’ (King, 11 August 1965).
1965 Selma to Montgomery March Fast Facts
February 18, 1965 - During a march in Marion, state troopers attack the demonstrators. State trooper James Bonard Fowler shoots and kills Jimmie Lee Jackson. Fowler was charged with murder in 2007 and pleaded guilty to manslaughter in 2010.
March 7, 1965 - About 600 people begin a march from Selma, Alabama to Montgomery, Alabama, led by John Lewis and Hosea Williams. Marchers demand an end to discrimination in voter registration. At the Edmund Pettus Bridge, state and local lawmen attack the marchers with billy clubs and tear gas, driving them back to Selma.
March 9, 1965 - Martin Luther King, Jr. leads another march to the Edmund Pettus Bridge. The march is largely symbolic; as arranged previously, the crowd turns back at a barricade of state troopers. Demonstrations are held in cities across the U.S. to show solidarity with the Selma marchers.
March 9, 1965 - President Lyndon Johnson speaks out against the violence in Selma and urges both sides to respect the law.
March 9, 1965 - Unitarian Universalist minister James Reeb, in Selma to join marchers, is attacked by a group of white men and beaten. He dies of his injuries two days later.
March 10, 1965 - The U.S. Justice Department files suit in Montgomery, Alabama asking for an order to prevent the state from punishing any person involved in a demonstration for civil rights.
March 17, 1965 - Federal District Court Judge Frank M. Johnson, Jr. rules in favor of the marchers. “The law is clear that the right to petition one’s government for the redress of grievances may be exercised in large groups.”
March 18, 1965 - Governor Wallace goes before the state legislature to condemn Johnson’s ruling. He states that Alabama cannot provide the security measures needed, blames the federal government, and says he will call on the federal government for help.
March 19, 1965 - Governor Wallace sends a telegram to President Johnson asking for help, saying that the state does not have enough troops and cannot bear the financial burden of calling up the Alabama National Guard.
March 20, 1965 - President Johnson issues an executive order federalizing the Alabama National Guard and authorizes whatever federal forces the Defense Secretary deems necessary.
March 21, 1965 - About 3,200 people march out of Selma for Montgomery under the protection of federal troops. They walk about 12 miles a day and sleep in fields at night.
March 25, 1965 - The marchers reach the state capitol in Montgomery. The number of marchers grows to about 25,000.
Garrow, Protest at Selma, 1978.
Johnson, ‘‘Remarks in the Capitol Rotunda at the Signing of the Voting Rights Act,’’ 6 August 1966, in Public Papers of the Presidents: Lyndon B. Johnson, 1965, bk.2, 1966.
Johnson, ‘‘Special Remarks to the Congress: The American Promise,’’ 15 March 1965, in Public Papers of the Presidents: Lyndon B. Johnson, bk. 1, 1966.
Johnson, ‘‘Statement by the President on the Situation in Selma, Alabama,’’ 9 March 1965, in Public Papers of the Presidents: Lyndon B. Johnson, 1965, bk. 1, 1966.
King, ‘‘Address at Conclusion of the Selma to Montgomery March,’’ in A Call to Conscience, Carson and Shepard, eds., 2001.
King, Annual report at SCLC convention, 11 August 1965, MLKJP-GAMK.
King, Statement on violence committed by state troopers in Selma, Alabama, 7 March 1965, MLKJP-GAMK.
King to Elder G. Hawkins, 8 March 1965, NCCP-PPPrHi.
Lewis, Walking with the Wind, 1998.
Roy Reed, ‘‘Alabama Police Use Gas and Clubs to Rout Negroes,’’ New York Times, 8 March 1965.
A Century of Black Life, History and Culture
Over the past century, African American life, history, and culture have become major forces in the United States and the world. In 1915, few could have imagined that African Americans in music, art, and literature would become appreciated by the global community. Fewer still could have predicted the prominence achieved by African Americans, as well as other people of African descent, in shaping world politics, war, and diplomacy. Indeed, it was nearly universally believed that Africans and people of African descent had played no role in the unfolding of history and were a threat to American civilization itself. A century later, few can deny the centrality of African Americans in the making of American history.
This transformation is the result of effort, not chance. Confident that their struggles mattered in human history, black scholars, artists, athletes, and leaders self-consciously used their talents to change how the world viewed African Americans. The New Negro of the post-World War I era made modernity their own and gave the world a cornucopia of cultural gifts, including jazz, poetry based on the black vernacular, and an appreciation of African art. African American athletes dominated individual and team sports, changing baseball, track-and-field, football, boxing, and basketball. In a wave of social movements, African American activism transformed race relations, challenged American foreign policy, and became the American conscience on human rights.
