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Importance of Racial Justice Movements
"Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced." - James Baldwin, Remember This House (& I Am Not Your Negro).
HeinOnline: From the Courtroom to the Streets: A Timeline of the Civil Rights and Black Lives Matter Movements
The recent arrest and death of George Floyd has sparked protesters against police brutality to flood the streets demanding change. With more than 450 protests occurring in towns and cities of the United States and across three continents, some are calling this the biggest civil rights movement yet. Join us as we explore past civil rights movements in U.S. history, and what changes have occurred as a result.
HeinOnline: Civil Rights and Social Justice
A person’s civil rights ensure protection from discrimination based on race, gender, sexual orientation, national origin or ethnicity, religion, age, and disability. While often confused, civil liberties, on the other hand, are basic freedoms outlined in the Bill of Rights and Constitution. Examples of civil liberties include the right to free speech, to privacy, to remain silent during police interrogation, and the right to have a fair trial. The lifeblood of civil rights protection in the United States is the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment (“No state shall make or enforce any law which shall … deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws”). Ratified in 1868, the Fourteenth Amendment is the middle of the three Reconstruction Amendments passed in the aftermath of the Civil War. The Thirteenth Amendment, ratified in 1865, abolished slavery and involuntary servitude except for persons convicted of a crime; the Fourteenth Amendment granted citizenship to all persons born in the United States, afforded due process protections for persons against state and local governments, and granted equal protection to all people, whether citizens or not; and the Fifteenth Amendment, ratified in 1870, prohibits governments from denying citizens the right to vote based on “race, color, or previous condition of servitude.”
Racial Justice Resources at the Library
Community of Chaos? Dialogue as Twenty-First Century Activism
As we reflect on the fiftieth anniversary of the April 4, 1968 assassination of civil rights leader Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. we ask ourselves what has changed in American society since his death. Are we closer to Dr. King's vision of a just society in which all of its members can thrive regardless of race or class? Or, with American society in a state of growing political polarization and continued racial separation, are we farther away? If we don't like where we are, what can we do to change it? Social change requires action, but what is the action we need to reduce polarization and create a more just community? Can the practice of dialogue be an effective tool for social change? This Essay will explore these questions. Part II will focus on the current state of race in American society, Part III explores how dialogue can create empathy, which will allow for greater cross-racial communication, and Part IV briefly conclu
What the Civil Rights Movement Was and Wasn't (with Notes on Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X)
In this David C. Baum Memorial Lecture on Civil Liberties and Civil Rights, Professor Sunstein begins by noting that participants in the civil rights movement were often backward looking and even conservative, invoking commitments from the nation's past and arguing against reliance on the judiciary and the Supreme Court. They stressed above all two time-honored liberal principles: freedom from desperate conditions and opposition to caste. It is wrong to say (as many now do) that the movement was founded on a principle of race neutrality, and also wrong to say (as some now do) that the movement was opposed to “categories” or “binary oppositions.” Professor Sunstein then raises important issues of character by exploring the works of Martin Luther King, Jr., and Malcolm X. He concludes by discussing the risks of dehumanization and brutality in movements committed to significant social change.
The Ghosts of 1964: Race, Reagan, and the Ne-Conservative Backlash to the Civil Rights Movement
With the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980, the forces that would shape a sustained backlash against the gains of the civil rights movement were already in play: party realignment and the re-emergence of the religious right in American politics; the rise of a ‘law and order‘ movement that would morph into a ‘war on drugs‘ movement fueling the mass incarceration of Black and Hispanic men, women, and children; the accelerated development of a ‘military industrial complex‘ that would morph from a war against communism to one against terrorism. Taken together, these converging forces not only undermined the dream of racial equality promised by America's Second Reconstruction but threatened democracy itself, intensifying social inequality and stratification across racial lines, trampling civil rights and liberties, and eventually consolidating political and corporate power on a scale not seen in recent American history.
Critical Black Protectionism, Black Lives Matter, and Social Media: building a Bridge to Social Justice
This Article provides a detailed, contemporary examination and critique of the practice of Black protectionism. The discussion focuses on how Black protectionism has evolved over the decades, and whether the changes make it a more useful tool for community empowerment than its applications in previous eras. Its latest iteration, herein labeled Critical Black Protectionism, is assessed and evaluated in light of the increasing use of social media. The analysis is concerned with how the application of Black protectionism has been shaped by the widespread use of social media. In particular, it considers how Critical Black Protectionism determines who counts as Black crime victims in need of the community's voice. This Article is divided *372 into five parts. Part I provides an overview of Black protectionism, its roots and evolution. As well, this Part examines how African Americans have used protectionism. This discussion offers a base for analyzing contemporary iterations of Black protectionism. Part II sets out the step-by-step process of Black protectionism. It details who is eligible for protectionism and the “trigger questions” used to determine whether it is merited in a particular case. Part III assesses and critiques how Black protectionism has been applied in contemporary cases where African Americans have been accused of criminal or ethical wrongdoing. This section begins with a look at the sexual assault allegations against Bill Cosby and the criminal cases involving Ray Rice, Adrian Peterson, Jameis Winston, Chris Brown, and Michael Vick. Following an overview of these contemporary cases, there is an assessment of whether and how Black protectionism was used in these cases, compared with its availability in previous cases. Part IV discusses the Black Lives Matter movement and its push and impact in reshaping and reimagining Black crime victims. It also considers how this reimagining has encouraged a revamping of Black protectionism. This Part also examines the emergence of social media and the role it has played in the refining of Black protectionism. This Part concludes by identifying the shift to a new, updated form of protectionism: Critical Black Protectionism. The discussion addresses how Critical Black Protectionism refines and expands previous applications of Black protectionism. Part V addresses outstanding questions about Critical Black Protectionism, including its future iterations and its ability to impact and alter how the justice system works for African Americans.
