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Classics for Pleasure

Classics for Pleasure

By Michael Dirda

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Tag: Civil Rights


Juanedc (CC BY 2.0)

Exploited and Sexually Abused Qatari Migrant Workers Were Forced to Run Marathon

Laborers were bused in—some wearing jeans and flip-flops—and told they had to run the race, which was a failed effort to break the Guinness World Record for the largest marathon.

Posted on Apr 7, 2015 READ MORE



Arkansas Defies Widespread Outrage by Passing Its Own ‘Religious Freedom’ Act

Arkansas, following Indiana’s lead, has adopted a hugely controversial, “anti-gay” Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

Posted on Mar 31, 2015 READ MORE



A ‘Black Lives Matter’ Activist Faces Hard Time Under a Law Meant for Racist Killers

As Americans forget more and more of our nation’s troubling past, a misguided California prosecutor’s case against a young protester is turning the meaning of “lynching” inside out.

Posted on Mar 29, 2015 READ MORE


Disgraced Oklahoma Student Apologizes for Racist Song

At a press conference, former University of Oklahoma student Levi Pettit asked civil rights leaders and the public for forgiveness for leading a racist chant at a fraternity outing.

Posted on Mar 26, 2015 READ MORE



Multiple Investigations Into Hanging Death of Mississippi Man

The FBI and the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division are investigating the death of an African-American man who was found hanging from a tree in Mississippi. Investigators don’t know whether the death was a suicide or a homicide, but local civil-rights leaders are calling for authorities to determine whether it was a racially motivated hate crime.

Posted on Mar 20, 2015 READ MORE


Ferguson

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Posted on Mar 14, 2015 READ MORE



In Selma, Memories of Bloody Sunday Spur Action Today

Fifty years have passed since Bloody Sunday, that seminal event in United States civil-rights history when African-Americans and their allies attempted to march from Selma to Montgomery, Ala., demanding the right to vote.

Posted on Mar 12, 2015 READ MORE



Utah Passes Anti-Discrimination Bill With Support From Mormon Leaders

Utah Republicans passed a bill that would bar employers and landlords or property owners from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity and protect religious institutions that object to homosexuality.

Posted on Mar 12, 2015 READ MORE


We Shall Overcome

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Posted on Mar 11, 2015 READ MORE


Selma

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Posted on Mar 11, 2015 READ MORE


The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same

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Posted on Mar 10, 2015 READ MORE


Jon Stewart Interviews Civil Rights Leader John Lewis on Marching in Selma 50 Years Ago

As he introduced President Obama at the commemoration of Bloody Sunday, the longtime congressman recalled marching in Selma, Ala., at the age of 25.

Posted on Mar 10, 2015 READ MORE



African-Americans Still Struggle for Full Citizenship Rights, Voting Rights (Video)

Over 50 years after the Selma march to Montgomery, African-Americans still face substantial impediments to their full citizenship in the United States.

Posted on Mar 10, 2015 READ MORE



After Selma—Again

We might honor Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream and the marchers in Selma by making voting in federal elections an obligation of citizenship.

Posted on Mar 9, 2015 READ MORE


President Obama Marks the Anniversary of Bloody Sunday in Selma

“The idea of a just America and a fair America, an inclusive America, and a generous America—that idea ultimately triumphed,” President Obama said in Selma, Ala., on Saturday, commemorating the 50th anniversary of the march for equal voting rights for minorities.

Posted on Mar 9, 2015 READ MORE


Rep. John Lewis Remembers Police Attack on Selma Bridge 50 Years Ago

Lewis was one of hundreds of peaceful voting-rights activists who were beaten 50 years ago on Bloody Sunday as the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. led them on a march from Selma to Montgomery, Ala. He recalls the event on “Democracy Now!”

Posted on Mar 6, 2015 READ MORE



From White Sheets to Spreadsheets

Fifty years after King’s march from Selma, new methods are being used to block African-Americans from voting: Jim Crow has become Dr. James Crow, systems analyst.

Posted on Mar 5, 2015 READ MORE


Howard Zinn: Have a More Interesting Life

The late historian, who studied injustice and action through the centuries, offers this wonderful insight.

Posted on Feb 4, 2015 READ MORE



Malcolm X Was Right About America

The civil rights leader, assassinated 50 years ago this month, knew that empire cannot be reformed—it must be destroyed.

