civil rights movement

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Emmett Till Memorial Sign Marred by 'So Much Hatred'

But fundraiser hits goal to replace Mississippi marker riddled by bullets

(Newser) - A bullet-riddled sign marking the spot where the tortured and mutilated body of 14-year-old Emmett Till was found in Mississippi's Tallahatchie River 61 years ago will be replaced thanks to the generosity of donors. An Emmett Till Interpretive Center fundraising challenge surpassed its $15,000 goal Sunday evening, the... More »

Ku Klux Klan Sends Message to Selma

Fliers coincide with 50th anniversary of 'Bloody Sunday'

(Newser) - Civil rights supporters aren't the only ones making waves in Alabama—the Ku Klux Klan showed up, too, distributing fliers around Selma and Montgomery over the past two weeks, reports. The Loyal White Knights of the KKK's grand dragon, Robert Jones, says roughly 4,000 fliers... More »

Obama in Selma: Race 'Casts Its Long Shadow'

President speaks to thousands, 50 years after 'Bloody Sunday'

(Newser) - America's racial history "still casts its long shadow upon us," the nation's first black president said today as he stood in solidarity and remembrance with civil rights activists whose beatings by police a half-century ago galvanized people against racial oppression and hastened passage of historic voting... More »

Friendship Nine's 1961 Convictions Are Scrapped

'We cannot rewrite history, but we can right history'

(Newser) - In what CNN calls a "poetic twist," the nephew of the judge who convicted nine South Carolina black men who took a seat at a whites-only lunch counter in 1961 today tossed those trespassing and protesting convictions. Eight of the so-called Friendship Nine appeared in court today—the... More »

Why MLK's Family Sues People Over 'the Dream'

To protect its copyright, which lasts until 2039

(Newser) - The new film Selma avoided quoting Martin Luther King's civil-rights speeches because his family owns the copyrights and has sued over them—and it's all perfectly legal, Politico reports. The MLK estate has successfully sued USA Today, CBS News, and the Emmy-winning documentary series Eyes on the Prize,... More »

'Mississippi Burning' Convict Won't Confess

Edgar Ray Killen says he's a political prisoner

(Newser) - Edgar Ray Killen has granted his first interview since being imprisoned in 2005 for the killing of three young civil rights workers 50 years ago, but he still refuses to discuss the events of 1964, much less confess. The 89-year-old, speaking to the AP inside the Mississippi State Penitentiary, says... More »

Buffett's Son Buys Rosa Parks Items, Will Donate Them

Collection includes hat she may have worn on famous bus ride

(Newser) - One lucky museum will be getting a treasure trove in the form of hundreds of items belonging to civil rights icon Rosa Parks. A foundation run by Howard Buffett, son of Warren, has purchased the items—including a postcard from Martin Luther King Jr. and a hat Parks may have... More »

How Eric Cantor Can Turn Around His Legacy

Juan Williams thinks the Majority Leader should try to fix the Voting Rights Act

(Newser) - If Eric Cantor's story ends today, history will remember him only as "the highest-ranking Republican to suffer defeat in a primary," Juan Williams observes at The Hill . But Williams thinks there's a way Cantor can use his final days to rescue his legacy: He can revive... More »

What Louis Armstrong Really Thought About Race

Jazz giant had on-off affair with the Civil Rights movement

(Newser) - People still love Louis Armstrong's music and warm, colorful personality, but we forget about his mixed record during the Civil Rights years—when one critic slammed him as a "racial cop-out." There's something to it: He sang for white audiences in movies (with Barbra Streisand, no... More »

10 Misleading Words to Be Wiped From MLK Memorial

At a cost of as much as $900K

(Newser) - The truncated quote on the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial that made the civil rights leader sound like, in Maya Angelou's words, " an arrogant twit ," will be removed. Officials initially said that the quote—"I was a drum major for justice, peace, and righteousness"—would... More »

Lost MLK Interview Discovered in Attic

Martin Luther King Jr. talks about his time in Africa in new audio

(Newser) - Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. talks about the civil rights movement, nonviolence, and his work in Africa in a newly discovered audio interview found in a Chattanooga attic. Stephon Tull found the audio reel labeled "Dr. King interview, Dec. 21, 1960" in his father's house, borrowed a reel-to-reel... More »

Cain Sat Out Civil Rights Movement

He became political only when government raised minimum wage, his taxes

(Newser) - Herman Cain came of age in the heat of the civil rights movement, but unlike many of his politically conscious peers at the predominantly black Morehouse College, he largely ignored it. “I wasn’t determined to make social change,” Cain tells the Wall Street Journal . “I wanted... More »

Obama: King 'Stirred Our Conscience'

Thousands attend dedication of Martin Luther King Jr Monument

(Newser) - Forty-three years after Martin Luther King Jr. was killed by an assassin's bullets, the nation's first black president today led an all-star tribute to the civil rights activist who "stirred our conscience" and made our Union "more perfect." "I know we will overcome,"... More »

Civil Rights Hero Fred Shuttlesworth Dead at 89

Shuttlesworth survived bombings and beatings to end segregation

(Newser) - Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth, one of the most dynamic leaders of the civil rights movement, died yesterday at the age of 89, reports the Washington Post . Shuttlesworth survived bombing attempts, beatings, and dozens of arrests in his attempts to end segregation in the South, and was key in making nonviolence a... More »

Obama Installs Racially Charged Painting

Norman Rockwell work includes racial epithet

(Newser) - The nation's first black president has hung a painting with the N-word outside the Oval Office, in a nod to the civil rights movement, reports Politico. President Obama last month had Norman Rockwell's "The Problem We All Live With" installed in the White House; the painting shows... More »

Rosa Parks Nearly Raped by White Neighbor

'I was ready to die but give my consent never,' she wrote

(Newser) - Rosa Parks was almost raped as a young woman, and in a newly surfaced essay she tells the story in painful detail. Her white neighbor, who hired her as a housekeeper, “moved nearer to me and put his hand on my waist. I was very frightened by now,”... More »

Young King Inspired by Time in Desegregated Connecticut

That influential summer inspired him to become a minister

(Newser) - A young Martin Luther King Jr. might have gone on to any number of careers, but for one inspiring summer in Connecticut. He was there as a teenager, earning money for college by working on a tobacco farm, and he was shocked by the lack of segregation he found. “... More »

Haley Barbour Finds Himself in (Another) Civil Rights Mess

2012 GOP contender has problematic political roots, writes Steve Kornacki

(Newser) - Haley Barbour still hasn’t said whether he’ll run for president, but he’s already stirring up controversy thanks to a lengthy Weekly Standard profile in which he recalls his hometown of Yazoo City, Miss., fondly, and doesn’t remember the struggle for civil rights as being “that... More »

Ernest Withers Informed on Martin Luther King to FBI

Famed civil rights photographer a spy

(Newser) - Ernest Withers, the famed “original civil rights photographer” and close confidant of Martin Luther King, was secretly a paid FBI informant, cluing the government in on all the Civil Rights Movement’s activities, according to a two-year investigation from the Memphis Commercial Appeal . Withers tailed King for the feds... More »

Obama Leads Last Salute to Dorothy Height

Funeral for civil rights leader attracts president, congress

(Newser) - President Obama spoke at Dorothy Height's funeral today, calling on Americans to honor the memory of the late civil rights leader by serving their country and making it better. "We can all be drum majors for a righteous cause," the president declared. He said she'd lived a righteous... More »

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