50 Voices for 50 Years

50 Voices for 50 Years Series

Martin Luther King Jr., and the Black Athlete Protest Tradition

By Louis Moore   Hank Aaron knew he needed to step up to the plate. By 1966, thousands of Black men and women his age had risked their lives fighting in the Civil Rights Movement. And high-profile athletes like Jackie Robinson, Wilma Rudolph, and Bill Russell had gotten their hands dirty too. True, in Milwaukee he pushed the Braves to integrate their spring training facilities in Florida, but outside of his battles in baseball, the first Black superstar to ply his trade in the South had... Read More

Where There’s a Will, There’s a Way

On January 2, 1965, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. stood in front of a crowd of seven hundred people, packed into the pews of Brown Chapel AME Church in Selma, Alabama. “Today marks the beginning of a determined, organized, mobilized campaign to get the right to vote everywhere in Alabama,” he declared from the pulpit. The Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) had been looking for a place to stage its push for national voting rights legislation, and black Selmians’ lon... Read More

A Dream Deferred

By Jim Johnson   In his famous “I Have a Dream” speech, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. envisioned a future American society in which black children would no longer “be judged by the color of their skin but [rather] by the content of their character.” A society free of the debilitating effects of racial segregation and poverty where “little black boys and black girls [would] be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.&... Read More

The Harbinger of Housing & Human Rights in the 21st Century

By Rhonda Y. Williams   Wherever I turn, housing is. Obvious, you might say. But, I am not talking simply about housing in the most apparent sense of literal wood, steel, or brick-and-mortar structures – but housing as a rousing harbinger of dire and distressing realities. Profit over people, profoundly persistent racial and economic inequalities, and a pervasive dearth of quality affordable shelter – a basic human right. Whether I am prepping to teach my new course o... Read More

Poverty, Racism, and the Legacy of King’s Poor People’s Campaign

By Keri Leigh Merritt   Reflecting back upon the fifty years since the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., one singular point always stands out, a searing reminder of what was – and still is – America’s grossest injustice: that in one of the richest nations in the world, so many millions of people remain trapped in cyclical, soul-crushing poverty. Dr. King, of course, regularly received death threats as he fought for political rights for African Americ... Read More
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