#Art Ida B. Wells Tribute #BlackHistory #AmericanHistory #WorldHistory #CivilRightsLeader
#Art Ida B. Wells Tribute #BlackHistory #AmericanHistory #WorldHistory #CivilRightsLeader
Before Rosa Parks, There Was Claudette Colvin. Colvin, 15, was arrested on March 2, 1955 when she refused to give up her seat on a Montgomery bus to a white person. She was one of the plaintiffs in Browder v. Gayle, the court case that successfully overturned bus segregation laws in Montgomery and Alabama. Phillip Hoose’s book Twice Toward Justice tells her story.
Colvin’s story is important to me because it reminds me how we have to celebrate the Civil Rights Movement yet NOT romanticize it. We have to still be critical of it so that we can have our own movement be better.
Colvin’s case was poised to be the segregation case that went all the way to the Supreme Court. Yet Black leaders were hesitant to back her because she was dark-skinned and lower class.
Then, the teen became pregnant by a married man. And, I’m really not surprised that they no longer backed her.
The Civil Rights Movement was a middle-class movement that tried to appeal to the conscience of White people.
THE CONSCIENCE OF WHITE PEOPLE
We could sit here and have a legitimate day-long conversation about whether or not most White people have a true conscience when race is involved. Like, that’s STILL debatable. Take for instance, Trayvon Martin. When people found out he was out of school for marijuana, that suddenly validated his murder. He became a thug not a victim. Another example would be Rodney King. Break the law, and suddenly you don’t have a family… you don’t have hopes and dreams.. you’re no longer a human. You’re a nigger to beat or kill. We live in a world where If you’re a Black child misbehaving in class, you could be handcuffed and sent to jail. You’re not a child acting out…you’re a wild nigger.. a criminal.
If you’re a Black person, I feel that in order to appeal to the conscience of White people, you can’t have any flaws or transgressions. You must be god-like. And most importantly, you cannot actually BE Black. You know? You can’t remind them of blackness. Your name can’t remind them of Black people. The way you talk. The way you dress. Nothing about you can be associated with “Blackness,” because when it comes to Black, most White people have no conscience. And they’ll find an excuse to not to see you as a human being. We see it on Tumblr everyday…. Black teens loud at the store, what are they? Not just some loud obnoxious kids but suddenly they’re niggers. They will find a way to deny you your humanity.
So, if you’re trying to have a movement that appeals to the conscience of White people, a dark-skinned poor teen mother is just not gonna do it. Not then and not today.
The Civil Rights Movement was all about this Black middle class that had economic power to go here or there.. and didn’t want segregation keeping them from enjoying their life. However, the fatal flaw in the movement was their quest to appeal to the sympathy of White people, because in that quest, they left a lot of Black people behind. That’s why today you can have a Black president and still have thousands and thousands of Black men in jail and living in poverty.
So,to have a successful movement, I feel we must say fuck this fake ass morality war White people try to have… fuck the “high road” they think they are on. We must demand equality for ALL Black people… from the imprisoned to the infant born to a upper-class family. Dark to damn near White. From the loud to the meek. From sluts to chaste.. From Christianity to Islam. No matter the sexuality. Thugs and scholars. No matter what new box people are trying to force us all into…. We all deserve equality and to be treated with the care that humans have the ability to give to other humans (but rarely do). Period.
Equality without terms and conditions.
16 April 1963
My Dear Fellow Clergymen:
While confined here in the Birmingham city jail, I came across your recent statement calling my present activities “unwise and untimely.” Seldom do I pause to answer criticism of my work and ideas. If I sought to answer all the criticisms that cross my desk, my secretaries would have little time for anything other than such correspondence in the course of the day, and I would have no time for constructive work. But since I feel that you are men of genuine good will and that your criticisms are sincerely set forth, I want to try to answer your statement in what I hope will be patient and reasonable terms.
I think I should indicate why I am here in Birmingham, since you have been influenced by the view which argues against “outsiders coming in.” I have the honor of serving as president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, an organization operating in every southern state, with headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia. We have some eighty five affiliated organizations across the South, and one of them is the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights. Frequently we share staff, educational and financial resources with our affiliates. Several months ago the affiliate here in Birmingham asked us to be on call to engage in a nonviolent direct action program if such were deemed necessary. We readily consented, and when the hour came we lived up to our promise. So I, along with several members of my staff, am here because I was invited here. I am here because I have organizational ties here.