Posted on Feb 1, 2015 READ MORE


How Do You Tell Your Girlfriend You’re Moving to Another Planet?

This week on Truthdig Radio in association with KPFK: Dianne McGrath isn’t waiting for NASA to take her to Mars, Deon Taylor addresses the difficulties of a black director researching white supremacy, and Martin Luther King and Helen Caldicott join us, courtesy of the Pacific Archives and Brian DeShazer.

Posted on Jan 30, 2015 READ MORE


How Do You Tell Your Girlfriend You’re Moving to Another Planet?

This week on Truthdig Radio in association with KPFK: Dianne McGrath isn’t waiting for NASA to take her to Mars, Deon Taylor addresses the difficulties of a black director researching white supremacy, and Martin Luther King and Helen Caldicott join us, courtesy of the Pacific Archives and Brian DeShazer.

Posted on Jan 30, 2015 READ MORE



Supreme Court Moves to Undo Civil Rights Law ... Again

The U.S. Supreme Court has once again taken it upon itself to reconsider a landmark civil rights law.

Posted on Jan 29, 2015 READ MORE



Civil Rights: From Sundance, to Selma, to South Carolina

On March 21, 1915, a motion picture was screened for the first time inside the White House.

Posted on Jan 28, 2015 READ MORE



This Week SCOTUS Will Take Up One of the Most Important Civil Rights Cases of the Last Decade

Many fear Texas case could gut the landmark Fair Housing Act.

Posted on Jan 22, 2015 READ MORE


Dream vs. Reality

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Posted on Jan 21, 2015 READ MORE


I Scream You Scream

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Posted on Jan 20, 2015 READ MORE    



MLK: Socialist, Conscience of America

“On several occasions, King told his aides that the US needed a democratic socialism that would guarantee jobs and income for all,” writes Lee Sustar in Socialist Worker

Posted on Jan 19, 2015 READ MORE



Newly Discovered MLK Speech on Civil Rights and Apartheid

“Democracy Now!” and Pacifica Radio Archives air an exclusive, newly discovered recording of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., made Dec. 7, 1964, days before he received the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo.

Posted on Jan 19, 2015 READ MORE



Black Bodies, Broken Worlds and a Post-Tax Society

Somewhere in America tonight, another poor person who the police deem a threat will be killed. Tomorrow another, and then another. These deaths are not an outrage against this system. They are normal for this system.

Posted on Dec 11, 2014 READ MORE



Former D.C. Mayor Marion Barry Jr. Dies at 78

Marion Barry Jr., who began his career in public service during the civil rights era and spent four terms as mayor of Washington, D.C., died late Saturday night in his hometown at age 78.

Posted on Nov 23, 2014 READ MORE


‘Left, Right & Center’: The Immigration Debate

Truthdig Editor-in-Chief Robert Scheer and the other “Left, Right & Center” panelists discuss President Obama’s plan to allow up to 5 million undocumented immigrants to remain in the country and work legally. Host Matt Miller thinks the plan was designed to make GOP heads explode.

Posted on Nov 21, 2014 READ MORE



Photo by Marion S. Trikosko, U.S. News & World Report, via Wikimedia Commons

American Hero; American Story

John Doar died last week at the age of 92. If there was a Greatest Generation, he was one of its greatest men.

Posted on Nov 14, 2014 READ MORE



Oregon Shakespeare Festival/UNIVERSES

Black Panthers: The Musical

“Party People” examines the complexity and struggle of the Black Panthers and Young Lords.

Posted on Nov 13, 2014 READ MORE



J. Edgar Hoover’s ‘Suicide Letter’ to Martin Luther King Jr. Is Even Worse Than We Knew

Half a century ago, FBI chief J. Edgar Hoover had what he clearly considered to be a big problem in the form of civil rights galvanizer Martin Luther King Jr.

Posted on Nov 12, 2014 READ MORE



Ryan Johnson (CC-BY-SA)

Eric Holder and RFK’s Legacy

When he announced his leave-taking last week, Attorney General Eric Holder spoke of Robert F. Kennedy as his inspiration for believing that the Justice Department “can and must always be a force for that which is right.”