While the spotlight often shines on individuals, this movement is the product of organization, of institutions and of institution-builders who gave direction to effort. The National Urban League promoted the Harlem Renaissance. The preservation of the black past became the mission of Arturo Schomburg and Jesse Moorland, leading to the rise of the Schomburg Research Center in Black Culture and Howard University’s Moorland-Spingarn Research Center. The vision of Margaret Boroughs and others led to the African American museum movement, leading to the creation of black museums throughout the nation, culminating with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. Student activism of the 1960s resulted in the Black Studies Movement and the creation of black professional associations, including the National Council of Black Studies, and a host of doctoral programs at major American universities.
At the dawn of these strivings and at all points along the road, the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History, now the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) has played a vital role. When he founded the Association in 1915, Carter G. Woodson labored under the belief that historical truth would crush falsehoods and usher in a new era of equality, opportunity, and racial democracy, and it has been its charge for a century. In honor of this milestone, ASALH has selected “A Century of Black Life, History, and Culture” as the 2015 National Black History theme.
FEBRUARY IS AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY MONTH
Black History Month, or National African American History Month, is an annual celebration of achievements by black Americans and a time for recognizing the central role of African Americans in U.S. history. The event grew out of “Negro History Week,” the brainchild of noted historian Carter G. Woodson and other prominent African Americans. Since 1976, every U.S. president has officially designated the month of February as Black History Month. Other countries around the world, including Canada and the United Kingdom, also devote a month to celebrating black history.
ORIGINS OF BLACK HISTORY MONTH
The story of Black History Month begins in 1915, half a century after the Thirteenth Amendment abolished slavery in the United States. That September, the Harvard-trained historian Carter G. Woodson and the prominent minister Jesse E. Moorland founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH), an organization dedicated to researching and promoting achievements by black Americans and other peoples of African descent. Known today as the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH), the group sponsored a national Negro History week in 1926, choosing the second week of February to coincide with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. The event inspired schools and communities nationwide to organize local celebrations, establish history clubs and host performances and lectures.
In the decades the followed, mayors of cities across the country began issuing yearly proclamations recognizing Negro History Week. By the late 1960s, thanks in part to the Civil Rights Movement and a growing awareness of black identity, Negro History Week had evolved into Black History Month on many college campuses. President Gerald R. Ford officially recognized Black History Month in 1976, calling upon the public to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.”
The Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum join in paying tribute to the generations of African Americans who struggled with adversity to achieve full citizenship in American society.
The National Museum of African American History and Culture will be a place where all Americans can learn about the richness and diversity of the African American experience, what it means to their lives and how it helped us shape this nation. A place that transcends the boundaries of race and culture that divide us, and becomes a lens into a story that unites us all.
Resources for Children, Youth and Educators
National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NBHAAD) is an HIV testing and treatment community mobilization initiative for Blacks in the United States and across the Diaspora.
There are four specific focal points: Get Educated, Get Tested, Get Involved, and Get Treated.
The focus of NBHAAD is to get Blacks educated about the basics of HIV and AIDS in their local communities.
Testing is at the core of this initiative and is critical for prevention of HIV in Black communities. It is hoped that Blacks will mark February 7 of every year as their annual or bi-annual day to get tested for HIV.
This is vital for those who are sexually active and those at high risk of contracting HIV.
Getting Blacks involved to host and participate in NBHAAD events is another key focus area. Whether it is organizing a testing and awareness event at a local college, speaking about the importance of HIV prevention and treatment at your local faith-based organizations, or supporting a local AIDS service provider, it is key that you get involved.
For those who have HIV, the connections to treatment and care services are paramount. Seeing a doctor and receiving care, and taking prescribed HIV medicines helps individuals stay healthy and reduces the risk of transmitting the virus to others. Without treatment, HIV leads to AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) and can lead to early death.
MCC Celebrates Historic and Modern African American LGBTQ Persons During 2015 Black History Month
“La Palabra se hizo carne y habitó entre nosotros.”
Hoy celebramos la Navidad, un día de alegría y felicidad para muchas personas de Buena voluntad, especialmente para aquellos que reconocen que Jesús es el nuevo camino universal y sagrado por el que Dios se ofrece a nuestro mundo.
El Prólogo del Evangelio de Juan, propone para nuestra reflexión, un himno al Verbo/Palabra de Dios, a la Verdad, a la Luz, la cual es Jesús mismo, quien tiene un descenso dinámico. En el principio era la PALABRA, estaba junto a Dios y por ella fueron hechas todas las cosas. Es la Palabra pre-existente, junto a Dios y antes de todos los tiempos.
Esta Palabra, la cual es Jesús, puso su morada entre nosotros, se hizo carne, asumió nuestra condición humana, se hizo una persona como nosotras y a través de él, probamos a Dios. Es a través de esta Luz, que es Jesús, que sus discípulos no recibieron solo una información introductora sobre lo que Dios es, sino que fueron bienvenidos a la misma herencia de Dios.
Como podemos ver es un texto profundamente teológico, que expresa el misterio de la encarnación. Dios llega a ser humano, asumiendo la temporalidad y limitación de la humanidad, para crear personas ilimitadas e infinitas. Dios llegó a ser humano, para introducir la humanidad en la imagen de Dios.