But more basically, I am in Birmingham because injustice is here. Just as the prophets of the eighth century B.C. left their villages and carried their “thus saith the Lord” far beyond the boundaries of their home towns, and just as the Apostle Paul left his village of Tarsus and carried the gospel of Jesus Christ to the far corners of the Greco Roman world, so am I compelled to carry the gospel of freedom beyond my own home town. Like Paul, I must constantly respond to the Macedonian call for aid.
Moreover, I am cognizant of the interrelatedness of all communities and states. I cannot sit idly by in Atlanta and not be concerned about what happens in Birmingham. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. Never again can we afford to live with the narrow, provincial “outside agitator” idea. Anyone who lives inside the United States can never be considered an outsider anywhere within its bounds.
You deplore the demonstrations taking place in Birmingham. But your statement, I am sorry to say, fails to express a similar concern for the conditions that brought about the demonstrations. I am sure that none of you would want to rest content with the superficial kind of social analysis that deals merely with effects and does not grapple with underlying causes. It is unfortunate that demonstrations are taking place in Birmingham, but it is even more unfortunate that the city’s white power structure left the Negro community with no alternative.
Elizabeth Eckford is proof that sometimes a few small steps can be the biggest strides forward. A member of the Little Rock Nine, Elizabeth turned the daily routine of going to school into an act of heroism. Facing abuse, hatred and violence, she helped break down racial barriers, fight desegregation, and move the country forward.
Tell your friend she’s got a little Elizabeth Eckford in her. Reblog now to give her a little push.
She did, at the cost of her mental health.
Urban Outfitters sells some incredibly insensitive shit.
And if you’re going to take the defense that slavery doesn’t exist anymore, first of all you’re wrong. Slavery exists throughout the world, including in America. Maybe you haven’t taken note of this because you keep your white privilege raybans on, but it’s not unlikely that there are sex slaves within a few hundred miles of you.
Secondly, even if slavery was no longer an issue, it once was, and there are people who have been affected by this everywhere.
In summary, fuck Urban Outfitters.
Spoken Word. You’re doing it right!
I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.
Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.
But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languishing in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. So we have come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.
In a sense we have come to our nation’s capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked “insufficient funds.” But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. So we have come to cash this check — a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice. We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quick sands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God’s children.
It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment. This sweltering summer of the Negro’s legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning. Those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. There will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.
But there is something that I must say to my people who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice. In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.
We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force. The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to a distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. They have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone.
As we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back. There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, “When will you be satisfied?” We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality. We can never be satisfied, as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. We cannot be satisfied as long as the Negro’s basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their selfhood and robbed of their dignity by signs stating “For Whites Only”. We cannot be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.
I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow jail cells. Some of you have come from areas where your quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive.
Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to South Carolina, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed. Let us not wallow in the valley of despair.
I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.”
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.
I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
I have a dream today.
I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification; one day right there in Alabama, little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.
I have a dream today.
I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.
This is our hope. This is the faith that I go back to the South with. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.
This will be the day when all of God’s children will be able to sing with a new meaning, “My country, ‘tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim’s pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring.”
And if America is to be a great nation this must become true. So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania!
Let freedom ring from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado!
Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California!
But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia!
Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee!
Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.
And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, “Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!”
LGBTQ* ALLIES YOU SHOULD KNOW
EMMA GOLDMAN (1869 – 1940)
“No daring is required to protest against a great injustice”
* Political Activist and Speech Writer
* Activist for Immigration Rights, Women’s Rights, Safety/Work Related Equality, Freedom of Speech, Atheism, Marriage, Free Love and Homosexuality
* Goldman was the FIRST woman to speak out for homosexual rights
From Goldman’s Writings:
During our walk in the Luxembourg I told the doctor of the indignation I had felt at the conviction of Oscar Wilde. I had pleaded his case against the miserable hypocrites who had sent him to his doom. “You!” the doctor exclaimed in astonishment, “why, you must have been a mere youngster then. How did you dare come out in public for Oscar Wilde in puritan America?” “Nonsense!” I replied; “no daring is required to protest against a great injustice.” The doctor smiled dubiously. “Injustice?” he repeated; “it wasn’t exactly that from the legal point of view, though it may have been from the psychological.” The rest of the afternoon we were engaged in a battle royal about inversion, perversion, and the question of sex variation. He had given much thought to the matter, but he was not free in his approach, and I suspected that he was somewhat scandalized that I, a young woman, should speak without reservations on such tabooed subjects.