On the first week of spring in 1931, at the nadir of the Great Depression, nine Black teenagers stowed away on a Memphis-bound train scuffled with a gaggle of white youths who took exception to their presence. The Black youths made quick work of their counterparts, heaving all but one, Orville Gilley, from the slow-moving railcars to the grassy knoll below. Gilley would have met the same fate as his friends but by the time the Black youths got to him, the train had picked up considerable speed, and he was hanging perilously from the gondola. Fearing Gilley might fall underneath one of the railcars, two Black teenagers pulled him back to safety and stood down.
Civil rights organizations have filed a federal complaint on behalf of several parents against the Texas Education Agency because of its plan to replace the Houston Independent School District’s democratically elected school board, claiming the move takes away the rights of Houston voters of color to choose their own school officials. The complaint was filed with the U.S. Department of Justice Friday morning, with a claim by the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas, the Houston NAACP, the League of United Latin American Citizens and the Greater Houston Coalition for Justice that the state’s takeover violates the Voting Rights Act and the U.S. Constitution.
Atlanta, Georgia – Carrying signs decrying “racist traitors,” about a hundred civil rights activists marched and chanted at Georgia’s Stone Mountain on Saturday to protest at the return of an annual celebration of the Confederacy at the foot of a towering monument to the heroes of the South’s pro-slavery past. As dozens of state and local police, including SWAT teams with armored trucks, looked on, the state chapter of the Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV) with 200 supporters gathered for its celebration, which it says honors the sacrifices of their forebears. The Atlanta NAACP and other civil rights supporters, some using megaphones to try to shout down the event, which it views as a salute to the South’s legacy of racism.
By Ian Cummings for Governing - NAACP officials say their recent travel advisory for Missouri is the first that the civil rights group has issued for any state. But the warning follows a recent trend of similar alerts issued by other groups for vulnerable people around the United States. The travel advisory, circulated in June by the Missouri NAACP and recently taken up by the national organization, comes after travel alerts began appearing in recent years in light of police shootings in the U.S. and ahead of immigration legislation in Texas and Arizona. The Missouri travel advisory is the first time an NAACP conference has ever made one state the subject of a warning about discrimination and racist attacks, a spokesman for the national organization said Tuesday. Missouri became the first because of recent legislation making discrimination lawsuits harder to win, and in response to longtime racial disparities in traffic enforcement and a spate of incidents cited as examples of harm coming to minority residents and visitors, say state NAACP leaders. Those incidents included racial slurs against black students at the University of Missouri and the death earlier this year of 28-year-old Tory Sanders, a black man from Tennessee who took a wrong turn while traveling and died in a southeast Missouri jail even though he hadn't been accused of a crime.
By Staff of NAACP - RALEIGH, NC—The NAACP Board of Directors announced a resolution calling for the discussion of the first steps of an international economic boycott of the state of North Carolina in response to actions of an all-white legislative caucus, which unconstitutionally designed racially-discriminatory gerrymandered districts, enacted a monster voter suppression law, passed Senate Bill 4 stripping the incoming Governor of power and passed House Bill 2. HB 2 is anti-transgender, anti-worker and anti-access to the state court for employment discrimination. NAACP National President/CEO Cornell William Brooks and North Carolina State President and National Board Member Rev. Dr. William Barber II, will hold a press conference today (Friday, Feb. 24th @ 11:00 am) at the NC General Assembly to discuss the economic boycott and rally supporters for direct actions against the legislators.
By German Lopez for Vox - The sit-in was part of the NAACP’s wider protests against Sessions’s nomination. The civil rights organizations said on Tuesday that it plans to protest in five of Sessions’s Alabama offices — in Mobile, Huntsville, Dothan, Birmingham, and Montgomery. And former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, who served in the defense of community activists that Sessions previously prosecuted, sent a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee asking them to oppose Sessions’s nomination. “As a matter of conscience and conviction, we can neither be mute nor mumble our opposition to Sen. Jefferson Beauregard Sessions becoming attorney general of the United States”
By Jay Croft for CNN - (CNN) An NAACP sit-in to protest the nomination of US Sen. Jeff Sessions as US attorney general ended late Tuesday when six people were arrested at Sessions' Mobile, Alabama, office. The arrests of five men and one woman included NAACP President Cornell W. Brooks, said Malik Russell, director of communications for the civil rights group. They face charges of criminal trespass in the second-degree, according to Mobile police. The protesters arrived earlier Tuesday and said they would stay until Sessions is no longer the nominee or they were arrested.
By Julian Vasquez Heilig for Cloaking Inequality - I don’t believe that this has been reported anywhere else. Last week at the NAACP National Convention in Cincinnati, the delegates voted in a new resolution on charter schools. It’s approval as policy will not be official until the National Board meeting in the Fall of 2016. However, this is a big news story that (I suspect because of the political conventions) has not yet entered the traditional media. Yesterday in the post How will history remember the @NAACP on charters? I discussed the 2010 and 2014 NAACP charter school resolutions.
By Clarence Lusane in Progressive - I had the great fortune to have had Julian Bond as a colleague at American University. On a number of occasions, I sat in on his lectures or talks. These were mostly small, intimate gatherings away from cameras and the media. That is when Julian Bond the agitator became Julian Bond the educator, effortlessly mesmerizing young minds eager for his knowledge and experience. Bond left his fingerprints on pretty much every major civil rights organization and issue of the last five decades. From the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee to the Southern Poverty Law Center to the NAACP, he fiercely fought to defend the goals and aspirations of many millions who wanted human rights and social justice. Many students saw his wisdom but often missed the path by which it came.
The FBI has identified a "potential person of interest" in connection to an explosion Tuesday morning against the exterior wall of a building that houses a barber shop and the Colorado Springs chapter of the NAACP. It's currently unknown which of the building's occupants was the intended target, the FBI says. No one was injured. FBI is considering it a possible act of "domestic terror." The blast was caused by an improvised explosive device that was detonated at around 10:45 a.m. against the exterior wall of the building, which was located at 603 South El Paso Boulevard.