Police Brutality, the Law & Today's Social Justiece Movement: How the Lack of Police Accountability has Fueled #Hashtag Activism
The continuous disregard for and attacks by police on “the Black body” should not be viewed as simply a civil rights issue as that framing is too general and too broad. It must be seen as a racial issue that should have criminal ramifications for the officers involved as well as serious financial penalties for police departments or precincts that allow their officers to continue their behavior without reprimand. It must be understood that in America “extinguishing [B]lack lives is legally, constitutionally, and culturally permissible ...." Such categorical indifference for Black lives led to the creation of the BLM movement and subsequent groups to bring attention to these tragedies that plague American society.
Today's social justice movement is a byproduct of inadequate laws and the continued injustice faced by the Black community. In the following pages, I will look at the contextual perception of the laws as well as the laws that were created to tackle police brutality. These laws, by appearing race-neutral, ignore the racist pillars that this country was built on. I will then review the other insufficient remedies that are currently in effect but provide little to no justice. Next, I will provide an overview of past rebellions against police violence and their connection to today's hashtag activism. Lastly, I will discuss several proposed remedies and address their possible effectiveness.
Crusaders in the Courts: How a Dedicated by
This book is both a powerful personal memoir and the definitive history of an organization that helped change American society. Jack Greenberg was a key figure at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund (LDF) for some thirty-five years. Most of the cases we associate from that period--school integration, equal employment, fair housing, voter registration--were LDF cases, either argued by Greenberg himself or litigated under his direction. Greenberg represented Martin Luther King, Jr., in Birmingham and won for him the right to march from Selma to Montgomery. Under Greenberg's leadership, the LDF forced the University of Mississippi to admit James Meredith and integrated the University of Alabama when George Wallace stood in the schoolhouse door. Greenberg won the cases in which the Supreme Court repudiated the "all deliberate speed" doctrine, which had made school desegregation intolerably slow. Through the 1970s and 1980s, LDF tackled most of the important cases that enforced the new civil rights legislation of the 1960s involving public accommodations, employment, education, and health care, and started the campaigns for prisoners' rights and against capital punishment. More than a history of the litigation that made the LDF so important, the book offers unique insights into its strategies, courtroom techniques, values, and personal relationships. Filled with stories only Greenberg could tell of his experiences with Thurgood Marshall, Martin Luther King, Jr., Marian Wright Edelman, Lani Guinier, Roy Wilkins, Vernon Jordan, Charlayne Hunter-Gault, Lyndon Johnson, and scores of others, Crusaders in the Courts is an epic saga of a critical period in American history as well as the poignant personal story of the evolution of a white Jewish lawyer into a major civil rights advocate.
Call Number: KF 4757 .G699 1994
Publication Date: 1994
All Deliberate Speed by
In what John Hope Franklin calls "an essential work" on race and affirmative action, Charles Ogletree, Jr., tells his personal story of growing up a "Brown baby" against a vivid pageant of historical characters that includes, among others, Thurgood Marshall, Martin Luther King, Jr., Earl Warren, Anita Hill, Alan Bakke, and Clarence Thomas. A measured blend of personal memoir, exacting legal analysis, and brilliant insight, Ogletree's eyewitness account of the legacy of Brown v. Board of Education offers a unique vantage point from which to view five decades of race relations in America.
