How Armed Black Southerners Helped Fight for Civil Rights

June 6, 2014

An important side of the civil rights movement that must be learned and discussed. It’s a history that’s been ignored for far too long.

Most history students never learn that even Martin Luther King Jr.—arguably history’s greatest spokesperson on behalf of nonviolence—had armed guards stationed outside of his home and a pistol tucked in his sofa in 1955 when he emerged as the leader of the bus boycott in Montgomery, Ala.

But he did.

As time went on, he came to trust in the philosophy of nonviolence in his personal life as much as he believed in its power politically, and eventually got rid of both the guards and guns. At some point, though, we glossed over this complexity and began to think of nonviolence as preordained and as a natural outgrowth of the movement.

We don’t teach our children about the training civil rights activists had to endure in order to prepare their minds and bodies for nonviolent protests. And we don’t often think about how the movement functioned in rural places, far from the glare of the spotlights of network news cameras. Outside of the national gaze, what might check the violence of white segregationists who resisted every attempt by black citizens to assert their right to vote and to organize politically? How did the movement work in the face of the violence in rural Union County, N.C.; Lowndes County, Ala.; or Sunflower County, Miss.?

That’s the story masterfully told by Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee field secretary and now journalist Charles Cobb in his challenging and important new narrative, This Nonviolent Stuff’ll Get You Killed: How Guns Made the Civil Rights Movement Possible, which adds to a growing list of important histories that expand what we know about the way organizing had to work in rural communities.

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Love Liberates

May 29, 2014

Dr. Maya Angelou


Santana and Friends Team to Save Coltrane Home

September 21, 2013

Santana and Friends Team to Save Coltrane Home
Benefit planned to open residence where “A Love Supreme” was written to the public

By Emily Hutton

The Coltrane Home in Dix Hills, N.Y., where the late saxophonist John Coltrane lived from 1964-67, Long Island has long been deemed historic. The Long Island home is not only where Coltrane and his wife, Alice, raised their children, but it is also where Coltrane composed A Love Supreme. Now, according a press release, the National Trust for Historic Preservation has named the Coltrane residence “one of the most endangered historic places in the country,” and Carlos Santana and friends are stepping in to help.

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The Trials of Muhammad Ali

August 21, 2013


Medgar Evers Legacy Lives On

June 6, 2013

Paying Tribute to a Seeker of Justice, 50 Years After His Assassination
By ASHLEY SOUTHALL

ARLINGTON, Va. — Myrlie Evers-Williams, the widow of the slain civil rights leader Medgar Evers, said her husband was a man who saw a job that needed to be done, and he answered the call, “not just for his people but for all people.”

Ms. Evers-Williams and a group of about 300 visitors, including Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. and former President Bill Clinton, observed the 50th anniversary of Mr. Evers’s assassination on Wednesday at Arlington National Cemetery, where Mr. Evers is buried.


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Alice Walker: Beauty in Truth

May 29, 2013


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January 13, 2013