This question of citizenship and political representation is as important today as it was then -- yet the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party is not even mentioned in many major U.S. history textbooks.
During this last week of Women’s History Month, I wanted you to learn about Ella Baker, a transforming but too-little-known woman and overpowering justice warrior for my generation of civil rights activists.
Ella Baker had a 'pro-choice' moment. In that moment, she seized the opportunity and made a decision that would turn the tide of history. She chose to do what far exceeded herself. Her name, her work and her spirit thrive.
The eerie parallels between the shooting of Trayvon Martin and the murder of Emmett Till 58 years ago -- including the outrageous acquittals of their killers -- remind us that despite many years of racial progress, our criminal justice system remains a bastion of bias and bigotry.
The outrage over the killing of an unarmed Black teenager who was doing nothing wrong must continue until some semblance of justice is achieved. Let us refuse to be silent until the killing of Black mothers' sons is as important as the killing of White mothers' sons.
Often in America, when discussing prominent black trailblazers who fought the injustices of segregation and racial oppression, we see the same images of a variety of men. I somewhat jokingly call them our superhero black male icons.
When President Obama paid tribute to Desiline Victor, the 102-year-old African-American woman who was forced to wait hours to cast her ballot last November, he was highlighting not only the Florida Republican Party's voter suppression efforts but the tortured history of race relations in America.
Medgar Evers would be pleased to know that all public schools are technically available to all children, but he would be dismayed to learn that even so, many black children are still getting a separate, unequal, and failing education. We must not let all he lived and died for recede on our watch.
Whatever legislation comes will be too late to help the 20 victims who were killed by Adam Lanza at the Sandy Hook Elementary School. It will also be too late for the 270 children who have been killed by guns in Chicago since 2007.
Bayard Rustin, the trailblazing civil rights activist, was a pacifist, a radical, black and gay. Controversy surrounded him all his life. But this year -- the 100th anniversary of his birth and 25 years after his death -- his name is back in the news.