Posted on Sep 29, 2014 READ MORE


Debate: One of the Finest Attorneys General in the Nation’s History?

Assessments of Attorney General Eric Holder’s legacy have been mixed. The NAACP Legal Defense Fund hailed him for his role in transforming the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department and his leadership on voting rights. Meanwhile, the American Civil Liberties Union criticized Holder’s record on national security issues.

Posted on Sep 26, 2014 READ MORE



Eric Holder to Resign as Attorney General

He’s spent almost six years guiding the Justice Department through some tricky terrain—think Benghazi, Ferguson and DOMA—and Thursday, Eric Holder made it known he is preparing to exit his position as U.S. attorney general. 

Posted on Sep 25, 2014 READ MORE



For Black Men in America, There Is No Break From Racism

The events of this summer in Ferguson, Mo., highlighted an ugly truth to mainstream Americans: Black men in this country are viewed as so suspicious by law enforcement that they are often shot first and questioned later.

Posted on Sep 19, 2014 READ MORE



Inappropriate Government Watchlisting Threatens Innocent Lives

“A single, uncorroborated source of information—including a Facebook or Twitter post”—is enough to put innocent foreigners and Americans on a watchlist of “known” and “suspected” terrorists shared with foreign and domestic agencies as well as private contractors, ACLU legislative counsel Arjun Sethi writes at The Guardian on Saturday.

Posted on Aug 31, 2014 READ MORE


Sounds of Michael Brown Shooting Allegedly Caught in Audio Clip

A new audio clip released by an unidentified man from Ferguson, Mo., allegedly captures the shooting of Michael Brown on Aug. 9.

Posted on Aug 26, 2014 READ MORE



The New Jim Crow: Has the Right Finally Repealed the Civil Rights Act?

The 45 million African-Americans in the United States are unequal before the law vis-a-vis European-Americans and becoming more so.

Posted on Aug 19, 2014 READ MORE



Shawn Semmler (CC-BY)

The Ones Left Behind

The fire this time is about invisibility. Our society expects the police to keep unemployed, poorly educated African-American men out of sight and out of mind. When they suddenly take center stage, illuminated by the flash and flicker of Molotov cocktails, we feign surprise.

Posted on Aug 18, 2014 READ MORE



Paul Miller

Telephone Mamas: The Forgotten Dreamers

Our playgrounds are populated with mothers like these, women who send trinkets and duct-taped packages back to their babies in faraway countries. They call them babies, even if they are not babies anymore, because it’s a habit.

Posted on Jul 28, 2014 READ MORE



Dead Is Dead: Drone-Killing the Fifth Amendment

Thanks to a much contested, recently released but significantly redacted Justice Department white paper providing the basis for the extrajudicial killing of American citizen Anwar al-Awlaki, we finally know the president in post-constitutional America is officially judge, jury and executioner.

Posted on Jul 25, 2014 READ MORE



Grace Lee Boggs, American Visionary

At 99 years old, activist and author Grace Lee Boggs reflects on the last century of American history in a Truthdig interview as PBS prepares to air a new documentary about her storied life. “To understand revolution is twofold,” she says. “It’s not just changing institutions, it’s changing ourselves.

Posted on Jun 26, 2014 READ MORE



Voting in Mississippi, 2014 and 1964 (Video)

Mississippi used its new voter-identification law for the first time Tuesday—requiring voters to show a driver’s license or other government-issued photo ID at the polls.

Posted on Jun 7, 2014 READ MORE



Freedom Summer II

It took guts to take on the power structure of Mississippi a half-century ago. It takes guts to take on the power structure of giant companies like Walmart and McDonalds now.

Posted on Jun 2, 2014 READ MORE


Maya Angelou

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Posted on May 31, 2014 READ MORE



Maya Angelou, Still She Rises

In remembering Maya Angelou, it is important to recall her commitment to the struggle for equality, not just for herself, or for women, or for African-Americans.

Posted on May 28, 2014 READ MORE



Renowned Poet and Civil Rights Activist Maya Angelou Dies at 86

“You may write me down in history/ With your bitter, twisted lies/You may tread me in the very dirt/But still, like dust, I’ll rise,” Maya Angelou wrote in one of her many forceful, unforgettable poems.

Posted on May 28, 2014 READ MORE


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