Cantamos con alegría la presencia de Jesús entre nosotros y nosotras, entre nuestras comunidades. Mientras celebramos el misterio de la Encarnación de Cristo, debemos enviar una invitación a llamar, o incluso a gritar a cada uno para que: ¡Vengan! ¡Vengan porque el Niño Jesús nos espera! ¡Vengan porque algo tremendamente bueno está preparado para todas las personas!
Nuestra invitación, en este día glorioso, intenta llegar a toda la humanidad. En primer lugar a aquellas personas que piensan y buscan establecer la Paz en este mundo. En segundo lugar, nuestra invitación es para aquellas personas que trabajan y sufren tratando de que la Paz se establezca en este mundo.
Nuestra invitación es que vengan y encuentre las buenas nuevas, las que la Navidad anuncia para todas las personas. Que la prosperidad y la paz; la buena conciencia y la ley del amor; la fraternidad y la sororidad; que la solidaridad y la colaboración son los regalos que la Navidad nos ofrece.
A nombre de ICM, este Día de Navidad, quiero expresar a aquellas personas que no nos conocen; que no nos comprenden; que incluso piensan que somos inútiles, no necesarios y un error de la naturaleza; también a aquellas personas que están en nuestra contra y que piensan que hacen bien odiándonos; que les saludamos a todas ellas con los dones de paz y amor, y les expresamos que estamos orando continuamente por su continuo bienestar.
ICM está comprometida con el Transformarnos al transformar el mundo, y hoy más que nunca, queremos estar al lado de todas aquellas personas que están trabajando por establecer la dignidad y la paz en cada rincón de nuestro mundo.
Tengo que confesar que la Navidad, no es una de mis fiestas favoritas durante el año, y la principal razón, es que en mi imaginario teológico, es la Pascua la celebración central que nos ofrece esperanza y luz en nuestras vidas cristianas. La Navidad desde mi perspectiva, nos ha sido robada a las Iglesias por el mundo consumista.
Sumo mi espíritu a todas aquellas que proclaman recordándonos que Jesús es la razón de la Navidad.
“The Word became flesh and dwelt among us.”
Today we celebrate Christmas, a day of celebration of joy and happiness for all the people of good will, especially for those who recognized that Jesus is the new universal and sacred way, God is offered into our world.
The prologue of the Gospel of John proposes for our reflection, a hymn to the VERB, WORD of God, to the truth, to the light, which is Jesus himself, who has a descending dynamic. In the beginning is the WORD, a facet of God, and She made all things. It is the pre-existent WORD, beside God and before all time.
This WORD, which is also Jesus, makes his dwelling among us, becomes flesh, assumes the human condition, becomes one of us, and through him, we experience God. It is through this Light, that is Jesus, that his disciples did not receive mere introduction to and information about God, but obtained welcome as full heirs of God.
As you can see, it is a very deep theological text. It expresses the mystery of the incarnation. God becomes human, assuming the temporality and limitation of humanity in order to create unlimited and infinite people. God becoming human, in order to reproduce humanity into the very image of God.
We sing with joy about the presence of Jesus among us, among our communities. While celebrating the mystery of Christ´s Incarnation, we must send an invitation, a call, or even a cry to everyone to: Come! Come because the Baby Jesus is waiting for all of us! Come because something terrifically good is prepared for all of us!
Our invitation on this glorious day is intended to reach all humanity. First, to those who are thinking about and looking to establish Peace in this world! Second, our invitation is to those who work and suffer because they are trying to establish Peace in this world!
Our invitation is to come and find the good news that Christmas is announcing to everyone. That the prosperity and the peace; the good conscience and the law of love; the fraternity and sorority; the solidarity and the collaboration, are all presents that Christmas is bringing for us.
On behalf of MCC, on this Christmas Day, I want to express to those who do not know us; who do not understand us; to those who even think that we are useless, unnecessary and mistakes of nature; to those who are against us and believe they are doing good by hating us, we must greet all of them with the gifts of hope and love, and let them know that we will pray for their continued well-being.
MCC’s commitment is to Transform Ourselves as We Transform the World, and now more than ever, we want to be side by side with all of those who are working to establish dignity for all and peace in every corner of our earth.
I need to confess this is not my favorite holiday of the year, and the main reason is that in my theological imaginary, Easter is the central celebration that brings the hope and light into our Christian lives. Christmas, from my perspective, has been stolen from the church by the consumerist world.
I add my spirit to all the people who use their spirits, to remind us that Christ is the reason for the season.
Now, a little more inclusively,
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raising,
Let all within us praise your holy name
Christ is our God! Oh, praise Your name forever!
Your power and glory evermore proclaim
Oh night divine, oh night, oh night divine!
May the power of the One who grew up to turn over tables of injustice, heal every disease, and connect us to all that is divine, good and holy, this night.
Here’s one of my favorite versions: