Pieces of history that could help us think more clearly about today's movements for social change are often ignored or distorted in popular media or commercial textbooks. This is especially true in the treatment of "nonviolent" resistance in the Civil Rights Movement.
Yuri Kochiyama's life and legacy is a reminder to Asian Americans and to all those who believe in social justice, of a basic value: To show up whenever and wherever injustice occurs and to engage in acts of resistance and solidarity.
On this day in a second-grade classroom in the Midwest, Harvey Milk was on the same stage as Frederick Douglass, Sojourner Truth and Elizabeth Cady Stanton as an 8-year-old gay boy who has never seen the need for a closet told Milk's story.
How do we encourage young people at home and abroad, in South Africa and now those young people heavily invested in the as yet unsettled Arab Spring, to "keep on keepin' on," as the footsoldiers of the Civil Rights Movement used to pledge?
Before her death in 2006, in preparation for a new biography, Coretta King met many times with Dr. Barbara Reynolds, one of the founding editors of USA Today. I recently interviewed Dr. Reynolds on her time with Mrs. King.