Tag Archives: Civil Rights

Seventy-Five Years Ago, the Military’s Only All-Black Female Band Battled the War Department and Won

An estimated crowd of 100,000 people clogged the intersections in Chicago’s central business district in May of 1945 for a war bond rally, one of several marking the War Department drive that week. Police had traffic stopped for blocks approaching the stage at State and Madison Streets, and reporters noted sales clerks and customers hanging out of store windows to catch a glimpse of any famous performers or war heroes who might arrive. Continue reading Seventy-Five Years Ago, the Military’s Only All-Black Female Band Battled the War Department and Won

For Turn-of-the-Century African-Americans, the Camera Was a Tool for Empowerment

Regal would be the best way to describe the photograph of Mary Church Terrell. Delicately swathed in lace, satin and crystals, the charismatic civil rights activist is seen in profile. The front of her tasteful Gibson pompadour is dappled with light and her face is illuminated as if a single ray of sun had parted the clouds in the sky. It’s a highly flattering image of the D.C. activist and suffragist, and Terrell thought so herself. Continue reading For Turn-of-the-Century African-Americans, the Camera Was a Tool for Empowerment

Smithsonian Curator Weighs in on Legacy of Frank Robinson, Barrier-Breaking Baseball Great

During his 21 seasons as an outfielder, first with the Cincinnati Reds and later with the Baltimore Orioles among other teams, Major League Baseball hall of famer Frank Robinson accumulated some of the best stats in baseball history. He hit 586 career home runs, was named an All-Star 14 times and remains the only player to earn the Most Valuable Player award in both leagues, receiving the title in 1961 for his work with the Reds and in 1966 while playing for the Orioles, respectively.

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Linda Brown, at the Center of Brown v. Board of Education, Has Died

In September 1950, Oliver Brown walked his young daughter to her neighborhood school in Topeka, Kansas. When he tried to enroll her in the all-white Sumner School, however, she was denied a spot because she was black. The rejection set in motion one of the most famous court cases in United States History, Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas. The 1954 Supreme Court decision that followed struck down the half-century old “separate-but-equal” standard, ushering in an era of school de-segregation. On Sunday, Linda Brown, the little girl at the center of that monumental ruling, died in Topeka at the age of 75, Neil Genzlinger at The New York Times reports.

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6 Movies About the Real Black Panthers to Watch After ‘Black Panther’

Contrary to the belief of some idiots on social mediaMarvel’s Black Panther has nothing to do with the Black Panther Party. The first appearance of the Black Panther character in a comic book was in July of 1966, roughly five months before Bobby Seale and Huey Newton founded the Black Panther Party for Self Defense. That doesn’t mean Marvel’s Black Panther character and the Black Panther Party didn’t hold some of the same beliefs; hell, T’Challa has a history of kicking white supremacist ass. Still, let’s get this straight: what Ryan Coogler and company are bringing to the silver screen with Black Panther isn’t a reimagining of the Black Panther Party.

Continue reading 6 Movies About the Real Black Panthers to Watch After ‘Black Panther’