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.

Click here to read the entire article


I Am Troy Davis

September 21, 2013

It was two years ago today that a monstrous miscarriage of justice was committed by the state of Georgia as its unrelenting pursuit to execute Troy Davis finally came to fruition.

Troy was executed even though there was no DNA evidence and no weapon that linked him to the murder that was committed. The majority of the witnesses in his case recanted their testimony against Troy because, as they explained, they were pressured and threatened by the police to give false testimony.

Troy Davis will never be forgotten.

The best way to honor him today is to fight to end the death penalty.

Troy Davis’ life and struggle against the death machine in Georgia and in the US will be vindicated one day when in our society it will no longer be possible to execute another human being.

I AM TROY DAVIS!!!!!!!!


The Trials of Muhammad Ali

August 21, 2013


Toussaint Louverture brought to life in play, book

July 26, 2013

“I was born a slave, but nature gave me the soul of a free man,” said Toussaint Louverture, the leader of the successful Haitian slave revolt of 1791 to 1804.

The Haitain revolution reverberated throughout Europe, interacting with the French Revolution, inspired Georg Hegel’s philosophy, changed the shape of the world and echoes down the years to us — still demanding a response.

Under Louverture’s political and military leadership, the Haitian slaves defeated a series of enemies. It was an international revolution, interacting with events around the globe, redrawing maps and effecting great empires.

Click here to read entire article


Trayvon

July 14, 2013

The justice system does not work for us.

There is no justice to be found for blacks, latinos, and all people of color in US courts.

The justice system does not work for us.

It never has and it never will.

The US justice system does not operate in a vacuum.

The justice system is racist and unequal because it is part of a deeply racist and unequal society.

More discussions, more protests, and more attempts for reforms will not fundamentally change a system that is rotten to the core.

That’s been the call for many, many years, and things still remain the same.

It will never work.

US Society and US Courts do not recognize the value and rights of black lives.

It has been that way from the beginning of US history and continues to be a daily reality, through out the years, decades, and centuries.

Right up until now, in 2013.

What happened in that Sanford court today is a daily reality for all people of color.

This reality doesn’t lessen the pain and it doesn’t contain the outrage felt about this latest miscarriage of justice.

The absolute truth about our civil rights and human rights as manifested every day, in every court, in every state, always has been and is still the same:

The justice system does not work for us.


Gideon’s Army

June 27, 2013


Salman Rushdie Interview

June 6, 2013

Here’s a really interesting interview conducted by the great Australian journalist John Pilger with Salman Rushdie.

The interview took place several years before the release of The Satanic Verses and the ensuing craziness.

Besides literature and politics, Rushdie candidly discusses the racism he dealt with as a young man living in England.