Call Number: KF 4757 .O35 2004
Publication Date: 2005-11-17
Racial Reckoning by
Few whites who violently resisted the civil rights struggle were charged with crimes in the 1950s and 1960s. But the tide of a long-deferred justice began to change in 1994, when a Mississippi jury convicted Byron De La Beckwith for the 1963 murder of Medgar Evers. Since then, more than one hundred murder cases have been reopened, resulting in more than a dozen trials. But how much did these public trials contribute to a public reckoning with America's racist past? Racial Reckoning investigates that question, along with the political pressures and cultural forces that compelled the legal system to revisit these decades-old crimes. "[A] timely and significant work...Romano brilliantly demystifies the false binary of villainous white men like Beckwith or Edgar Ray Killen who represent vestiges of a violent racial past with a more enlightened color-blind society...Considering the current partisan and racial divide over the prosecution of police shootings of unarmed black men, this book is a must-read for historians, legal analysts, and journalists interested in understanding the larger meanings of civil rights or racially explosive trials in America." --Chanelle Rose, American Historical Review
Call Number: KF 221 .M8 R66 2014
Publication Date: 2017
We Shall Overcome by
The history of America's successes and failures in the battles for civil rights, from the Revolutionary period to today. Despite America's commitment to civil rights from the earliest days of nationhood, examples of injustices against minorities stain many pages of U.S. history. The battle for racial, ethnic, and gender fairness remains unfinished. This comprehensive book traces the history of legal efforts to achieve civil rights for all Americans, beginning with the years leading up to the Revolution and continuing to our own times. The historical adventure Alexander Tsesis recounts is filled with fascinating events, with real change and disappointing compromise, and with courageous individuals and organizations committed to ending injustice. Viewing the evolution of civil rights through the lens of legal history, Tsesis considers laws that have restricted civil rights (such as Jim Crow regulations and prohibitions against intermarriage) and laws that have expanded rights (including antisegregation legislation and other legal advances of the civil rights era). He focuses particular attention on the African American fight for civil rights but also discusses the struggles of women, gays and lesbians, Japanese Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, and Jews. He concludes by assessing the current state of civil rights in the United States and exploring likely future expansions of civil rights.
Call Number: Online: ProQuest Ebook Central
Publication Date: 2009-06-23
Historic Civil Rights Laws
Brown v. Board of Education, 347 U.S. 483 (1954).
Chief Justice Earl Warren delivered the opinion of the unanimous Court. The Supreme Court held that “separate but equal” facilities are inherently unequal and violate the protections of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The Court reasoned that the segregation of public education based on race instilled a sense of inferiority that had a hugely detrimental effect on the education and personal growth of African American children. Warren based much of his opinion on information from social science studies rather than court precedent. The decision also used language that was relatively accessible to non-lawyers because Warren felt it was necessary for all Americans to understand its logic.
The Civil Rights Act of 1964
Full Citation: The Civil Rights Act of 1964, Pub. L. No. 88-352, 78 Stat. 241.
Voting Rights Act of 1965
Full Citation: Voting Rights Act of 1965, Pub. L. No. 89-110, 79 Stat. 437.
Movements Today: Black Lives Matter
BLM Founders Opal Tometi, Alicia Garza and Patrisse Cullors - Protesters outside police station in London
#BlackLivesMatter was founded in 2013 in response to the acquittal of Trayvon Martin’s murderer. Black Lives Matter Foundation, Inc is a global organization in the US, UK, and Canada, whose mission is to eradicate white supremacy and build local power to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes. By combating and countering acts of violence, creating space for Black imagination and innovation, and centering Black joy, we are winning immediate improvements in our lives.
The Early History of the Black Lives Matter Movement, and the Implications Thereof
This Note explores the early history of the Black Lives Matter movement, in an effort to craft a historical narrative of the movement, within the context of America's history of racial inequality. Parts I-III examine the catalyst that sparked the creation of the Black Lives Matter movement, the very beginning of the movement and its founders' diverse backgrounds, and the early, gradual development of Black Lives Matter from a simple phrase, into a civil rights movement. Throughout, the Note will illustrate the national consensus that has driven Black Lives Matter from the beginning and compare and contrast the movement, in its early stages, to other civil rights movements from American history. Finally, Parts IV-V will analyze some of the issues and implications that have become evident in the early history of the movement. This Note's ultimate goal is to present a clear notion of what Black Lives Matter really means, and what ideals drive it as a movement.
Historical Movements: Civil Rights Era (1960s)
Martin Luther King, Jr.
During the less than 13 years of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s leadership of the modern American Civil Rights Movement, from December, 1955 until April 4, 1968, African Americans achieved more genuine progress toward racial equality in America than the previous 350 years had produced. Dr. King is widely regarded as America’s pre-eminent advocate of nonviolence and one of the greatest nonviolent leaders in world history.
Historical Movements: NAACP in the Courts (1940-1950)
Charles Hamilton Houston: Architect of Desegregation through the Courts
Known as “The Man Who Killed Jim Crow”, he played a role in nearly every civil rights case before the Supreme Court between 1930 and Brown v. Board of Education (1954). Houston’s brilliant plan to attack and defeat Jim Crow segregation by using the inequality of the “separate but equal” doctrine (from the Supreme Court’s Plessy v. Ferguson decision) as it pertained to public education in the United States was the master stroke that brought about the landmark Brown decision.
Founded in 1909 in response to the ongoing violence against Black people around the country, the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) is the largest and most pre-eminent civil rights organization in the nation. We have over 2,200 units and branches across the nation, along with well over 2M activists. Our mission is to secure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights in order to eliminate race-based discrimination and ensure the health and well-being of all persons.
Historical Movements: Anti-Lynching (1890-1920)
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